Band Manual

I am happy to take this opportunity to welcome our 7th grade band students to Keller and to welcome our 8th graders back.  I am looking forward to another great year of musical learning and performance here at Keller.  Thus far the Keller band students have proven themselves to be dedicated, ambitious, and talented.  With some hard work and some fun by all members of the band, our program will continue to produce fine musicians and to provide enjoyable musical experiences for the musicians, the audiences, and our school.

The purpose of this manual is to provide band parents and band members with information regarding the band program.  The band curriculum, goals, policies, and grading are all contained within this manual.  Please become familiar with the following information so that our school year will move smoothly and efficiently with the highest possible level of achievement for the students and the band being our main focus.


The most obvious goal of the band program is that of musical learning through drill and practice on a musical instrument.  Stressing the fundamentals of music (note reading, rhythm, balance, tone quality, scales, etc.) will provide the students with a solid foundation for their musical future.  However, there are many other goals encompassed in the band program other than the mechanics of playing an instrument.

Exposure to many different styles of music is a very important aspect of any music program.  Music provides a window to our culture through performance and listening.  Hopefully, as our students move through Keller they will develop an appreciation of many different styles of music and will be open to learning about new styles of music in the future.

Performing the music we learn has proven to be beneficial to students in many aspects.  There is much evidence that a student’s conception of himself and his abilities are a major factor in achievement.  Self-image and achievement are directly related.  The band program can involve the learner emotionally through personal production and performance, and provide additional experiences and learning opportunities for all students.


Our curriculum is taught in several stages: daily band rehearsals, weekly lessons, independent practice, and performances.

Daily rehearsals are the main aspect of the band program in which students will be exposed to a variety of band music and fundamentals.  Fundamentals such as scales, terminology, achieving a balanced sound, and consistent intonation will be introduced and reinforced daily.

Weekly band lessons will focus on individual progress as much as possible.  We will practice fundamentals as listed above and hone individual technique, embouchure, and tone production.


Performances are of utmost importance to our program.  This is the time for the students to apply their entire prior learning into a wonderful musical experience.  Without performances all of the hard work put into our rehearsals and practice remain in small mechanical parts and are never put together to form the entire machine…great music.

Attendance at all performances is mandatory for all students.  An absence from any performance will lower the trimester grade by 20 %.  Excused absences will be at the director’s discretion and must be requested by parent contact. Sporting events generally will not be considered for excused absences.  Any conflict with Keller sporting events (to this date there have been zero) will be worked out between the director and the coach.

Concert dress

Girls – black dress pants;  white blouse (short or long sleeve);   black dress shoes.

Boys – black dress pants;  white dress shirt;  black dress shoes;  black socks; black tie.

                        *No Black Jeans or Gym Shoes Allowed*


Each trimester will be graded using the district approved grading policy for  percentages and letter grades.  The following is a list of graded activities.

Trimester Points

Music Theory Exercises

Individual Playing Tests

Weekly lesson grade

Weekly practice records

Attitude and  Participation



Weekly lessons are mandatory and account for 10 % of the trimester grade. Students will receive all of the points if they show up and participate.  Two unexcused absences from lessons will result in a loss of 2%, a third unexcused absence will result in a loss of 5%. After that, the student will lose all lesson points.

Performances account for 20% of the trimester grade.  Performance points will all be lost if the student has an unexcused absence from any performance.

Weekly practice records are to be filled out by the student with a minimum of four practice sessions at a minimum of 30-minutes each.  A parent signature will be required on every practice record. Practice records account for 10% of the trimester grade.

Students are free to leave instruments in the instrument room when they are not in use.  This room will be locked daily when school is out.

Extra Credit

Extra credit will be given for attendance of any out of school music concert event of high school level or higher (marching band ½ time shows do not count).  Bring in the program with student name on it for 2 points of extra credit.

Private Lessons

Junior High is the ideal time to begin private instrument instruction.

Please consider lessons and let Mr. Gear know if you need information.


The following music store sends a representative to Keller weekly.  He will be happy to deliver supplies (reeds, valve oil, etc.) to Keller based on phone orders,

or orders placed through Mr. Gear.


Music and Arts Center (630) 467-1077

Students must have the following supplies


I have checked with the local high school band directors to find out their recommendations for mouthpieces so that you may purchase what they recommend

if you would like, as you will have to purchase this in high school.


Clarinet – Mouthpiece and ligature

  • Hite Premier Mouthpiece – Keller
  • Vandoren mouthpiece (M30/M13/5RV)– High School
  • Rovner Ligature – Required for Keller & High School


Bass Clarinet – Mouthpiece and ligature

  • Hite Premier Mouthpiece – Keller
  • Selmer Focus or C* (“C-star”) mouthpiece – High School
  • Rovner Ligature – Required for Keller & High School


Alto sax – Mouthpiece and ligature

  • Hite Premier Mouthpiece – Keller
  • Selmer C-star or Vandoren Optimum Mouthpiece – High School
  • Rovner Ligature – Required for Keller & High School

Tenor sax – Mouthpiece and ligature

  • Hite Premier Mouthpiece – Keller
  • Selmer C-star or Vandoren Optimum Mouthpiece – High School
  • Rovner Ligature – Required for Keller & High School

Baritone sax – Mouthpiece and ligature

  • Yamaha 5C mouthpiece
  • Rovner Ligature


  • Bach 5C – Keller and High School  (8th grade)
  • Straight Mute –Tom Crown or other metal mute (end of 7th grade all of 8th)

French Horn

  • Farkas MC – Keller and High School

Trombone and Baritone

  • Bach 6 ½ AL   (8th grade)


Percussionists must have a stick bag with mallets for the various instruments.  You can order a bag with all of the necessary mallets (5 pair) from Advantage Network ( for a very reasonable price.  In talking with the high school directors, they agree that this is a great deal and that they require the same equipment and more that can be added a little at a time.

Neck straps

All sax players need there own neck strap.

I suggest the Neo-Tech for comfort and support.

Marching Band (8th grade)

Students will need a lyre and flip folder for our football game performances and for high school marching band.

Please have all single reed players purchase a full box of reeds.


7th grade clarinets – Vandoren 2 ½

8th grade clarinets  – Vandoren 3

7th grade alto saxophones – Vandoren 2

8th grade alto saxophones – Vandoren 2 ½

7th grade Bass clarinets & Tenor saxophones – Vandoren 2

8th grade bass clarinet and tenor saxophones – Vandoren 2 ½

Baritone saxophones – Vandoren 2


All clarinet and saxophone players will need a rovner ligature.


Oboe players should have 3 good reeds at all times

Jones or Lescher – Medium


Brass players should have valve oil and tuning slide grease.


All students should have a folding music stand for at home practice.

A metronome is also a very good investment.


I also ask that all students purchase a blue

1” – 3 ring binder and plastic page page

protectors for the music.

Keller Band Performances