Welcome to a new school year! I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you have chosen for your child to participate in one of the most rewarding activities our school has to offer — music! We all hoped that the start of the year would mark the return to normalcy, and while we are not quite there yet, we can certainly take steps to keep our students safe.

As we begin the music-making process, to ensure your child’s safety, here is what you need to know regarding Covid in the band room:

  • Students will wear a mask. Students will pull the mask down when they are actively playing their instrument. Students will then pull their mask back up when they are not actively playing.
  • Percussion students will always have a mask on.
  • Brass and woodwind players may purchase, but are not required, a performance mask. Those masks can be purchased here –> https://dancesoph.com/
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase a bell cover for their instrument. This only applies to oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, and trombone.
  • This bell cover can easily be kept in their instrument case.
  • Students that play flute will not use a bell cover.
  • Students that play french horn, baritone, and tuba will have a bell cover provided for them.
  • Brass players will use a paper towel that collects water on the floor. (Class job)
  • Chairs in the band room are spaced as close to 3 feet apart as possible.
  • Common surfaces will be disinfected with spray daily. (Class job)
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • Students of certain instruments will be instructed on how to properly clean their instrument during the summer.

I know you have many questions. Will my child be any good? Will they be able to handle the responsibility of playing music along with everything else they do? Will it be worth it? Is the instrument supposed to sound that bad?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!

With your support and mine, the possibilities for your child are wide open. Certainly, there will be moments of frustration as your child learns the new skills of playing music, but the rewards are many!

As children work to master a challenging skill, they develop grit and perseverance. As they learn how to care for their new instrument, they practice taking on responsibility that will transfer to other parts of their development. And that first time you hear them play Hot Cross Buns, perform in our school concert, or just see their face light up when they realize they can do something this special, well, that sense of pride that both of you feel will confirm that it is all worth it!

As your child embarks on this new journey, we encourage you to take some videos to document their musical progress. It is often difficult to see the slow arc of growth when you are just starting, but these videos will be proof of how far they have come and how much they have learned. Plus, they have the added benefit of being fun to watch in the future. The sounds won’t always be pretty, but they will be special! What a fun way to reminisce when they are in high school!

I hope you are as excited as I am to embark on this new journey together. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Mr. Leedy