Future Band Member Information
INCOMING Beginning Band Students & Parent Information
Welcome to the Rawlinson Patriot Band! Our Band has a strong tradition of excellence and we are so excited for you to be a part of our program! Due to Covid-19, we are going to do our best to give your child every opportunity to be placed on an instrument that they would like to play and that they will be successful on. Please ensure that your child has already chosen “Beginning Band” as their first elective choice on their choice card. If they did not, please let us know in your interview so we can make a note to inform the counseling department.
Please follow the steps below. Your assistance is greatly appreciated to complete these three steps in a timely manner. The sooner you are able to complete these three steps, the more likely we will have room in your child’s first or second choice of instrument.
1.) Watch the video below introducing the band instruments and please scroll down on this page below to see information about each instrument. This information can help get you started on potential instrument options for your child.
2.) Sign Up to come Try Instruments!!!: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044aaaae29a3f49-band8
***If you cannot make any times listed in the signup genius link above, please email Mr. Cortes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trumpet/Cornet (Class is currently full for 2023-24 school year. There is a waitlist!)
These two instruments are very much alike. They are shaped somewhat differently but are played very much the same way. They are the soprano voice of the brass family and are used extensively in band and orchestra, jazz band and marching band. Special Considerations: The Trumpet is an important melodic instrument, and being given the main melody means it will be featured often and "in the forefront" of the ensemble. Shy or timid students may find this to be uncomfortable as students will be required to play out so they can be heard over the rest of the band. Outgoing and "fearless" students tend to enjoy this instrument because they'll get to play out and be heard. Orthodontia can make playing trumpet difficult, but determination and resiliency will help students to overcome these difficulties. This instrument progresses at one of the slowest rates so patience and being critical about small details is the key to being successful on this instrument.
About 15% of students will be selected for Trumpet (12-15 students)
The name trombone means “big trumpet” and the tone quality of the trombone really earns that name.
The trombone has a big, rich, tenor voice. Instead of using valves like the other brass instruments, the different notes are made by using a slide. Trombones are popular in marching, concert and jazz bands and also in orchestras. Special Considerations: Students with strong musical ears should consider Trombone. Trombone players must have long enough arms to manipulate their slide correctly. Great Trombone playing takes a lot of concentration and study, and muscle memory (through correct practice and repetition) is a critical element in learning this instrument.
About 10% of students will be selected for Trombone (10-12 students)
The French horn coils around so that the bell points to the back when you play. Due to its wide range and tonal variety, the French horn is one of the most important instruments in the concert band, marching band and the symphony orchestras. Special Considerations: Students with strong musical ears should consider French Horn. This is a great instrument choice for students who have participated in piano lessons or honor choir groups. Students with a history of academic or behavioral problems will NOT be selected for French Horn.
About 8% of students will be selected for French Horn (8-10 students)
Although it is a harmony instrument in both small groups and large bands, the euphonium is also fine for solo work. Its pitch is the same as the trombone and the tone is big and round. The euphonium is played a lot like the trumpet, but it is much bigger, so the sound is deeper. Special Considerations: Students with orthodontia who find the trumpet or french horn difficult may find the Euphonium more comfortable for them. Euphonium requires a medium-sized hand span to reach the valves and students should have an above average lung capacity.
About 8% of students will be selected for Euphonium (8-10 students.)
This is one of the largest instruments in the Band, and has the lowest voice of all. Tubas are made of brass and you sit down to play them. The tuba can be played in the concert band or the marching band. In the marching band, a Sousaphone is used. It is also made of brass or of fiberglass and carried onto the field. They both make a beautiful, deep booming sound. Special Considerations: Students must have a high lung capacity due to the amount of air needed to move through this instrument. Tuba requires a medium-sized hand span to reach the valves, as well as be tall enough to support the instrument. Students with a history of academic or behavioral problems should not consider the tuba due to the high amount responsibility needed to properly care for the instrument as well as the fact that because tuba is the foundation of the band, Tuba students maintaining academic eligibility is crucial for the success of the band.
About 6% of students will be selected for Tuba (6-8 students.)
Because flutes were once made of wood, they are still classified as woodwinds; however, most modern flutes are made of silver, nickel, or a combination of both. Flutes do not have a “reed”, they are played by blowing over a hole near the end of the tube. Keys cover the tone holes and you press down on the keys to produce different notes. The flute produces the highest tone of all in the band. The flute is common in Marching bands, concert bands, orchestras and jazz bands. It usually provides the melody and is featured many times as soloists. Special Considerations: Students with double-jointed fingers may want to avoid selecting flute because this can cause a lack of agility in the fingers.
About 10% of students will be selected for Flute (10-12 students)
Most clarinets are made from a special African wood called Grenadilla. Clarinets have a single reed mouthpiece and keys that open and close over holes in the tube to make different sounds. The clarinet is common in Marching bands, orchestras, concert bands and jazz bands. There are several sizes of clarinets and in our band we normally use the Soprano (B-flat) and later add the Bass, Alto and Contra-Bass clarinets. Special Considerations: Students who are able to focus on and perform a detailed series of instructions could do well on clarinet. Students with very short fingers may find it difficult to cover all the holes on the clarinet. Students will be required to maintain a supply of 3-4 reeds at all times. A box of 10 reeds costs about $25 and can last (with proper care) up to 2 months.
About 15% of students will be selected for Clarinet (15-20 students)
The saxophone has a tapered brass body and an upturned bell. The sound of the saxophone can range from very high to quite low; from shrill and whining to bold and brassy. The many keys make a saxophone look difficult to play, but it’s really one of the easier instruments. The saxophone comes in different sizes and keys. In our band we use the E-flat Alto and the B-flat Tenor saxophone. Later we add the E-flat Baritone saxophone. Special Considerations: Students using saxophone require a neck strap, thus it is extremely important that students are able to sit up completely straight when asked to do so. Students will be required to maintain a supply of 3-4 reeds at all times. A box of 10 reeds costs about $25 and can last (with proper care) up to 2 months. We do not have many school-owned alto saxophones to rent to your child from Northside ISD, so it will likely be necessary for you to purchase or rent an instrument from a music store if your child wishes to play this instrument.
About 6% of students will be selected for Saxophone (6-8 students)
Oboe - (Private Lessons are strongly recommended)
The oboe is a true woodwind – with something extra. It has two reeds, instead of one. And it has a slender tube instead of a mouthpiece. The oboe has a very high voice that soars over and through the other instruments. It plays in both the band and the orchestra. Special Considerations: Students with overbites or underbites may have severe difficulty with the oboe. Because Oboe is a very difficult instrument to master, only students with the highest academic performance records will be considered. Students who are selected on oboe are highly encouraged to take private lessons. Students are required to maintain a supply of 3-4 high-quality reeds at all times. Reeds can cost between $12-20 each. Students with a history of disciplinary trouble will not be considered for Oboe. Students with high academic excellence will enjoy this class due to the small size and opportunities for individual attention.
About 3% of students will be selected for Oboe (2-3 students)
Bassoon - (Private Lessons are strongly recommended)
The bassoon is also a double-reed instrument, like the oboe, but it has a deep bass voice. The bassoon is a very important instrument in both the band and orchestra. Bassoons are usually made of maple wood and are really extra-big oboes, so big that the tube is folded in the middle. If the bassoon was stretched out, it would be almost nine feet long. Special Considerations: Students should have agile thumbs as well as a medium or greater hand span. Like the Oboe, the Bassoon is a difficult to master and thus only students with high academic performance records will be considered. Students who are selected on Bassoon are highly encouraged to take private lessons. Students are required to maintain a supply of 3-4 high-quality reeds at all times. Reeds can cost between $12-20 each. Students with a history of disciplinary trouble will not be considered for Bassoon. Students with high academic excellence will enjoy this class due to the small size and opportunities for individual attention.
About 3% of students will be selected for Bassoon (2-3 students)
Percussion Class (Class is full for 2023-24 school year. The waitlist is also full.)
Percussion - (Private Lessons are strongly recommended)
Beginning Band has a Percussion class. If your child is interested in “playing drums” or learning drum set, this may not be exactly what you are looking for. “Percussion” includes: keyboards (i.e. xylophone), timpani and accessories (i.e. cymbals, bass drum, triangle, bongos, wood blocks, etc.), and snare drum. The percussion section is the most select, hand-picked section of the band. Careful consideration is given to student’s grades, behavior, motor skills, and prior background in music (ex. Piano lessons, choir, etc.). Students should exhibit a high level of coordination in fine motor skills. Just because a student is always tapping on things does not mean they are a natural percussionist. Students must be able to listen attentively to and follow a complex set of instructions. Students must also be able to organize their equipment and other belongings in an orderly fashion. Special Considerations: Students must be able to develop a high level of physical coordination to progress on the many percussion instruments at the same time. All percussion students will study many more instruments besides the drums. You will learn all the instruments in the picture below and then some! Percussion is also among the most expensive instrument choices as there are many up-front costs and a necessary yearly expansion of stick, mallet, and beater collection. Students interested in percussion should closely consider their outside schedule of activities as Percussion students are asked to practice twice as much as other instruments (60 minutes per day) in order to properly learn both drum and mallet instruments at the same time. Those students who are busy in multiple after-school sports and activities on multiple days of the week will not likely have the time to properly develop on Percussion.
About 10% of students will be selected for Percussion (9-10 students)
Drum Set at Home?
Having a drum set at home does not guarantee you a spot in the Percussion class. A lot of it depends on the audition procedure.
What is the audition procedure?
Each student will be required to perform a series of rhythm and coordination tests. This includes: foot/hand coordination, rhythmic imitation, timing skills, and a natural sense of pulse. The student’s ability to follow simple to complex instructions will also be considered. It has been our experience that students who auditioned well and possessed many of the necessary traits ended up being successful in the class. Students who had a difficult time demonstrating these skills, struggled in class - even those who worked “really hard” and “really wanted it”. We want your child to be successful in band and enjoy their band experience; we do our best to place students where their physical attributes lend them to be.
*** All Auditioning Percussionists should additionally try two other alternate band instruments so that in the event you are not selected on Percussion you will have another choice already lined-up.***
Having had piano/drum lessons will definitely help you in the audition procedure, but will not guarantee you a spot in the Percussion class.
We cannot have a band composed of drummers. There are only 5-6 percussionists in each band at the 7th and 8th grade levels. Therefore, there can only be 10-12 percussionists in 7th and 8th grades.
During concerts, percussion students perform on school-owned instruments (i.e. bass drum, timpani, xylophone and snare drum). We are limited not only by equipment needs, but also by the musical requirements of the songs we perform. Any given song calls for 4-5 percussionists. If we do not limit the size of the class, there would be many students who would not get to perform on all the songs and would miss out on a great band experience.
ALL STUDENTS INTERESTED IN PERCUSSION:
We select only the top 9-10 students for the percussion class! Please have a second choice in mind!
Students interested in percussion MUST attend our individual percussion try-out to be considered.
***Notification will be e-mailed by the end of May to let you to know if your child made the percussion class or will be placed on their second instrument choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
● Q. How much will Band cost??
● A. On average it will cost between $25-$75 each month to rent depending on the instrument your child will play and its condition when renting. Purchasing the instrument is certainly an option, but it is not required. We also have special programs for those who qualify for free and reduced lunches. All students will also need a set of supplies for class such as Books ($10-20), Tuner/Metronome and Microphone ($45-50), and necessary maintenance items such as oils, grease, swabs, reeds, etc. (This cost varies with each instrument.)
● Some instruments (Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Baritone, and Tuba) are rented from the school! As long as your child does not damage the instrument there is no additional fees to rent these instruments. We have a limited supply of other instruments available for rent from the school, so financial worries should not exclude your child from being in band! We will do what we can to help you out!
● Q. Can my child do band and sports?
● A, Yes! The band directors and the coaches work very well with each other here at Rawlinson. We always schedule our events around each other and many of our students are highly involved with athletics and band and are very successful.
● Q. What are the time commitments for beginning band?
● A. Class time during the regular school day, at least 30 minutes of practice outside of class every day!, TWO CONCERTS (one in December, and one in May) WITH one after school rehearsal (4PM to 5:30PM) PRIOR TO EACH CONCERT.
● Q. WHY SHOULD MY CHILD BE INVOLVED?
● A. Your child has the opportunity to be in an outstanding band program at Rawlinson. Band gives your child a superior group of students with which to be associated. It has been proven that playing a musical instrument raises I.Q., reading, and math abilities. It has a great “Family” to which a student can “belong.” It also builds community pride and personal confidence.
● Q. What are MY responsibilities as a parent?
● A. To provide a quality instrument OR rent an instrument from the school, to provide the beginning band books, Korg TM-60 Tuner/metronome combo , Contact Microphone for TM-60 Tuner/Metronome and required supplies for your child’s instrument. Also , to provide maintenance items , Supplies such as valve oil, reeds, etc., AND LOTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT!!
● Q. What are my child’s responsibilities?
● A. To practice a minimum of 30 minutes daily (homework!), and to have his/her instrument, music, a pencil, and other related materials in class and work to the best of their ability every day.
If we haven’t answered your question, please let us know! You can contact the band directors at:
210-397-4900 (extension 3134)