Updated: Sep 21
The new school year is coming up and with that a new band year as well. Whether your student is just getting ready for the next band year or starting their very first band class, there are some things you should do to make sure your child is ready for music.
Getting The Instrument Ready For Band Class
Is your child's instrument ready to play?
If your student is new to band, you'll want to make sure that they either have an instrument or you have spoken to someone about renting an instrument. Most local instrument shops have a rental program.
If you just bought a brand new instrument, more than likely, the instrument is ready to go.
If you bought a used instrument or the instrument sat around all summer, you'll want to make sure it's in good working condition. Many instruments need to go in for yearly maintenance. If you haven't done so, now's a great time to take it to shop for any maintenance or repairs. If you are on an extremely tight budget, just make sure your child pulls out their instrument to play to make sure it's at least working. Sometimes things can get gunky sitting around (after all, many instruments involve oil and sitting oil can create problems).
Accessories For Band
Being in band requires more than just the student and their instrument. Other things needed will be instrument care products, pencils, a metronome, tuner, binders and folders. Make sure you purchase any sheet music or method books that the class will be using.
A three-ring binder is a great way to organize sheet music. Place the sheet music in the clear sleeve. It protects the music, keeps it together, is easy to take out (so the student can mark their music), and is easy to keep organized by labeling the tabs.
Playing an instrument is a skill that requires practice. A lot of students take the summer off from playing their instrument. We want them to still enjoy the rest of their summer break, but maybe it's time to start working our way back into playing our instruments. Now's the time for your child to explore music they want to play, because in band, the teacher picks the repertoire.
There are some fun play alongs on Youtube, but apps/software we really like is the Tomplay App and MakeMusic Cloud.
The Tomplay app has interactive sheet music for all instruments, skill levels, and genre, including film scores, pop, rock, classical, folk, and more! If your child is pretty new to their instruments, there are tools that help them learn their fingerings too. There's the option to slow or speed up the music and change the tracking. Your student is going to have fun playing with the backing tracks! See what our piano teacher has to say about Tomplay!
You can try Tomplay for 14 days for free here.
MakeMusic Cloud is also an interactive sheet music program. This website has more of the music and backing tracks to what's played in band. They even have a lot of the exercises from the method books. MakeMusic Cloud offers music also for all instruments, skill level, and genres. If you're student is learning their instrument, they offer pre-recorded video lessons as well to help your student learn and get ahead. A really cool feature offered is their live feedback tool. The student can 'perform' and the program can listen and give feedback on their playing skill. Check out MakeMusic Cloud here.
If your student REALLY wants to get ahead, you can start them on private one-on-one lessons. That way your child can really get the attention they need to thrive in band class.
That's all that's really needed to get your child ready for band class! Making sure their instrument is in working order, they have the accessories needed, and that they at least brush up on their playing skills.