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5th grade Band

Posted by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 6:47 PM
  • 45 Replies

My daughter came home with a flyer about Band for next yr. It says your child should pick 3 instruments, and they will be evaluated if they can make a tone. If they can't make a sound on the instrument they coose, then they should not play it, even if their heart is set on it. The choices are Flute, Clarinet, Sax, Trumpet, trombone, baritone (tuba-like instrument) and percussion (which also requires 2 yrs of keyboarding prior to it).

The cost of the program is a (choke, choke) $300, not including cost of instrument, books, stand, and other accessories.  My daughter wants to play clarinet, but I worry that if she has never tried it before she won't be able to play it and will get stuck playing something like trombone or tuba (how cool is that??)

They are also suggesting renting a certain brand of instrument, such as for clarinet a yamaha or buffet brand. I looked online and the cost is $699. OUCH!  But after one yr, I would think that renting would cost at least half of what owning the instrument would cost. 

I'm trying to wrap my head around how in the world we are going to afford this.

Does your school offer band?

If you played an instrument at this age, what do you recall about learning how to play?


OMGosh... my neighbor's dd is in 5th grade and plays the clarinet. She said that aside from the $300 registration fee, the other things cost around $50, and her instrument i $800,which they are paying in $20/month installments. Holy Schmoley......

by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 6:47 PM
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by Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM
Not that early here.

Clarinet isn't too hard to learn. I played for years. Just make sure she doesn't put the mouthpiece into her mouth too far.....that produces the dread sqeeeeaaallll!

You could always get a cheap one for her to try and go from there. Pawn shops sell them, then you just buy a new mouthpiece.

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by Emerald Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

 Our school does offer band.  It begins in third grade where every child learns to play the recorder.  Starting in fourth grade every child has to choose either choir or band for their music credit.  Those choosing band get to try the instruments to see if they can make any sound prior to choosing which instrument they will play.  Obviously if they can't make a sound on the instrument, they won't be playing that one.  The only fees associated with band at our school is the cost of the instrument, which you can buy on a monthly payment plan.

My oldest son plays clarinet.  However, he won't be in band next year (7th grade) because the band director is an @$$ who told my son that he has absolutely no talent and will never amount to anything.  (true story that has been verified by multiple people)

by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Ours does after a certain age.    I played flute and piano.  Wind instruments are very similar that you need to learn how to form your lips to blow.   Has she played the recorder before?  That is the plastic instrument closest to the clarinet minus the reeds that a clarinet needs.    I started flute in 2nd grade and piano before that even.  I stopped doing band in 6th grade due to many factors in life.   I recently gave away my flute to a middle schooler who wanted to be in band but could not afford it.   

I would look around for a good used clarinet for your dd to practice on now and get a feel for it before the actual day of testing.

by Gold Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

 The fourth graders are learning to play the recorder right now.

Quoting frndlyfn:

  Has she played the recorder before?  That is the plastic instrument closest to the clarinet minus the reeds that a clarinet needs.  


by Bronze Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM
I'm a former band teacher (taught for 13 years). When I held try-outs I spent the time to teach them how to produce a sound on every instrument (only takes a couple of minutes). It wasn't so much about if they can make a sound (except maybe with flute) but more about their facial and finger compatibility (ex: thick lips make it more difficult to play trumpet, tiny fingers are more difficult for clarinet, etc.).

I also took into account their interest and the balance of the group (can't have all flutes & saxes). But no matter what I made sure they got one of the 3 choices they wrote down - though after trying out the instruments they often changed their mind.

Oh - and trombone and tuba CAN be cool! Shouldn't set the expectation that they're not!
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by Tammy on Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:50 PM

 Our school offers band starting in 4th grade, which is when they also start offering lessons. There is no cost for lessons or band, but the instrument rental- I hear you- it gets expensive. My oldest is in 6th grade and has played the french horn since 4th. Next year my daughter will be in 4th and the year after that my youngest will be- yikes!

I did play clarinet growing up. I liked it, but my first choice was flute, which my sister got to play. I loved band!

by Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM

it was pretty much required when i was in school starting at 4th till 8th grade. i started clarinet and then switched to flute. i totally sucked. ive got less musical talent than a tree stump. i was actually last chair and told to fake it during concerts!! i passed cause i tried but yeah i sucked. luckily both my dds have more musical flair and id love to get them into piano lessons. im really looking forward to when they can learn an instrument. my dh can play piano, and guitar and oboe.

by Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM
I remember 5th grade band.....I quit like 5 months end and still have my alto sax. I don't EVER use it. It sits in it's case...poor thing lol. I keep it because I'm hoping my kids or a niece or nephew might one day take it up, and I'll have it to give. My parents were a bit peeved when I didn't want to do it anymore after I begged them to let me......they were never pushy parents, but in my opinion, they should have MADE my lazy butt do it!
by Bronze Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Our schools start in 4th grade. My DD has been playing for 6 years. She is very good. She started with the trumpet. The trumpet cost us nothing, it was second hand. Then in 6th grade if they have mastered their instrument they can choose to move up to a more complicated instrument. My DD picked the French horn. She will be going to NY for a big competition next week. Again the French horn did not cost us a penny. The school owns them and lend them to the kids. They never expect the kids to buy such an expensive insturment. She also had to learn the marching French horn in 7th grade, again no cost to us. We did however pay $16 every week for private lessons. She also has a saxophone  she is learning on her own. We got the saxophone on free cycle. Look around for instruments. Look at used stores and put an ad on freecycle.  My son is only 5 but he will also be playing an instrument. I know it's not easy because things can get so pricey but look around and see what you can find to help her. Learning to read music was and still is so important for my DDs education. It taught her to read and love school. Sorry I went on a rant but music has really made my kids so so smart in all their subjects. 

by Bronze Member on Apr. 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Okay you know you can rent an instrument on line and they ship it to you and it is significantly cheaper than that like $50 or $100 a month.

Yes my son did band and all lessons were FREE from their band teacher and we just had to supply the instrument ONLY.  He played up until High School and decided he didn't want to do it anymore, made me very sad.

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