Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions that band students and parents may have. If you have a question that is not addressed on this page, feel free to contact me via email or phone! You can also leave a comment below.

What time do rehearsals begin?
A: Rehearsals begin at 3:00pm. Walk directly to the music room at the end of the day so you will have time to put your instrument together and warm-up.

Will my lesson always be at the same time?
A: No. Band lessons occur on a rotating basis so that students do not miss the same class consistently.

What should I do if I am not at school on my lesson day due to illness or a family emergency?
A: See Ms. Thelen right away so she can schedule a make-up lesson.

What should I do if I forget my instrument at home?
A: If you forget your instrument at home, use a school phone to call someone who can bring it to school. If no one is able to bring your instrument to school, come to your lesson and observe so that you do not miss any new concepts, important information or handouts.

I am having trouble reading the notes…What should I do?
A: There are several things you can do to improve note reading.
1) First, I would highly recommend practicing your flashcards! These are a great resource and easy way for you to learn your notes.
2) Next, practice each exercise one measure at a time. Think about each note carefully before playing the measure three times. Move to the next measure and do the same thing.

*You can look up any notes that you do not know in the back of your book.

3) You can also check out the fun note quizzes that can be found on the “Music Games” page.
4) If you are still having trouble reading the notes tell Ms. Thelen so she can give you additional help.

Do I have to take private lessons?
A: Private lessons are not mandatory but taking private lessons will enhance your overall sound and musical ability. Private lessons are not just for students who are struggling! Lessons are for EVERYONE!

I have braces and it hurts to play my instrument…What should I do?
A: There are special products called “lip protectors” or “brace guards” that can help easy pain for musicians with braces. These should be available for purchase at any local music store for $5 to $10.

Is there band in the summer?
A: Yes! I about summer band will be available in the spring.

Can I leave my instrument at school?
A: Yes. Students who practice at home should take their instruments home. Students who are unable to practice at home may practice after school and may leave their instrument in their band locker.

Are there any tests or quizzes in band?
A: Yes. All students will complete playing quizzes from Essential Elements for Band throughout the school year.

Is band for a grade?
A: Yes. Your band grade is determined by tests, quizzes and attendance. Your grade will be listed on your report card each trimester.

How long should my reed last?
A: If you care for your reed properly, it should last for at least two to three weeks. Reeds should be kept in a reed guard so they do not become chipped. DO NOT KEEP YOUR REED ON YOUR MOUTHPIECE! IT WILL GROW MOLD!

Where can my mom or dad buy supplies for my instrument?
A: Review the list of online and local music stores that carry instrument supplies. 

  • Additional clarinet reeds may be purchased from Laraway for $1 each.
  • Additional alto saxophone and bass clarinet reeds may be purchased for $2 each.
  • Additional oboe reeds may be purchased from Laraway for $5 each.
  • Boxes of reeds are available for purchase online and at the local music stores listed below.