Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

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.

How do I sign up? Please fill out this online form: