Beginning Band Handbook Supplement

DMS Bands

Mandatory Parent Meeting

BEGINNING BAND PARENT INFORMATIONAL MEETING

(Required attendance to participate in the beginning band 2017-2018)

When: Tuesday, August 22

Where:  Discovery Middle School band room (room 300)

Time:  8:00pm-8:30 pm (immediately following Back to School Night)

Please plan to attend this meeting.  It is a very important parent informational meeting regarding financial obligation, physical characteristics, and commitment of playing a band instrument.  PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE AN INSTRUMENT AT THIS TIME.  Students will be exploring many of the band instruments during the first few weeks of school.

  If you are unable to attend please contact Mrs. Whelan to set up a time for a meeting.

marti.schonberger-whelan@lps53.org

Materials needed before we begin using band instruments:  3-ring binder (1-inch); recorder; pencil

Instrument Selection Process

During the first six weeks of school, students will be learning music reading skills and rehearsal skills that they will use in band.  They will also get a chance to try out all the instruments before a choice is made.  The instrument choice is a joint effort between the student, the band directors, and the parents.

Instrument Rental Week

Beginning Band 2017--2018

Liberty Public Schools –Middle Level Band

Monday September 25 -Saturday, September 30

Meyer Music in Liberty (Price Chopper, 896 MO-291) 816-746-0500

Palen Music (112 N Water St) 816-792-8301,

(Come and go when you can)

Representatives from Meyer Music and Palen Music will be available to sell or rent instruments.  The rental program is a “rent to own” system.  The band staff will also be available to answer any questions you might have through e-mail or phone.

These companies have been approved to rent to you by the Liberty Public Schools.  They are going to rent to you the instruments the band staff has approved.  The criteria for approval are based on a positive experience with these brands and models.  Each company sends a representative to the buildings weekly.  If your instrument requires maintenance, they will come to your child’s building, pick up the instrument, have it fixed at their store, and return it to the building.  Unless the repair is major, it usually takes about a week.  You are certainly welcome to shop around for a better deal but, it must be an approved instrument from our supplies list or recommended brand.  If a repair is needed on an instrument purchased elsewhere, you will have to take it to the store for the repair and then pick it up.

If you already own an instrument that your child intends to use, bring it by or send it to school with your child so it can be checked.  Instruments do need some routine maintenance.  If it is in need of a checkup, now is the time.  If you send it in now for repair, your child will miss little or no instruction.  An instrument that doesn’t work properly is as frustrating for your child as your car breaking down is for you!

All Beginning Band students will need the Essential Elements for Band Book 1, a metronome/tuner, and a music stand for home practice.  If you already own an instrument but need the book, music stand, and metronome/tuner, please feel free to drop by one of the music stores to pick up those items.

If you have any questions, please call your teacher at school.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY

We strongly advise you not to purchase instruments from department stores or discount stores.  Buying an instrument that is not a recognized brand will cost you less money – much less money – in the short term but will cause you nothing but headaches down the road.

Experience is showing us that these instruments:

-- are of inferior workmanship.  Trumpet valves stick and can’t be fixed.  Woodwind keys don’t line up with the appropriate opening causing leaks that can’t be fixed.  Trombone slides are made of such poor quality material that dents become holes and can’t be fixed.

--are constructed of inferior metal content.  Metal content in brass instruments and saxophones is what makes their characteristic sound.  If an instrument doesn’t have the characteristic sound because of construction, nothing the teacher does can fix it – no matter how hard the teacher or student tries.

--have tone holes which are not drawn – they are drilled (While this makes no sense to most of you, it is devastating to the sound of the instrument.  Cheaper by far but the player can’t play in tune so therefore can’t blend with anyone else.)

--are not built to withstand any accidental bumps.  Instruments get bumped.  Name brand companies know that and build their equipment to withstand it.  Inferior brands can’t take any bumps, even the ones that are normal to a 6th grader.

Many parents are hesitant to purchase an instrument until they know if the student is going to remain interested or show any aptitude.  Our vendors and teachers understand completely.  Because of that, all our vendors will cheerfully accept an instrument that is returned and you stop payment immediately.  What you have lost is the rent on the number of months you have had the instrument.

In the meantime, your student has gotten a fair evaluation of their ability because the instrument hasn’t held them back.  Buying an inferior instrument will not give them this opportunity.

One other major consideration is repair.  Department and discount stores do not offer you any type of maintenance or repair.  Our vendors will not repair the instruments if there is a problem because they can’t guarantee the repair will hold.  In this case, no one is happy, the instrument doesn’t work, and the student is out of luck.

As you shop, please consider the following brands.  They are tried and true and won’t hold your student back.

Gemeinhardt, Armstrong, Trevor James,  Selmer, Jupiter, Buffet, Bundy, Fox, LeBlanc, Yamaha, Vito, Bach, Conn, King, Getzen, Blessing, Holton, Benge, Besson, Miraphone, Musser, Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, Rogers, Vic Firth.

This is a case where you truly “get what you pay for”.