• FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
    What book does my child need for band this year?
    The 6th graders are continuing in Tradition of Excellence book 1.  The 7th graders will be starting with Tradition of Excellence book 1 and then begin to use Tradition of Excellence book 2.  The 8th graders will be using Tradition of Excellence book 2.
    Are you collecting practice times this year?
    Although we are not collecting practice times/sheets, students are expected to be practicing frequently during the week in order to perform at a high level.
    Who can play in Jazz Band?
    Jazz Band is an elite group of 7th and 8th grade musicians that would like to get an introduction to and experience in the world of jazz music.  The instrumentation of a jazz band typically consists of 2 Alto Saxes, 2 Tenor Saxes, 1 Baritone Sax, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets, 1 electric guitar, 1 Piano, 1 Drum Set, 1 Bass guitar/String Bass, and occasionally 1 Vibes/Xylophone/Accessories player.  This is flexible however, and any 7th and 8th grader is welcome to audition for a spot.  
    When will Jazz Band rehearsals be?
    Rehearsals will be held BEFORE school Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-7:20am after marching band season is over.
    When are Jazz Band auditions?
    Auditions dates have not been set, but this information will be announced as soon as the dates are set.
    What music should they prepare for Jazz Band auditions?
    Audition music will be made available to all students who are wishing to audition. 
    Do you recommend private lessons for my child?
    Yes.  I recommend private instruction to every student, regardless of age or skill.  In a classroom environment it is difficult for a musician to advance in skill, especially when the class is large like ours here at SMS.  One-on-one attention can help assure your student stays engaged and excited about playing and learning their instrument, and of course helps increase their skill too!  A brief list of some know instructors in the area are listed on the SMS Bands website (under the Activities tab of the middle school website).  There are also a few Music Education students at KWU that may be able to offer lessons on your child’s instrument for $10-12/hour (considerably less than many other professionals).  Mr. Brooks also offers lessons.
    Do you provide reeds for Clarinets/Saxes/Bassoons/Oboes?
    During the first week of school I may choose to offer one free reed to those who may be in need.  Beyond that, it is the student’s responsibility to have working reeds in their case at all times.  This will assure that will always be able to participate in class.  Reeds are available for purchase at Midwest Music (cheaper) or through the school office.