The following letter was emailed to all parents/guardians of 5th grade students on Wednesday, September 2.
Dear Fifth Grade Families,
We hope this letter finds you safe and healthy. While the beginning of this school year will certainly prove to be different than in the past, the elementary music teachers have been planning over the summer in order to begin instrumental music instruction in September. Traditionally, band and orchestra instrument selection occurs at the end of fourth grade. Due to the school closure last year, this did not take place. In an effort to make up for this missed opportunity, this correspondence will serve as your child’s official “sign-up” for fifth grade band or orchestra.
Last spring, the East Greenbush Music Department created an instrument demonstration video which was published on the district website and linked to each fourth grade teacher’s Google classroom page. This video showcased all of the band and orchestra instruments available for students to learn beginning in fifth grade. A link to this video is located at the end of this letter. It is strongly encouraged that families watch this video again to familiarize themselves with each instrument before making selections. Once you have watched the video, please indicate your child’s top three instrument choices on the linked Google form. Students should select instruments based on the sound they prefer, not the popularity or the availability of an instrument. Please note, saxophone and percussion are some of the more popular instruments. Students are not permitted to list either saxophone or percussion as a second or third choice. Your child’s instrument selection form must be submitted by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11.
Once the forms have been collected, the elementary band and orchestra teachers will compile the information. Keep in mind we need to consider a balanced instrumentation for a successful program and may have to limit the number of students on certain instruments. Parents and students will be notified regarding instrument assignment by Tuesday, September 15. At that time families will be given instrument rental information. Do not make rental arrangements until you are notified of your child’s instrument assignment. For those students who choose to play either baritone, tuba, or string bass, he or she will be provided school-owned instruments free of charge for the 2020-2021 academic year.
East Greenbush’s instrumental music teachers are committed to ensuring a meaningful and rewarding learning experience for all beginning band and orchestra students. Starting in September, we will deliver in-person instrument-specific lessons which follow state and local health guidelines. Similarly, we will supplement these lessons online with both Google Classroom and Essential Elements Interactive, a free online resource included with the purchase of your child’s lesson book. Fully remote students will also have the opportunity to receive instruction from a district instrumental music teacher. These lessons will be presented virtually.
Despite the obstacles we face this new school year, it is the hope of the elementary music staff that your child develops a life-long love of music making. It is our goal to work with families to ensure this outcome. If you have any questions regarding the instrument recruitment process, please don’t hesitate to contact your school’s band or orchestra teacher.
Mrs. Chrzan (Chrzansu@egcsd.org)
Mr. Halek (Halekro@egcsd.org)
Genet, Green Meadow, Red Mill Bands
Mr. Kusche (Kuschejo@egcsd.org)
Bell Top Band
Mrs. Scolaro (Scolarome@egcsd.org)
Mr. Tario (Tariojo@egcsd.org)
Bell Top, Green Meadow, Red Mill Orchestras, DPS Band