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6th Grade

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Instrument Switching 

At the beginning of the school year we mentioned to students that they would have the opportunity to try other instruments that we do not start with beginners. We wait to switch students to these instruments because it works best if we know the students’ strengths and weaknesses before they are selected. We have found that the transition to a new instrument is not difficult if the right students are matched with the right instruments.  

Here are some things to consider with switch instruments:

  • Switching instruments is optional, students are not required to switch.
  • The director must recommend the switch and the parents must approve the switch.
  • It is expected that students who switch are committed to remaining in band through 8th grade.
  • Unfortunately the school does not own some of the switch instruments for students to use (alto sax, oboe).
  • Items can be rented/purchased at Meyer Music (396-6583) or any reputable music dealer.
  • If you are presently renting an instrument but are selected to switch you may want to contact your music dealer to discuss how this may affect your rental agreement. Most rental changes carry your payment balance over to the switch instrument rental.

Here are the factors we consider to recommend switching to one of the new instruments
  1. Practicing Habits. When starting a new instrument the student will be back to square one on the new instrument. Students that with consistent practice habits will best be able to quickly catch up on their new instrument.
  2. Getting a good sound on the new instrument. When we have students try the switch instruments we work to help them get a good basic sound which is essential to start.
  3. The student’s interest level. Obviously the student’s interest in taking on the challenge of learning a new instrument is key.
  4. We will have a trial period up to the Spring Concert. If a student decides they do no like the switch instrument and would like to go back to their first instrument, we ask that they make that decision by the Spring Concert (they should play the Spring Concert on their switch instrument and go back to their first instrument after the Concert) 

 PLEASE NOTE:  Please do not purchase or order any items until we complete the switch try outs and let your student know which instrument would be a good fit. 

For more information as what are some of the switch instrument requirements and the permission slip if your student would like to switch instruments, just click here.

 Here are three very important things that every 6th Grade Band Parent should know: 

  1. Always be encouraging to your child as they learn the basics of playing when they practice at home. Find the small things that they are improving, such as: “hey, your sound is definitely getting better”, or “I hear improvement, I could recognize that song.” 

  2. Good practice habits at home is the key to success! Help your child set up a routine of practicing at the same place and approximately the same time every day. Try to remove any distractions in the area such as TV, radio, siblings, pets, etc. Help your child understand that it is about establishing a routine that they should follow on a regular basis. Tiny daily improvements are the goal that adds up to growth over time.

  3. Help your child realize that it is a long process that has some speed bumps along the way. If your child seems discouraged over several days, please let us know so we can help them. Before long they will be able to look back and see the improvement they have made on their instrument.

Hudsonville Bands,
Sep 2, 2017, 2:16 PM