Important information about the Newton Middle School Instrumental Music Program
NMS 6th Grade Instrumental Music FAQ’s
Most Commonly asked questions regarding Newton Middle School Band and Orchestra.
How do I register my child for band or orchestra?
You should receive an Instrumental Music Registration Form at the screening session. If you do not receive this form or you were not able to participate in one of these sessions, you can submit the registration via internet by completing the Online Instrumental Music Registration Form. Please note that this form is just for music department purposes and does not replace any official NMS registration. However, it is very important to select the correct instrument as students are scheduled into their music classes according to which instrument they are playing.
What supplies will my child need for Band or Orchestra when school begins?
Do drummers need to know how to read music?
Percussionists need to read music better than anyone in the band as they have the most difficult rhythms and read music in two different clefs. Also, over half of the year will be spent playing the bells before we move into the snare drum and auxiliary instruments. Because of this, percussionists need to learn a book twice the size of the book for other instruments. Usually, students with experience playing the piano turn out to be the best percussionists. For these reasons, anyone who signs up for percussion must have at least 6 months of prior professional instruction on percussion and/or piano.
How/where do I get an instrument?
There are three ways to get an instrument:
1. Most of our band students have instruments on a "Rent-To-Own" basis through a local music store. These programs allow you to make monthly payments on the instrument ranging from $18-$50. These payments are applied to the purchase of the instrument should you decide to keep it.
In addition, most music stores offer online rentals so that you can apply for credit and rent your instrument from home. The instrument will then be delivered to Newton Middle School within a week. Some stores that offer this convenient rental option are:
Kolacny Music - www.kolacnymusic.com, Flesher-Hinton Music - www.flesherhinton.com, and Music and Arts Centers - www.musicarts.com.
2. Some students have instruments that they have acquired through relatives, garage sales, pawn shops, internet auction, and newspaper classifieds. Be careful of these instruments as they may or may not be in good playing condition. It is highly recommended that these instruments be brought into an instrument repair shop to be checked for any needed repairs. In some cases, the cost of a used instrument and any needed repairs can be almost as much as a new instrument.
3. Please be aware that musical instruments are available for purchase at membership discount stores. While these instruments are very inexpensive and look very nice, they are of very poor quality and often do not play correctly. This can be frustrating for a young player. Also, most instrument repair shops in town will not repair these instruments because of the poor workmanship.
4. Some Instruments are very expensive and cannot be rented at a music store. Newton Middle School has a limited supply of these instruments available for rental. Additionally, NMS has a limited selection of Instruments available to families with serious financial hardships. We can offer scholarships to students who want to play an Instrument, but cannot afford to rent or buy one.
What if my I want to rent an instrument from the school instead of purchasing one from a music store?
If you are planning on renting an instrument from the school (baritone, tuba, bassoon, oboe, French horn, cello, double bass, violin, viola), you should call my voice mail (303-347-7938) or email me at email@example.com to let me know what you need. We are currently short on some instruments and they will be assigned on a first-come basis. School-owned instruments rent for $100 for the whole school year. This is only a general maintenance fee, however. Any repairs due to neglect or misuse would be an additional cost. Also, many of the school-owned instruments are very "used" and may be over 25 years old. We do our best to maintain them and are continually updating our inventory, so that every student gets an instrument in good, working condition. I try to rent two instruments (for an extra $100) to those playing large instruments that may be hard to transport, such as baritone, tuba, cello, French horn, cello, and bass if there are enough instruments available.
Why shouldn't students play the instrument before school starts?
It is imperative that students not attempt to assemble or play an instrument unless they are under the supervision of a music instructor. This is for two reasons:
1. The instrument can very easily be damaged if it is assembled or disassembled improperly.
2. Playing the instrument without proper instruction can develop incorrect playing techniques that may take sufficient time to be replaced with the correct technique.
Some parents make arrangement for summer lessons. In any other situation, it Is advised that the student not have the instrument prior to the beginning of school in August.
What are some good music stores?
There are two music stores that visit Newton Middle School on a weekly basis: Kolacny Music and Music & Arts Centers. These stores will perform pick-up and delivery of instruments for repairs, loaner instruments, books, and supplies. There are other quality music stores in the area that can also supply your music needs, although they do not service NMS directly. These stores include DJ’s Music Box and Music Go 'Round. All of these stores are full-line music retailers that handle instruments, repairs, books, supplies, music software, and private music instruction.
Is it true that there are no saxophones in beginning band?
Due to the possibility of having too many saxophone players and not enough clarinet players, any student wishing to play the saxophone needs to start on the clarinet. This also makes it much easier to play the saxophone when the switch is made. This condition, however, does not apply to those that have already been studying the saxophone or those that already own a saxophone. In December, any beginning clarinet students still interested will be switched to the saxophone. Your local music store can give you information on how this works with the rental program. Generally, it is a very easy process and everything you have paid toward a clarinet will go toward the saxophone.
What if my child has already been playing an instrument and would be bored in a beginning band class?
If your child has already been receiving private or group instruction on the instrument he/she will be playing in band, please let me know that if you have not already done so. We have an intermediate 6th grade band class just for those students who have had at least 6 months of instruction by the time school begins in the fall. This class will allow experienced musicians to move ahead from close to where they left off. So, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think your child qualifies for this class.
Where does my child keep his/her instrument while it is at school?
Each instrumental music student will have access to a locker or storage area in the music rooms. Students with lockers may purchase a lock from the music department for $5. These are the only locks allowed on music lockers.
Please contact Bruce Fox at email@example.com, should you need further information.
It is very important that your child have an instrument and all necessary supplies by the second week of school. Band and orchestra students will need a Instrument method book and a music theory workbook. Further information on these books will be provided during the first week of school.
Rental instruments and supplies are available at any music store that carries band or orchestra instruments. Students will need supplies for the instrument including valve oil, trombone slide cream, bow rosin, extra reeds, cleaning supplies, and tuning slide grease. These supplies are available at your music store and are sometimes sold in an all-in-one kit for each specific instrument.