All band students must have an instrument. If you don’t have your own, you must make arrangements to obtain one. The school has various used instruments for rent. Contact Mr. Millett for details. A list of music stores that provide rentals is given later on and is also on the web page. I also provide mail order information for instruments upon request. Shop around. There are some great deals available. The link on the Welcome Page for Woodwind & Brasswind is a great place to start. The school rents the larger and more expensive instruments, for example, French Horns, tuba, bassoon, and a few of the more common ones. Students who rent school owned instruments must abide by the instrument rental agreement. Remember, any needed repairs on school owned instruments are the responsibility of the renter. Any pre-existing damage will be taken care of by the school. Many of the school instruments are older models and require more maintenance than new instruments. No school instrument is to be taken home before the rental fee is either paid or I have a note from your parents stating when the fee will be paid.

Many instruments can be made to sound better by purchasing a better mouthpiece and for woodwind instruments, purchasing better reeds. This relatively small purchase will make a major difference for many instruments.

Everyone is responsible for their own instrument. This includes the percussion section. Take care of them. Follow the care card for your instrument. If you don’t have one, get a copy from Mr. Millett. If your instrument or case is dirty, clean it. If a screw or rod is loose, have Mr. Millett tighten it. If your instrument is broke, take it to Mr. Millett or a qualified repairman to have it fixed. Under no circumstances have a friend or relative, or yourself, try to fix it. You can do more damage than you can do good. (Oh the stories I can tell…)

Everyone needs to have the correct supplies for their instrument and for the class. All reed instruments must have four good reeds at all times. These are to be used in rotation, a different one every day. All percussionists should have at least two pairs of snare drum sticks, one pair for concert band and one for jazz and pep band. All brass players need to have their own bottle of valve or slide oil. Also, all students need to have the proper cleaning supplies for their instrument.

Every student needs to have their own pencil, which is kept in their music storage slot. To reduce the number of pencils that disappear, please mark your initials on your pencil.

Every student needs to purchase a copy of the technique book used in class. The book is Tradition of Excellence Technique and Musicianship. These will be available from me. The cost is $8.00, including shipping and tax, for everyone except percussion. The percussion book is $11.00, including shipping and tax.

All pep band and concert music is property of the Aberdeen School District. Music is extremely expensive, so please take care of it. Do not fold it, mutilate it, write on it in pen, stuff it in your case, stuff it in your storage slot, walk on it, spill on it, let the wind blow it away, or let your dog eat it. A replacement fee of $7.50 will be assessed for every sheet of music lost or damaged.

Your grade is divided into four parts: Participation (1/5), Practice (1/5), Tests & Quizzes (1/5), and Performances (2/5).

Participation (1/5): Band is a participation class. If you don’t participate the band doesn’t progress and you don’t grow as a musician. In order to provide an atmosphere where all students can learn I have set the following class rules:

  1. Follow directions the first time they are given.
  2. No food, drink, candy or gum in class.
  3. Stay in seats with feet flat on the floor. Don’t lean back in the chairs.
  4. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
  5. Don’t tease, call names, swear, or fight.

Consequences for breaking these rules are as follows:

  1. Warning
  2. Loss of 5 participation points.
  3. Loss of 5 participation points, parents notified.
  4. Detention

Being tardy to class without a proper excuse and/or not having the needed equipment or music in class will result in a loss of 5 participation points. Tardies can only be excused by the main office or by another teacher.

All students start the quarter with 100 points. All points lost are deducted from the total. It is your choice to break a rule. Because of this, participation points cannot be made up. If you choose to lose them after a warning, you will not be able to get them back.

Practice (1/5): Practicing is a vital part of your musical growth. The band is only as good as its weakest player. Required practice is 75 minutes per week. It is recommended that you do 15 minutes a day for 5 days during the week. Spreading your practice out over time makes your embouchure stronger and more flexible. If you do any kind of weight training you know that it is continual consistent effort over time that gives the best results. You can’t do it just once a week and expect improvement.

The most successful students plan their practice, just like their other homework. Set a time when you will practice and do it the same every day. A steady routine will bring steady results.

You must submit a report on your practice each week. You can submit your report on-line through this web site. This report is due each Monday for the preceding week and will be accepted through Tuesday. You will receive no credit for practice reports that are turned in after the due date. Any extra practice will count as extra credit.

Assignments, Tests, and Quizzes (1/5): Assignments, tests and quizzes will be given throughout the quarter. These will be written as well as playing and will include the vocabulary notebook. Tests will count twice as much as quizzes. The average of all assignments, tests and quizzes will be used for your grade. Anytime you are not happy with a score, feel free to arrange a time to retake it.

Performances (2/5): Performances make up the largest part of your grade, therefore it is very important that you plan ahead to be there. I realize the emergencies do arise, and at times it may be impossible to be there. If you cannot be to a performance for any reason, your parents must call me at 604-0733 (cell), or 397-4152 ext. 3120 (school) before the performance, if at all possible.

Pep band is a required part of the 1st semester. All students are expected to be at all pep band games. A schedule is listed under the “Pep Band” tab at the top of this page. If you cannot be to a game, please follow the procedure listed above, to get excused. If you do not wish to play in the pep band, be sure to have your parents excuse you for all games. If you are playing on the team for the game, you are automatically excused.

Each performance is worth 100 points. An unexcused tardy will subtract 10 points. An unexcused absence will subtract 100 points. An excused absence will remove the performance from your average, with the exception of a formal concert. If you miss a formal concert you will be required to do a make up assignment of my choice. This is usually a research paper on something related to your instrument. I do not want anyone absent from a formal concert!

Concert Dress 
The required dress for the concert band is: Girls—black floor length skirt or black dress pants and white blouse with black shoes. Boys—black dress slacks with white dress shirt, a semi-conservative tie and black shoes and socks. Please purchase or obtain these before the day of the concert. Anyone not in proper concert dress will have 40 points subtracted from that concert’s grade.

Private Lessons 
I strongly encourage you to take private lessons. The band programs that are truly successful have a high number of students studying with private teachers. We have seen in the past that the music students who get great scholarships, study privately. Remember, a music scholarship does not mean you have to major in music. It usually means you are required to perform in one of the college music groups. It’s a great way to finance your education.

I hope that this information has been straightforward and clear. You may not agree with or like all of the policies, but I do hope you at least understand them because you will have to live by them. If you have suggestions or comments, please make them. My goal is to have one of the best bands in Southeastern Idaho, and I know that as we work together we can do it.

Area Music Stores for Band Rentals

Chesbro Music Co.
327 Broadway
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Mike’s Music
2908 Poleline Rd.
Pocatello, Idaho
(208) 327-3500
Piano Gallery
338 Yellowstone Ave.
Pocatello, Idaho
(208) 233-1883
(Also in Pocatello on Yellowstone Ave.)
Music & Families
593 W. Bridge
Blackfoot, Idaho
(208) 782-9768