Frequently asked questions

Is Band Required at Fort Gratiot Middle School?


No, but your student must make an elective choice between gym and art or rotation, or band.




May I play whatever instrument I want?


Students may select from the following instruments:
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon Alto, Tenor, or Baritone Sax (pending physical size requirements) Trumpet,French Horn, Trombone, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion, and String Bass.




Can I learn guitar or piano in band class?


No. Those instruments are not part of regular instruction. However,
students that wish to play these instruments may learn these separately
outside of class and play them in jazz ensemble. There are also summer clinics
offered for these instruments for a reasonable fee.




Can I learn violin, viola, or cello in band class?


No. Since these instruments are part of orchestra, and require
different pedagogical demands, they are not part of regular instruction.




Can I learn string bass (stand-up bass) in band class?


Yes - in fact, we are always in need of new students on this
instrument. The purchasing and instructional process for one of these
instruments is slightly different, so see Mr. Krueger for details.




What is the after-school time commitment?


The first year, the extracurricular commitment is minimal – students
are required to attend four after-school concerts. The dates will be
available on the band and school calendars in August or earlier. There
may be weekly after-school practices offered that are not mandatory, but
recommended for students who need extra help or wish to excel further.
The dates and times of those practices will be announced in the fall,
but will take place after school.

There is also a “Beginner Band Camp” in August that is a few days long
that is a fun way to get kids started so that they are successful the
first few days of school. This camp is HIGHLY recommended. The dates
for this band camp will be announced by the end of this school year and
also again over the summer.




When must my student have an instrument by?


Your student must have their instrument, method book, and other supplies such as oil,
extra reeds, and other accessories by the beginning of band camp in August. If you do not plan on having your student attend camp, you must have their instrument and book by the first day of school.




As a parent, must I provide an instrument for my band student?


It depends - a student is required to bring their own instrument and
provide themselves with their own method book and instrument supplies.
However, the school does own certain instruments in specific sections,
which are usually the larger brass and woodwind instruments.
Availability is first-come, first-served.




My student would like to join band, but I have financial concerns. Is there any help or assistance available?


. Yes. As stated above, the school owns a limited amount of instruments,
so it is possible to borrow one from the school for the year. You must
sign an instrument care contract, which will hold the user liable for all
repairs needed for damages to the instrument. There are many families that
have instruments available to families in need. NO STUDENT SHOULD BE WITHOUT
A MUSIC EDUCATION. WE WILL MAKE IT WORK!




Where is the recommended place to purchase band instruments?


Port Huron Music Center is Fort Gratiot's primary school service
provider. All band instruments and necessary accessories can be found
and purchased there with the exception of string basses.




What is the typical cost of a school instrument?


Instrument costs vary based on type. However, most instruments can be
purchased with a 0% interest rate, rent-to-own style contract. Typically,
the monthly payments average between $30-40/monthly, but certain instruments
like oboes, French horns, and string basses cost slightly more. All of the
school service companies make it VERY easy and affordable to purchase an instrument
for band. Additionally, if the student decides to switch instruments
or upgrade, much of the equity put into the first instrument is transferable to
the new instrument. It’s a great deal!




I already have an instrument. Do I still need to purchase a new one?


No, you may have your student use the one you have. It is recommended
that you bring the instrument in to Mr. Krueger to have it looked over for
damages and repair needs. Sometimes when instruments sit for a long time,
particularly with instruments like saxophones, clarinets, and flutes, their
pads get stiff and need renovation.




I just found a great deal on an instrument that my child needs on Craigslist and EBay. It’s much cheaper than the instruments at Port Huron Music. Should I buy this instrument?


STOP!!!!! Do not proceed with this purchase until you have done the following:

1) Send the link of the advertisement to Mr. Krueger via email and have it approved.
There are a lot of junk instruments that are poorly manufactured. You may end up
spending more on the instrument in repairs than it is worth!
2) Check the brand. Mr. Krueger has a list of recommended brands that are quality.
3) Check how old the instrument is.
4) Check to see if there is a return policy. If there isn’t a guarantee, don’t bother. You may be stuck with junk!

There are a lot of good deals of quality instruments to be had on the internet, but
unless you are an expert on instruments and are familiar with brands, don’t try to
take matters in your own hands




Must my student be in band both semesters?


Ideally, in order to avoid confusion and also to teach the students to
follow through with their choices, students are encouraged to take place in
both semesters of band for their first year. In special circumstances, students
may switch by filling out the proper forms and completing the steps necessary
to transition by meeting with the instructor and administrator.




What is the best method for keeping up to date?


Our band website is fantastic! Visit us at fgbands.com, Facebook and our Remind App!

Mr. Krueger additional contact information:
Robert Krueger
Director of Bands at Fort Gratiot Middle School Office: 810-984-6544 ext. 2221 Email: rkrueger@phasd.us Google Voice: 734-489-9434