Future CMS Music Student-Info
Common Questions for future CMS Music students (updated on 6/29/15):
Q: What is offered at CMS for music classes?
A: We offer 6th band, 7th-8th Band, String Orchestra (for advance and beginners), 6th Choir (with Handbells) and 7th-8th Choir (with Handbells). Extra-curricular activities includes Pep Band (6th-8th), 7th-8th Jazz Band, 7th-8th Jazz Choir, 7th-8th Handbell ensemble, Solo/Ensemble Contest (6th-8th), Talent Show (6th-8th), Honor Band (6th-8th), Honor Choir (6th-8th), Honor Orchestra (6th-8th), 8th grade Steel Drum Ensemble, Tri-M Music Honor Society (6th-8th) and school Musical production (6th-8th). The music enrichment classes that are offer to all grades are Beginning band, Guitar and Musical Theater.
Q: Can my child switch to a new instrument?
A: Generally, no. We continue on with where the students have left off in 5th grade and we continue to build on what they know. I will offer an instrument if we are in need of it (like French Horn or Tuba, but on a very limited amount of students, if any). The student will need to take after school lessons to learn it or they can take the beginning band connection class, while still playing their 5th grade instrument to learn new concepts and ensemble playing.
Q: Can guitar be used in band?
A: No. CMS does have a guitar class at this time as an enrichment class. CHS has a guitar class as well. As for playing in band, the concert band music do not have guitar parts.
NOTE on this question: I can also offer them info on private lessons for guitar to keep them playing.
Q: Can Electric Basses play in band?
A: CMS is limiting the amount of E. Basses that are in band (as long as they can play already like in 5th grade band). I am allowing 2 E. Bass players for 6th and 7th- 8th grade groups. Sign-up is first come, first serve at registration. If there are more, they can take the guitar enrichment class to learn more. As for switching to it, I don’t offer lessons on that (sorry).
Q: If my student did not play in 5th grade band, can they join 6th grade band?
A: Not at this time. If they want to get into 6th band in the fall, contact me ASAP so that I can start summer lessons to cover the 5th grade material. There is the beginning band enrichment class for new band players, but it does not start till 2nd quarter. It will cover the 5th grade band curriculum but it is later in the year and the 6th grade band would have already moved forward as well (PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS). Also, the choice of instruments will be limited depending on the 6th grade band needs (if CMS has lots of percussionist, I will not offer percussion). I will do the best to help them out with their needs.
NOTE FOR SUMMER LESSON on this question: If a student is in this situation and they know they want to do band in 6th grade for the next year, have them contact me ASAP. I can do summer lessons to get them ready for 6th grade year. This is good for 5th grade students who come to your school after band has started and they are not able to join your 5th grade band. The 5th-6th grade summer lessons seem to work the best, because I can get them through the 5th grade curriculum without having to deal with the 6th grade issues (most of the time). My phone number is 761-1517. Have them call me.
Q: Can strings be in band?
A: I don't recommend it. The band will continue to play in flat keys and if the student is not comfortable with 1/2 positions or sliding to get those 1/2 positions, then this will not work. String students need to be firm with playing in the key of D, G, A, and C before even attempting to work in Bb, F, Eb, Ab, and Db (which my band works in). If they have some experience with flat keys and are comfortable with the shifts to flats, it can work. But I don't like teaching the instrument in an un-natural position for the student.
Q: What can string players do?
A: We have an Orchestra class. There is a beginning and advance players are in the same class. I split the week up to work with each group. Please talk to Mr. Lambert for more information and to register. NOTE on this question: For more advance players, I try to offer them other Orchestra routes to challenge them even more (like the Mat-Su orchestra or private lesson stuff). For beginning students, you don’t need music background to start. Orchestra instruments offered are Violin, Viola, Cello and Up-Right Bass. Class meets every day.
Q: When is choir?
A: Choir is a class during the school day. CMS does singing and handbells as part of the ensemble. Students do not need to have any musical knowledge for this class.
NOTE on this question: If a student has never been in a music ensemble or plays an instrument that is not a band instrument, I try to redirect them towards choir or orchestra.
Q: Can my child take Band and Choir (or Band and Orchestra) (or Choir and Orchestra)?
A: Yes, but they lose PE or the other exploratory classes (Art, Tech Ed (w/STEM), Consumer Science (w/Coding) and Health). They can get some of these classes through our enrichment courses or after school sports or club activities. One of the best things about this situation is that a student can choose either PE or exploratory classes as part of taking a music class.
Q: If a student does not take band in 6th grade, can the join in 7th.
A: No, unless they have been taking private lesson. They need 6th grade band curriculum to understand 7th and 8th grade band curriculums. In this case, I will suggest that we have them sign up for 6th grade band in 7th grade to take that class.
Q: If my child does not take Choir or Orchestra in 6th grade, can they get in as 7th or 8th graders?
A: Yes. There is no prior experienced needed for these classes.
Q: If my child does not take a music class in the fall, can they join in January?
A: For Band and Orchestra-No (they have missed too much material already). For choir it can be done, but it will also be a challenge due to the Handbells.
Q: How do I register into Band, Orchestra or Choir?
A: I register students. For incoming 6th graders, I collect lists from most of the main CMS feeder schools (PPE, FLE, Mach., CWE, Shaw) and I start classing families after July 15 to register their children. A student needs to talk to their Elementary Music Teacher and be asked to be placed on their lists that are sent to me. If you are not part of those schools or your child does not talk to their Elementary Music Teacher in time, then simply email or call me (I work all summer at CMS). To talk to me for more info call 761-1517 is Lambert's office phone or email me at email@example.com.
Q: Where can I find more info about CMS Music Classes?
A: Go to the CMS Webpage and click on “Activities”. Go down to Music and click on that. My Website has lots of great information and I do update material fairly regularly.
***********Please be aware for the 2020-2021 school year, students starting an instrument for the first time (mostly my beginning orchestra or beginning band) may be suspended till we are physically in the classroom. Due to the nature of learning instruments, I need to "physically" help students out with learning how to control and work the instruments. Till a student get some basic skill, online learning is not a good way to learn a new instrument. Please be flexible with me on this during this time.