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.