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For those with kids in band..

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Mom2Deacon, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Mom2Deacon

    Mom2Deacon Approved members

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    Alex is wanting to join the band at school. I am hesitant about it though. What was the expense you incurred? How often does your son/daughter have to practice? How often do they go on field trips or have concerts?

    I would appreciate as much information as possible. Alex is considering the violin.

    --Sara
     
  2. Amy C.

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    Alex would be in the orchestra if he played violin. The first year or so, practicing 15 to 30 minutes would be great! A concert is held usually two to three times a year. When he gets older, there are contests to attend, usually during the day. Orchestra is much less time consuming that band -- marching band is great fun, but tremendously time consuming.

    If you don't have a violin, you would need to rent one. I don't know what they cost in your area.
     
  3. Mom2Deacon

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    He is in fifth grade so this is band not orchestra. Next year at the middle school it changes over to orchestra and band.

    --Sara
     
  4. moco89

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    A lot of times, there are school owned instruments. They tend to be the bigger instruments, though. I was in band and played sax, and was not orchestra, which deals with stringed instruments.

    Also, Ebay is the place to get good deals on instruments. As long as the seller ratings are good, and you do your research on the particular instrument models you are looking for-such as reviews, it is usually a worthwhile place to get instruments.

    Band was worth it. I got an exceptional musical education inside of school. You get better overall experience practicing with groups of people on a daily basis. It helps develop you better as a musician, and makes you a more serious player.
     
  5. Amy C.

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    The time committment is not much in the 5th grade, as he probably meets with the class 2-3 times a week. Have him try it to see if he likes it.
     
  6. Marcia

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    I would rent an instrument, or ask around to borrow one. That way, if he doesn't like it, you aren't stuck with one. For Abbey, in elementary school, there were two concerts a year, weekly school lessons. Some schools have larger instruments for students to use without renting. I would call the music teacher to see what is available. Music is a great form of expression-Ab does piano, violin and clarinet and it really helps her cope with stress.
     
  7. Omo2three

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    Band for us cost about $350 a year for grade school and private lessons..otherwise private lessons run $10 up to $50 depending on length and expertise. Practice times at least 20 minutes 3-4 times a week. An hour if your serious...not for beginners though.

    WE rented with our oldest and did a rent to own through a music store.
    You can check around for good rental rates. MY 2nd oldest loves to play the clarinet...started in 5th grade and because of his love we invested in a professional wooden instrument. (start off with a student model)

    And if you asked my kids ....would you do it again..they would say YES!

    Jeremy my clarinet player has gotten many opportunities to travel in HS and made some great friends along the way. Next year he gets to go to Europe for ambassador of music Wisconsin

    grade school level concerts about 2...high school is more involved, depending on marching band, or concert band
     
  8. cindyrn6617

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    Kelsey is now in 10th grade and does marching band. She started with flute in 6th grade band. Not much travel at first, but in 7th and 8th grade had a couple of field trips to competitions/state band auditions. We did a rent to own flute from Music and Arts Center.

    Now, she is in her second year of marching band. The band fees are $200/yr but that varies from school to school. She is now playing piccolo and was using the school instrument but it didn't play very well, so we just purchased a piccolo from Music and Arts.

    Ryan is in second year of band and plays trumpet. Again rent to own trumpet from Music and Arts. He will have about 5 trips this year for competitions/state band auditions.

    The experience they gain, the discipline and the fun is so worth all of it. It is alot of work for the entire family but I wouldn't stop them from doing band one bit. The band competitions are fun too. I don't know about orchestra but I'm sure it would be great too.
     
  9. Big Hair Momma

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    Ashton's in 8th grade now, but started in 6th with the clarinet. We bought it at a pawn shop for about $150. I then took it to a good, reputable music store and had it "tuned up", that cost about another $80. She's used it all 3 years and we're very happy with our purchase. It is a Yamaha and we've never had any problems with it. The band instructor requires 100 mins of practice time a week, unless the student plays a sport. He then reduces the required practice time to 70 mins a week. Also, we have one required concert a quarter and occasional special events that they can choose to participate in for extra credit, ie a trip to a local nursing home, playing for a civic group, etc.
     
  10. saxmaniac

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    I am not a parent of a band kid, but music is such an important part of my life I can't imagine not letting the kid join.
     
  11. Judy&Alli

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    Hi Sara,
    I think it is a really good idea to get kids in band. All of my kids have or are participating in it. We forced my oldest to do it and he now thanks us that we did, (he is in college right now). My second oldest is a great trumpet player and loves it. Almost all her friends are from band. In high school they spend alot of time together and are very close. Something else I noticed with the band kids is they don't care what kind of clothes, or what clique you are in. As long as you are in band you are part of the group.

    We have a rent to own deal in our district. It runs about 30.00 per month.

    Start asking around at the school there might be some kids who have quit that you can pick up an instrument cheap.
     
  12. ccarrol4

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    Well, I was in band from 6th grade until I graduated high school. I remember when I first started you was required to practice 5x's/wk at least 30 mins each time and your parents had to sign off on it. Also, they had an option where you could rent an instrument from the school for 20 dollars/semester, so that may be something to look into. And when I first started we only had 3 concerts 1 fall 1 spring and 1 christmas, and there were a couple of performances during school hours and also 1 festival. (that was all in like 6th and 7th grade. The older I got, the more time it took up, but its a great opportunity IMHO)
     
  13. TerpSteph

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    Both of my boys have been involved in band in school and have loved it. Matt started playing saxophone and switched to clarinet in middle school because there were 10 altosax players. He participated in marching band, symphonic band and orchestra in high school. (His HS has a full orchestra with strings and band instruments.) Connor plays flute and piccolo and will be first chair in his middle school band. :)

    I would suggest renting an instrument until you know whether you son is serious about playing. This is especially important if he chooses the violin because he won't begin playing a full-sized instrument. Some stores have a rent to own policy, but you won't always get the best price with them. We were able to purchase a clarinet, flute and piccolo from Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center for several hundred dollars less than Music and Arts wanted.

    Private lessons are worth the money if you can afford them because your son will get one-on-one instruction from someone who specializes in the instrument. We pay $125/month for one 45 minute lesson each week. They have paid off because Connor has qualified for the MD State Solo and Ensemble competition for the past three years.

    In elementary school, your son will probably meet 1-3 times per week with the entire band/orchestra and in sectionals. He will be expected to practice for 15-30 minutes about 5 times a week. The amount of practice time will increase as he becomes more experienced. As for the number of concerts to expect, it too varies with experience. A beginner in elementary school may have one or two concerts during the year. In high school, my older son had 5-6 marching band competitions plus home football games, three concerts (they were over two nights each time), adjudications and a spring trip to a musical festival each year. My middle school son will have two concerts, an adjudication with band, an adjudication at a theme park, several solo competitions and a recital. It seems like a lot, but they really love it!

    EDIT: Another poster mentioned that the band kids were a tight knit bunch and I second that! The music department kids in my son's HS were a wonderful group. The upper classmen befriended the younger kids. When you scanned the honor roll list, most of the names on it were music kids. They were well behaved, polite and always represented the school well. The athletic teams at our school weren't the most successful. Our trophy case is full of music awards!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  14. RosemaryCinNJ

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    My son has been playing the drums since he was 5..He is now 17. He is in band..The only expense honestly was replacing drum sticks, or his drum equipment when it needs replacing. In grammer school, you had to "rent" the instrument you wanted to play..(silly) but that was the only expense there..In high school now of course they do band trip to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is expensive...$1000 per student.. but the other trips etc. are paid for by the school and the band parents have a committee.
    If your child has a love for playing..as mine does...its worth the price. My son also plays bass...and is in a band. (kept him out of a lot of trouble over the years..I believe that!) Good luck with your future musician! :)
     
  15. etringali

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    It's a good idea to check into renting in the beginning or borrowing instrument from school if they are available. The first month students are generally just learning basic notes and seriously boring rhythms. trust me, whole notes over and over are boring. but necessary. When i taught, I required students to start at about 10- 15 minutes a day. this includes practicing putting instrument together, the notes they have learned, assigned page in book and cleaning/putting instrument away.

    As lessons progressed and reading/playing becomes a bit more involved, practice time would move up to 30min/day.

    Older students need more practice time. they have scales, assigned etudes and exercises in lesson books, and their band music. usual;ly about 30-45 minutes needed.

    Do all kids do that? No. Some kids take to music like a fish to water and a few days of practice they got it. Others need more. But a teacher can tell no problem when a student has not practiced at all.

    I personally feel for a student to be successful at music, parental involvement/encouragement is needed. A lot of parents I dealt with were as lackadaisical as one could be. Made me wonder why they were spending the $ if they weren't going to get kids to lessons on time/at all, encourage them to practice, attend recitals/concerts.

    Don't think you have to worry about marching band yet. Usually shows up around high school. not all schools require students to be in marching band.

    If renting instrument is not an option, check craigslist, ebay. Heck! BJ's even carries student line instruments. They're not the greatest, but until a kid is proficient, they don't need an expensive instrument. just one that works.
     

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