Frequently Asked QuestionsElementary Band (Grades 4 & 5)andElementary Orchestra (Grades 3, 4 & 5)
What is a Band Instrument Test-Drive?
It is is the first step toward your child's participation in the nationally recognized, award-winning band program at North Allegheny. It is an opportunity for your child to make some initial sounds on a couple of instruments they might be interested in playing next year in band. One of the NA elementary Band Directors will work with your child in a one-on-one setting to determine with the child which instrument fits them best and which one they would like to play next year.
What is a String Instrument (Orchestra) Fitting?
This is the first step toward your child's participation in the nationally recognized, award-winning orchestra program at North Allegheny. It is an opportunity for students to try out the string instrument(s) they are interested in playing during the coming school year. The North Allegheny String Staff will show your child how to hold the instrument and play the open strings in a one-on-one setting. String instruments come in many different sizes to fit each student, and the proper size instrument will be determined at the fitting. Students will receive a checklist to take home with the name of their chosen instrument, proper size, the name of the method book they will need, and recommended accessories.
Do I have to attend the Fitting or Test-Drive?
Parents/guardians are welcome to attend and watch their child's appointment, but are not required to attend. The director in your child's school will send home information with the student and/or follow up via email with all the important info about instrument selection, instruction next year, and how to obtain an instrument.
I want to attend my child's Band Instrument Test-Drive or String Fitting at his/her school but cannot attend on that date. Is there another time that I can schedule him/her?
Contact your school's band or orchestra teacher to make arrangements to schedule the test-drive at another school or at another time. (see below).
Can my 4th or 5th grader be in both Band or Orchestra?
No. There is very limited time available in the school day to schedule lessons, and it would be quite challenging for a child to manage band and orchestra lessons. If your child is studying privately on a band or orchestra instrument, and you are interested in having them play both in school, please speak with the teachers in your child's building.
Does my child need to buy an instrument to be in Band or Orchestra?
In most cases, it is recommended that you rent your instrument. This allows your child to use a high quality instrument for a small amount of money, before you commit to spending more money.
Do I have to decide which instrument vendor to rent from right away?
After trying the instruments, your child will be given packets from local instrument vendors. Once you receive these, you can call (or go online) and arrange for your rental contract. Most parents do this in June or July. The instrument will be delivered to the school before lessons begin in the fall.
Does my child need to purchase anything else to be in Band or Orchestra?
You must purchase the lesson book for your child’s instrument, which can be purchased when you complete your rental contract. A folding music stand is recommended, and your child’s teacher may suggest other items. Common items that may be recommended include extra reeds for oboe, clarinet or sax, a shoulder rest for violin/viola or an end-pin rest for cello.
When do lessons begin?
Lessons will begin after the first week school. Students will be placed into small groups according to each student's schedule so that he or she is not missing the first hour of Math, the first hour of English Language Arts or any other pull-out class (GOAL, speech, etc)
Is it too late for my child to begin lessons?
In elementary school, t is NEVER too late for your child to start lessons. While most students decide to participate in orchestra at the beginning of 3rd grade or band at the beginning of 4th Grade, we are more than happy to welcome students who decide to start lessons when they are older. PLEASE NOTE: there are no beginning Band or Orchestra classes in middle school. Students and families are advised to register for Beginning Band or Orchestra in elementary school.
When will my child perform their instrument?
Each elementary school presents a Winter Concert and a Spring Concert. Please check your building’s calendar for dates.
What is the cost for my child to participate?
There is no fee to participate in North Allegheny's Elementary Instrumental Music program. The only cost involved is renting an instrument from a vendor and buying the lesson book and supplies (reeds, valve oil, shoulder rests, rosin, strings). For any instrument rental/purchase questions, please contact the recommended instrument vendors.
Should my child take private lessons in addition to the school lessons?
While outside private instruction is not required to participate in our program, it is strongly encouraged. This provides the student with extra one-on-one instruction on their instrument. For suggestions on a private teacher in the area, please contact your child’s band or orchestra teacher.
Does my child get a grade for Band and Orchestra?
Evaluation and assessment are vital parts of our elementary music curriculum in the North Allegheny School District, as well as part of the Pennsylvania Standards for the Arts and Humanities and the NAfME National Standards for Music. Students will be informally assessed at their weekly lessons and formally in January and in June.
My child wants to continue with the same instrument next year, does he/she have to try instruments again?
No. Your child's teacher will assume that he/she will be playing the same instrument, unless you contact him/her and say otherwise.
Who will by my child's teacher, and how I may I contact him or her?BandMr. Daniel Klicker-Bradford Woods & Hosack email@example.comMr. Stephen Kraus-Peebles & McKnight firstname.lastname@example.orgMr. Adam Leasure-Franklin & Ingomar Elementary email@example.comMiss Allison Long-Marshall Elementary firstname.lastname@example.orgOrchestraMrs. Anne Funk-Peebles & Hosack email@example.comMrs. Sarah Klicker-Marshall Elementary firstname.lastname@example.orgMr. Dennis Morton-McKnight Elementary email@example.comMr. Troy Schaltenbrand-Ingomar Elementary & Hosack firstname.lastname@example.orgMs. Carrie Semanco-Bradford Woods & Marshall Elementary email@example.comMr. Andrew Whitt-Franklin & Ingomar Elementary firstname.lastname@example.org