Private Lessons Sign-Up

Parents, we want to make you aware of a great opportunity your student has to learn from an experienced educator who can set up times to teach your student virtually this year. Emails are being sent out this week providing the contact information, biography, and rates of our private lesson staff that can offer more one-on-one help on your student’s instrument. Parents are responsible for communicating and setting up lessons directly with the instructor, and please fill out this form to let us know as well: Private Lessons Form. Here is some more information about our private lesson program:

Private lessons are the fastest way our students improve on their instrument.  Lesson rates are set by the instructor, and these are paid directly to the lesson teachers.  Students enrolled in private lessons usually make All-Region Band, earn first division superior ratings on solos, sit at the top of their section, and eventually make the Texas All-State Band in high school, which usually results in big scholarships for college.  Private lessons are vital to any quality band program, and are strongly recommended for all members.  Here are a few specific benefits of taking lessons:

1. Private lesson teachers model a professional sound on their instrument.  How do babies learn to talk?  By listening to people talk.  How do instrumentalists learn to play with a characteristic sound?  By hearing a characteristic sound.

2. Students are able to perform by themselves weekly and get concentrated feedback.  In Band, students don’t get to perform by themselves a whole lot and if they do, feedback is usually limited to 10-15 seconds because of class size.  Performing weekly for a teacher helps them become a more confident and independent player.  They also have more time to give feedback, try again, and continue to work on a program until it improves because it is in an individual setting.

3. Students are able to focus on supplemental exercises written specifically for their instrument.  These fundamentals are crucial for development later and for more advanced playing ability.

4. Method books written just for their instrument are far superior to band music for developing well-rounded players.  Method books, because of their methodical nature, do a much more complete job of covering the full range of the instrument, new key signatures, complex rhythms, duets with their instructor, learning alternate fingerings, and advanced styles than the curriculum in band class allows.

5. All-Region Band auditions can be approached on an individual level.  Teachers can meet a child where they are to begin the region band music, and help them develop an individualized game plan to prepare them fully for the audition.  This helps students learn how to set goals, both long term and weekly.

6. Instructors give students a chance to play a unique solo that they love at solo contest.  Lesson teachers, experts on solos for their instrument, are able to offer students a number of solos that are ideal for their developmental level.  They can also choose solos that work on goals for that student that focus on objectives, such as extending range, improving articulation, or foreign key signatures.  Giving students more options means they are more likely to find a solo that fits their personality and they enjoy playing.

7. Private lesson teachers provide a role model for students that can be a strong motivator for students to continue in Band and excel on an individual level.  While students move through different classes, grade levels, and schools, it is possible they would have the same lesson teacher for 7 or more years.  Lesson teachers often have a long term plan for each student’s development.  Private teachers can guide a student all the way from the first sounds in beginning band through a professional level solo as a senior in high school, and they know how to get them from one point to the next.

Band Supplies and Materials

This is a reminder that all band supplies and materials are due by the second day of school, which is Wednesday, September 9 this year. Here is the link with all of the supply lists divided by Beginners or Symphonic/Wind Ensemble students: tinyurl.com/beltonmsbandlist. If you have any questions about supplies, please contact the director that is listed at the top of the supplies sheet.

If you are using a school-owned instrument, please click on this link to complete the Instrument Payment Plan Form as soon as possible if you have not already done so: https://forms.gle/TKK7Q7GVahRgTYaS9. The first payment is due on September 15 via cash or check made out to BMS with a valid phone number. We will sending out detailed procedures on how to turn this in soon. We are also working with the district’s Business Office to offer an online payment option by paying with a credit card. Please note there will be a 4% fee charged for this service, and it will take some time to get set up.

If you are experiencing financial hardship during these challenging times, please email a director and we will work with you privately to make different payment arrangements. We certainly don’t want any student to not be able to participate in Band due to financial constraints.

Last Reminder, Rental Brochure, and Booster Meeting

This is your last reminder to fill out our Preliminary Form no later than Monday (tomorrow) so we can verify contact information and see what educational setting your child will be in this school year: Preliminary Information Form.  Thank you to the 120 of you who have already filled out this form, and if you haven’t yet please do this NOW!  Belton ISD is asking you to do the same through your Skyward access by Monday as well.

For your convenience, click here to access a rental brochure from Music & Arts, our local music store located in Belton and Harker Heights.  Their rental program is for students who play the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, and Trombone.  Accessory supplies for all band instruments can be found at their stores as well.  Strait Music in Austin is another resource available to you, and their website is straitmusic.com.

Finally, the first Belton Band Booster meeting of the year will be held this Monday via Zoom, and it starts at 6:30pm.  We would love for every parent to attend, especially those of you who are considering chaperoning this school year.  Here is the meeting information: Zoom Link, Meeting ID: 979 6101 6087, and Passcode: G8uqSB.  The website for the Belton Band Boosters is here: Boosters Website and their Facebook page can be found here: Booster FB Page.  Hope to see you there!

Preliminary Information

Greetings,

We will sending out our Band Registration Checklist for you to complete online soon, but first we need to get some preliminary information about your child’s educational setting this year. This is especially important since the district is also asking parents to commit to at-school or at-home learning through Skyward. Hopefully you have already received that email message from the district asking your preference.

Please fill out the form listed at this link no later than this Monday, August 10: https://forms.gle/epYBQSuf8m5BZYKV8. This will help us prepare for this unprecedented school year. As a side note, the district will also be providing every band student an instrument-specific covering to help stop the spread of germs while at school. Feel free to take a look at this at these links: Flutes – https://www.fluteairshield.com/fluteshields and All Others – https://fjminc.com/pages/face-bell-covers.

Also, please start reading through our BMS Band Handbook for this year, which you can access by clicking on this link: Band Handbook. On the Registration Checklist, you and your child will be asked to confirm that you have read through this document and agree to all policies and procedures outlined in it on the Handbook Acceptance Form.

As always if you have any questions, please email the directors. Thank you for your help in getting this school year started off on the right foot.

Summer Update

Greetings from the BMS Band! 

The Band Hall at Belton Middle School has been a hub of very busy activity this past week as we received many of our brand-new instruments!  There’s still more to come, but the directors have been hard at work to get everything ready to go for school.  If you haven’t already, be sure to “Like” our page on Facebook to see the pictures: facebook.com/beltonmsband.  Additionally, you can follow our Instagram: @beltonmsband

To ensure we have the correct email address for you, please reply to this email to just say “Got it” so we can tell if our Charms database is working correctly.  Also, please let us know if we need to add a different email address that you check more frequently so we can update our system.

If you haven’t purchased all of your band supplies and materials, now is the time to get started.  The new due date for all instruments, materials, and supplies to be obtained is Wednesday, September 9.  If you’re not sure what to purchase, please visit the list of necessary supplies at this link: tinyurl.com/beltonmsbandlist.  If you are new to Band, open up the folder labeled “Beginners” and then find your instrument.  The supplies lists for Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble (Advanced) members are in the other folder.  If you get lost or confused, be sure to reply to this email. 

As a side note, most of all our communication will come from email.  Be sure to add BOTH of these email addresses to your contacts list so our messages don’t get lost in a Spam or Bulk mail folder: charmsemailsender@charmsmusic.com AND beltonmsband@gmail.com.  Emails that are sent to all members will also be published on our website: beltonmsband.org so this is a great resource for information as well.

The in-person Band Registration/Everything Day previously scheduled for August 3 & 4 has been canceled due to new district restrictions.  We will still have you complete a checklist of tasks online specific to your student, but these details are still being ironed out.  We will send out detailed instructions for this at a later time.

Unfortunately we still don’t know exactly what school will look like this year, but we as the directors are committed to making this a great year for the Belton MS Band.  If you haven’t already, be sure to follow the latest plans for Belton ISD at this website: www.bisd.net/responseplan.

If you have any questions or problems, be sure to send us an email so we can stay in touch during these challenging times.  Stay safe!

~Mr. Pulley: Beginning Brass, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band

~Mr. Trahan: Beginning Woodwinds and Symphonic Band

~Mr. Smith: Beginning Percussion and all things Percussion