Dear Fifth Grade Parent:
As your child progresses through his/her academic career in the Plainfield Community School Corp., you and your child will get to make more and more choices as to the direction that career will take. One of the first decisions you will be asked to make will concern their music class at PCMS. This letter is being sent to you because you play an important role in that decision. On Jan. 16th, your child will attend a special concert at the middle school featuring the PCMS 6th grade orchestra and band and the PCMS Advanced Chamber Ensemble and jazz band.
Once your child has had the opportunity to see and hear each of the instruments, our next step involves selecting an instrument. We will be visiting the elementary schools on Thursday, Jan. 18th - Friday, Jan. 19th for an actual try-out on the instruments. This does not sign your child up for band/orchestra but will give them the chance to experience playing an instrument. We would like each student to limit his/her choices to TWO instruments to try. Please have your child bring the attached page with him/her to school on their try-out day and turn it in to me. Those students who have checked “Definitely” or “Maybe” will be first to try the instruments. Those students who have checked “No” will get the opportunity if time allows.
Some parents doubt that their child is talented enough to study music. Our experience as teachers has convinced us that any child willing to put in a reasonable amount of effort can succeed. Another concern is that their child will give up, leaving them the owners of a useless instrument. To avoid this, we have asked a representative from a reliable school music dealer to have instruments available for rent. We believe a rental plan is to your advantage, and we do not recommend that you buy an instrument at this time until you are certain that your child will “stick with it”.
Here is how the plan works. The instrument your child chooses can be rented by the month for as long as you wish. All rental money applies towards the purchase price; however, you are free to return the instrument (in good condition) at any time with no obligation except that rental payments are current. Music instruction for the summer program and during the school year is, of course, free. During the school year, band and orchestra meet as a class during the regular school day.
So that you can plan ahead, please note that the registration nights for band and orchestra will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23rd and Wednesday, Jan. 24th at 6:30 pm in the middle school auditorium. You may come either night but take special note that those students wishing to play saxophone or percussion must come to the Jan. 23rd meeting. Because of the need for balanced instrumentation and the limited number of spaces available, these two instruments may require a lottery system for selection. This lottery will be held on Jan. 23rd only. There will be time for us to talk with parents and answer questions about the band/orchestra program. You will also have the opportunity that evening to take care of renting an instrument which will then be delivered to school for the first day of summer band/orchestra in June. If you are unable to stop in either night but wish to enroll your child in band or orchestra, call the middle school prior to Jan. 23rd at 838-3966 and leave a message for us and we will get in touch with you.
Please carefully consider this opportunity for your child. Sixth grade is really the only chance your child will have to join band or orchestra. Trying to join at a later time is difficult at best as your child’s classmates will be months and months ahead on their chosen instrument. We hope that you agree with our belief and that of other educators all over the country that every child should have the chance to learn and participate in music, to understand it, and to appreciate it. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Karah Wilson Mike Cummings Orchestra Director, PCMS Band Director, PCMS
LIST OF AVAILABLE INSTRUMENTS TO PLAY IN BAND/ORCHESTRA