welcome to band

Dear Band Members and Parents/Guardians of Band Members,

Welcome to the Bel Aire Band's 22nd year!  I am delighted that you have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn how to play a band instrument. Band sections will rehearse from 7:30-8:00 a.m according to the following schedule:

Monday - Percussion

Tuesday - Flute

Wednesday - Clarinet and Saxophone

Friday - Trumpet and Trombone


While the ultimate goal of the band program at Bel Aire School is to provide a meaningful musical experience through playing and performing in an ensemble, it may be some time before this is feasible. We will, however, be using a music software program called SmartMusic which simulates the experience and sound of playing in a live band, and which also gives the students immediate feedback on the accuracy of their playing.

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.


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. I highly recommend getting a music stand for placing sheet music.

Instrument rental/purchase:

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. Percussion students should plan on getting ahold of a practice pad, and I recommend procuring a snare drum if possible.

Method Book:

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 available at “The Magic Flute”.

Clarinet video tutorials:

Saxophone video tutorials:

Trumpet video tutorials:

Trombone video tutorials:

Flute video tutorials:

Concert Music and Recordings - Spring 2024  (click on your instrument name to access the sheet music)

When the Band Goes Marching In, by Michael Story






Percussion 1

Percussion 2

Fanfare and March, by Michael Sweeney






Percussion 1

Percussion 2


Acropolis, by Matthew R. Putnam






Percussion 1

Percussion 2

When the Band Goes Marching In

When the Band.m4a

Fanfare and March

Fanfare and March.m4a

Standard of Excellence play-along recordings:

1. Time for Band

03 001. Time For Band.m4a

2. The Fun Continues

04 002. The Fun Continues.m4a

3. Whole Lotta Counting

05 003. Whole Lotta Counting.m4a

4. Four Score

06 004. Four Score.m4a

5. Mix 'em Up

07 005. Mix 'em Up.m4a

6. Melting Pot

08 006. Melting Pot.m4a

7. Band on Parade

09 007. Band On Parade.m4a

8. A Breath of Fresh Air

10 008. A Breath Of Fresh Air.m4a

9. Side By Side

11 009. Side By Side.m4a

10. Two By Two

12 010. Two By Two.m4a

11. Half the Price

13 011. Half The Price.m4a

12. Cardiff By the Sea

14 012. Cardiff By The Sea.m4a

13. Two For the Show-duet

15 013. TWO FOR THE Show - Duet.m4a

14. Go For Excellence

16 014. Go For Excellence!.m4a

15. A Quarter's Worth

17 015. A Quarter's Worth.m4a

16. Hot Cross Buns

18 016. Hot Cross Buns.m4a

17. Au Claire de la Lune

19 017. Au Claire De La Lune.m4a

18. Down By the Station

20 018. Down By The Station.m4a

19. Easy Street

21 019. Easy Street.m4a

20. Country Walk

22 020. Country Walk.m4a

21. Gettin' It Together

23 021. Gettin' It Together.m4a

23. Merrily We Roll Along

24 023. Merrily We Roll Along.m4a

24. Lightly Row - duet

25 024. Lightly ROW - Duet.m4a

25. One Step at a Time

26 025. One Step At A Time.m4a

26. Good Kind Wenceslas

27 026. Good King Wenceslas.m4a

27. Song of the Fjords

28 027. Song Of The Fjords.m4a

28. Mary Ann

37 038. Mary Ann.m4a

29. Go For Excellence

29 029. Go For Excellence!.m4a

30. Warm-up

30 030. Warm-Up.m4a

31. Tied and True

31 031. Tied And True.m4a

32. Jolly Old St. Nicholas - duet

32 032. Jolly OLD ST. Nicholas - Duet.m4a

33. Amigos

33 033. Amigos.m4a

34. Farm Out

34 034. Farm Out.m4a

36. Mark Time

35 036. Mark Time.m4a

37. Sweetly Sings the Donkey

36 037. Sweetly Sings The Donkey.m4a