Visit 4th Grade Classrooms
- plan visits to 4th grade classrooms with teachers and principals in March. Make the visits in April/May.
- This is the initial visit to your future students. You are selling yourself more than Band.
- It’s the first time in your life you get to “choose your own classes” (band or no band)
- Bring instruments to play and demonstrate: flute, clarinet, trumpet (very briefly) and trombone (lots)
- Do NOT show saxophone or percussion
- Play up the trombone as the coolest instrument. Do a glissando really loud. Teach every student how to buzz on lips, then have everyone come and try to play the trombone… encourage loud sounds
- Capitalize on their anxiety about going to a new grade/school: you’ll be in a large group of friends
5th Grade Band Tour
- Bring the 5th Grade Band to the three elementary schools for an all-day field trip. Invite the whole school, but it’s targeted to 4th grade.
- Perform simple recorder songs, loud/fast band music, Spongebob, Happy Birthday, etc.
- Have each instrument demonstrate a selection.
- Have 4th grade sing along to known songs.
- Have 5th grade band members raise hands if they went to this particular school.
- Ask 5th grade to raise hand if they were nervous about starting an instrument (most hands go up)
- Ask 5th grade who’s happy they’ve stuck with it so far and like being in Band (most hands go up)
Mail Home Materials
- Band Brochure – information for students, for parents, and about getting an instrument
- Information Letter – introducing yourself and the program to parents
- Band FAQs
Instrument Petting Zoo
- takes place during the 4th grade “step up” day
- high school students and some private lesson teachers volunteer time to stay at a station and help students get a sound on the instrument
- I walk around encouraging kids to try every instrument at least once
Incoming Parent Info Night
- Piggyback on the school-wide presentation already scheduled, ask for ten minutes and give an extremely brief presentation
- This is your first introduction to the parents of this grade… positive energy goes a long way
Band Enrollment forms
- Elementary music teachers or homeroom teachers distribute and collect within one week
- Students pick first and second choice instrument
- I inform parents which instrument they are selected to play by the end of the school year
- most kids will end up on their first instrument.