Ms. Housten
    Phone: 1-609-466-7606 ext. 2868

    BAND INFORMATION 2023-2024

    Enrolling for Band/Renting an Instrument

    • Band is offered to 4th grade students only

    • Most students enrolled in band at the end of 3rd grade.  If your child did not meet with Ms. Housten at the end of 3rd to choose an instrument and enroll, please contact her by email at chousten@mtsd.us

    • If your child chose an instrument in June with Ms. Housten, you can go to https://www.nemc.com/ves/ to rent an instrument.   If not, please wait until September when your child will have the opportunity to try some instruments to see which is the best fit.



    • Students will be pulled out of an academic class for 30 minutes once per week.

    • The 4th grade teachers are familiar with the schedule and will help your child to become responsible for making up work that is missed. There are very few problems with students missing class for band lessons. 

    • It is your child’s responsibility to remember to come to their lesson and to remember to bring his or her instrument and other materials.

    • Lessons will begin in September and continue throughout the school year. 

    Band rehearsals

    • Band rehearsals supplement lessons as well as get the children ready for concerts.

    • 1-2 mornings before school per week -- Days to be determined depending on instrument and homeroom.

    • There is no busing for the morning band rehearsals.  Parents are responsible for transportation.

    • Rehearsals will begin at 8:25 AM.  (Arrival time-- between 8:00 and 8:15 for sufficient set-up/warm-up)

    • A schedule will be handed out in September.  More schedules will be distributed throughout the year to minimize confusion. 

    • Students may participate in both band and chorus if they would like.  Any rehearsal conflicts will be worked out between the music teachers. 

    Concerts- There will be 2 evening concerts (dates to be determined)—one in March and one in June.   Additionally, we may have a brief assembly performance during the school day in December. 


    At Home Practice Time

    • Because lessons only occur once per week, daily practice at home is necessary to maintain and build skills.  While the before school rehearsals are also helpful in skill building, without home practice, students will find that they are unable to keep up with the pace of the group and may find rehearsals to be increasingly frustrating.  

    • Students should practice an average of 20 minutes daily (or 140 minutes per week) and will be required to keep a record of their practice time (signed by parents weekly).

    • Students should strive to practice effectively and to complete each lesson’s assignment to the best of their ability.  This is even more important than the number of minutes practiced each week.


    • Lessons will most likely begin in the 2nd or 3rd week of school.  Students should have an instrument before that date so that they can participate fully in their first lesson.

    • What if an instrument breaks? If your child is careful with his or her instrument and maintains the instrument properly, most major problems can be avoided, however I understand that accidents do happen and that sometimes instruments just break.  The first thing to do is to have your child bring the instrument in to school as soon as you realize it is broken.  Do not wait until your child’s next lesson!!  I can fix most problems and if I cannot fix it, I can advise you on how to solve the problem. 

    • Accessories- For your convenience, your child can purchase most accessories/lesson books necessary for their instrument through me at school.  However, at the beginning, it is best to order the accessory package offered with the rental so that your child has all the necessary items to start the year.

    • No instrument switching will be permitted. Even after just a few lessons the students have already learned basic skills on their instrument and new students to the instrument will be quite far behind.


    Report Cards

    • 4th Grade Band Students will be assessed on the report card based on 3 criteria: Accurate Performance, Posture/Hand Position, and Tone Quality (or stick control for percussionists). 
    • The best ways to help your child to be successful is to make sure that he or she attends rehearsals regularly, remembers to bring his or her instrument to school on lesson days, and to help your child set up a daily practice routine.
Last Modified on June 21, 2023