Welcome to Mr. Wenzek's Elementary School Band webpage.  This was made especially for you and your parents.  I will update information as the school year progresses.  Be sure to click on your school for items specific to you and your band.

Remember:  Although band is an elective course, it is considered to be a course, complete with letter grades, effort grades, and comments for report cards.  Students are encouraged to keep on top of their preparation and homework(practice) for band in order to achieve the best grade possible.


2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR



October 4, 2020

Things are off to a pretty good start now.  First Lesson Night happened last Tuesday.  If you missed it, or want to watch again for a refresher, use the link in the Sept. 25th post to get to the instrument links:  it may not yet be ready, as we're waiting for the District to finish putting it together.  Keep checking, as I've been assured it should be done shortly.

Band students and parent/guardians (except Edmonds) should have received an email yesterday afternoon with information on how to get started with Essential Elements Interactive.  Students were emailed to their OUTLOOK email address, as that is the only place I will send info to them.  The FIRST ASSIGNMENT has already been posted there.  Please be patient, as this will be a learning experience for everyone, myself included.

I have also added all students to their school's band Team page.  Be respectful of the Team's posting rules.  I will try to post info both there and here.

Everyone (except Edmonds) should have already received their band method book and folder from me.  Total cost for this is $15, payable by School Cash Online from your school's website.  If it is not yet set up, please let me know in person, not email and I will get it rectified as soon as possible.  Edmonds should be getting their books on Tuesday.

Everyone should already have their instrument and know what instrument they were assigned. If not, check your school's link on the left.  Class times are also listed there.  With proper physical distancing in the band class, all instruction is happening in school gyms, with students seated a minimum of 2 metres apart.  Because of this, I have instructed all students to get a folding music stand (put your name on all pieces) and bring it to class each session.  There are no spare stands, instruments, or books for students to use should they forget something.

Finally, students should be practicing 15 minutes daily, and probably no more at this point, as muscles need to develop some strength and not be damaged by over-practicing.  Should students wish to do more, take a break of AT LEAST 2 HOURS before doing another 15 minutes maximum.

I'm looking forward to great attitudes and efforts in our band class to make great music together!



September 25, 2020

Students are getting excited about starting band!!  Each schools' band instrument assignment has been completed.  Click on your school to the left to find out what everyone is playing.

Most students have said they are getting their own instrument from a local music retailer.  You can find a list of District-approved music stores under the "Links" tab on the left of this page.  Some students will be getting a District-owned instrument from me, and should already know that I have one set aside for them.  However, I DO have a limited number of District-owned instruments remaining for those families where there may be a financial or other need.  Should your child require one, please email me using the link to the left as soon as possible to arrange one.  
If you ARE getting a District-owned instrument from me, please click on "Forms and Docs" on the left (or click here), fill in the first form in the list as best you can, print it off, and have your child present it to me when I visit their school on Monday or Tuesday:  I will fill the remainder of the form in with your child present, and return a copy to parents as soon as possible afterwards.  Any funds will be dealt with later in the week.

Each student should also have their own folding music stand, so they are able to complete their band homework (practice) with good posture and not having to strain to see their music.  These should be available from any of the music stores listed under "Links" to the left.

Finally, a reminder that students NEED to have their instrument BEFORE their First Lesson via Zoom on Tuesday, September 29th @ 7:00 PM.  More information can be found here.

Thanks for supporting instrumental music in Burnaby!


September 14, 2020

Students are probably being introduced to band this week.  A variety of topics are covered, including different instruments, costs, and expectations.  Students will be asked next week to fill in a copy of the "Instrument Selection Form" (viewable through "Forms & Docs" to the left), choosing two woodwind choices, two brass choices, and (if desired) percussion.  

A reminder to students & parents of the District First Lesson Night ONLINE on Tuesday, September 29th. District band teachers will teach an online lesson on a specific instrument, including set up, basic sound production, basic maintenance, and take down.  Further details will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.  Students not attending the First Lesson could end up falling up to 6 weeks behind the rest of the class.  DO NOT GET AN INSTRUMENT UNTIL INSTRUMENT ASSIGNMENTS ARE MADE (see below).

Instrument assignments will be posted through each school's link to the left as they are completed  (I am not going to bed on Friday, Sept. 25th until all schools' band rosters are completed, meaning they will be posted when you get up on Saturday the 26th in the morning!)  I will try to give students their first instrument choice.  However, trying to maintain a balanced band to benefit all students, not everyone will be assigned their first choice.  I will do my best to assign an instrument as close as I can to requests.  

After instrument assignment has been made, most band students are encouraged to purchase or rent an instrument from one of the approved stores directly before the First Lesson on Tuesday, Sept. 29th.  Stores should be including a care kit for instruments:  be sure yours is the correct one for your instrument!  I encourage you to use the links on the letter or through the "Links" tab on the left to educate yourself on stores, instruments, and costs.

All students will require their own wire music stand to facilitate proper physical distancing.  

DO NOT BUY FROM CRAIGSLIST OR A WEBSITE (other than from the district approved stores), as most have inferior quality and cannot be repaired by local service personnel. Should you choose to buy privately, be sure that the instrument comes with a written clean bill of health from one of our local instrument repair stores. Repair shops are extremely busy at this time of year, with wait times up to a month long.  

I would encourage you to strongly consider purchasing an instrument from a music store with a "buy-back" plan:  after purchasing the instrument, the instrument may be returned back to the store in the future for a full refund MINUS the amount that would have been charged had the instrument been rented, thereby minimizing the purchasers risk.

Baritone, bass clarinet, oboe, and french horn players will be provided with School District instruments for $125 for the school year.  Students requiring instruments provided by the District should let me know as soon as possible by email, as quantities are very limited.  Subsidies may be available upon request.  Parents with children using District instruments are to ensure that the Instrument Loan Form is completed and turned in to me PRIOR to receiving an instrument.  Preference is given for those families with financial needs.  That being said, again, students are encouraged to obtain their instrument from a music store.

NO STUDENT WILL BE DENIED ACCESS TO BAND BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL ISSUES! Again, if you are in this situation, please reread the above paragraph.

Students playing percussion should obtain a Bell Kit (either with or without a snare drum).  I would recommend getting it with a rolling bag to ease transportation.

**NOTE**  p-trumpets and p-bones are only available at select music stores.  They will do for trumpet and trombone players in elementary school band.  Use of them in high school is at the discretion of the high school teacher.

All band students will also receive an "Essential Elements for Band (Book 1) for their particular instrument, a band folder for their book and sheet music.  These will be supplied by Mr. Wenzek for a cost of $15 (including shipping and taxes).  This should be paid through the District's Cash Online (link to come shortly). Again, if there are financial issues, please email them directly to Mr. Wenzek.

All forms and documents issued to students are available on the "Forms & Docs" link to the left.

Please do not hesitate to email me should you have questions.  Be sure to include the student's name and school at the beginning of the message.





WHY TAKE BAND?

Your rising 7th grade child has the opportunity to make a very important decision about one of the classes they can choose to take this year, as well as through High School and College.

He/she has the opportunity to register for the outstanding band program at their Elementary School. Band is an exploratory course and not an extra-curricular activity. The band program is a year-long class students may attend. Students should enroll in this class at the beginning of the school year. Students starting this program do not yet have to read music and do not have to know what instrument they wish to play. Students will have a chance to explore the differences in band instruments during the first part of the school year.

 

Why should a student join the band? 

Many studies have shown that music education increases early brain development and improves students’ overall academic performance. 

Current research shows that music:

•Enhances higher brain function

•Teaches the habit of excellence

•Improves reading and math performance

•Builds teamwork skills and enhances cooperation

•Raises IQ and SAT scores

•Provides self-paced learning and mental concentration

•Develops higher critical thinking skills

•Prepares children for the future

•Helps develop better physical fitness and breathing

•Can help reduce asthma problems


Therefore, students that participate in formal music training generally have higher test scores due to the nature of their musical studies. Students in band must strive for success by achieving their personal best on a daily basis. As a result, students are learning the value of hard work and the pursuit of excellence in all of their endeavors. Many band students receive honours and awards, therefore validating the strong work ethic they develop while striving to perfect their many fundamentals and performance tasks.    


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Peter Wenzek,
Sep 24, 2020, 8:52 PM