Frequently Asked Questions...
When do band classes meet?
Beginner Band meets as a regular class for 45 minutes at different times throughout the school day. Students are grouped into classes according to what instrument they play. The teacher-pupil ratio is kept low to facilitate individual supervision of student's progress. Skills develop slowly at first, therefore, students and parents must be patient and committed for the entire school year in order to get the full benefit of band instruction. Skills developed during beginner band are to prepare students for 7th and 8th grade.
What instruments are available to learn in beginning band?
Beginners will have the opportunity to learn flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion. After you sign up for band by submitting your schedule card with band as your 1st choice or 2nd choice, the Navo band directors will contact you to set-up a personalized instrument selection meeting if you haven't already signed up for our Instrument Petting Zoo. At this meeting, you will have the opportunity to try-out all 11 instruments available to find the best fit!
Is any previous musical training necessary?
No. The method books used in beginner band are designed to facilitate the learning of all students regardless of previous musical training. We teach the fundamentals of reading music as well as the fundamentals of playing an instrument. As students progress, you will be able to recognize familiar tunes. Their progress culminates in the Spring Concert at the end of the year.
Can my child be successful even if I don't have musical talent?
Yes! The most important requirement for success is the desire to succeed. We begin students from a very basic yet detailed approach to learning the instrument. Students are taught basic fundamental building blocks that will make them successful throughout their senior year in the Braswell Band and beyond!
When do students need instruments?
Instruments will be needed by the first week of school. Locked storage for all instruments is provided in the band hall. Please make sure that the case is labeled with a name tag. Don't wait too long, music companies can sometimes get backordered later in the summer. We will have a music company representative attend our instrument selection meeting for you to reserve an instrument for the fall.
Should I rent or purchase an instrument?
Renting an instrument will give your child the opportunity to begin band with only a small initial investment. For a low monthly rate, your child can have the advantages of a brand new intermediate model instrument, such as pride of ownership and freedom from error due to poor equipment. Instruments are "rent-to-own" which means that all rental payments go towards the cost of purchasing the instrument and you will eventually own it outright. The instruments on our approved list are chosen to have the highest quality and durability for their price range, and if properly maintained, will last all the way through 12th grade. The instrument can be returned to the music company at any time without further obligation. Buying an instrument costs a little less in the long run, but most families prefer the flexibility of store rental programs. Also, we ask that you please refrain from making your instrument purchase from a department store (both online or in person), especially if the store contains an autoshop and/or groceries.
What about buying used instruments?
Some used instruments are a good bargain; however, you could possibly end up spending more money on repairs than the instrument is worth. For this reason, we ask that if you decide to purchase a used instrument, let a band director examine the classified listing or the instrument itself prior to purchase. Local music stores and former band students are excellent sources of used instruments. You might see if the music companies have used instruments available. Please do not purchase instruments from a pawnshop without first checking with a band director first. Some pawnshop instruments are of very poor quality. Occasionally there is a diamond in the rough, but not usually. As stated above, do not make an instrument purchase from a department store. These instruments are poorly made, with inferior materials that once broken, are not usually repairable. Again, we recommend that you rent an instrument the first year from a local reputable music company.
Can my child start playing as soon as he/she gets their instrument?
In order to prevent potential damage to the instrument and the formation of bad habits, we prefer that the instrument stay in the case during the summer. When you rent/purchase from a music company, the store will deliver the instrument and materials to our band hall before the first day of school, where they will stay until after formal instruction has been given on the care and assembly of the instrument. This is to protect your investment! An additional option for eager students is to start band this summer with a private lesson teacher. This is a chance to get one-on-one help and be set-up for success with one of the professional musicians who teach on our campus each week. The teachers understand that some lessons might have to be rescheduled due to family vacations. A list of private teachers that teach on our campus can be found HERE or on our website and it will also be provided at our instrument selection meeting.
Can my child participate in both athletics and band at the same time?
Yes! If it fits on your schedule, we can make it work! There are many middle school band students who are in band, athletics, and other classes such as theater, art, Spanish, etc. Because of the unique nature of playing a musical instrument, we try to encourage students to begin band in 6th grade and then take other electives along with band in their later years in middle school. If you want your child to learn a band instrument, you will need to put band as your first choice for an elective. In 7th and 8th grade, the school administration, coaches, classroom teachers, and band directors work together to avoid conflicts in scheduling. We have current Navo Band members who are also in 7th and 8th grade football, volleyball, basketball, cross country, track, and many other extra-curricular clubs and organizations like student council, cheerleading, national junior honor society, UIL academic teams, art club, etc.
Will my child get to perform in the 6th grade?
Beginners will get to perform at least four times during their first year in band. We will have a fall concert, winter concert, a spring festival, and our spring concert along with an opportunity to perform at our solo/ensemble contest in May.
Does the band ever take trips?
In 6th grade, students will take a trip to a festival held locally in the DFW area to perform. In 7th and 8th grade, we will have opportunities to perform at the Murchison Performing Arts Center and other local festivals and community events. We have also taken trips to Six Flags in the past.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you still have questions!
Click HERE to email a band director!