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In a post-Covid world, would you prefer


Dmmetler
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Which would you prefer as a parent of a 5-7 yr old  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. Instrument options

    • Instrument/materials included in class price (about $50 on top of tuition), you keep the instrument at the end of class
      23
    • Instrument/materials owned by the school and loaned out, you pay for consumables only and a repair budget (clarinet reeds, etc) (about $10)
      15
    • Parent is responsible for obtaining instrument and book, and for all maintenance and
      11


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I am working out plans for a beginning woodwinds class (not until after vaccination is available widely for kids, and COVID is under control fairly well, so likely next summer or next fall), and have a couple of options for the instruments for the “pre-flute/pre-clarinet class”. The instruments I am planning to use are the Nuvo Toot/Dood-they finger like a recorder but have the mouthpiece combo for their larger cousins, and are closed hole vs open hole. They are designed for schools and are heavy duty, and can be easily cleaned, and wear parts are easily replaced. They are available locally here, as well as online and kids could choose their own colors, possibly (depending on what is in stock), but it would be an extra effort for parents. 
 

I can purchase a class set for the center, but it would be my supply budget for a year to do so. 
 

 

Edited by Dmmetler
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I didn't answer the poll because I am not a parent of a student. But I taught a zoom K-1 music/rhythm class last year using boomwhackers and a few other things. I charged $50 for supplies, and they kept them at the end of the semester. The parents seemed happy with that, and it was easier bookkeeping and logistics.

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I picked the third option, assuming I can easily order it on amazon.  If it is hard to get, I would want it to be provided for the cost and I would want a brand new set. If this were something like a glockenspiel, I would love option two.  But for a woodwind...no. Brand new. 

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As a parent in that age group, I want you, the expert, to pick out the instrument I know nothing about and I want to keep it afterwards so that my kid can continue playing it whenever he’d like to because it’s unlikely I would actually buy one (since it’s a beginner instrument and he would probably move on to some other woodwind) and having random instruments around the house is always good.  

Edited by Ailaena
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We rented DS’s brass instrument (recommended by the teacher) from a music shop for the first year and then purchased a new one for the second year b/c DS decided to stick with it. I chose option two for that reason. It was great having a trombone accessible during the covid year b/c I was able to find him a private tutor online to maintain his skills between formal classes.

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Thanks, everyone. 
 

Typically, my center, since we’re an after school type program, tends to default to option 2 for most things (and we do have a commercial dishwasher, which I’ve used for recorders in the past. But with COVID, the idea of having kids share wind instruments (and my having to handle cleaning them) kind of squicks me out. And I also feel like most parents could probably manage the cost of the instrument, especially since we would be offering this as a group class, so tuition is lower. 

 

In this case, this is an absolute beginner instrument-a step up from a recorder as far as being easier to transition and not having to unlearn the recorder embouchure, but something that you wouldn’t play in the middle school band. The purpose is to allow early instruction for kids physically too small to start a wind instrument yet, and who are more interested in winds than in strings (which can be scaled down) or piano (where we adapt the music for smaller hands and can do some physical adjusting, like pedal extenders).  Once kids are physically a bit bigger, there are a lot more options. There is no instrumental music program in scholls here until 6th grade, so I’m it. 


I can get a small discount if I do a purchase through the center and save parents the sales tax, but it will lose the kids the chance to pick out their own colors and, if they shop locally, getting to go to the store and pick it out and see the other instruments (and before COVID, the local store was really good at letting kids have the opportunity to explore a bit, so sending kids to buy their recorder or their first piano book often led to a lot of enthusiasm) 

 

 


 

 

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1 hour ago, Dmmetler said:

Thanks, everyone. 
 

Typically, my center, since we’re an after school type program, tends to default to option 2 for most things (and we do have a commercial dishwasher, which I’ve used for recorders in the past. But with COVID, the idea of having kids share wind instruments (and my having to handle cleaning them) kind of squicks me out. And I also feel like most parents could probably manage the cost of the instrument, especially since we would be offering this as a group class, so tuition is lower. 

 

In this case, this is an absolute beginner instrument-a step up from a recorder as far as being easier to transition and not having to unlearn the recorder embouchure, but something that you wouldn’t play in the middle school band. The purpose is to allow early instruction for kids physically too small to start a wind instrument yet, and who are more interested in winds than in strings (which can be scaled down) or piano (where we adapt the music for smaller hands and can do some physical adjusting, like pedal extenders).  Once kids are physically a bit bigger, there are a lot more options. There is no instrumental music program in scholls here until 6th grade, so I’m it. 


I can get a small discount if I do a purchase through the center and save parents the sales tax, but it will lose the kids the chance to pick out their own colors and, if they shop locally, getting to go to the store and pick it out and see the other instruments (and before COVID, the local store was really good at letting kids have the opportunity to explore a bit, so sending kids to buy their recorder or their first piano book often led to a lot of enthusiasm) 

 

 


 

 

Your title specifically said “post Covid “ but this post has to do with Covid concerns. My reply was ignoring Covid concerns and assuming that normal cleaning/disinfecting procedures (which I assume would be used on any shared instrument with a mouthpiece) were in place. 

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Your title specifically said “post Covid “ but this post has to do with Covid concerns. My reply was ignoring Covid concerns and assuming that normal cleaning/disinfecting procedures (which I assume would be used on any shared instrument with a mouthpiece) were in place. 

I am not planning to start until COViD isn’t a concern-right now I am not doing any in person wind lessons except for private lessons, and am doing those outdoors only,  but I did want to know if parents would be likely to prefer to buy vs borrowing for a term given that we’ve all gotten a pretty strong lesson in just how transmissible disease can be quite recently. I wouldn’t have been concerned with cleaning instruments, etc , but now it bothers me more.

Edited by Dmmetler
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Will the instruments go home? If yes, the parents should pay for them. 

One suggestion is to make the materials fee non refundable. It stinks when folks sign up for a class, you buy the materials and then they drop the class.

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I prefer option 1, followed by 2, and finally 3.

at risk of derailing, when do you think is a good age to begin clarinet? I’d given up on instruments for my DD because no great zest for them and nor can I support practice at home  (meaning I haven’t had a music lesson in my life), but she is being taught clarinet in public school in France and thought she might want to continue…I wonder if it’s too late to do it on any serious manner. (Because dabbling we are masters of here already)…

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Bb clarinet usually needs to wait until age 10-11 because of physical hand size. It’s an open hole instrument and if you can’t fully cover those holes, you are in for a lot of frustration. C Clarinet can begin as early as 8/9, possibly 6/7 for a child with large hands. In France, it would be far more common to be a C clarinet than in the US, where instrumental music tends to be limited to recorder and maybe ukulele in schools before 6th grade. 
 

As far as age to begin on the other end, it’s never too late. Having said that, group performance opportunities for adults are often limited to church praise bands and community bands, and some of them are heavily weighted to professionals (the community band here is almost all music teachers who teach in the public schools and the college programs, plus College music majors recruited to fill in gaps…and curry favor with their professors. The result is that it’s a very, very good community band that can get together and perform with little practice, but it’s not exactly a good fit for the person who played in high school and wants to pick it up for fun, or the person who never got to do band in school and wants to learn as an adult-this is one of the programs I want to start). 
 

I also know at least one current college music performance major who didn’t begin lessons until high school, but she’s definitely an exception, not the rule.

Edited by Dmmetler
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I think definitely option 1.  Having taught classes that require particular supplies, it is just so much easier on both myself and others to supply them.  I used to offer it as an option for a couple classes I've taught.  But then kids would show up to class with the wrong stuff or unprepared to start which is annoying and distracting to everyone.  I literally have had kids get through an entire semester without having supplies.  Then I'd end up carrying extras (which isn't a bad idea anyway), that may or may not get back to me. 🙄🤪

That said, if like a parent e-mailed me directly and maybe had an older sibling through the class or something and I knew they had the right equipment, I might make quiet exceptions

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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For the instrument, I think a hybrid of 1 and 2 would be good; that is to say, rental of known good-enough instuments to all students who are just starting, with purchase of the instrument at the end of the first semester/year (however far you want students to pay ahead) for those wishing to continue. Two-stage commitment can be a motivator for some students (that "you can't keep it unless you put in the effort to show it's worth continuing to pay"), you can be sure everyone knows how to look after their flute before they own one (because you can cover it in class, in context, without worrying about anyone doing it wrong before they've absorbed the knowledge), having everyone use the same instrument means the tones will 100% match (not that beginner's classes necessarily worry much about this), and if it turns out a student is a bad fit for an instrument, the parent isn't out too much money.
 
I'm used to books being the parent's responsibility (since a beginner's book is often cheaper than an instrument commitment and easier to re-sell/pass to another sibling if the instrument doesn't take).

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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I think knowing the cost is upfront is important no matter what. I've quit classes in the past because it turned out the initial price was the "downpayment," with all sorts of fees added after they thought they had you.

1 or 2 for a group class, 3 for individual lessons. 3 might be fine, too, if it were a low maintenance instrument, such as ukulele.

Emily

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11 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I think definitely option 1.  Having taught classes that require particular supplies, it is just so much easier on both myself and others to supply them.  I used to offer it as an option for a couple classes I've taught.  But then kids would show up to class with the wrong stuff or unprepared to start which is annoying and distracting to everyone.  I literally have had kids get through an entire semester without having supplies.  Then I'd end up carrying extras (which isn't a bad idea anyway), that may or may not get back to me. 🙄🤪

That said, if like a parent e-mailed me directly and maybe had an older sibling through the class or something and I knew they had the right equipment, I might make quiet exceptions

The older sibling thought is why I chose what i did.

Our schools do recorder in 4th grade. I bought it for my son and held onto it for my daughter (then her 4th was Covid year. So.)

Edited by vonfirmath
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