Beginning Band FAQs

Is Band required in 6th Grade?

No, but students must make electives choice between band, music, strings, choir, gym, and art.

May I play whatever I want?

Students may select from the following instruments:
Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba, and Percussion. To find rental instruments, check out our guide here.

Can I play guitar, piano, or drum set?

No. Those instruments are not part of regular instruction. However,
students that wish to play these instruments may learn these separately
outside of class and play them in Jazz Band.

Can I learn violin, viola, cello, or string bass?

No. Since these instruments are part of orchestra, and require
different pedagogical demands, they are not part of regular instruction. String bass is an available instrument in high school band.

What is the after school time commitment?

The only after school commitments in Middle Level Bands are 2-4 required performances a year. The dates will be
available on the band and school calendars in August or earlier. Any other extra events and rehearsals will be communicated well in advance.

As a parent, must I provide an instrument for my student?

It depends – a student is required to bring their own instrument and
provide themselves with their own method book and instrument supplies. Local music dealers provide instrument rent-to-own programs that offer beginning band students the instrument and supplies they need at a reasonable price. The school does own certain instruments in specific sections, which are usually the larger brass and woodwind instruments. Students borrowing these instruments will still need to supply their own method book and supplies. Availability is first-come, first-served.

My student would like join band but I have financial concerns. Is there any help or assistance available?

Yes. As stated above, the school owns a limited amount of instruments,
so it is possible to borrow one from the school for the year. You must
sign an instrument care contract, which will hold the user liable for all
repairs needed for damages to the instrument. There are many families that
have instruments available to families in need. NO STUDENT SHOULD BE WITHOUT A MUSIC EDUCATION. WE WILL MAKE IT WORK! Please contact the directors!

Where can I purchase/rent band instruments?

I already have an instrument, do I still need to purchase one?

No, you may have your student use the one you have. It is recommended
that you bring the instrument in to a band director to have it looked over for
damages and repair needs. Sometimes when instruments sit for a long time,
particularly with instruments like saxophones, clarinets, and flutes, their
pads get stiff and need renovation.

I just found a great deal on an instrument my child needs online. It’s much cheaper than Meyer, West Michigan Bands, or any other music dealer. Should I buy this instrument?

STOP!!!!! Do not proceed with this purchase until you have done the following:

1) Send the link of the advertisement to Mr. Weber of Mr. Nabozny via email and have it approved.
There are a lot of junk instruments that are poorly manufactured. You may end up spending more on the instrument in repairs than it is worth! Music dealers often WILL NOT repair these types of instruments.
2) Check the brand. The band directors have a list of recommended brands that are quality.
3) Check how old the instrument is.
4) Check to see if there is a return policy. If there isn’t a guarantee, don’t bother. You will be stuck with junk!

There are a lot of good deals of quality instruments to be had on the internet, but
unless you are an expert on instruments and are familiar with brands, don’t try to
take matters into your own hands. The directors are here to help.

Must my student be in band both semesters?

Yes. Band is a year long course that begins in the fall. Because the class is cumulative and skills learned in the beginning of the year are built upon throughout the year, it is extremely difficult to begin the process in the middle of the year.

What is the best way to keep up to date?

Our band website is fantastic! We send a weekly information push called THIS WEEK IN BAND or TWIB for short. The TWIB is pushed out to students and families every week during the school year through email, the website, and the BAND App. Check here for the latest TWIB.

Colin Weber, Director of Bands

616-696-1200 ext. 7802

Matt Nabozny

616-696-1200 ext. 7804