2020 6th Grade Band and Orchestra Info

Dear Parents of 6th Grade Band/Orchestra Students,

We hope this letter finds you safe and healthy! We understand that there are many questions and concerns that you might have concerning band & orchestra classes this year. We are excited to get started with your students this fall, and while the first 9 weeks of 6th grade band/orchestra will look a little different than normal years, our instrumental teachers have been planning over the summer in order to get a solid start to our year in band/orchestra.

Walled Lake’s instrumental music teachers are committed to ensuring a great experience for all of our students.  We will deliver our curriculum online using the Google platform and Essential Elements Interactive (EEi), which is a free online resource that is included with the 6th grade band and orchestra books.  EEi includes many videos to reinforce concepts that will be taught by your child’s instrumental music teacher.  There are also audio play-along tracks to help students practice their music at home.  In addition to EEi, we will incorporate the use of other technologies to give students individualized instruction and feedback.  As students progress on their instruments, we will begin to study flexible music arrangements that have been written to accommodate any combination of instruments.

Students who are participating in 6th grade band or orchestra will need to obtain an instrument and supplies in one of the following ways...

Instrument Rentals- Rent by August 25:

Marshall Music (band) and Shar Music (orchestra) are two recommended companies who service Walled Lake Schools.  Both companies are offering rentals online.  Pricing information for all instruments is available on the music company websites.  Some instruments will have a one-time charge to purchase an accessory bundle needed to get students started on that instrument.  Please contact Marshall Music or Shar Music directly with questions about rentals.  Store hours may be limited at this time, so please be patient.

BAND INSTRUMENTS - flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone - Rent by AUGUST 25

Marshall Music - (248) 661-1260 (noon-4:00pm only) - https://www.marshallmusic.com/rentals

*Two options to receive your instrument:

  1. Home delivery - Marshall Music has partnered with UPS to deliver instrument rentals and supplies directly to students’ homes.
  2. Curbside pick up - Rent online, then a store representative will contact you to pick up your child’s instrument and supplies from Marshall Music’s West Bloomfield store Monday-Friday from noon-4:00 PM.  

*Questions about rentals can be directed to mwb@marshallmusic.com 

*If you rented prior to August 14, you will be contacted about how to pick up your instrument.

ORCHESTRA INSTRUMENTS - violin, viola, cello, bass - Rent by AUGUST 25

Shar Music - https://www.sharmusic.com/Rentals/

*Parents will need to watch videos on the Shar website to assist with sizing.  Follow the rental directions to find these videos.

*Instruments will be delivered to your child’s school.  Your child’s orchestra teacher will contact you to arrange an appointment to pick up the instrument.

*Students are not required to use Marshall Music or Shar Music for rental, repair, supplies, or service.

If you plan to purchase an instrument or borrow a school-owned instrument:

The following high quality brands are recommended for purchase:

FLUTE - Yamaha YFL225, 221, 200AD

CLARINET - Yamaha YCL250, YCL200AD

TRUMPET - Yamaha YTR2320, YTR2325, YTR200AD

TROMBONE - Yamaha YSL 354, YSL200AD

VIOLIN and VIOLA - Franz Hoffman Maestro

CELLO and BASS - Franz Hoffman Amadeus

If you are unable to rent or purchase an instrument, our middle schools have a stock of school-owned instruments. We never want financial hardship to be the reason that a student does not participate in instrumental music. Please contact your child’s band or orchestra teacher as soon as possible to reserve an instrument for this fall. We will do our best to ensure that your child has everything they need to be a part of our programs. 


*Band students who choose not to rent should call Marshall Music during curbside hours (noon-4:00 PM) to order the accessory bundle for your instrument.

*Orchestra students who choose not to rent from Shar should purchase the following supplies: quality instrument and bow, rosin, shoulder rest (violin and viola), rock stop (cello and bass), tuner, Essential Elements 2000 Book 1 for Strings, cloth for cleaning, music stand.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Banks Band - Kristen Dudzinski kristendudzinski@wlcsd.org

Banks Orchestra - Jennifer Boutin jenniferboutin@wlcsd.org

Creek Band - Lynnette Van Ameyde lynnettevanameyde@wlcsd.org

Creek Orchestra - Jennifer Fogoros jenniferfogoros@wlcsd.org 

Geisler Band - Mike York michaelyork@wlcsd.org

Geisler Orchestra - MaryAnn Burdek maryannburdek@wlcsd.org

Smart Band - Dave Abbott davidabbott@wlcsd.org


My child is getting frustrated with their instrument. Will there be extra help available for students who are experiencing trouble? 

  • Yes! The band and orchestra teachers are committed to helping students who need extra help on their instrument if/when struggles occur. We will be available during breakout sessions to help small groups or individuals with specific needs. We are also exploring the idea of a “buddy-system” that would involve high school students or older middle school students being available to help your student with the basics of playing.
  • Your band and orchestra teachers will also have a list of highly qualified private teachers in the area who will be available to do one-on-one lessons virtually or in-person with social distancing (not required).

What sorts of activities are planned for band & orchestra class in the absence of playing in person together?

  • Playing instruments together in a group is definitely one of the most fun and important parts about band/orchestra class, but there are a lot of other things that we do in class that enable us to play our instruments. Some of the concepts that we work on every year in class will translate well to distance learning like note-identification, rhythm pattern recognition, music listening/appreciation, and music composition. We’ve researched a number of different ways that we can deliver this instruction and are prepared to make the fall fun and exciting for the students. 

Will there be concerts this year?

  • At this time, we are unsure if we will be able to hold concerts in person this year, but we are excited to be able to use technology in creative ways to share and celebrate the progress of our students this year. 

I am concerned about the health of my child due to aerosols being released by the instruments when we return to in-person learning. What is being done to keep the students safe? 

  • If and when we are able to return to school for in-person learning, the administration and staff of Walled Lake Schools will do everything possible to ensure that we are following CDC guidelines for safe instrumental music classrooms. This may include things such as socially distanced classroom set-ups, nylon bell-coverings for wind instruments, not sharing instruments or mallets/sticks, and using face masks designed for use during wind-instrument playing.