If you have a child who attends elementary school in either Regina Public School Division or Regina Catholic School Division, the month of May is the Elementary Band Program Tours. It’s an opportunity for younger kids in grades K - 5 to hear their area bands perform and experience what students have been learning in the band programs during the school year. The Band program is a great opportunity to introduce kids to music. It’s a change for kids to learn how to play an instrument and to learn the beginning of music theory (learning your notes and beats). No experience is necessary. We are fortunate to have some amazing professional music teachers in Regina who integrate their love of music and learning to help kids become successful.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
Band is offered for grades 6,7 and 8 students. At the end of the school year (in the month of June), grade 5 students will have a note sent home outlining all the details of the band program and introducing the band directors/teachers. If students are interested, they will have a chance to meet one on one with the band teacher to select an instrument. The following are different brass and wind instruments that your child can choose: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, saxophone (alto, bass), french horn, tuba, trombone, baritone and percussion (which includes bells and an array of other important percussion pieces). The band instructor will have an evaluation process to help to determine which is the best instrument for your child to play. Your child will know before the end of the school year, which instrument they are assigned. There will also be a parent information night in June to help answer any questions parents and students may have.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN BAND CLASS
When your child joins band, band classes are a part of your student’s curriculum. Students receive a grade for participating and when you join band, you are encouraged to commit for the entire school year. Band is usually offered 2 times in a week. Each week, your child will attend one band class at their school (45 minute class). Scheduled times are different each week based on their day calendar and a very detailed schedule is always sent home. On a second day of the week, your child will travel to their feeder high school and participate in a practice with the full area band (it could be 2-3 elementary schools together depending on your area). This is a full hour band class. There is transportation provided for a cost which is included with band fees. This schedule runs from September - May.
The experience of learning an instrument is so beneficial for younger kids. It can enhance memory and build reading skills. It can also give your child an amazing confidence boost that helps them build better independence. It also instills dicipline in your child because practice is a very important part of learning to play an instrument. But most importantly, they are a part of something very special with their classmates. It can open doors to something truly rewarding.
CLINIC, CONCERTS & TOURS
In the fall, there are introductory clinics that your child will attend and have an opportunity to work with local professional musicians. These clinics help give students an introduction to their instrument and basic instruction to help get them started on their musical journey. Throughout the year, there are a number of school performances and there are also clinics and concerts depending on which school your child attends and who their teacher is. One of the main concerts during the year that your child will participate in is the Optimist Band Festival in March at the Conexus Arts Centre. Students work hard all year long and will perform in front of judges who will then give them a rating.
COST & FEES
*There are basic fees associated with participating in band. You can expect to pay around $100 for the basic supplies like : Registration - $50 (this fee is for busing costs), Book - $15, Music stand - $10, Reeds (depending on the instrument and brand), T-shirt/uniform - $15. There could also be some additional costs for band tour trips during the school year.
For the instrument rental or purchase, the cost depends on what instrument your child chooses to play. Most parents will rent an instrument for the first year. If your child plays the Flute, Clarinet, Alto or Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone or Percussion, you are responsible for your own instrument rental/purchase. There are many different options to renting an instrument or purchasing one. For example, the average cost for a new clarinet rental is ~ $22.00/month. For a drum kit, it could cost ~$28.00/month. This is for a new instrument. Each rental store in the city has new or gently used instruments and many different price options. If your child plays a French Horn, Baritone, Tuba, Oboe or Bass Clarinet, these instruments must be rented through the Board offices. They are usually ~$150/year. These instruments are very expensive and so they are offered by the schools.
No student is ever precluded from not being able to join band because of financial circumstances. If you have a child who wants to participate, please speak to your child’s school , either the Principal or the Band Director. Schools want all kids to have the chance to participate in band and learn.
Here is a very interesting read on How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More Than Any Other Activitity.
For more information on Elementary Band Programs in our city, visit Regina Public Schools (www.reginapublicschools.ca/band_program)
Or Regina Catholic School Division (www.rcsd.ca/Programs/Band/Pages/default.aspx).
For information on rental or costs for instruments, please visit
*PLEASE NOTE: Any costs that are stated in this article are subject to change. They are an estimate only at the time of the article date. Please call either music store in the city for an up-to-date quote.