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Joining band

 

A little bit about the band program:
We hope your student decides to join us in learning an instrument next year! The ONLY time that your students can have the true beginner band experience is in 6th grade. If you are new to Argyle or your student missed out on the band experience in sixth grade, please email Mr. Gutic and we will see if we can do anything for your student.

 

Beginner band meets daily just like their other classes and takes place during the school day just like their other classes. Your students will be in like-instrument classes (All Flutes will be in a Flute class, Clarinets will be in Clarinet class, etc) and before and after school commitments are very minimal, especially in 6th grade!

Our primary focus in 6th grade band is getting your student started on the right foot. They will learn all of the basic maintenance for their instruments, learn how to properly assemble them and play with a beautiful tone, as well as how to read notes and rhythms to set them up for future success. Our goal at the end of your student's beginner band year is for them to be able to look at any piece of sheet music and be able to figure out how to play it.

In addition to learning how to play their instrument at a high level, we try to teach important life lessons through our band program. The biggest lessons we want your students to take from band are grit and a growth mindset. We are very up front with your students that they will make a LOT of mistakes their beginner year, but those mistakes are great learning opportunities and opportunities to get better. We hope they take those lessons into their other classes and into the rest of their lives.

Our band students will also learn a lot about persistence and work ethic. Those two characteristics are incredibly important to being successful when life throws obstacles your way, and we all know how often that happens! There is no better place to learn about that than a band class where your students WILL make frequent mistakes and learn from them!

We hope your students choose to learn an instrument and join our band program! If you have any questions about joining band in sixth grade, please email Mrs. Cote!

The ONLY time to join band is in 6th grade!

Because we are moving to a 6th grade campus setup next year, the ONLY time to join beginner band will be in 6th grade. The way our band program is set up, all sixth grade students are in like-instrument classes and starting in 7th grade, your students will be in a full band class daily, with all of the other instruments, where it would be impossible for them to learn a new instrument. We are unable to create a beginner Flute class, beginner Clarinet class, and 9 other beginner classes at the 7th and 8th grade campus with our current staffing in addition to all of the band classes we have for our seventh and eighth grade band students.

The only time your students can join our beginner band program is 6th grade. Once your students are in 7th and 8th grade, they will get additional elective slots (2 in 7th grade and 3 in 8th grade) and can add whichever electives they would like to! We have a lot of overlap with band, art, choir, and theater (and of course, athletics!) and we will work with your students and our other elective teachers to make sure your students can participate in everything!

Frequently asked questions:

My student is very busy! Can they also be in athletics, uil academics, and other groups? 

YES! We encourage our band students to participate in athletics, UIL Academics and other school activities. Many of our band students are very successful athletes, as well as ACADEMIC leaders of our school! Typically, most of the top 10 students in the graduating class at the high school are band students.

There are very few after-school commitments in beginner band (Typically 4-5 per year), and our 7th/8th grade students just have one rehearsal before or after school per week on a typical week. We will schedule these around your schedules in order to avoid as many conflicts as possible. Even in Honor Winds, our most advanced band class, most of our students participate in athletics, UIL Academics, and many other activities. 

We take a lot of pride in having well-rounded students in Argyle ISD and a large part of that is having students who are able to participate in everything. There is not a single activity or sport in the district that we have not shared students with, and that's a huge point of pride for us!

What do i have to know about music to join band?

Nothing at all and no experience is needed! Everything you need to know to play an instrument will be taught in beginner band. Any previous musical knowledge is a bonus, but not necessary for success!

How do i know what instrument i'll play?

Please do not buy an instrument before we meet with you! We meet with every student one-on-one and take some time to get to know them, as well as looking for facial characteristics that will help them be successful on their instrument. We will test out any instruments your student is interested in as well as some we may think are a good fit to find what suits your student best. The hardest thing about a lot of these instruments is producing a beautiful sound, and we are determined to help your student find an instrument they will be successful at and enjoy playing. Oftentimes, a student will be a GREAT fit for an instrument they didn't even think to try!

How and when do I get my student's instrument?

Please do not buy an instrument before we meet with you! After your students are all placed on an instrument, we will have a night where we bring a music shop to the AMS Band Hall to make it easier on everyone! You can order your student's instrument and supplies that night.

 

More details will be coming soon about this!

What instruments can my student learn?

Read about all of the available instruments here!

When we do your student's instrument placement, we will look for characteristics that will help them be successful on our various band instruments and we will find the best fit for every student! You may be surprised at what instrument is a good fit for your child!

When do students join band?

The only time for students to get the beginner band experience is their sixth grade year. Beginner band is not offered in 7th grade, 8th grade, or high school. 

Who will be in band? 

Your student’s friends and fellow classmates will join them in what will be some of the most exciting and fun times of their school experience. With over 500 band students in the Argyle band program, the band is the largest organization in the district. Many of our students are the school leaders and among the most successful students in Argyle ISD! 

Just in the last 10 years, we have had students who play every single sport Argyle offers. We have had UIL Academic state champions as well as national merit scholars in our band program. Your students will be among the best of the best students in the district and we hope the lessons they learn in band will help get them to that level as well.

What fun things will we do in band? 

The best reward is learning to play an instrument and make music! Your students will experience many parties, trips, concerts, contests & performances throughout the year! In the past, middle school band trips have included:

- Medieval Times

- Main Event

- Round 1

- Six Flags

- NRH20

- Hawaiian Falls

- Epic Waters

- Indianapolis

- San Antonio

High school band trips have included trips to the beach and Disney World / Universal Studios.

My student has Asthma / braces / Dyslexia / a physical disability or another underlying medical condition. Can they be in band?

Absolutely! There is a great instrument option for every student who wants to be in band. We've had many students with asthma, and many of our students get braces in middle school. Playing a wind instrument can actually be beneficial for students with Asthma as it helps strengthen the lungs!

 

We'll make it work for any student who wants to be a part of our organization! If you can think of a medical condition, chances are, we've helped a student work around it in the past, and if we haven't, we look forward to helping your student through it! 

How much will this cost me?

We will NEVER let money be an obstacle for joining our band program. If you are in need of financial assistance, payment plans are always available and you can always contact the band directors confidentially and we will do everything we can to help you out!

That being said, our typical SGC / middle school band fees are:

- $60 for a band fee to cover contest entries, miscellaneous things purchased throughout the year for your students, and a band binder that includes pencils, highlighter, pencil pouch, dividers, page protectors. We also order a few other things in bulk for all students to have and to save you some money.

- $40 band booster fee (Goes to band boosters. This provides their band t shirt and towards feeding your kids when the boosters need to provide meals, snacks, dinners, etc). If your student needs financial assistance for band booster fees, please fill out this form.

Instrument costs

- $125 for the full year to use a school owned instrument (oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, tenor sax, bari sax, horn, euphonium, tuba, percussion)

- Approximately $100 up front to order the supplies needed (Varies by instrument)

- If you are not using a school owned instrument, rental fees vary but are about $30 - $40 per month which typically includes a maintenance plan

Advanced band students only (7th/8th grade):

- Approximately $70 for their band formal uniform (Custom tailored to fit them)

Jazz band students only (7th/8th grade):

- Approximately $25 for a binder and jazz workbooks we will order for them

If you are ever in need of financial assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will not let money be an obstacle for your students to be in band.

I have a question that isn't listed on here!

Email Mrs. Cote with ANY other 6th grade specific questions you may have and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

 

If your question is 7th or 8th grade specific, email Mr. Gutic.

Benefits of musical instruction

Band is much more than a class to play an instrument. It is the development of a family of friends that lasts a lifetime and establishes some profound influences. These influences will determine much of your child’s success in all aspects of education, not just music. There has been a lot of research about the benefits of music, some of which are listed below!

From the Harvard Graduate School: People who play an instrument regularly have higher executive function skills than non-musicians. Read for more on the case for musical training in schools.

A research team reports that early music training dramatically enhances children's abstract reasoning skills. These findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.

            Neurological Research, Feb 28, 1997; Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine

A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 schools showed that students involved in the music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, showed an improved social climate, showed more enjoyment in school, and had a lower level of stress than non-music students.

            Der Musikalische Mensch, Weber, E.W., Spychiger, M. & Patry, J.L. 

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT's than students with no participation.

            Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board

U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12."

            U.S. Department of Education NELLS88 Database

A study at MIT concluded in December 2020 and published in the Journal of Neuroscience found:

"Musicians' brains were vastly more structurally and functionally connected than non-musicians, especially in areas of the brain responsible for speech and sound (especially the auditory cortices of both hemispheres). ... The musical group also showed stronger connections from the auditory cortices to other brain areas in the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex known to be involved in the control of higher cognitive functions like memory, working memory, and executive functions.

Staff Testimonials

 

Below are some Argyle ISD staff member's experiences with our band program.

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