Switching instruments for 6th and 7th graders returning to Discovery Band

Hi 6th and 7th grade families,

I am in the process of soliciting interest from 6th and 7th graders to switch instruments. I’ve talked to students and some students have shared their interest with me.While several students are showing interest there are a few things that need to occur for a switcher to be successful and I want to make sure that you are on board and willing to support these conditions if your child is interested.

1) I will provide a school-owned instrument but I will need the parent to sign an instrument contract for summer issue.

2) Lessons during the summer are vital for success. Students who wish to switch instruments must take private lessons during the summer. Frequency of lessons must be one lesson per every 7-10 days, but no less than ten lessons during the summer at the prescribed interval already stated. Instructors on the private lesson info sent home are approved by Mr. Whitlock. Any other lesson instructors would need to be willing to collaborate with Mr. Whitlock.

3) Final decisions of switchers will be made based on current assessment and the student’s past practices, behavior, and academic record.

If switcher families can support these conditions and your child is very motivated, dependable, academically oriented,  and is selected by me to fill the need for these specialized instruments, then we can move forward. I wanted you to have this information in case your child talks to you about switching.

Instruments needed that would require a complete change in instruments and required lessons are: tubas, bass clarinets, french horn, oboe, and bassoon.

NOTE: Oboe and Bassoon would require lessons throughout the school year. Other instruments require summer lessons but year-round lessons are also helpful but not required year-round.  I highly encourage year-round lessons for French Horn but summer lessons are the minimum standard.

Instruments that would be considered “add ons”, by which you do not need to give up your current instrument (but may if you wish) but would have to take lessons over the summer with the new instrument are baritone sax and tenor saxophone.

The oboe, bassoon, and french horn are the most challenging instruments, and students who may play these instruments must be very academically oriented and an overachiever.

Characteristics for all instruments can be found here:

Thanks for your time and consideration of this possible switch, and I look forward to hearing back from you and your child. Time is of the essence since this is the last week so let’s talk soon!

All my best,
Mr. Marc Whitlock
Band Director, Discovery Middle School

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