So your child has successfully finished a year of band. Congratulations! It takes a lot of commitment to be a part of the band and your child showed great dedication this year. As the school year comes to a close it seems band is coming to an end, but I want to give you a list of things for this upcoming summer than can keep things going for a smooth transition into next year and continued participation in your school’s band. This summer I want to encourage you to take a T.R.I.P. to ensure your child’s enjoyment of band continues.
T– Tell someone about band. As your child finishes the year with Spring Concerts, end of year parties, and receive their band gifts and prizes, find someone in 3rd or 4th grade that you know and share with them about your child’s experience in band. Tell about the things they learned, where they played their instrument (Cougars, Wolves, Solo Contest, Concerts), and all the exciting activities of the year. Your child is important to the future of your school’s band program (even if they are graduating) because they can encourage others to participate and grow the school’s band. When it comes to the local school, your words will mean a lot more to families than when we come in next Fall to meet the 4th and 5th graders.
R– Ravinia (or other great live performances). Chicago is a Mecca for performing arts in this world. Living in this area there are so many ways for your child to take in live music performance and see what they could potentially do if they continue working hard on their instrument. On the Northside there are dozens of concerts at Ravinia and you can get tickets for as little as $10 (closer and cheaper than Six Flags). Downtown there are live performances at Millennium Park that are FREE!! Out in the suburbs there are great local community bands. Near Evanston is the North Shore Concert Band and out west is the Wheaton and Naperville Municipal Bands. These amazing bands offer great concerts all summer (one of the best will be a Patriotic Concert around the 4th of July). See great music performed live with reinvigorate your child and give them goals for the future.
I– Instruction! The summer is a great time to tackle some musical goals without the busy school schedule, hours of homework, and other daily distractions. You can continue receiving instruction in private lessons or in a camp setting. Your band director may offer summer lessons, and if they aren’t they would be more than happy to help you find a qualified instructor in your area. Some instructors will even allow you to do small group lessons so you can learn with a friend.
There are also options for Band Camps. There are camps offered in Downers Grove and Roselle this summer by some of our Band For Today teachers. For older students there are also camps at St. Francis in Wheaton or overnight camps at University of Illinois and Illinois State University. These camps are low pressure ways to keep things fresh, which will make the start of band next year even easier.
P– The old joke asked “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?? Practice, Practice, Practice!” In reality, the thing that will keep your child excited is to find some fun music and play it. By the end of this year your child has learned so many new notes and rhythms. With this knowledge they will be able to figure out how to play so many songs on their own. Go to the Band For Today store on Amazon and find music from Disney, Taylor Swift and even Star Wars! Your children can learn these songs and come back and share it with their band director next fall.
We at Band For Today hope you will have a great summer break and would love to see you back next year. Taking all or part of this T.R.I.P. will ensure a summer of continued musical growth and help your school’s band continue to flourish into the future.