Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can join the band?

    Any East Brunswick 5th grader who is not already enrolled in the strings program is eligible to join the band. There are no auditions, and all are welcome!

    When should I enroll my child?
    Incoming band students should enroll in June before their 5th grade year. This allows for adequate preparation time before the school year begins. If you are new to the school, please enroll as soon as possible. Click here to enroll your child online. Please e-mail Ms. Nichols if you have any questions or problems with enrollment.
    What is the cost of this program?
    Band lessons are provided during school at no cost. There is no club fee for 8 AM rehearsals, which are a requirement for students to participate in concerts. You will need to provide an instrument and a lesson book for your child. Information about renting and purchasing instruments will be sent home after your child’s screening with the Band Director.

    If you would like for your child to be involved but have financial concerns, please contact Ms. Nichols.
    What instruments can my child study?
    Band lessons are offered on flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium (baritone horn), and percussion (bell kit). The Band Director will evaluate your child’s physical attributes (hand and finger size, facial structure, special physical considerations, etc.) as well as their rhythmic and aural abilities. We will try to honor your child’s first choice, but please keep in mind that it is also the Band Director’s responsibility to set each child up for success, and to ensure balanced instrumentation in our performing ensembles.

    How do I get an instrument for my child?
    • Renting an instrument (highly recommended)

    Renting is often the most cost-effective option. A good dealer will offer high-quality instrument brands. If you need brand recommendations, please contact your child's Band Director. Instruments often need repairs, which can be done easily through your rental company. Check with your dealer to see what exchanges and repairs are covered as part of a rental contract.

    • Purchasing an instrument

    Please contact the Band Director before purchasing. The Band Director can guide you in finding a quality new or used instrument within your budget. Poor-quality instruments are frustrating to play and break easily. Instruments that are of good quality, brand new, and inexpensive do not exist; however, it is possible to find one that meets two out of three of those criteria. Never purchase an instrument from a vendor that will not allow you to return it. Many local shops will offer used beginning level instruments with some minor blemishes, but still in playable condition.

    • We own an instrument already

    Ensure that the instrument your child will use is in good, working order. Please contact your child’s Band Director, who can evaluate the instrument and refer you to a reputable repair shop, if necessary.

    How will my child be graded?
    Your child will receive a report card grade in the 1st and 3rd marking periods. Band students are graded on their preparation, class participation, regular home practice, and improvements in performance skills. Band grades can be found in the "Documents" tab in the Genesis parent portal.
    How do lessons work?
    Your child will receive a weekly 40-minute lesson beginning in September. Lessons are given during the school day on a pull-out basis, rotating through different times to minimally impact their regular classroom instruction. In these lessons, your child will learn how to play the instrument in a small group environment. Lesson attendance is mandatory for all band students.  
    What other time is involved?
    The full band will meet from 8:00-8:45 AM one day per week, beginning in the spring semester. Students must arrange their own transportation for rehearsal, and a carpool contact list is available upon request. Morning rehearsals are required for students to participate in the concerts. In these rehearsals, your child will learn their concert music and how to play as part of a group. A schedule of these dates will be sent home in the fall. Morning rehearsals will not conflict with Chorus. Students involved with other clubs on the same day will be allowed to go to those clubs at 8:30 AM.
    The band will perform in two concerts during the year: the Spring Concert, and the District Elementary Band Showcase. The band will also perform an in-school concert for their peers on or near the Spring Concert date.
    2020 Band Dates - Please mark your calendar!
    Central Spring Concert: Monday, May 4, 7:00 PM (at EBHS) 
    Warnsdorfer Spring Band/Orchestra Concert: Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 PM 
    Frost Spring Concert: Monday, May 18, 7:00 PM 
    Irwin Spring Concert: Wednesday, May 20, 7:00 PM
    All Schools - District Elementary Band Showcase
    Mandatory rehearsal Tuesday, May 26, 3:45-5:15 at HMS
    Concert Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 PM (students report 6:30)
    Is transportation provided to band events before and after school?
    There is no bus transportation to AM rehearsals or concerts. Carpooling is encouraged! If you have difficulty finding a carpool for your child, please contact Ms. Nichols
    Can my child take private lessons outside of school?
    Absolutely! Private lessons are not required for your child to succeed, but highly encouraged. Lessons with a specialist can greatly accelerate your child’s progress. Just a handful of lessons over the summer can give your child an excellent advantage for the following school year. Please contact Ms. Nichols for referrals to qualified local teachers. If your child already has experience on an instrument, please indicate this on the enrollment form.

    Can my child switch from a stringed instrument?
    We encourage those who have started strings to stick with them! We have a great orchestra as well as a great band program. Please consult with your child's orchestra teacher for more information.

    Have another question?
    Please contact Ms. Nichols at any time!