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Band Information for Incoming 5th Grade Families

Beginning the first week of June, your child will hear members of their school’s 5th grade band demonstrate and talk about all of the different instruments that make up our wonderful ensemble. This demonstration is intended to introduce band and all of the available instruments to your child, and to get them thinking about which three they would like to try out at their instrument testing dates next fall (see below). Band is not mandatory in 5th grade, but I strongly encourage you to talk with your child about trying out an instrument, and which three they find interest in based on the 5th graders demonstrations. Every 4th grade student will be tested and given an instrument that is the “best fit” for them based on what they tried, but the decision to register for band and rent and instrument is completely up to you. Music is truly a lifelong endeavor which everyone should experience and in which every student has the ability to succeed.

Try-Out Days:  

During school, over the course of September 4th, 5th and 6th 2019, your child will participate in the instrument try-out day at their school. At this time, your student will have the chance to play and try out three instruments they are interested inEvery 4th-grade student is welcome to participate, including current orchestra students and students who are not sure whether they would like to do band yet! This day is simply meant to introduce them to the potential opportunity.

Experienced teachers from Eckroth Music help the students make sound on each of their top three instrument choices. The teachers write down detailed information on which instruments went well for your child and which would be a struggle.  With that information, we have a one-on-one conversation. Then, together we decide what their top three choices for instruments actually are. Many times, their choices change drastically after actually seeing, holding and playing the instrument!   

5th Grade Band Registration Meetings    

On Thursday September 12, 2019 we will hold two 30-minute meetings at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the Senior High Cafeteria.  The school/city calendar implies that band registration will be happening on May 21 but this is NOT the case.  Please attend one of these meetings.  At the meeting, we will present important information about participating in band.  Eckroth Music will be present to assist with instrument rental and repair needs. We strongly recommend that you lease an instrument because the introductory offer lets you try band for four months with an instrument that is guaranteed to be in good condition.  In addition, if you complete a lease agreement before September 1st, your student can qualify for up to six free private lessons. Lessons will be provided through Maestoso Music Studio, owned by Laura Dietrich, which is located at 3402 Library Lane, next to the high school.  Please be prepared to make a down payment on a rental instrument at the meeting.

Your student will receive their band instrument assignment at the meeting.  We consider not only student choice, but our years of experience to determine which instrument a student will be most successful with.  Finally, we must consider the needs of the overall band. If the Vikings had 20 quarterbacks and no defensive backs, they would surely fail.  A band with 20 percussionists and no clarinets would also fail. If you own an instrument that your child successfully made a sound on (and you both agree this is their pick), please contact Mr. Morrisette immediately.  If you do own an instrument for your student, please bring it the registration evening to be checked by a repair technician.  

School-Owned Instruments:  

The school district has a VERY LIMITED number of instruments for rent at a reduced rate. These will be assigned based on proven need and in the order requests are received. You may be asked to gather paperwork to show that your family qualifies for free or reduced lunch so we know that the rental instruments are going to those most in need. If your student will need a school-owned instrument, please contact Mr. Morrisette immediately.

I am very excited to see students from all of the schools and hope they will strongly consider participating in our successful band program here in SLP. We look forward to seeing you at registration on September 12th!

Please contact Elementary Band Director Drew Morrisette with any questions at morrisette.andrew@slpschools.org