In elementary school, you probably played two days a week. In middle school, you play five days a week. At Stanley, we also offer the opportunity to try other instruments. Students may want to change from the instrument that they played in elementary school. If, after an experimentation period, you decide to return to your former instrument, that decision will be supported. We have found that many students find a new voice with their new instrument. There are many advantages to playing the new instruments offered. Often, due to the importance of the role that their instrument plays, students have experienced a rise in self-esteem.
Instruments played in all bands include piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tuba, and a variety of percussion instruments. Percussionists are expected to learn how to read music, including both the treble and bass clefs, and learn how to play all percussion instruments including orchestra bells and timpani (kettle drums). String Orchestra and Intermezzo Strings instruments include violin, viola, cello, and string bass.
During the first few weeks of school, each student will receive a numbered storage compartment to use during the school year. Personal instruments may be stored during the day and picked up at the end of the school day until 3:05 p.m., at which time, entrance to the music room will be restricted.
Please be aware that although theft or damage is extremely rare, neither the Lafayette School District, Stanley Middle School, faculty or staff accepts any responsibility for personal instruments or belongings. You may want to check your homeowners’ insurance policy for such coverage. We encourage all students to use common sense.
School Instrument Usage
Some instruments are available for students to use at school and/or at home. Because of recent reductions in funding at both the state and local levels, and an increase in the cost to maintain and repair instruments, a maintenance fee policy has been established. We are asking each student who uses an instrument at school to contribute $100 per year to help defray these costs. A student who uses an instrument at home is asked to contribute $250 per year. If an instrument is damaged while being used by a student, please DO NOT attempt to have the instrument repaired yourself. Inform Mr. Athayde or Mrs. McNulty immediately.
Rent or Buy?
Of course, it is more cost effective to purchase an instrument, but if that’s not feasible, call a reputable music dealer. In Lafayette, there are two great choices: Lamorinda Music and Campana Music.
For the first three weeks of school, students in Beginning Instruments and Cadet Bands have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of instruments to determine what they like best. There is no one answer as to what is the “best choice.” It depends upon each student and his/her individual preference and interest. Concert and Symphonic Band students are considered to be committed to what they have been playing and are expected to continue with that particular instrument.