FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MUSIC PROGRAM?
No musical background is required to be in the beginner instrumental classes. We assume all students are at the same beginning level. Nothing beyond their elementary music experience is required.
2. HOW DOES THE AUDITION PROCESS FOR PERCUSSION WORK?
Students interested in a percussion spot in 6th grade will be given a fitting by Mr. Shimp and Mr. Torres at their elementary school in the Spring. Students should not try on percussion unless it is one of their top three instrument choices. No previous experience is required. Each student is unique, and the directors will help to determine whether percussion is a good fit, or whether it is best to try a different instrument. Why? Because our student/instrument fittings have worked so well, students are able to have more success in band. This enables us to develop technique in these ensembles at a faster rate, which in turn helps the overall band program.
3. WILL MY CHILD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRY-OUT DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS?
Yes. All students will be evaluated and given an opportunity to try their top three instrument choices. However, physical characteristics, student preference, and instrumentation needs of the band and orchestra are also considered when final instrument placement is made.
4. ARE PERFORMANCES OPTIONAL?
Music students are required to participate in all performances listed on the calendar and families are encouraged to plan for these well in advance. Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Excused Absence Form
5. WHAT COSTS WILL A MUSIC STUDENT'S PARENTS INCUR?
All new music students must provide the required shirt, pants, socks, belt, and shoes as per the Concert Dress Code Guidelines. Orchestra students will need a Center Grove orchestra shirt (around $12) for the Spring String Fling. If a bus is required for transportation to performances outside of the area, a small surcharge will be collected. Private lessons (not mandatory) are available during the school day. Rates vary depending on teacher. As always, scholarships are available by request.
6. DO I NEED TO RENT/PURCHASE AN INSTRUMENT TO BE IN THE INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAM?
Yes, most instruments will need to be acquired by the individual student. We recommend a rental/purchase plan offered by a reputable music dealer in the area.
We do have a very small number of school owned instruments that have been donated for use with students in a financial hardship situation. We approach these on a case by case basis. If this applies to you, please let the try-on person know so that we can set you and your student up with the right instrument ahead of time.
7. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE QUALITY OF MY CHILD'S BEGINNER INSTRUMENT?
It is critical. Nothing discourages a student more than trying to make a good sound on a bad instrument. Many students lose interest simply because they are playing on a poor quality instrument. There are significant differences in the quality of the beginner level instrument. We always recommend renting/purchasing through a reputable music dealer who can provide a quality new or used instrument and do in-house repairs. Paige's Music will be on hand at the 5th grade parent night to answer your questions about renting and purchasing an instrument.
8. DO YOU RECOMMEND PURCHASING AN INSTRUMENT FROM A DISCOUNT RETAIL CHAIN?
No, discount retail chains such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc., carry off brand, poor quality instruments. Typically, these instruments are made in China and the brand names are changed frequently as word gets around of the poor workmanship and performance of these instruments. Our experience is that these instruments play out of tune and without a characteristic sound. We ask students not to bring these types of instruments to school as they will not fit with the rest of the instrumental program.
9. HOW SOON DO I NEED TO OBTAIN AN INSTRUMENT FOR MY CHILD?
We suggest you wait until your child has been interviewed and introduced to all the instruments by one of our directors. This usually takes place in late April at the elementary schools and in the Music Department of CGMSN.
10. HOW DO ENROLL MY CHILD INTO THE INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAM?
You and your child will have an opportunity to come to a parent night at Middle School North on May 19 to be notified which instrument your child will play the following year. We will make sure every student interested in instrumental music has this opportunity.
11. WHAT IS YOUR GRADING POLICY?
Academic grades are based upon performance achievement. Components include performance progress within the class, quiz/homework scores, and concert attendance.
12. WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE? There are several areas that require ongoing assistance and some that only require time at the beginning of the year. Volunteers may sign up at the back-to-school coffee on the first day of school or at back-to-school night to help with rosters, department communications, shirt orders, performances, music library, music scrapbook, music website, fundraising, music potluck, concert programs, promotional graphics, decorations, field trip driving, and more!