First Week of Band!

We are gearing up and ready for the first week of the Belton MS Band!  Here are a few informational items, as well as some reminders for this first week:

Band Supplies and Materials are due this week but we want students to wait until Wednesday to start bringing them in.  This is because everything is so hectic that first day, and we are just trying to get students where they are supposed to be without having to worry about bringing supplies. 

Starting on Wednesday, students in the following classes can bring their instrument and materials to school: B Day = All Beginning Band classes and Jazz Band.  Then starting on Thursday, A Day band students can bring their instrument and materials to school = Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.  If that’s too confusing, feel free to check out our daily Band Block Schedule here: 

Please check out our Supplies and Materials website to see if you have all of your student’s band stuff ready to go to school here:  

Speaking of school supplies, we also need all Beginning Band students to bring 1 pack of lined notebook index cards on their day above.  This will help us learn the notes on the staff for our specific instrument.  I apologize for the late notice.

Lastly, because we are a newly re-opened school, we do not yet have locks for our instrument lockers.  If you are renting an instrument from a music store or if your student is bringing their own instrument from home, you may want to provide them with a combination or key lock.  This is not required, but we wanted to let you know before the first day of school.  We hope to purchase locks for all of our instrument lockers soon.

Thank you for reading this information, and make sure your student signs up for Google Classroom by following the instructions here:  At-Home Learners will find all of their instructions and lessons for Band at this site.  We look forward to meeting your student this week!

Google Classroom Sign-Up Procedure

For Band this year, we will be using Google Classroom as our learning management service (LMS). Schoology will not be utilized since Google Classroom works seamlessly for Band. It also works very well with the new Chromebooks!

Google Classroom Sign-Up Procedure

1. Using your Chromebook or other device, open your Chrome browser and enter the following web address:  There already may be an app located on the task bar of your Chromebook that takes you directly to the site.

2. Sign in using your MyBISD email address and password.  Scroll down to the bottom right under “Get started using Classroom” and “I am a …” and select STUDENT.

3. You should then see the class(es) you have been invited to that corresponds to your period(s) of Band that you have.  Then select “Join” and it should then open up your virtual classroom.

4. Your online classroom should then appear.  Under STREAM you can see announcements or assignments to be completed.  DO NOT create posts to use as a message board to other students or you will be muted.  On the left column, you can see assignments to be completed or ones that are due soon.

Band Handbook Acceptance – ACTION REQUIRED

Please review this attached Belton MS Band Handbook with your band student, which should answer many questions you may have about our program, including guidelines and procedures.  Once you have done this, please click on this link and fill out the Handbook Acceptance Form.  Thank you to those of you who have already done this, and you do not have to repeat this process again.  We would like to get this wrapped up this week. 

Some of you have been asking about ordering band uniform shirts, which we will start next week.  We are waiting for the district’s business office to set up an online payment site through RevTrack so parents can pay that way if they so choose.  Keep in mind there will be a 4% fee for this option, but it will also include paying for school-owned instrument usage fees, as well as uniform shirts and optional auto decals.

Band At-School Opportunity

~This message is for parents who have selected for their student to participate in At-Home learning this year~

We have just received district approval to have At-Home students participate daily in their Band class at school.  Transportation will be provided by the parents, not the school district.  Students will be required to sign in and out daily when they arrive and leave school at the front office.

While this is not required to participate in Band, it is strongly encouraged by the directors in order to give your student the best one-on-one, in-person attention that learning a musical instrument requires.  At the same time, we understand those who have health concerns who would rather their child learn at home during this time.  Please understand that if you choose to have your child attend Band class daily, then you are making a committment to continue transportation for them for the duration. 

Because of this year’s modified A/B block scheduling, each Band class meets at a different time and day.  Some meet daily at the same time, others meet daily at different times, and some classes only meet every other day.  It would be easier for us to tell you the days/times of your student’s Band class directly rather than display a general schedule here.  

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email with your student’s name, instrument, and ensemble (such as Beginner, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, or Jazz Band), and we will reply with what days/times their Band class will meet.  We need all responses no later than this Friday, August 28 at 5:00pm.  As always, if you have any questions please email beltonmsband AT  Thank you for any consideration you give this request.

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.