Welcome to Band
August 21, 2019
Dear Band Members and Parents/Guardians of Band Members,
Welcome to the Bel Aire Band's 20th year! I am delighted that you have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn how to play a band instrument. Band will be taught from 7:30-8:00 a.m. according to the following schedule:
Monday – percussion
Tuesday – flute
Wednesday – clarinet and saxophone
Friday – trumpet and trombone
The first day of band will be Tuesday, September 4th, for flutes; Wednesday September 5th for clarinets; Friday, September 7th for trumpets and trombones; Monday, September 10th for percussion instruments; and Wednesday, September 12th for alto saxophones.
NOTE: CLARINETS WILL NOT PRACTICE ON 9/13. THIS PRACTICE IS FOR SAXOPHONE ONLY.
Percussion students should not to bring any drums to band practice, although you may bring your own drum sticks if you would like.
Goals and expectations:
The primary goal of the band program at Bel Aire School is to provide a meaningful musical experience through playing and performing in an ensemble. Some of the areas that will be focused on include tone production and quality, fingering and tonguing techniques, reading and understanding rhythm patterns, note and score reading.
In order for the band program to be successful, a certain level of commitment will be necessary from each band member. It is expected that students will remain in the band for the duration of the school year.
Regular practice is essential for improvement on a band instrument. There are, unfortunately, no shortcuts when it comes to learning an instrument. It is my suggestion that students put in at least two 20-minute practice sessions (in addition to their scheduled band sectional) per week. Students should start with a short warm-up, similar to the warm-ups we do in band class, and then proceed to repertoire that we’re working on in class.
If a CD or cassette player is available, the student will be able to play along with the STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE ACCOMPANIMENTS RECORDINGS (available either at “The Magic Flute” or from the publisher).
Most students rent their instruments from “The Magic Flute”, located in the Northgate One shopping mall (near Safeway). “Best Music” in Oakland is a second option. Students who need assistance with procuring instruments may contact Mr. Gist through the school office. If you plan to rent an instrument, it is a good idea to do so as soon as possible. There is often a “run” on rental instruments at the beginning of the school year.
The band method book we will be using is entitled “Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method”, by Bruce Pearson. Students have a choice of either buying their own books, which they may keep, or borrowing schoolbooks, which they must return at the conclusion of the school year. The book is also available at “The Magic Flute”. Students should also have a folder in which to keep loose sheet music.
It’s a good idea to arrive to band practice a few minutes early in order to set up and assemble your instrument. If you get here before the first bus (which generally comes at 7:30) then the driveway supervisor at the bottom of the hill will let you drive up to the top of the hill where you may let your child off in front of the office. Please do not drive part way up the hill and drop off your child by the green gates. It’s not safe for students or for staff members who may be arriving at that time. If the busses have already arrived by the time you get here, the driveway supervisor will not be able to let you up the hill. Please be respectful of the supervisor’s directions. It’s all about the safely of the children.