Frequently Asked Questions:
Band & Strings
F.A.Q. for Acton-Boxborough Regional School District Elementary Music Program
When will my child's lesson take place? When registering on our google form, your lesson days and times will be indicated.
Does my child need to practice at home in between lessons? Yes! Playing a musical instrument takes regular practice to become comfortable. If your child says, "I don't like playing my instrument", it usually means they aren't finding success. Spread out practice over the week in small chunks. Even five minutes a day can make a difference. All students are expected to practice to make meaningful progress.
Do I need to register my child every year? Yes. Every year is new, and you'll need to register each year your child wants to participate.
How much is the program? $195 for the year plus the cost of renting an instrument. *The Blanchard Band operates in a slightly different cost structure involving private lessons. Please their site for more info. Blanchard Band (google.com)
How do I register my child? 1. Fill out the district registration form 2. Complete your payment through AB Community Ed.
Do lessons take place on snow days? No, lessons do not take place on snow days.
Do lessons take place on holidays? No. Lessons follow the school calendar for holidays.
How can I get financial assistance? Please follow this link.
What grades participate in this program? Orchestra in 4, 5, 6. Band in 5, 6. We do not offer beginner orchestra lessons in 5th or 6th grade.
Can my child start an orchestra instrument in 5th or 6th grade? Unfortunately, we do not have the staff or space in schools to run a beginner orchestra program for 5th and 6th grade students. If your child is highly motivated to start a string instrument in 5th or 6th grade, a short regiment of private lessons outside of school should give them enough experience to jump into our 2nd, 3rd year lesson program in January. Please contact us to discuss what will be needed. Students with one year of experience, or outside of school experience, can join when they meet the mastery skills noted on the orchestra website. Entrance Quiz for 2nd Year Strings.pdf - Google Drive
Can my child participate as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade student if they have prior experience? Unfortunately, no. Our program is designed and scheduled to meet older students' emotional, learning, and schedule needs, regardless of experience.
Who is my child’s teacher? Your teacher will contact you before the first lesson. The teachers and their contact information will also be available on the Performing Arts website, as well as the Elementary Band and Elementary Strings websites.
When will my child’s instrument arrive? The instrument rental night with David French Music is on September 13th at the HS cafeteria from 4:00-6:00pm. You must reserve an instrument by 9/12 if you intend to pick up on 9/13. If you rent your instrument online from one of our other trusted local vendors (see below), they will deliver it directly to the school. Instruments rented after 9/12 from all companies will be delivered to schools.
Does the school provide instruments to everyone? No, but the school does have a limited number of used instruments that we maintain to loan to students in need. These instruments are of excellent quality and have been professionally maintained for this purpose. If you qualify for financial assistance, we will provide your child with an instrument at no charge.
Do you offer piano or guitar? No. Piano and guitar are wonderful instruments, but they are not suited to learning in our large school groups.
Where can I get an instrument? ABRSD has worked with local vendors to determine suitable places to rent and purchase instruments. We highly recommend renting from one of our trusted local vendors (see below). Please do not purchase an instrument from an unknown vendor online. It may be a cheaper alternative initially, but we have found that most of these instruments break frequently, have little or no warranty, and cannot be fixed. Students who start on these instruments are more likely to quit after having a frustrating experience. Our lesson teachers cannot help you fix a broken instrument but can help you contact one of the rental companies below.
Local Music Stores for Rentals and Purchases