Dear 6th Grade Parents:
Hello, my name is Darrell Boyer and I am the Director of Bands in the De Soto School District. As spring arrives, it is time to recruit students for next years beginning band classes. Over the years, students in the De Soto Band have earned a reputation for excellence in performance. It is our desire to give every child in the De Soto School District the opportunity to join the band program and help us continue this Tradition of Excellence.
The De Soto Junior High Band Program is a celebrated program that currently offers instrumental music instruction to over 140 students! The members of our band come from all backgrounds and have varied interests. Within the band program at De Soto, 60% of our students play a sport and 75% of the band are a member of another activity or club in addition to being a part of the band. Involvement in band is not only fun, but studies have shown that it improves academic performance, organization skills, and higher-order thinking skills.
During my visit today at your child’s school, your child was tested on each of the primary instruments to see which instrument they would have the most success on. This gives us, and your student, an idea of where their strengths may be in band. In order to achieve proper instrumentation we start students on the four primary instruments (Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone/Baritone). As students progress through the program, students are then able to branch out and learn new instruments. We hope to grant a student’s first choice; however that is next to impossible in every case. Instrument choices will be granted based on academic achievement and teacher recommendation. Students that already have an instrument should inform the band staff and we will make every effort to place the student in that band class.
Within the next couple of weeks our junior high counselor, Mrs. Turner, will begin enrolling students for junior high classes next year. Each student should write in “1” next to 7th Grade Band. Later this spring the band staff send out instrument suggestions to all families interested in joining band. This will allow the band staff to make any changes to the instrumentation and make sure students are placed in the correct class. After the student has signed up for band, Mrs. Turner will schedule them in a beginning band class for 7th grade.
Attached to this letter is a form to fill out and return to your student’s music teacher (Mr. Starwalt or Mrs. Boyer) if your child plans to enroll in band. Included in the form is information that will help the band staff place your child in a like instrument class as a 7th grade student. Each class meets for 50 minutes per day. Periodically throughout the year, the classes will be put together to practice for concerts. As a beginning band student, your child will have no more than 3 required concerts per year.
Please fill out the enclosed form and return it to Mr. Starwalt or Mrs. Boyer by Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
If you have any questions there is a FAQ page on the band website (www.desotobands.org). You may also email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Junior High Band Director, Mr. Howard (email@example.com).
Thank you for your time and consideration in allowing your child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and join a wonderful tradition!!
Director of Bands
De Soto School District