FAYM

FAYM

Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians

Band and Percussion Classes

There are 5 levels of Band and Percussion classes, all for students aged 8 to 18.
The five levels of Band/Percussion are arranged by level, not by age or grade.
Instruments of the band include flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, and bari), bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion.
Length - one semester
Class Size - unlimited

Band and percussion students need to provide their own instrument to play in any of the ensembles. Instruments can be purchased, either new or used, or may be rented. Most of the local music stores have very reasonable prices when renting an instrument, and even offer special pricing for the first few months.


Where to get band and percussion instruments: Roberson's Music, KBI, Music and Arts, etc. Please do NOT to go Guitar Center for a band or percussion instrument. We've had several problems in the past with Guitar Center selling the wrong instrument to families. Go to Guitar Center if you want a guitar, not if you want a band or percussion instrument. You want to go to a store that specializes in school band instrument rental and sales.


*FAYM owns a FEW instruments (larger or harder to find instruments, such as tuba, euphonium, bass clarinet, bari sax, and bassoon) that may be available for students to play. Quantities are very limited. The rental fee for a FAYM instrument is $15 per month. Please email [email protected] for availability.

Percussion students need a Percussion Kit - a rolling bag with wheels and a handle, similar to a carry-on suitcase, containing both a snare drum AND a bell kit. Depending on the music store, mallets or snare sticks may have to be purchased separately.


Percussion students need to register for BOTH a band and corresponding level percussion class. These two classes together count as one, and will be billed as only one class.


WARNING: Please be aware of cheap brand X or Chinese instruments that can be found on ebay and in discount stores. These instruments tend to break down easily, and many of the local music stores have refused to repair these instruments because parts cannot be found. This is a classic example of "you get what you pay for." Your best bet is to either rent from the local music stores or buy a reputable brand name, either new or used. The student will enjoy playing and progress better on an instrument that is in good working order. Please don't be afraid to ask if you need an opinion on an instrument that you are considering purchasing. (Good brand names include Yamaha, Selmer, Jupiter, Artley, Vito, Bundy, King, Emerson, Fox, Armstrong, Gemeinhart, Buffet, Conn, Bach, Getzen, among others.)


All students need to bring their own folding music stand. FAYM has a few extras for students to use, but not enough for all students in the class. Please plan on bringing your own folding music stand.



Band and Percussion Testup and Audition Requirements

No previous musical experience is required for enrollment in the Intro Band or Intro Percussion class.
Enrollment in Band/Percussion 1, 2, 3, or 4 requires completion of the previous level band or percussion class, and successfully passing the testup.

Students who are new to FAYM but already know how to play a band instrument can audition into ANY level of Band class. Please sign up for the earliest available audition time.

Students in any of the band classes may test up to the next level before the semester begins. Students are encouraged to ask for assistance when practicing for their next level test. When the student feels like he is ready, he may sign up to test to the next level. However, testing up is not required by any student at any time. The student may stay in his current level for as long as he likes, as long as he is comfortable at that playing level. Most students spend more than one semester in each level of Band, except for Intro Band, which is designed to be a one-semester class.

Testing Notes:

  • all scales must be played in rhythm (all notes the same value)
  • students should be comfortable counting AND playing the required rhythms
  • students will be asked to sightread a short example
  • it goes without saying that the requirements should be performed with a good tone and careful intonation, appropriate for the level
  • correct posture/position matters!
  • everything from the class syllabus should be mastered in order to move up to the next level



Band and Percussion Prerequisites

Ages - 7 to 18
Intro Band/Percussion does not require any previous musical experience or knowledge.
Band/Percussion 4 requires a private teacher.

Returning band students should always register for the SAME LEVEL class they attended the previous semester. If a student wants to try a testup, don't register for the new level class - always register for the old level class. When the student comes in for a testup, if the grade is a passing grade, the teacher can easily adjust the roster with the click of a button. The student does not need to fill out any other forms or register for the new class. 

All students signing up for WindStars2, Intro Band, or Intro Strings (including Intro Percussion) are required to attend the Musical Instrument Demo on Wednesday, January 8, at 12:00pm. This meeting is required, even if the student already knows what instrument to play.



Band and Percussion Class Descriptions

Band Classes (5 levels)

Instruments of the band include flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, or bari), bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion.

The five levels of band are:
  • WindStars2/3 - OR - Intro Band - introductory band classes for different age ranges, no previous experience required
  • Band 1 - beginning level band
  • Band 2 - elementary level band
  • Band 3 - intermediate level band
  • Band 4 - advanced level band (private instruction is required for this level of band)

    Students must pass the minimum proficiency requirements before enrolling in any band level except for Intro Band.


    Students in all band classes have a required performance at the end of the semester (Winter Concert or Spring Concert). All participating families will contribute to the rental of the concert venue (usually about $12 per family). 


    The WindStars 2/3 classes and the traditional Intro Band class are for absolute beginners in band. No experience necessary! Students 7-9 years old will be assessed and recommended for either WindStars or Intro Band. Older students will just start in Intro Band. Students will learn how to assemble and disassemble their instruments; care for their instruments, produce a good tone, and learn how to read music notation. Most students will attend the Intro level class for only one semester. Occasionally, the teacher may determine that a student should repeat the Intro Class for one more semester to gain more confidence. Students in the WindStars track should take both WindStars2 and WindStars3 before moving up to Band 1.


    Once a student is in Band 1, they stay in their current level until they test up. Students do not automatically advance to the next level of band when the semester is over. Students will have the opportunity to test up before each semester starts.


    Students in Bands 3 and 4 will have periodic assessments as part of their class work. Students who consistently fail these assessments may be moved back down to an easier level.


    When ready, students can move up to the next level band, as long as they pass the minimum requirements for testing up. Students may also attend occasional workshops for their instrument. Students wanting to audition for Middle School District Band must be enrolled in Band 3 or higher. Students wanting to audition for High School District Band must be enrolled in Band 4.


    Percussion students will enroll in BOTH the Percussion class AND the corresponding Band level class. There is no extra charge for enrolling in both classes (both classes combined only count as ONE class).


     

    Percussion students will follow all BAND curriculum and testup requirements for the mallet instruments. For non-pitched percussion requirements (snare drum), see below under Percussion Requirements.



    Curriculum for WindStars2/3 (introductory level for younger students):


    In WindStars2, students will learn basic playing techniques of their instruments, including set up, proper care, how to hold their instruments correctly, fingering, and embouchure and breathing. Beginning notation will be studied, and students will be able to read and write the natural notes they are learning to play. Students will learn to count rhythms and rests in both simple and compound meters. 


    In WindStars3, students will learn more sharp and flat notes, learn about key signatures, and count more complex rhythms. Near the end of the semester, students will be helped in transitioning into the traditional band instruments that will be required use in Band 1. 


    The WindStars track is a two semester introductory band track. After completion of BOTH WindStars2 and WindStars3, students should move up to Band 1.



    Curriculum for Intro Band (introductory level):

    In Intro Band, students will learn the basics of their instruments, including set up, proper care, how to hold their instruments correctly, fingering, how to produce a good tone, how to form the embouchure, articulations of slurring and tonguing, and correct breathing. Beginning notation will also be introduced, including reading notes on the staff, and elementary rhythms. Rhythms include the quarter note/rest, half note/rest, whole note/rest, dotted half note, and eighth note pairs. Brass players will learn embouchure flexibility through their 2- and 3-note warmup. Woodwind players will develop a minimum range of an octave.

    Intro Band students usually only spend one semester in this class, unless the teacher determines that students need more confidence in these skill areas.



    Curriculum for Band 1 (beginning level):

    In Band Level 1, students will learn many 3-note scale patterns and chromatic half-scales with correct fingerings, including alternates. Sound Innovations for Concert Band Book 1 (blue) will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. Students will learn and memorize 4 major scales. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus eighth rests, eighth note/rest combinations, and dotted quarter/eighth note combinations. 16th notes may be introduced. A big focus of this class is developing strong reading skills. Woodwind and Brass players will develop a minimum range of a tenth (one octave plus a third). Clarinet players will learn studies to help them learn to cross the break confidently. All students will demonstrate correct articulations.

    Band 1 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.



    Curriculum for Band 2 (elementary level):

    In Band Level 2, students will continue to develop a good tone, articulations of slurring and tonguing, and correct breathing. Rhythms studied include review of all previously learned rhythms (eighth rests, eighth note/rest combinations, dotted quarter/eighth note combinations), plus 16th notes, 16th note combinations, triplets, and compound meters. Students will learn many 5-note scale patterns and a minimum one-octave chromatic scale with correct fingerings, including alternates. At least 5 major scales and the relative natural minor scales will be studied, including arpeggios. Sound Innovations for Concert Band Book 2 (red) will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 4- and 5-note warmup. Woodwind players will learn to play through 2 registers on their instruments. Clarinet players will continue to develop confidence with crossing the break, and develop a good tone throughout the entire 2nd register (clarion register).

    Band 2 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.



    Curriculum for Band 3 (intermediate level):

    In Band Level 3, students will continue to develop more intermediate playing and ensemble skills. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus additional confidence with sixteenth notes/rests, 16th/8th note combinations, triplets, and compound meters. Students will learn a minimum of 6 major scales and the relative natural and harmonic minor scales with arpeggios, understand the 3 forms of minor scales, and play a two-octave chromatic scale with correct fingerings, including alternates. Essential Technique Book 3 will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. All students in Band level 3 will study the Middle School District Band audition requirements. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 5-note warmup. Woodwind players will learn to play through all registers on their instruments (full range). Clarinet players will learn notes in the altissimo register.

    Band 3 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.


    Students in Band 3 will be tested in class periodically to make sure they are keeping up with the class requirements. Students who consistently fail these assessments will be moved to an easier level of band.


    Curriculum for Band 4 (advanced level):

    Students must be taking private lessons to be admitted into this level.

    In Band Level 4, students will continue to develop advanced playing and ensemble skills. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus mixed meter, uncommon time signatures, and advanced rhythmic concepts. Students will learn 12 major scales and the relative natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales; all major and minor arpeggios; will understand the 3 forms of minor; and play the chromatic scale throughout the entire range of their instrument. Habits of a Successful Musician is the required book. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. All students in Band level 4 will study the High School District Band audition requirements. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 6-note warmup. Woodwind players will develop confidence playing through the entire range of their instruments. 


    Students in Band 4 will be tested in class periodically to make sure they are keeping up with the class requirements. Students who consistently fail these assessments will be moved to an easier level of band.


     

    Curriculum for Percussion (snare drum):

    Percussionists with no previous experience will attend the Intro Band and Intro Percussion classes, learning the bell kit (mallets) and the snare drum. Other accessory percussion instruments may be introduced in either class. Students will learn correct stick hold, posture, and position. Beginning notation will include eighth notes, quarters, halves, dotted halves, and whole notes, and all corresponding rests.


    Drumset and Timpani instruction will be occasionally included in all levels of percussion classes, as resources allow. 


    Percussion 1 introduces more rhythms and basic stickings, including dotted quarters, 8th note combinations, 16th notes, and 16th note combinations; the accent, flam, paradiddle, single and double strokes, open and closed rolls.

    Percussion 2 will continue the study of more advanced rhythm reading and rudiments, including drag, flam paradiddle, pataflafla, and more rolls.


    Percussion 3-4 will continue the study of advanced rhythms and rudiments, including all requirements for District Band auditions.  



    Homework:
    daily practice of assignments, method book pages, and concert music

    Required Book:
      Students must purchase the band book:
    Intro Band: a beginning workbook will be handed out in class ($5)
    Intro Band: Sound Innovations Book 1 (blue) (at or around week 6 of the semester)
    Band 1: Sound Innovations Book 1 (blue)
    Band 2: Sound Innovations Book 2 (red)
    Band 3: Essential Technique Book 3 (green)
    Band 4: Habits of a Successful Musician
    Percussion: Sound Innovations (MALLETS) of the corresponding band level; and Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum by Garwood Whaley.

    Materials required:
    folding music stand; musical instrument (own or rent), pencil, tuner (for bands 2-3-4), metronome (all levels); valve oil for brass instruments, cork grease for clarinet/saxophone/oboe, number 2.5 Orange Box Rico reeds for clarinet/saxophone; a SmartMusic subscription is *highly* recommended.



    Percussion Classes

    Percussion students in levels Intro, 1, 2, 3, and 4 will enroll in BOTH the Percussion class AND the corresponding Band level class. There is no extra charge for enrolling in both classes (both classes combined only count as ONE class).

    Percussion class will focus on basic percussion technique, snare and timpani, sticking, and rhythm reading exercises. The corresponding band level class will focus on the mallet and accessory instruments. This is not Rock Band Drum class! Students should understand that they will be taught as concert percussionists, learning all percussion instruments found in a typical concert band or orchestra. A small amount of drumset will be included in the class, but it is not the main focus of the class!


    Homework: daily practice of assignments, method book pages, and concert music


    Required Book: Percussion: Sound Innovations (MALLETS) book of the corresponding band level; and Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum by Garwood Whaley.


    Materials required: folding music stand; snare drum/bell kit (own or rent); pencil, metronome; SmartMusic subscription is *highly* recommended.






    Jazz Band - ages 8 to 18. Spring Semester Only

    Prerequisite for winds/drumset: Enrollment in Band 3 or 4.

    Prerequisite for piano/guitar/bass: Audition is required. Knowledge of all 12 Major scales and arpeggios, triads, and 7th chords.


    Jazz Band is for students who want to experience a traditional old style big band. Music styles include swing, latin, and rock.


    Homework: daily practice of assignments, method book pages, and performance music


    Required Book: TBA


    Materials Required: folding music stand; musical instrument (own or rent); pencil; tuner; metronome; a SmartMusic subscription is *highly* recommended.