Frequently Asked Questions:

Band & Strings

F.A.Q. for Acton Boxborough Regional School District Elementary Music Program

  1. Do lessons/concerts take place on snow days, delayed openings, or holidays? No.
  • In the event of a school cancellation or delay, there will be no instrumental music lessons, rehearsals, or concerts.
  • In the event of a school cancellation or delay, concerts will be postponed to the following week unless otherwise noted.
  1. Why did we change our music program? In order to better align with our core values of Wellness, Equity, and Engagement, the performing arts department is providing a time when all students in 5th and 6th grade have an authentic performing ensemble experience. Our teachers are committed to providing a variety of options for participation so that each student, even if hesitant at first, can have a meaningful experience in a unique, community based ensemble.
  2. How do I register my child? Registration for our program is done in conjunction with Community Education. Please visit our registration page for more information.
  3. How can I get financial assistance? There is a waiver form available on the Performing Arts website.
  4. How can I acquire an instrument? You may choose to rent an instrument through the district’s preferred vendor, David French Music, or acquire an instrument independently. We strongly advise you to ask your child’s music teacher before purchasing or renting an instrument online. There are many brands of instruments that claim to be approved by music teachers, but are not functional or repairable. These instruments often discourage students from succeeding because they are not adequate from the very beginning.
  5. What grades participate in this program? Strings in 4, 5, 6. Band in 5, 6.
  6. Can my child participate as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade student if they have prior experience? Unfortunately, no. Our program is designed to meet the emotional and learning needs of older students regardless of experience.
  7. What time can I drop off my child in the morning for music lessons? Please drop your child no earlier than five minutes before the start of their lesson time. On rehearsal days (if different from lesson day), students should arrive to school at their normal time.
  8. Can siblings be dropped-off at the same time? Unfortunately, no. Siblings cannot stay in the school during lessons. They must come to school at their normal time.
  9. Can my child bring their instrument on the bus? If your child’s instrument can fit on their lap, they can bring their instrument on the bus.
  10. Where do lessons take place in the school? Each school has a different location for lesson teachers. Your child’s teacher will contact you before the first lesson to inform you of the location.
  11. When do lessons take place? The lesson schedule for the year will be posted on the Performing Arts website, as well as the Elementary Band and Elementary Strings websites. Lesson times may change year to year depending on staff and school needs.
  12. Who is my child’s teacher? Your teacher will contact you before the first lesson. The teachers and their contact information is also available on the Performing Arts website, as well as the Elementary Band and Elementary Strings websites.
  13. Can my child play in band and strings? Unfortunately, no. There are many opportunities outside of school for additional instrumental study. If you need help finding a suitable program, please contact the director of performing arts for a recommendation.
  14. When will my child’s instrument arrive? For the 2019-2020 school year, you will be able to pick up your instrument at an instrument rental day in the fall. If you order online, they will be delivered directly to your child’s school.
  15. What book does my child need? If you rent from David French Music, the book will be included with your child’s rental. If not, please ask your lesson teacher for the required materials. These books may change from year to year.
  16. Can I rent an instrument anywhere I like? Yes, but please be very cautious about purchasing instruments online. We’re happy to provide you with feedback about a possible purchase. The goal is for your child to play on a real instrument that is capable of producing an authentic sound, not breaking often, and able to be repaired for a reasonable cost in the event of small damage. Renting a quality instrument is a better financial decision than purchasing a poor quality one. It is tempting to purchase a poor quality instrument to see if your child “likes” or is “good” at playing, and then move to a better one. Our experience shows that they will not “like” playing on the poor quality instrument, or sound “good”, and likely not continue. Used instruments are an excellent option. Shiny new instruments that cost 1/10th the cost of a quality instrument are pretty, but often completely fail before the year is out.
  17. Does the school provide instruments to everyone? No, but the school does have a limited number of quality used instruments that we maintain to loan to students in need. These instruments are excellent quality and have been professionally maintained for this purpose.
  18. Can my fourth grade string student join the advance group if they have years of experience already? No. Unfortunately the fourth grade classroom schedule does not allow for string time during the school day. 4th grade students must register for the beginner class regardless of their experience.