Frequently Asked questions
Is high school band difficult?
Just like anything worth your time, being in the Maples Band Program takes effort. However, we have a spot for ALL students, regardless of your current musical level. Our biggest wish is for all students to achieve consistently and enjoy the learning process. Every aspect of our program is designed to foster and encourage musical and personal maturity.
Will I be able to participate in sports or clubs AND do well in Band?
YES! In fact, most students are involved in sports or other activities around the school. We encourage you to participate in a variety of different experiences. No matter what activities you pursue, you must keep an accurate schedule and iron out any conflicts that may arise. It is up to you to keep your schedule straight, for the good of the band and for the good of your other activities. With a little give and take, most things work out just fine.
What if I want to be in Band AND Choir?
We think being in both band and choir is a great idea. You will learn more about music and become a more well-rounded musician when you're in both classes. We have worked together with the choir teachers and the administration to ensure that band and choir classes will never conflict with each other.
Does it cost money to be in band?
There is no fee to be involved in band. Free instruments are provided from the school division for Grade 9's in 2015/16 and Grade 9 & 10's in 2016/17. Eventually they will be free for everyone. If the cost of a band instrument is impossible for your family to cover, please just let the band directors know and alternate arrangements can be made. All supplies (reeds, oil, slide cream and cleaning kits) will be provided for all students, also free of charge. All band concerts are free to attend by family and friends. The only time we will ask for money will be:
* Grade 9/10 band uniform (1 time fee of $15, and students keep their uniform)
* Field trips, including Grade 9 Band Camp (approximately once a year, may or may not have a small cost)
* Jazz Band Clothing (optional)
* Trips (see Travelling with band)
(no student is left behind due to financial strains. Please be open and honest with us so that your child can be involved in traveling!)
How am I graded?
Grades in band classes are based on students' effort, active participation, teamwork and mutual responsibility. It is essential for the success of the bands that students attend and participate in class and all of the performances and events that take place. The band teachers are here to help students improve their musical skills as individuals and as bands, not to judge, rate or grade students' musical abilities. The grade, therefore, is a reflection of the teacher's assessment of the student's effort, participation and responsibility as a band member and not of their musicianship.
What EQUIPMENT do I need?
Most importantly, you'll need a band instrument. In Grade 9 and 10 (2016/2017) these are supplied to you, free of charge. In Grade 11 and 12 (2016/2017, this will be changing in the future years) you can get an instrument a couple of different ways:
- Buy one from a music store. Before you do this, talk to your band teacher about the quality of the instrument before purchasing. A cheaper instrument is often cheaper quality and will mean that the musician will struggle to learn and keep up with the demands of the music.
- Rent from a music store. Some good stores are: Long and McQuade, St. Johns Music, and Quest Musique.
- Rent one from Maples. The cost to rent for the year is $125, or $12.50 per month.
(do not let the cost of an instrument affect your decision to take band. If you cannot afford the fee, please talk to the band directors and we will work something out together. Perhaps you can pay for your rental with helping around the band room instead of money!)
Reeds, Oil, Mouthpieces and cleaning supplies for all instruments will be provided to students, free of charge.
All music and method books will be provided to students, free of charge.
Students will be given 1 pencil at the beginning of the year. Students are required to ALWAYS have a pencil with them in class.
You may want to consider purchasing a music stand to practice with at home.
What do I wear to concerts?
Grade 9 and 10 Band Students wear: A maplesmusic shirt ($15, purchased in Grade 9), black dress pants or a black skirt (skirts must be floor length or worn with black pantyhose) and black dress shoes.
Grade 11 and 12 Band Students: Black formal wear. Dress pants, floor length skirts or skirts worn with panty hose, dress shirts or polo shirts, and black dress shoes (NO SNEAKERS!)
What do I bring to class?
Most importantly - bring a great attitude. Also bring a pencil, your band instrument and your music folder. Your music folder should have all method books, learning materials and repertoire in it. Our classes are quite large, so no backpacks are permitted in the band room. Drop them off in your locker before coming to the band room.
What kind of music are we going to play?
All kinds! We study classical music, folk music, wind band literature, jazz standards, funk and latin, pop charts and much more! Band directors spend lots of quality time researching and looking for music that you will learn from, love playing, and expand your musical horizons! If you have suggestions for a piece of music to play, please let the appropriate band director know!
Do we use a method book?
Yes. In Grade 9 and Grade 10 we use the "Artistry of Fundamentals for Band" by Frank Erickson and a chorale book called "Bach and Before for Band" . In Grade 11 and Grade 12 we use a great book called "Habits of a Successful Musician" by Scott Rush and Rich Moon.
What do I do if I lose my music?
Please try not lose your music. You will have a folder slot that you will likely share with 1 other student in the same class as you. Put your music in the appropriate slot at the end of every class. Do not touch anyones elses music. If you are taking your music home, keep it in your bag.
If you do lose your music, there are extra photocopies of all of our songs on a white shelf behind the conductors podium in the band room. Take an extra copy BEFORE class starts.
If there are no copies on the shelf then you must borrow someones sheet music who plays the same part as you and ask a band teacher to photocopy you a part BEFORE class starts. If you forget to ask before class starts, you must share during class.
Do I have to practice?
The only way to truly get better on your instrument is to practice. We hope that you are all inspired to get better, which would mean that practicing is a necessary part of your life. You will not have to fill out a practice journal for marks, but your music teachers and classmates will know whether you have been practicing or not. Sometimes practice videos will be assigned for marks. Here is a good video on how to practice:
Here is a good video on how you can practice if you leave your instrument at school or can't play loudly @ your house!
What if I can't carry my big instrument back and forth to school everyday?
We are able to supply most students who play TUBA, BARI SAX, and EUPHONIUM with 2 instruments - one to keep at home for practicing and one to keep at school for classes and performances. There might be some extra tenor saxes, bass clarinets, alto saxes or trombones available too. Ask a band teacher to find out!
Will we get to travel with band?
YES! Every year the Grade 9 band students go to Camp Cedarwood for an overnight band camp in October. In Grade 10 we have an "Urban Band Retreat" in November, which isn't really traveling, but is a fun way to get to know the city and hang out together making music. In Grade 11 or 12 (every second year) there is a BIG TRIP somewhere in the world. The past few years we have gone to Banff, AB for the Rocky Mountain Music Festival. Past trips have included Chicago and Toronto!
Am I allowed to hang out in the Band and Jazz Rooms?
- Students are welcome to practice in the jazz room or band room at any time of the day that the spaces are not occupied by a class.
- Schedule after school rock band or small group rehearsals with a band director. Scheduled rehearsals will take precedence to impromptu rehearsals.
- Any NON-BAND students must be accompanied by at least ONE current band student when using the band room or jazz room.
- ONLY PERCUSSIONISTS ARE ALLOWED TO PLAY PERCUSSION EQUIPMENT. NO EXPECTIONS.
- Students are generally NOT allowed to be in the band room or jazz room once the band teachers have left for the day. Some exceptions may occur, with permission.
- Extension cords and patch cords must remain in the place you find them. DO NOT move patch cords or extension cords for any reason.
- Use speakers at a reasonable volume. If you break them, you buy them.
- Computers may used RESPONSIBLY by students. Band teachers reserve the right to remove students from computers at any time.
- Only listen to and play good quality music. Band teachers reserve the right to change your music listening (and sometimes playing) choices at any time