Band Program Overview
The band program at ICRS begins in 5th grade and continues through 8th grade.
All 5th grade students are enrolled in Beginning Band. The focus of this introductory year is on developing tone, rhythm, and notation reading. Class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15-2:00.
Concert Band is offered to 6th-8th grade students as an elective. Students may elect to take this course any or all of their middle school years. The Concert Band class meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:10-2:55.
For specific information about either of the band classes, please see either the Beginning Band or Concert Band class pages
Concert Band will be offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2:10-2:55. I am looking forward to working with students on new and exciting music I discovered this summer. As in the past, I will try to find as many opportunities to show off their talents throughout the year. Please let me know if your child will not be able to attend any of our scheduled performances.
Because students are now in Concert Band they are expected to provide their own instrument. I need to offer the school-owned instruments to my Beginning Band students first. If any instruments remain available, I would be happy to check one out to a Concert Band student. Each student will need to provide their own copy of the “I Recommend” exercise book for their instrument which is available at the following music stores:
Music Shoppe 2401 Meridian, Bellingham, 360-647-9160
Hugo Helmer Music Store, 1025 Goldenrod Rd. Burlington, 360-757-0270
Cascade Music 306 State Ave, Marysville, 360-659-8555
Since this is the start of a new year, it would be helpful to make sure that each student has the essential materials for success.
Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone players need to have a cleaning cloth to help dry out the instrument between practices which helps save the pads and will end up saving you money in the long run.
Clarinets and Saxophones need to have a good supply of reeds. I suggest that they use 2 ½ size reeds. Getting them in a reed saver sleeve is best, or you can purchase a multiple reed saver and have several reeds ready all the time.
Brass players need to have valve oil and a cleaning snake to help keep the instrument in proper playing condition.
Percussionists need to have a good set of concert snare sticks that are labeled with their names on it.
ALL INSTRUMENTS need to have a label on them, like a luggage tag. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at the school (428-3912) or e-mail me.
Vince Fejeran, Band Director
Unique to the ICRS music curriculum is the opportunity for students to learn to play a wind or percussion instrument. Because of this year long process, it is important each student spend some time considering the instrument they wish to learn. The decision to learn a musical instrument is a serious and rewarding experience. The student must understand that to learn a musical instrument will take time, patience and concentrated effort.
Beginning Band will meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:15-2:00. Each Beginning Band student needs to have the instruction book “Essential Elements 2000” for their instrument. This book comes complete with practice accompaniments and other practice tools. I also suggest that each student has a wire music stand that they can use at home. Music stands provide each student with the proper posture for developing good tone.
In Beginning Band, I suggest the student start on one of the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone and Percussion. The reason is that at this level is to it is easier to concentrate on:
1. Developing an acceptable tone on the instrument: Proper posture, breathing and embouchure development
2. Developing individual sense of rhythm: Steady beat, independent rhythmic counting
3. Developing Notation reading: Musical staff, bass clef, treble clef, note values, rest values
Why only these instruments?
It is my experience that students can develop the above concepts of tone, rhythm and notation reading on these instruments more quickly. After successfully mastering one of these instruments the student will be able to transfer to a variety of similar instruments. However, if a student wants to start on any instrument not mentioned above, they are more than welcomed to.
Cost is another factor.
Students in beginning band need to be provided with a quality instrument. For most, this means renting an instrument. The cost of renting one of the above instruments seems to be a more reasonable investment for your child.
Renting an instrument.
To assist in your child’s success I strongly believe they should be provided with an instrument that is in excellent condition. There are a few music stores in the area that have instrumental rental programs:
The Music Shoppe, 2401 Meridian, Bellingham, 360-647-9160
Hugo Helmer Music, 1025 Goldenrod Rd. Burlington, 360-757-0270
I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT PURCHASE AN INSTRUMENT FROM COSTCO, OR SEARS. They may be inexpensive but they are of inferior quality.
Here is a website that has answers to more frequently asked questions: http://www.beginband.com/. I would be happy to answer any of your questions or give guidance on the selection of an instrument. Please feel free to call me at school (428-3912) or e-mail.