Topic outline

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    February - Join the Band /Participation Form sent home with each fourth-grade student.

    February -Please read the 2019 Band Handbook: attached in this topic and in the Fourth Grade Topic below

    March 1 - Final date to hand in Participation Form indicating your child’s instrument choices

    March 11 – 15 -Students meet with Mrs. Firchow to select an instrument.

    After student meets with Mrs. Firchow - Parents may go online to register for summer lessons and to obtain an instrument.

    May 6, 7 - Parents may attend Band Open House if you wish to meet with representatives of stores to arrange for an instrument.

    May 17 - Final day to register for summer band lessons

    May 17 Please be sure you have arranged for an instrument by this date.

    May 28 - Band Directors test play all instruments at stores

    June – August- Beginning Band Lessons (You will be able to choose from one of the four different two-week sessions that are offered.)

  • Attention Fourth Graders!

    5th grade band is a prerequisite for 6th grade band!

    Starting band in 5th grade gives you so many more class and activity choices for middle school and high school!

    Instrument selection:  You pick the instrument that is just right for you.  Mrs. Firchow gives advice and recommendations when you meet together.  This is just like shoe shopping.  Sometimes a pair of shoes looks awesome in the window of the store.  But when you try them on, they don't quite fit.  So, there is always the perfect pair of shoes waiting somewhere.  This may be how you find your instrument.  You may have an idea of what to choose, but you try it on and it isn't quite right.  So....  you try on something else and...  PERFECT Match!  

    Be open minded......

    Go out on a limb!                                                                                                                                         

    Have you HEARD?

       Even this guy, found his inner tuba!

  • Big Band

    Rehearsals are an important part of any young musician's growth.  This is the time when we learn how to work together as a TEAM.  Many important musical and procedural concepts are introduced and practiced during this time.  It is very important that the entire TEAM attends every rehearsal.

    Highland Rehearsals are Tuesdays as noted on the school calendar from 7:30-8:20 a.m.  Students may arrive anytime between 7:00 and 7:20 a.m.  The Highland Band will rehearse every Tuesday that school is in session starting Tuesday, October 2nd and ending Tuesday, April 30th.

    East Lake Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m.  Students may arrive anytime between 7:30 and 7:50 a.m.  The first East Lake rehearsal will be Wednesday, October 3rd.  The last rehearsal will be Wednesday, April 24th.  The East Lake Band will rehearse every Wednesday between October 3rd and April 24th that school is in session.  There will be one "skip" date:  Wednesday, January 2nd.

  • BANDtastic Ideas

    To avoid this posture while practicing, use a music stand.

    Ideas to inspire your young musician:

    • Encourage them to have a “play-over” with their friends.
    • Set-up opportunities for them to give a concert for immediate or extended family.
    • Help them set-up a “face time concert” for a long distance family or friend.
    • Attend a District 196 middle school or high school band concert together.
    • Sit in the same room while they practice.  They love your presence even if they won’t admit it.
    • Encourage them to record one part of a duet they’ve worked on and then play along on the other part while the recording plays.
    • Ask them to teach you how to play their instrument and ask for a bi-weekly lesson. (I have extra reeds available for purchase and all mouthpieces can be washed with soap and water. Don’t get the cork wet on clarinet mouthpieces.)
    • Tell them to practice.  Only a small percentage of students will consistently practice without ever needing encouragement from a grown up. 

  • Concerts

     Highland Band Concerts

    Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 1:45 p.m. & 7 p.m. at Highland

    Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 1:45 p.m. & 7 p.m. at Highland

    East Lake Band Concerts

    Thursday, December 20th, 2018   2:30 p.m. &  6:30 p.m. at East Lake

    Thursday, April 25th, 2019   2:30 p.m. &  6:00 p.m. at East Lake



    • Small Group Lessons

      A band schedule will be posted in each fifth grade classroom. Students will leave their classroom for lessons once a week. Most lesson TIMES will rotate, but lesson DAYS will be the same each week.  This rotating schedule will ensure that students do not miss the same class more than once or twice in a semester.  Lessons will be twenty to thirty minutes in length, depending on the size of the group.

      A very small number of lesson groups will NOT rotate time slots.  This is based on student schedule needs.  The classroom teachers have approved all lesson times.

      The goals of these lessons are to develop, within each individual, a solid understanding of basic musical concepts, a sense of responsibility to care for their instrument and music, and the ability to perform individually with an increased level of self-confidence.  The work done in small group lessons transfers to all other academic subjects to increase their skill levels in all other areas.

      The small group lesson time is designed to meet the needs of your child both academically and emotionally.  This is their time to work on their individual goals. 



      Students, who continue to include band as a part of their academic day during middle school, have many academic and enrichment opportunities.  In middle school, all rehearsals are DURING the school day.  There are no regularly scheduled out of school requirements other than concerts.  Also, students will continue to receive small group individualized instruction for lessons.

      Below is the link to the SHMS web site.  RMS & FRMS coming soon.


      District 196 Band For All Program: "Make good use of an unused band instrument!"

      Do you have an instrument you no longer use? Please consider donating your gently used instrument to the District 196 Band For All program. More than 680 students in our district who could not afford a band instrument are able to play in band this year because of these donations. Although we can use all band instruments we are always in need of more flutes and clarinets. Please bring your instrument with your name, address and phone number to Oak Ridge Elementary (4350 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Eagan). Your donation is tax deductible and you will receive a gift letter for tax purposes for your donation. For more information or to make alternate arrangements for a donation, send an email to

      • Welcome New 5th Grade Students!

        If you move to Cedar Park, East Lake, or Highland during the 5th grade school year, be sure to see Mrs. Firchow as soon as possible.

        Starting band in 5th grade gives you so many more class and activity choices for middle school and high school!

        5th grade band is a prerequisite for 6th grade band!