5th Parents: Important Info (especially if you missed the meeting!)

Parent Meeting
The parent meeting is on Tuesday, September 14 at 7 PM in the high school cafeteria. If one parent of each band member cannot attend this meeting ,please indicate on your form so I can contact you with further info.
Students need to have an instrument by the week of September 20. If you plan on renting from Music Arts Center, you need to get into the store to rent no later than Thursday, September 24, to guarantee you will have an instrument for the first day of class. If you are using a used instrument, please get it serviced before using it in class. If you need advice on purchasing a used instrument, please feel free to contact me.
Clarinet Mouthpieces
The most important part of any clarinet is the mouthpiece. After years of experience, I find that upgrading to a better quality mouthpiece makes better clarinet players in the beginning, and in the long haul. Clarinet players should be playing on a Vandoren B45. New mouthpieces of this type cost around $100 but you can find some in Music Arts stores that are gently used and sterilized for less than half price.  Other options include Amazon.com or Woodwind&Brasswind.
Wind players will use the Essential Elements 2000 method book, and percussionists will begin on The Fresh Approach To The Snare Drum method. Both books are available at any reputable music dealer. You may purchase them there, or at your child's first lesson. The wind book is $9 and the percussion book is $18. Please put cash in an envelope, or write a check payable to "Fairbanks Band" for this purchase. You can also buy one online at www.stantons.com.
Music Stands
I recommend purchasing a music stand for home practice to promote good posture and technique. Stands are available at Music Arts Center or any other reputable music dealer for around $10.
Band members will begin meeting the week of September 20. This schedule will be in effect until further notice:
Mondays - Flutes
Tuesdays - Clarinets/Saxophones
Wednesdays - Trumpets
Thursdays - Trombones
Fridays - Percussion
Students need to come to each class with their instrument, method book, and a pencil.
Supplies - Reeds/Valve Oil/Etc.
I subsidize reeds for first year band members. I will charge only $1 per reed, which is significantly discounted. Clarinet and saxophone players should always have at least two playable reeds. Keep a few $1 bills or dollar coins in your case if you need to buy a spare from Mr. Keller. You can also buy reeds by the box directly from Music Arts Center or any other reputable music dealer.
Tips For Parents
1. Be supportive - Encourage your student to practice and offer praise when they make progress
2. Be accommodating - help you student set a regular practice place and time and stick to it.
3. Provide a good quality instrument and maintain it in good working order
4. Be proud - have your child play for you and your family/friends. Good performers are made, not born.
5. Keep me informed of any questions or concerns. I am here to help your child succeed.
5th Grade Band is NO-RISK
5th grade band students do not receive a grade...only progress reports. Students are encouraged to experiment and get a feel for the band program without the fear of playing tests or grades. Students are expected to practice and make progress, but no penalties will be assessed for deficiencies. Students will also be required to come to class each band day.  If your child wishes to not continue in the band program, I must have a note or phone call granting parental permission to quit.
Tips For Students
1. Come prepared for class to learn all you can.
2. Practice regularly - at least five times per week. Practice pays of with results!
3. Practice at least once in the first 24 hours after your lesson - this reinforces what you've learned.
4 . Practice what you CAN'T do, not what you CAN do. You will never improve that way!
5 . Practice your assigned music, but have fun improvising or making up your own songs as well!
6 . Perform for parents, family, and friends whenever you can. It makes them so happy and proud.
Band is good for you!
Better students are in band, and students are better because they ARE in band. Music students have better attendance rates and graduation rates. Students who study an instrument for three or more years have better spatial reasoning and higher IQ scores than similar students who did not participate in music. Band is a family at Fairbanks...students who support each other and care about each other. I care for you kids like they were my own and share in their successes and failures. I want every child to succeed and will work my hardest to help them achieve their goals. I'm so glad you've chose to become a part of the Fairbanks band's "Tradition of Excellence".
Stay In Touch
Find everything about the Fairbanks band program by visiting the following sites regularly:
Fairbanksband.org - the official site of the Fairbanks Music Department
http://fhsbando.blogspot.com - Mr. Keller's Blog of daily info and updates
http://twitter.com/fairbanksband - The official Fairbanks music twitter feed
You can always email Mr. Keller at fhsbando@gmail.com


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