Is your child in Years 3-6 next year in 2021? Are you interested in joining the school’s fun and successful band program next year? We welcome any child in Years 3-6 in 2021 to join our band program. No previous musical experience is necessary – learning to play is what this program is all about!


While most of our band students join band for the first time in Year 3, we have had many successful band members start in later years. It is never too late to make a start (including adults!) We also welcome back any students who have previously been a part of our band program but for various reasons had to stop. Please send us an email. We would love to see you come back!

If you are interested, please read the information below to find out more about our program.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Band Committee by email at info@whpsband.com.au

In Week 5 we will be performing for the year 2's and will be distributing a video to show you what band is all about.



At Wheeler Heights Public School we have a successful band program involving over 80 children across three separate playing levels of bands. The program is run by a committee of volunteers and supported by the school and the P&C.

  • Training Band - for players just starting music (no experience required).
  • Intermediate Band - for those in their 2nd year of playing and beyond.
  • Senior Band - for those who develop advanced skills and interest.
  • Jazz Band - for students in the Intermediate and Senior Bands wishing to develop a broader musical experience.

Over the course of the year our bands regularly perform at local and regional events. These include performances at key school events and assemblies, participation in local festivals including the Pittwater Instrumental Festival and the North Shore Primary School Concert Band Festival, as well as performances at prestigious venues such as the Chatswood Concourse Sydney Town Hall and our Jazz Band was one of the first ever primary school performances at the Manly Jazz Festival and look forward to performing their again post COVID-19!

We are very privileged to have some fantastic and very well qualified professional conductors assisting in the WHPS band program offering a depth of experience, talent and inspiration.

  • Anthony MacDermott is a co-conductor of the training band and the conductor of the jazz band. Anthony is presently the WHPS Band Committee Convenor. Anthony has a long history playing piano in Jazz and Stage Bands. He is currently the pianist in the NSW Ambulance Service Swing Band. He also plays piano and tuned percussion with the Sydney Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Anthony is trained as a classical pianist and practices as a local solicitor.

  • Shauna Tyson is an exceptionally qualified music teacher, and an accomplished French horn player and pianist. Shauna has been conducting children's bands in our local area for over 15 years. She is young and enthusiastic, and has brought an energetic fresh approach our intermediate and senior band program. Shauna has participated in our band jams over the past year and has always been very popular with the children and parents.

  • Jenny Ridgeway is a young vibrant conductor that is currently studying music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

If you feel your child is genuinely interested, (or you would like them to be) read on!

In electing to join our band program your child is committing to two very significant things:

  1. To learn to read music and play an instrument.
  2. To be part of a music "team" (a role in a band is like taking a position in a sports team and attracts the same kind of responsibilities - except in band there are no reserves!)

These are both big commitments and need careful thought. The following information may assist you.

Most kids have the potential to learn an instrument and enjoy the enormous benefits this brings. Studies have proven that children who learn music are advantaged academically, physically and emotionally. However, in order to be successful it is vital that each child is given the correct guidance, beginning with the selection of an instrument. Choosing the wrong instrument is the most common factor in failure - not lack of musical potential. A child learning the wrong instrument has to overcome a whole set of physical and mental handicaps. Playing an instrument is not like any other activity your child does. It combines the mental, physical and the emotional.

For most children the best time to start learning music is around 8 - 9 years old. Very little advantage is achieved by starting earlier. What takes a 5 year old three years to learn an 8 year can learn in just months and older children learn even faster!

Academic success is not a requirement, in fact, often under achievers at school make fantastic progress with music. (This usually stimulates improvement in class as well!) It is important, however, to consider your child's readiness for learning music. It is best if they can read and write reasonably fluently, do simple maths and most importantly have the spare mental energy required to begin an entirely new activity.

We also need to assess each child's physical make up (arm length, lips, teeth, hands, general robustness etc) as each instrument makes specific demands of its player, sometimes in surprising ways (eg. A flute takes more puff than a tuba - to blow not to carry!) It is also apparent that certain personalities are best suited to particular instruments. In a successful match an instrument becomes an extension of the player and does not cause mental stress. Rather it should be a continuing stimulation of what is natural to each child's brain.

In order to advise you and your child correctly, an assessment of your child's physical suitability will be made. Your own assessment of your child's mental readiness is vital - all information you can offer about your child is useful in this process (see attached questionnaire). It is a combination of the information presented in the questionnaire and the band's assessment that will enable us to match the most suitable instrument to your child. Please be prepared to accept the recommendation made by our Training Band conductors Anthony and Shauna who will be assessing each child who is keen to join the program.

For most children, belonging to a band is a vital part of learning music. It is exciting and motivating to play with others and a professional conductor. However, the commitment is a serious one.

Starting in Term 4 - 2020 "Prelim Band"

Preparing band children for next year starts this year! Commencing in Term 4 (i.e next term) our 2020 Training Band children will be participating in weekly intensive group tutorials in their instrument sections. This will allow them to familiarise themselves with their instruments and section peers (and the routine generally) before full band rehearsals start in 2021.

Tutorial times are yet to be advised but are most likely to be before school. Times and days will be coordinated once instruments are allocated.

Term 1 - 2021

Once the commitment is made, starting next year, our new recruits will be required to:

  • attend rehearsals twice a week (Training Band rehearses on Monday mornings before school from 7.50am and Wednesday afternoons after school until 4.30pm)
  • attend performances (including on weekends)
  • attend Band Jam (intensive weekend, usually in May, of individual & group tuition/cost approx. $85 paid in addition to the band fees).
  • have private instrument lessons for 1/2 hour per week (cost varies from $25 - $40 per session) - over roughly 42 weeks, that works out to around $1,200 to $1,700 per year per child
  • practice regularly at home
  • take appropriate care of instrument
  • wear the band uniform: band black polo shirt (included with first year registration) and black pants.

In addition, band fees are to be paid. Band is an extra curricular activity that is not funded by the school; it is run and supported by a volunteer parent committee and the P&C. Band fees cover professional band conductors' salaries, music scores, festival entries and operational costs. School Instrument Hire covers equipment maintenance and purchases. These fees are essential to the running of the band as it is self-funding and are non-refundable once the commitment is made to join band and the fees are paid.

Band fees are usually paid on either an annual or semester basis (Term 1 & Term 3), but we can offer a flexible payment plan to enable parents to budget for the fees involved. Arrangements for fee payments can be made by contacting the Band Treasurer, Karina McGoldrick.


BAND FEES & PAYMENTS - 2020 "PRELIM BAND"

For our new band members, fees for Term 4 are made up as follows:

  1. Hire fee (for Term 4 - only if you are hiring an instrument) - $50.00
  2. Percussion use - for percussionist who are non-hirers but using band equipment - $15.00
  3. Tuition fees (for group tutorials) - $120.00
  4. Non-refundable deposit on 2020 Band Fees - $50.00 (this will be deducted from your 2020 invoice for band fees). This covers the cost your Band Shirt (worn at performances), band carry case, music folders and books.

These tuition fees cover all group lessons in Term 4. Over the course of the term the cost of these fees equates to roughly half of what is ordinarily paid for private instrumental lessons.


BAND FEES & PAYMENTS – 2020

  All Bands $400 annually for two weekly band practices (paid in two instalments)
 
Instrument Fees
 
  School Instrument Hire $200 annually for hire and annual service charges. [Note: Instrument Hire fee is not paid if you have purchased your own instrument privately]
  Percussion Maintenance Levy $60 annually for drum, bass guitar, keyboard & glockenspiel players only

If you wish your child to be involved in Band in starting Term 4 2020 please complete the "Expression of Interest" form by Friday 4th September).

The students will be assessed by our Training Band Conductors Shauna Tyson and Jenny Ridgeway, during the school day towards the end of this term (you do not need to be present) and a note will be sent home with an offer of an instrument to you and your child by the conclusion of Term 3. At that time we will ask you to make a commitment to our band program for the rest 2020, including paying for instrument hire, tuition fees and making a $50 deposit towards your 2021 fees.

Which Instrument?

Many parents ask 'which instrument' will my child learn to play. The answer is we need to assess each child's physical make up (arm length, lips, teeth, hands, general robustness etc) as each instrument makes specific demands of its player, sometimes in surprising ways (eg. A flute takes more puff than a tuba - to blow not to carry!) It is also apparent that certain personalities are best suited to particular instruments. In a successful match an instrument becomes an extension of the player and does not cause mental stress. Rather it should be a continuing stimulation of what is natural to each child's brain.

In order to advise you and your child correctly, an assessment of your child's physical suitability will be made. Your own assessment of your child's mental readiness is vital - all information you can offer about your child is useful in this process (see attached questionnaire). It is a combination of the information presented in the questionnaire and the band conductors' assessment that will enable us to match the most suitable instrument to your child. Please be prepared to accept the recommendation made by our Training Band conductors Anthony and Shauna who will be assessing each child who is keen to join the program.

Instruments offered at Wheeler Heights Public School include: (Woodwind): Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone; (Brass): Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, French Horn, and (Percussion): Drums, Keyboard and Bass Guitar.

We hope this has been useful in shaping your decision. We look forward to meeting your child and helping them explore the exciting new world of music.

If you have any other questions, you can email our Band Committee at info@whpsband.com.au


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