Why should we choose band as an elective?
There are so many compelling reasons to have your child join the band at Liberty Pines Academy! Having the skill to perform on a musical instrument has been one of the most cherished accomplishments throughout history. 85% of adults who do not know how to play an instrument say they wish they did! You can make that wish come true for your child right here at school!
Students who learn to play an instrument can use this skill and knowledge for the rest of their lives. There is nothing like the joy of performing music with friends. It happens every day in school groups and continues for adults who still play in community bands and orchestras or for those who perform professionally. Even if you don’t go on to perform in your adult years, your musical experience and knowledge causes you to listen to music with deeper understanding and enjoyment.
Unlike other subjects studied in school, Band is a group effort. Musicians are required to shift from an “I/Me” reasoning to a “We/Us” concept. This means extending oneself beyond the normal considerations of much of our fast-paced, competitive day-to-day living. Instead of the logic being, “What’s in it for me?”, it becomes, “What’s in it for us?” The values of cooperation, communication, concentration, correlation, and completion come into play during every rehearsal and performance. These are great values for a future career! Band builds positive self-worth. Although we share many similarities with our athletic counterparts, everyone in the band plays a starting role. Rarely is a person serving as an alternate or substitute. There is no “bench” in the band. Everyone is a starter!
Aside from the obvious benefits of playing a musical instrument, there are a number of surprising academic benefits to students who study music. Students who learn an instrument at a young age stimulate the brain in a valuable way. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument enhances a student’s academic performance in math, language arts, foreign language and other academic areas. Even standardized test scores such as the SAT are higher among musicians. In band class students use their brain power in a totally different, holistic way. Participating in a musical ensemble develops very focused listening skills. It also helps foster impulse-control and lengthened attention span.
Whatever the reason, playing an instrument can bring joy and fulfillment like no other activity. The most common remark from parents following a wonderful school concert is, “I wish my parents would have encouraged me to play an instrument and stick with it.”
Because of the nature of band class, students often bond with the other band members and they become a close knit “community”. Band is a place where every individual is a valued member of the “team”. Differences are celebrated! Imagine going to a new school and not knowing anything about where to go, or who to talk to. The transition from school to school is easier for band students because they have many friends to help them through this process. Once they get to high school, incoming band freshmen have immediate contact with upperclassmen, in a big brother/big sister kind of way.
How do we get started in band as a beginner?
First of all, you do NOT need to get an instrument before school starts. I will help your child through the process of selecting which instrument is best suited for him/her. Choices include all the traditional concert band instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion. The selection process takes about 2 weeks. The students will try each band instrument and select a first and second choice. Together the entire band examines and balances the instrumentation. Parents are notified of the student’s choice and invited to “Instrument Rental Night” with Rhapsody Music. There are other options for obtaining an instrument as well. Please be careful in buying a used instrument or a new instrument online. If the deal seems too good to be true, it is! I do NOT advise purchasing an instrument from Amazon. Most of those “band director approved” no name instruments are of poor quality and can’t be repaired.
What if my child doesn’t read music?
To begin in band all they need is a great attitude and desire to learn! They will soon be able to do things they never thought they could!
What will it cost to be in the band?
You will need to obtain a quality band instrument for your child. Instrument costs will vary, and can be rented from a music instrument dealer for $25-$40 a month on a “rent to own” program. Typically your instrument is paid for in 2-3 years and it’s yours to keep. You may choose to pay it off early and get a discount. Instruments can be returned to the dealer at any time, ending the contract before it is completed. You may also buy a new instrument, buy a used instrument, or use one that you already own, if it’s in good condition. Please avoid buying a cheap instrument online because it’s for a “beginner”. These instruments are difficult to play and often discourage young musicians. Your instrument is an investment which will hold value for years to come. Be sure to rent/buy a name brand instrument from a music company, not an online site.
Some of the larger, more expensive instruments may be rented from the band for $150/year. These are tuba, baritone, french horn, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone. The fee will be used toward maintaining the instrument and the end of the year cleaning.
There will also be a “Fair Share” which will cover the music, rewards and incentives, guest instructors, professional organization fees, bus cost for trips, and uniform parts needed throughout the school year. Fair Share is currently $90/year*. We try our best to keep this cost as low as possible. We do this by doing two big fundraisers a year. One in the Fall and one in the spring.
*Students will never be turned away for financial hardships. Please contact Mr. Spilling or the Band Boosters for questions about our scholarship opportunities.