Welcome to the new school year and another year of music! I sincerely hope you and your child have had time to relax, rejuvenate, and spend quality time together this summer.

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 work to keep our student’s 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.

Before I go any further, I want to thank you for helping your child choose to continue in music. Excitement can sometimes taper as children realize that learning a new language (music) while simultaneously making this foreign object make sounds is no easy feat. This can be compounded by the fact the last 16 months may have hampered their progress. But through it all, they are learning so much more.

We have a great year planned and so many things to look forward to from the group, and I am thrilled that your child will be a part of it.

We will spend these first few weeks of school getting reacquainted with our instruments. I’m sure it will come to no one’s surprise that many of us spent our summer days thinking about anything other than school! That’s absolutely OK. In fact, it’s healthy to take a break to recharge our batteries from time to time. If your child is experiencing a bit of “summer brain drain,” know that this is normal and to be expected. We plan to start slow.

Remember, playing an instrument is a physical (as well as mental) skill, and muscle fatigue can set in quickly when we are out of shape. So, don’t expect your child to be able to pick up their instrument and put in an hour of practice right away. This will lead to frustration and the development of bad habits. Encourage them to get the instrument out for just 10 or 15 minutes at a time for the first several days. It will make the transition much easier.

Once we get back into the routine of playing, I think you will notice how the group’s sound is maturing. The music is becoming more exciting, and the ensemble members are forming stronger friendships and bonds with one another. That is the beauty of continued involvement in a musical group!

Please know that my door is always open as we partner to provide a safe and educational environment for your child. I am always a phone call or email away.

Sincerely,

Mr. Leedy