FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about the Instrumental Music Program!
1. What instruments are available for my student to play?
- Instruments available for band (4th & 5th) are Flute, Clarinet, Alto saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Percussion.
- Instruments available for strings (4th & 5th) are Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.
2. How do we rent or purchase an instrument?
- We have many instruments available to rent from the county. The fee for the year is $100; $50 for students on reduced lunch; $25 for students on free lunch. Preference for school rentals for free and reduced lunch students.
- We have limited inventory of alto saxophones, euphoniums, and string basses.
- Percussion students are expected to purchase their own drum sticks.
- There are also many local music stores in the area that rent instruments: Foxes Music and Music and Arts. Chuck Levin’s music store in Wheaton, MD, has a good deal on school year rentals, as well: http://www.chucklevins.com/instrument-rentals/
- Please be careful of the $100 instruments offered at Wholesale retail outlets. Sometimes these instruments are very difficult for beginning students to play and almost impossible to repair.
- If you need any advice about instrument repair and rental, please contact me!
3. How are lessons scheduled?
- Students will sign up for instrumental music lessons in September – lessons are free!!
- Once students have registered, we will start scheduling their lesson times.
- Students are placed in small classes, with like instruments.
- Lessons are once a week, for thirty minutes.
- Lessons are scheduled during the school day.
- As soon as the lessons are scheduled, information will be sent home stating the day, time, and start date of the lesson.
4. Are students permitted to study an instrument, and participate in the choral program at school?
- Absolutely!!! We encourage participation in both groups!
5. What other materials am I expected to purchase or rent?
- Woodwind students should provide appropriate reeds for their students. I have some reeds available at school, but should be considered for emergency situations.
- Some families may want to purchase a subscription to Smart Music.
- APS provides the method book for your students to use at school. Please care for it as you would a textbook.
6. How often should my student practice at home?
- Students should practice every day, but, we understand how difficult that can be for busy families.
- The minimal amount of practice we expect every week is 45 minutes – divided however you desire.
- Weekly Practice Chart!
7. Should my child use a music stand when they practice?
- It is very important to use a music stand at home. They can often be found at yard sales, and would be a great gift for your student.
- Be sure to ask family members and neighbors – very often they have an old music stand that you can use.
- Here are some fun, new folding music stands in lots of colors!
8. Are there any performances?
- Yes! We usually have a Winter Concert in December, and a Spring Concert in June. Check out our 2018 – 2019 dates here!
- Second year string students will have the opportunity to participate in the Wakefield String Pyramid Concert. The concert is scheduled for Wednesday, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
- More advanced students are also invited to audition for the Arlington County Junior Honors Orchestra and Band.
9. How can parents help their children practice?
- It is very important to establish a consistent practice routine from the beginning. Perhaps, have your daily practice right after school or before dinner.
- If time permits, listen to your child practice and ask them to teach you what they are learning. Try requesting one of your favorite songs (from the book, of course!).
- If your child misses a lesson, remember that our lesson plans are posted on our APS Canvas Site!!
10. Who is the Instrumental Music Teacher?
- Estelle Roth is the Band and Orchestra Director. She is at Patrick Henry on Monday and Tuesdays, and at Long Branch on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. Please contact her via email.