5th Grade Band
Welcome! This is where it all begins! Incoming 4th grade students attend a music department recruiting concert in late March to decide if they would like to be in band. Beginning band students have the choice to begin on flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, or percussion.
In March, the music department conducts a recruiting concert for all 4th grade students. Students are given information by their elementary classroom teacher and are to return it within a week of attending the concert to determine if they want to be in band. Please discuss making band a part of your child's life! The Grand Haven Bands have a long tradition of excellence and we are looking forward to your child being a part of our legacy.
Instrument Meeting Nights/Fitting Nights
In late April/early May, the Grand Haven Bands Department hosts a rental night to introduce you to the band program and our rental providers. It is at this meeting that many questions can be answered regarding your child's participation in band as well as give you and your child a chance to meet the directors. We will have a team to assist with the rental process. Students have already had an opportunity to try instruments with a vendor prior to this evening.
Though termed "rental night" there is no obligation to rent an instrument from our supplier--that choice rests with you. We want to focus on getting your child in front of us and other professionals who will answer your questions and provide you with the best experience. As a convenience to you, our supplier has the ability to write you up a rental contract that will begin in the fall when student's instruments are delivered. If you are interested in this, please come prepared to fill out a few forms and have a method of payment available.
Wind or Percussion?
For any band to sound great, just like any team to work well, there must be a balance of all the sounds/positions that make up the band/team. For the upcoming school year, we will be beginning flute , clarinet , trumpet , trombone , and percussion . Not everyone can play the same instrument as our band would not sound nearly as good as it needs to be. For the upcoming school year, we will be accepting approximately 15 percussionists in the 5th grade band. All other students will begin on flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone. Please discuss the very important nature of instrumental balance with your child. Choices expand in sixth grade to include oboe, bass clarinet, saxophone, French horn, baritone, and tuba.
Instruments fitted in April are delivered prior to the start of school or 5th grade band camp (after school gets out)). Classes will begin during the first week of school and band has officially begun!
5th Grade Band Camp
Each year, incoming 5th grade band students are given the opportunity to go to a free three day band camp. Students will learn the basics of their instrument, as well as learning a couple tunes to get them a head start on the year. Band camp is a great way to get your student started off right and to get them going on an instrument.
Grand Haven Bands' primary supplier is Marshall Music Co. of Grand Rapids. Marshall Music Co. will be handling all of our student instrument fittings and will be handling on-site instrument rentals. The company comes with over 70 years of experience and caters specifically to our program. If you wish to learn more about them click here.
What if we already own an instrument?
For anyone to be successful at anything, they need to have well-made, functioning equipment. Band is no different. If you have an old trumpet or clarinet from an uncle lying in an attic, it is best to bring it in during instrument fittings and allow one of the directors to examine the instrument. Chances are, it will need a little TLC before it is ready to play. Repaddings of woodwinds are typical and cleanings for brass are always recommended. It is a small bill to pay for years of enjoyment.
Can't I just go buy a new instrument online?
Yes, you can buy a new instrument online. The problem is, in many cases, you have no idea how it plays, if the manufacturer is reputable, or whether your student will like the feel of it. As a guideline, if the instrument you are pursuing does not include one of the brands listed here, then you should contact one of the directors to discuss your findings. In most cases, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. You do not want your child to be limited by their equipment.
The foundation to every successful music program rests with the amount of students studying beyond the music classroom. If you would like your child to participate in private lessons, the directors know many outstanding people in the area available for lessons. As an added bonus, the Grand Haven Band Boosters Association offers a "Private Lesson Rebate Program" that you can benefit from. Learn more about the program.