On time, every time, with all of your stuff!
Free Music School :
We are a team of volunteer "music mentors" who provide free, weekly, group instrumental music lessons to students in grades 4-12. Basically, we get together once a week, on Friday afternoons during the school year, to teach students how to play a musical instrument. We currently offer instruction on recorder (all beginners) and intermediate/advanced: violin*, trumpet, flute, clarinet, sax, trombone, baritone, or tuba. (Students choose ONE instrument to learn to play. ) WE DO NOT TEACH GUITAR, DRUMS OR PIANO!
In order to join our program, students must be in 4th-12th grade . We do not charge any fees to participate in our program, but parents must provide the instrument --renting from a local music store is recommended -- the instruction book and a portable music stand. (Details below.) These will be discussed at the orientation meeting -- you will have 2 weeks to get the supplies after the orientation (we do not sell supplies, you will need to purchase them online or from a local music store.)
Prompt and perfect attendance is expected from all of our students. Do not apply if you will not be able to attend on time, every week. If you have other groups/teams that your student participates in on Fridays, do not sign up for our program. (Of course we are reasonable when it comes to real emergencies or illness.).
Students MUST remember to bring ALL of their supplies to every rehearsal. We cannot teach students who forget their book or stand.
Beginning students in grades 4-6 will start on recorder (older students will start directly on band instruments.). Once our recorder students understand the basics of how notes and beats/rhythms work they will advance to the intermediate class and will be able to play a band instrument. We expect the entire class of recorder students to switch after the Winter break, but if a student is excelling at a rapid pace, they might be moved earlier.
Intermediate 1 is for students who are just starting out on their band instrument. They can play and care for their instrument and can read and play basic sheet music.
Intermediate 2 is for band (violin*) students who can read and play sheet music without a lot of instruction. They can play more advanced rhythms and a wider range of notes. For example, they can easily play dotted quarter notes, pick-up notes and advanced rhythms. They can play a variety of key signatures and tempos.
Intermediate II and Advanced 4th -12th grade students who can already read and play music on their instrument are welcome to join our program at any time throughout the school year. Invite your friends! Please contact us to join.
Our curriculum is similar to that taught in public school music programs for grades 4-9. Our beginning classes are for true beginners. Our intermediate music is approximately at the middle-school level and our advanced program is in the early high school level. We love to work with beginners and introduce them to the joy and fun of playing music as a team. If your student is a musical genius, this is probably NOT the program for them. If your student is involved in lots of activities (sports, drama, etc.) this is probably not the program for them, as perfect attendance at rehearsals and performances is mandatory.
About 1/2 of our program is for beginning students, and the other 1/2 is for students who love to come and play at FMS. Many of our middle school students attend for extra rehearsal time. All of our students enjoy our low-pressure, group atmosphere. It's fun. We want to share music with each other -- that's why we're all here, both students and mentors alike. Please contact us for more information. Also, ALL participants must fill out the registration form , agree to follow all of our rules and check-in with Mrs.Love as we need to know who is with us :) Thank you!
If you have questions before the registration day, please feel free to email me at:
Please see our home page for pictures of the basic supplies every student needs: instrument, stand and book (intermediate/advanced only). Beginners will need a recorder and portable music stand -- we will supply the music for recorder students.
Please rent an instrument from a local music store. I love Music Village, but you can also rent from the Starving Musician or other local music store. Rental fees should be about $30/month. Please purchase the insurance plan and the care kit. Music Village offers a "rent to own" program and the other stores may do so as well.
Please DO NOT but a musical instrument off of Amazon unless you plan on paying over $600 for it. Anything in the $100-$300 range is junk and will fall apart.
Also, please do not purchase an instrument for your student until after they have played for 2-3 years and shown some commitment. Many students will decide to change instruments after the first year (I did!), so we don't want to put pressure on them to stick to one instrument.
Every musician needs a pencil, ready to go. We write notes on our notes :) Students should circle the goals for the week and the exercises we are working on. They will also need to note the songs that we are working on for the concert.
Clarinet and Saxophone students will need to purchase "reeds", at lease 3-5 but the 10-pack is a good buy. They should each last between 1-3 weeks, although some beginners go through a few as they are learning not to touch or chew on them.
All beginners should purchase size "2" hardness.
Sizes go up after about 6 months of playing, so in the , older beginners will need a size 2 1/2, then maybe a 3. Reeds become more difficult to play as they number goes up, but they also allow for a larger range of notes. Beginners should never play on a size 3 as it will be almost impossible for them to make a pleasant sound with it.
Reeds can mold and should not be left on instruments, but returned to their plastic case after each practice session. Once reeds break, chip or fray, they should be thrown away.