BEGINNERS: LOTS OF INFO
This info only applies to parents/guardians of beginning band members. Everyone else, feel free to ignore this!
Ok, beginner parents and guardians... We have one major thing to tackle as we start the school year. We need to determine which instrument every student is going to play. As my email stated, we will not play at home or in class until either we enter phase 3, or we hit January. However, I will need to know which instrument I'm preparing each student to play in order to teach the correct material.
We have 2 options that we can use for mouthpiece testing:
Option 1: In- Person: You bring your child to the band room. We sit outside, 10 ft apart. You and I wear masks, and I guide your child through the process of trying various mouthpieces. This takes about 20 minutes. I will sanitize all surfaces before you arrive, and I'll only meet with one group at a time. I am available any time on July 25th, 26th, 27th, or 28th. I'm also available on July 31st, as well as August 1st. Please let me know if any of those dates could work for you, or if you want to test on a different date.
Option 2: ZOOM: We schedule a zoom meeting. You pick up a dishwasher safe mouthpiece kit from school. You clean with soap and water and/or run it through your dishwasher. We go through the testing process via zoom. You clean the mouthpiece kit again, and return it. I'll try to schedule these so that nobody has a kit for more than 3 days. The downside here is that I am still waiting for kits to come in. They SHOULD be in by July 29th. I can most likely schedule these after 4 or 5 pm the week of August 3rd, or the week of August 10th.
Regardless of which option you'd like, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up mouthpiece testing. I will need to meet with every student before August 21st.
While we don't need instruments yet, I thought I'd go ahead and share this flyer from Music and Arts. Prices are lower than I'd anticipated, so that's good!
Here is a link with info on which brands to look for, and which to avoid. Remember: many companies want to make a quick sale (especially online). There are great-looking deals and reviews all over Amazon for instruments that will break within a few weeks of use. Please stick with the recommended brands. it will save you money and stress in the long-run!
Lastly, I know that some of you may want your child to start playing sooner, rather than later. I strongly suggest that you do not allow your child to play his or her instrument before they've been taught how to do it properly in class. Beginners need constant reminders about posture, embouchure, and equipment. So, even a student with a sibling in band, or a student who has taken a few lessons will most likely be better off if they do not practice before the rest of the class.
The only way that this could work would be if a student was taking weekly lessons with a professional. This typically costs between $25-$40 per 1 hour lesson. This is not at all required, and my hope is that everyone will start when we start together. However, If you do want your child to start early, this is the only way to avoid doing more harm than good. If you are looking for a tutor, please let me know, and I will point you in the right direction!
I'm sorry for the long message! That should be it for a while! Please contact me any time with questions.