Frequently Asked Questions:

Band & Strings

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

Some questions below may not apply in 2020-2021 due to our ALL-VIRTUAL PROGRAM. Please inquire with George Arsenault, garsenault@abschools.org for clarification and general program questions.

  1. When will my child's lesson take place? This is a very complicated answer this year. We will look at your child's cohort, learning mode, instrument, and level and determine a time that would work best.

  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. Do lessons take place on snow days? In 2020-2021, if there is remote school happening, lessons will take place.

  4. Do lessons take place on holidays? No. Lessons follow the school calendar for holidays.

  5. How can I get financial assistance? Please follow this link.

  6. 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.

  7. What grades participate in this program? Strings in 4, 5, 6. Band in 5, 6.

  8. 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.

  9. When do lessons take place? In 2020-2021, lesson schedules will be tailored to student's cohort, instrument level, school, and grade. Once we have completed registration, we'll create a master schedule and post it to our websites.

  10. 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.

  11. When will my child’s instrument arrive? In 2020-2021, there will be a socially distanced pickup day on 9/16. If you are unable to attend, we will work to have your instrument delivered to your home. Home deliveries will take longer and likely not ready for the first lesson.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. Many unsuitable instruments include labels like "Director Approved" to give the impression they will work. The likely will not.

  14. 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.

  15. Do you offer piano or guitar? No. Piano and guitar are wonderful instruments, but not as suited to learning in school or playing in large groups.