New Student Information
One of the most successful band programs in the state of Colorado!
Come join us! On this team, everyone plays!
Thank you for choosing Kinard for your middle school and for choosing band for your music class! Playing an instrument is one of the most important and enjoyable skills you will learn in your school years. My goal is to help you gain the confidence to love playing your instrument and making music through band.
Beginning Band is a ton of fun. Here are few songs you will be able to play by the end of beginning band:
Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Noe Reindeer, Jingle Bell Rock, Star Wars Main Theme, Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme), Happy Birthday, When Mom is Not Home, Seven Nation Army, Smoke on the Water, and dozens MORE!
All band instruments compliment specific physical features and personality traits. It is important that students select an instrument that compliments them. You must select an instrument that is a good fit for you, not one that your friends play or even your family members played. Below are some physical traits to be aware of when selecting an instrument.
Lips come in all shapes and sizes. For brass instruments (trumpet, horn, trombone, and tuba) fuller lips fit larger mouthpieces and instruments and smaller lips fit smaller mouthpieces and instruments. Clarinet can accommodate many lip shapes and sizes, although very thin bottom or top lips can be a limitation. For flute you must not have a tear drop shape or you will not be able to produce a straight small air stream.
Over bite and under will determine success on band instruments as well. The larger the over bite or under bite, the larger the mouthpiece you will need to play correctly.
If you have asthma you can play all band instruments but flute and tuba can be a challenge. These instruments take frequent deep breaths to play and can aggravate asthma.
Double Jointed Fingers
Double jointed fingers mainly present an issue with the flute as students have to play many fast musical notes to the side of the body. This is typically a challenge for double jointed hands.
While braces will present some difficulty at first, these challenges eventually can be overcome.
Time to Learn About the Instruments!
Below are the instruments that are available to play in Beginning Band at the start of the year. A few students will switch to oboe, bassoon, saxophone and euphonium during the year. If you are interested in saxophone you must start on clarinet. Click on each picture to see more information!
What if my child is sure of the instrument they wish to play?
You will still need to attend our placement night. Try to help your child keep an open mind as there are no guarantees that any instrument will be a good choice for their unique physical traits.
What do I need for the band placement night?
Students do not need to bring anything. Parents, please bring a 1. Pen to fill out forms and 2. Headphones or ear buds to watch the informational videos.
My student would like to play saxophone, is it true they need to start on clarinet?
Yes. All students interested in playing saxophone will start on clarinet. Select students will then switch to saxophone half way through their 6th grade year.
My student would like to play percussion, is there a piano requirement for percussion?
No. Students will be rated and scored at the placement night on limb to limb coordination and stick control. Students will then be asked to signup and prepare study materials for the percussion auditions a week later.
My student has played piano and studies it privately, what options are there for piano?
Piano players can choose to learn a second instrument in the band or orchestra or to sing in the choir. Our best instrumentalists and singers at Kinard tend to be piano players, because of their prior training.
My student has played guitar and studies it privately, what options are there for guitar?
In 6th grade, guitar players can choose to learn a second instrument in the band or orchestra or to sing in the choir. The majority of guitar players choose to play a new instrument in the orchestra because of the similarities between stringed instruments.
My student cannot decide between band and orchestra, what should we do?
It is best to start talking to your child about what musical groups and music they would like to be in long term. At the high school level orchestra offers chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra, while band offers jazz band, marching band and pep band. If your child still cannot decide, they may attend the orchestra placement nights (contact our orchestra Mrs. Griffey email@example.com) and the band placement nights.
My student has been taking private lessons and is not a beginner OR my child has already played a band instrument before at their prior school, do we need to come to the placement night?
It depends on whether your child is feeling successful and satisfied with their current instrument. If they are satisfied, they do not need to attend. If they are interested in switching instruments in 6th grade they will want to attend the placement night. In either case, please email me to let me know that your child has played before so that I can make note of it in my records.
Are there limited spots for each instrument?
The only sections that have a set number are the percussion section (8 spots) and tuba (3).
Should I purchase/rent my instrument now?
No! Do not get an instrument until after placements have been verified on the website in May. This ensures that you will have all the necessary information about instrument brands and models and the list of accessories to accompany the instrument. In addition, it is important for your student to not start their instrument until summer music where they can learn correct playing habits. When you rent your instrument from the music dealers, they will have you fill out paper work and order your instrument, but not deliver it until the summer music program begins in July.
The percussion family includes mallet instruments (bells, xylophone, marimba, vibes), accessories (triangle, tambourine, cymbals) and battery instruments (snare drum, bass drum, timpani). Beginning Band Percussionists have will learn two instruments at the same time: the snare drum/practice pad and the mallets. Because of the amount of organization and limited parts available for percussion, it is the most select section of the band.
In band, there are generally only 6 parts for percussion: bells, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, auxiliary (triangle, tambourine, etc.), and cymbals. I accept 10 students into the percussion section each year knowing that not all students selected will continue into band in 8th grade. These students are selected through the placement process outlined below.
Percussion Placement Process
Step 1: Band Placement Nights (April 3rd)
All students entering the band will need to attend our placement nights. Students interested in percussion attend and tryout all instruments. At the percussion station, students will be assessed on the following:
1. Stick Control/Natural Rebound of Stick
2. Limb to Limb Coordination (hand to hand, hand to feet etc.)
At the end of the night, students interested in percussion will select percussion as their top choice and will also pick a secondary instrument should they not be selected for percussion after the percussion audition night. Families will be provided with information on how to register for a the percussion auditions and how to download study materials from Mr. Perez’s website in order to prepare for the auditions.
Step 2: Register for the Percussion Auditions and Prepare Study Materials
After the instrument tryouts, all students will be provided with percussion study materials and need to go to Mr. Perez's website to sign-up for a percussion audition time. The study materials include piano keyboard information, treble clef guides, and basic coordination exercises to work on for the audition.
Step 3: Percussion Auditions (Date TBD)
Student's will be assessed by Mr. Perez, Mrs. Hollenbeck (Preston Middle School) individually. Students will be tested in the following areas:
Stick Control/ Natural Rebound of the Stick
Hand to Hand Coordination
Limb to Limb Coordination
Inner Pulse and Tempo
Keyboard (piano) Note Recognition (provided with study materials)
Treble Clef Note Recognition (provided with study materials)
Please note that these will be closed auditions. Parents will wait outside the band room during auditions.
Step 4: Selection
Students with the top ten testing scores will be selected for percussion. Please note that scores from the band placement nights will be considered as part of this process.