New Students

Hello and welcome to our New Student page!  This page contains information you will need for your child's placement onto an instrument for band at Kinard.

Instrument Placements have already occurred.  Contact the band teacher, Mike Perez, at for your placement options.
Band Program Highlights
  • Music for All National Concert Band Festival; Indianapolis, IN 2018

  • Colorado Music Educator's Association, Featured Middle Level Band (top middle level group in the state), 2007, 2012, 2016

  • Colorado Bandmasters Association Middle School Festival, Superior Rating 2008,2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

  • Nordic Invitational, Superior Rating, 2005,2006,2007,2008,2009, 2010; 2013, 2014, Excellent Rating 2012

  • District Honor Band, 21 band members selected (most in the district), 2009

  • District Honor Band, 11 band members selected (most in the district), 2010

  • District Honor Band, 16 members selected (tied for most in the district), 2012

  • District Honor Band, 29 members selected (most in the district), 2013

  • District Honor Band 38 members selected (most in the district), 2014

  • District Honor Band 39 members selected (most in the district), 2015

  • District Honor Band 24 members selected (most in the district), 2017

  • District Honor Band 29 members selected (most in the district) 2018

  • University of Colorado Middle School Honor Band, 7 members selected (most in the state), 2014

  • University of Northern Colorado Conducting Symposium, clinic band , January 2015



New Student Registration Information

6th Grade- Register for band on your course registration and you will get instrument placement information in Mid-March

7th/8th Grade- If your child has already played an instrument, please contact Mr. Perez to setup an audition time.


Important Dates

March 15h - Placement night letters sent home to students registered in band and orchestra

April 3rd- Band Placement Night at Kinard, 3:45-8:00 p.m. (register on this webpage after letters are sent home)

April 9th- Percussion Placement Night (students interested in percussion must attend a band placement night and the percussion night)

Week of May 1st- Families verify their placement choices on this webpage and begin renting instruments

July 22nd- August 9th- Summer Music Program: Classes meet in the mornings for one hour

Placement Night 


One of the most important steps to your success in band is placing you onto the correct instrument. The instrument your friends want to play or the instruments your relatives played may not be the best fit for your physical characteristics. Each band student has unique physical characteristics such as teeth alignment, jaw type, lip shape, arm length and coordination that determine success on band instruments. It is very important for you to play a band instrument that matches to YOUR unique features!


The Kinard Band hosts a required Instrument Placement Night. The purpose of this night is to have you play ALL the beginning band instruments so that you can discover which instruments you have a physical aptitude for. Professional musicians will teach you how to play each instrument and assess your performance on each instrument. At the end of the night you will know which instruments you did best on and will choose your top choice instrument.


Families will sign up for a placement time that works for their schedule (see below for how to sign-up). Placements take two hours: 1 hour 45 minutes for each student to complete the rotation through all of the instruments and approximately 15 minutes to check out with Mr. Perez.


How to Sign-up for a Placement Day and Time

1. Go to the Kinard Band Website: (it isrecommended you follow this process using a desktop or laptop computer as not all mobile devices can edit Google spreadsheets).

2. Click on “New Students” on the navigation at the top of the page

3. Click on “Click Here to Sign-Up for Placement Nights!”

4. Follow the instructions for the spreadsheet and sign-up for the best time for your family


* Placements are an essential part of joining our band program. If you have an unavoidable conflict with our placement night date, please email me for alternate placement


Parents, while your students are trying all the instruments, you will go to a computer lab to watch a informational videos and receive additional placement information. The video will be watched on a computer so if you could bring your own set of headphones or ear buds it would help! We do have a limited number of headphones available should you forget or not have any. After watching the video and filling out forms, parents will have about an hour of time left before their child finishes their rotations.


Band Placement Night Information

What is it?  The placement nights are required for all incoming 6th graders that are enrolled in band. Each student will get the opportunity to play the beginning band instruments that are offered in our school district. These instruments include: flute, clarinet, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion. Students will not play oboe or bassoon at the placement night, but it is possible to start on these instruments. Students will be observed and assessed by local professional musicians on their aptitude and physical suitability on each instrument.  In the case of percussion, natural rebound of stick and limb to limb coordination will be assessed. While students are trying instruments, families will watch informational videos on beginning band, fill out forms and provided with an instrument selection guide.


At the end of the placement rotations, parents will help their child rank order their top two instruments based on their scores from the professional musicians. Mr. Perez will then guide students in selecting an instrument that compliments their physical characteristics, musical aptitude and history, and academic history.  Students that choose percussion as their top choice will be given information on the percussion audition night and how to sign-up for a percussion audition night time.



What if my child is sure of the instrument they wish to play?

You will still need to attend a 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 video.


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 download study materials for the percussion auditions.  


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. Occasional piano playing opportunities do exist with the choir.


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 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 section that has a set number is the percussion section, which has ten spots.


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.


Percussion Information

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 

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 Stick2. 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 the percussion auditions and provided with study materials in order to prepare for the auditions.


Step 2: Register for the Percussion Audition Night and Download Study Materials

After the percussion placement night, all students will need to go to Mr. Perez's website to sign-up for a placement night time and to download study materials for their percussion audition. These materials will include piano keyboard information, treble clef guides, and basic coordination exercises to work on for the audition.


Step 3: Percussion Auditions 

Student's will be assessed by Mr. Perez, Mrs. Hollenbeck (Preston Middle School).  Students will be tested in the following areas:

1.        Stick Control/ Natural Rebound of the Stick

2.        Hand to Hand Coordination

3.        Limb to Limb Coordination

4.       Inner Pulse and Tempo

5.        Keyboard (piano) Note Recognition (provided with study materials)

6.        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 chosen for percussion. Please note that scores from the band placement nights will be considered as part of this process.

Placement Night Videos (viewed at the placement nights)

Video 1: Welcome to Kinard!
Video 2: About Placement Night
Video 3: About Percussion
Video 4: Beginning Band
Video 5: PSD Summer Music Program
Video 6: Instrument Information and Supply List
Video 7: Checkout Process

© 2015 by Mike Perez for the Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School Band

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