Future CMS Music Student-Info
Common Questions for future CMS Music students (updated on 6/24/21):
Q: What is offered at CMS for music classes?
A: We offer Beginning band, 7th-8th Advance band, String Orchestra (for advance and beginners), 6th Choir (with Handbells) and 7th-8th Choir (with Handbells), 6th-8th grade Guitar Class and Musical Theater Class. 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).
Q: Can my child switch to a new instrument?
A: Generally, no. We continue on with where the students have left off 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). Any student can learn a new instrument by signing up for Beginning band.
Q: Can guitar be used in band?
A: No. CMS does have a guitar class at this time. CHS has a guitar class as well. As for playing in band, the concert band music do not have guitar parts.
Q: Can Electric Basses play in band?
A: CMS is limiting the amount of E. Basses that are in band. I am allowing 2 E. Bass players for 6th and 7th- 8th grade groups. Sign-up is first come, first serve at registration. I do recommend students learn Up right bass in orchestra instead and then I will teach them as private lesson to learn E. Bass.
Q: If my student did not play in 5th grade band, can they join 6th grade band?
A: Due to the COVID year, we are having Beginning band for all 6th graders (and 7th and 8th graders as well). Student need to register with Mr. Lambert during the summer and come in for a "fitting" on the instruments before the school year starts.
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.
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: Yes, but they are signing up for Beginning band. Advance band is for players who have been in band for 2 years or more.
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. Orchestra students will be in beginnig orchestra but that is in the same class as advance orchestra.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 2021-2022 school year, students starting an instrument for the first time (mostly my beginning orchestra or beginning band) will be able to do this. We are basically "rebooting" music in the MS across the school district. The 2022-2023 year may look different but time will tell.