Beginning Band Parents!
Welcome to our Band! I know that you and your "Bandling" will grow a LOT as they progress through our ensembles, and I am confident that they will have a positive musical experience.
It is VERY normal to have a million questions about your child's involvement in band. If you're feeling overwhelmed or apprehensive, you're in good company. Rest assured that I've done everything humanly possible to make this a painless and as inexpensive process as possible!
Your first step is to notice the tabs at the top of this screen. See the one that says "Beginners?" The top half of that page is packed with video instructions on how to assemble the instrument, how to sit properly, proper breathing, and playing the first note. You can watch those with your Bandling at home, but we will be going over them in class in more detail. (Side note: most every video I found on YouTube has errors! Do NOT allow your Bandling to search for assembly videos...use the ones which I have linked! Thank you!)
Scroll down to the "Instrument Rental or Purchase" section of the "Beginners" tab. This, especially, IS FOR PARENTS! DO NOT RUN OUT AND BUY AN INSTRUMENT! First of all, we have not had a chance to select them in class. We consider many, MANY factors, including finger length, arm reach, lip and tooth structure, and a student's innate musical "ear." Please allow us to work through the process, and your Bandling, their class, and I will come to an agreement on which instrument is best for them, as well as the entire band.
The next section of information you will want is located on the "Supply List" page.
You don't really NEED this page until we have our instrument assignments. But, you need to know that it is there. (I've set it up so that you can view it on your smart phone as you stand in the music store with a Bandling that has forgotten their list! I'm sure that won't be YOUR kid, though!) :-)
To learn about the various ensembles and opportunities available to our Bandlings, check out the "Ensembles" page.
The next page is a fun one. Go to the "Recordings" tab. Please select a random title or two, and enjoy. If I'm wanting to get in touch with my humanity, I run to "American Elegy." Need to pump up my mood...I just love "Arabesque," "Bayou Breakdown," "Play!", or many others! Need power? Try "Wine Dark Sea!"
Again, welcome to our band family! I am very fortunate to be able to work with the greatest kids in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Please email me if there is any way that I might be of further assistance.
EVERY member of the band MUST have access to a tuner and a metronome!
(Percussionists do not need a tuner right now.)
Especially for the Beginning Band, we recommend an app that was written by a band director called "BANDMATE CHROMATIC TUNER." It easily transposes the notes that your student plays on THIER instrument to the note name that they are playing. (For example, a French Horn plays their F. MOST apps and tuners will say "that was an A-sharp or a B-flat. This leads to a LOT of confusion! This app solves a problem faced by beginners on clarinet, trumpet, saxophones, and French horn!)
It is free, and available on both Apple and Android platforms.
Another app which is used frequently is "Tonal Energy." It's a paid app, but it is MUCH more powerful. It includes a metronome, can transpose like the app above, can program the "met" to accelerate with each successive "loop," and even tracks your "practicing" (it really tracks how long it's on...)! It does, however, take much more time to learn how to use properly, and is not usually easy for beginners to use.
YOU WILL WANT ONE OR BOTH OF THESE APPS!!!
Do NOT clean your instrument before going to our "CLEANING" page!
--Astronaut and Flutist
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