Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Percussion Letter


Dear Beginning Band Parents:

Thank you very much for encouraging your child to study music! As you may know, there are many benefits to learning to play a musical instrument and the skills that your child will gain will help them in all other areas of the curriculum, and in life.

We have come to the point in our first year of Band where students can apply and audition for one of the percussion positions in our group. Candidates for percussion should be among the finest musicians in our group. They should be excellent players on their first instrument (able to easily play all of our current material), have a solid grasp of reading notes and rhythms, have a strong work ethic, have excellent grades in Band and other classes, and most importantly, have outstanding classroom behavior and an excellent attitude. In many ways, being a percussionist is more difficult than playing any of the other instruments. Our percussionists will learn to play snare drum, bass drum, bells, and many auxiliary percussion instruments. Students selected to be percussionists in our groups must practice EVERY DAY. I also ask that our percussionists maintain a minimum of a 2.5 GPA to remain one of our percussion students. If your child is selected, he or she will need a pair of drum sticks, a practice pad (10 or 12 inch head), and STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE BOOK I for Percussion. These items should be available at Stanroy Music (545-4827), or from musiciansfriend.com (practice pad) and jwpepper.com (books).
Please discuss these issues with your child to make sure that they have an understanding of the responsibilities of being selected as one of our percussionists. Students who wish to try out will need to bring the permission slip/application which appears on the back of this page. The auditions will consist of a written test on notes and rhythms, a playing test on their primary instrument and a rhythm sight reading test. Depending on the number of applicants that pass the audition, students may continue to play on their original instrument as well as percussion.
Please do not hesitate to call or write with any questions, suggestions, or concerns.
I can be reached at 837-7737 ext. 134 or by e-mail: smitchell@wusd.org. Many thanks!

Steve Mitchell
Windsor Middle School Band Director

Student Name:

Current GPA:


In your own words tell me why you would make an excellent percussionist:

I, ____________________________, understand that I will have to practice every day if I am selected as a percussionist. I agree that I will learn to play snare drum, bass drum, bells, and many different auxiliary percussion instruments. I promise to have excellent behavior in class and will also maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 during the 2nd semester of this school year. I understand that a failure to do so can result in my removal from the percussion section. I understand that I will have to purchase a pair of sticks, a practice pad, the Standard of Excellence Books I and II for Percussion.

Student Signature:

Parent Signature:

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