Members of the Harman School sixth grade band presented its first concert of the year Thursday, Oct. 25, demonstrating their developing skills.
Sixth Grade Instrumental Music
Welcome! We are pleased that your son or daughter is interested in playing an instrument. We believe students are most successful when their parents take a genuine interest in their school activities, so we appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to be here. All 2017-2018 sixth grade students have the opportunity to begin studying a woodwind, brass, or string instrument, and become a member of our elementary instrumental program. The choices for sixth grade are: flute, violin, trumpet, viola, clarinet, alto saxophone, cello, trombone and string bass.
The elementary instrumental schedule consists of three rehearsals per week during the lunch recess period. (Orchestra will meet once a week for one semester before school in lieu of that lunch recess period). In addition to rehearsals, students will participate in several performances during the Holiday Season and also in the Spring. Also, to be successful at their instrument, students and families should plan implementing daily practice time at home. Band and Orchestra is intended to be a year long commitment and students should plan on being in band/orchestra for the entire year. This is a class that you sign up for, similar to an elective in Junior High. Students will not be allowed to withdraw before our Holiday Concerts in December. If a student does not feel like they want to continue with band or orchestra, there is a process for how to withdraw from the class including: a parent conference, discussion with the teacher, and an exit survey to be completed by the student. This process can start after December, if needed. This is because we strongly feel that learning to play an instrument takes a lot of time and it is not something that you can learn in a few weeks. Also, this is out of respect for your fellow classmates and ensemble. Every student is important and valuable in a musical ensemble and we are counting on you to help our group be successful. We understand parents and students may have additional questions. If so, please feel free to contact any member of the instrumental music staff.
Adam Uhlenhake, Band Director, email@example.com
Nate Thompson, Smith music, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Forney, Harman music, email@example.com
Jordan Millard, Orchestra Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
As with most products, there are a large variety of musical instrument models and brands available to the consumer. The Oakwood Music Department is not in the business of selling or promoting specific musical instruments or music companies. However, it is in everyone’s best interest that parents purchase or rent a quality instrument from a reputable vendor. Below is a list of instrument brands and models that we recommend for beginning band students. Although we recommend any of these instruments, this is by no means a complete list of acceptable brands and models.
If you have a question about a specific model or brand of instrument, please feel free to contact a member of the music department prior to purchasing the instrument. Remember, when buying a used instrument, it should be checked out by a qualified instrument repair technician. Flute Trombone Brand Model Level Brand Model Level Gemeinhardt 72SP Beginner Yamaha YSL354 Beginner Yamaha 221 Beginner Bach 210 Intermediate Gemeinhardt 3SHB Intermediate King 606 Beginner Yamaha 361 H Intermediate Clarinet Trumpet Yamaha YCL 200AD Beginner Yamaha YTR 200AD Beginner Selmer 300 Beginner Bach TR300 Beginner Buffet B10 Beginner Yamaha YTR 2335 Beginner Yamaha 250 Beginner Bach TR200 Intermediate Buffet E11 or E12 Intermediate Note: We recommend using a Vandoren B45 mouthpiece for all clarinets. Please buy three # 2 . reeds and three #3 reeds. Vandoren reeds are preferred.
Buying/Renting a String Instrument
Unlike band instruments, there are not specific brands of string instruments that are recommended for beginners. Instead, it is important that the instrument is set up well (good bridge, strings, bow, etc.) and is easily playable. By renting from a reputable store, they will ensure that the instrument is in good shape to play. If you choose to purchase an instrument, please do not buy a cheap instrument online. Although it might be cheaper at the beginning, it will not last long and there will be many issues that will involve more money later on. Also, they usually have a poor quality in sound. If you are thinking about buying a new or used instrument, please contact Jordan Millard prior to purchasing to make sure that the instrument you are buying will work well for your child.
Wind Instruments String Instruments:
Hauer Music- (800) 544-2837
Baroque Violin Shop - (513) 541-2000
McCutcheon’s Music- (937) 435-2900
When does band/orchestra meet? We rehearse three days a week during lunch recess. ● Harman - Tuesday/Thursday/Friday ● Smith - Monday/Wednesday/Friday
What if my child wants to play other instruments, like percussion, saxophone or tuba? The 9 choices for 6th grade year are violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet and trombone. In Junior High, some band students will have the option to switch to other band instruments like percussion, tuba, euphonium, french horn, saxophone, oboe, bass clarinet, etc.. If your child is currently taking private lessons on a different instrument, please talk to one of the music staff members to discuss your child’s options for 6th grade.
What books does my child need? How do they get them? ● Band- Essential Elements Book 1 (instrument specific) ● Orchestra - Essential Elements Book 1 (instrument specific) You can purchase these at local music stores or online retailers. You will need to get your band/orchestra book by the beginning of the school year.
Where are good places to find a quality instrument to rent or buy? We recommend that you buy an instrument from a reputable store such as ones listed below. Please be cautious about buying an instrument online, or from a big box retail store. The quality of these varies greatly and our experience has shown that students are most successful long-term with a quality instrument that is in perfect playing condition. For band, please stick to the well known brands and models. ● Hauer Music (937) 222-2815 or (800) 544-2837 ● Baroque Violin Shop (513) 541-2000 ● McCutcheon’s Music (937) 435-2900 ● Woodwind Brasswind ● Shar Music
What about buying a used instrument? For band: Look for quality brand names such as Yamaha, Bach, Selmer, King, and Conn. All used instruments should be checked out by a licensed instrument repair technician. Most of the time, a few repairs will be needed to bring it up to playing condition. A quality used instrument, that has been looked at by a technician, can be a great and affordable choice for some families. For Orchestra: It depends on the condition and quality. Mrs. Depew would be happy to assist you in finding a quality used orchestra instrument.
What if I can’t afford an instrument? For the bigger instruments, such as bass, students can use a school instrument during class. They can also sign-out a bass from the school to practice at home. If money is an issue, please talk to a member of the music department, and we will discuss possible options such as borrowing a school owned instrument.
What other costs are involved? Books - approximately $10. Supplies for your instrument - varies with instrument. (Reeds, maintenance, optional private lessons)
How much practice time is recommended for 6th grade students? Consistency is the key! 15-30 minutes, five days a week is a good goal. It is better to practice 20 minutes every day, rather than 2 hours for one day. We are piloting SmartMusic this year, which will help provide web-based, guided practice at home on any computer.
When are the concerts? Orchestra ● Holiday Concert in December ● Cherry Pie Concert in May Band ● Holiday Concert in December ● Spring Concert in May
What does my child wear to the concerts? White top, black pants/skirt, black socks/shoes
Can my child be in band/orchestra and still play sports in high school? Yes! In fact, many Oakwood band and orchestra members participate many extra curricular activities such as sports, ballet, theatre, dance and other clubs.
Are there any after school commitments involved? In grades 6-8, the only after school commitments are the scheduled concerts and at home practice time.
While private lessons are by no means required, it is a great way to improve at your instrument. We strongly encourage all students to consider taking private lessons at some point in their musical experience at Oakwood. If students take private lessons from the beginning, they will have the potential to excel at their instrument at a much faster pace. Additionally, students can avoid developing bad habits that are harder to fix later on.
Below are some instructors that have been successful with our Oakwood families in the past.
Violin: Samantha Kauffman (937) 340-1947
Betsey Hofeldt (937) 901-4485
Karen Johnson (937) 610-0495
Zsuzsanna Przyzcki (937) 478-6313
Viola: Karen Johnson (937) 610-0495
Sheridan Currie (937) 259-0930
Cello: Mark Hofeldt (937) 293-5753
Bass: Jon Pascolini (937) 367-6767
Steve Ullery (513) 467-1190
Flute: Deborah M. Wittig (937) 974-3641
Sarah Robertson ( 937) 865-6539
Flute/Clarinet: Christina Condon - (937) 620-4920
Trumpet: Christopher Jeffery- (937)347-7415
Eric Knorr (937) 395-1320
Jay Halpin email@example.com
Trombone: Richard Begel (937) 299-2476
Gretchen McNamera (513) 460-3054
Norlan Bewley (937) 253-5812
Suggested Parent Guidelines for Private Lessons
· Ask for a “trial lesson” with parent observing.
· Ask for references of other parents and give them a call.
· If the teacher gives lessons from their home, stay in the home until the lesson is over.
· Talk to your student about each lesson.
· Be highly visible with the teacher.
· Private lessons and teachers listed are not school sponsored nor affiliated with Oakwood City Schools.