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    Welcome to the Great Valley Elementary Bands Website.
  • Q&A for Band/Orchestra Open House
    Fall 2022


    Q: What is the difference between Band and Orchestra?

    A: The band is made up of woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet), brass (trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba), and percussion (snare drum) instruments while the orchestra is comprised of the strings (violin, viola, cello, bass)

    Q: How should we pick an instrument?

    A: It is our belief that children will perform best on an instrument of which they like the sound.  If they like the sound, they will practice and if they practice, they will show improvement and success.  Our brief demonstrations might not be enough to help your child choose.  A good suggestion for further research is to make use of YouTube.  There is a myriad of instrument recordings on-line.

    Q: Why do we have to pick three instruments?

    A: In order to make this the best experience for your child, we’d like to have balanced ensembles.  If we had a band of one-hundred and forty of the students played trumpet, we’d spend a great deal of time asking the trumpets to play more softly.  Not a whole lot of fun.  However, if we have a good distribution among the varied instruments, our ensembles will sound their best which is more fun for all involved.  If we ask your child to play an instrument other than their first choice they can decide whether or not they would like to do so.  A majority of students will get their first choice and we will make every effort to make your child happy and excited about their time in band or orchestra.

    Q: How and when do we register?

    A: You can register online beginning Sept 6 at the Elementary Band website (both band and orchestra register at the same place).  Please be aware that registrations will close on September 16.

    Q: When will we find out our instrument assignment?

    A: When registration closes on September 16, the music teachers will go over all instrument requests and make assignments.  After we have adjusted our rosters, we will ask each child who we’d like to switch their opinions.  We will email their instrument assignment by Sept 25. With all of this in mind, PLEASE, do not procure an instrument until you hear from your child’s music teacher.

    Q: When will lessons start?

    A: Early October. Exact dates TBD.

    Q: When are the lessons?

    A: All lessons are scheduled during asynchronous times of the virtual learning model so students will not miss live teaching with their homeroom teacher.

    Q: Does the school provide any instruments?

    A: Each elementary school owns some of the larger instruments.  Please check with your child’s music teacher regarding availability.

    Q: After I receive my instrument assignment should I rent or purchase an instrument?

    A: We highly recommend renting your first instrument.  Rental instruments who are accidentally damaged will be repaired and you will be provided with a loaner in the interim.  In addition, string instruments come in different sizes.  As your child grows it’s easier to trade the smaller one for a larger size than it is to purchase a new instrument.

    Q: Where should I go to rent an instrument?

    A: When you receive your instrument assignment letter it will list several local vendors.  There is online ordering, home delivery and in-store (curb-side) pickup options available from our vendors.

    Q: What book will I need?

    A: When you receive your instrument assignment letter it will list the required book.

    Q:  What’s the difference between Band/Orchestra and lessons?

    A: Band/Orchestra are performing ensembles that rehearse before school, once a week, beginning in February or early March. Lessons are held during the school day at your child’s school for the entire year.  Band/Orchestra is in addition to lessons to prepare for concerts in May.

    Q: When will Band/Orchestra start?

    A: Band and Orchestra tend to start in February or early March.

    Q: Where do the Band and Orchestra rehearse?

    A: The Band rehearses at General Wayne and the Orchestra at K.D. Markley.  Rehearsals run from 7:30-8:30am.

    Q: Do I need to drive my child from rehearsal back to their home school?

    A: No, the district provides bussing for students to return to their home school.