Grade 8/9 Band

Grade 8/9 Band


Welcome to Band 8/9! This is a great opportunity for students to really dig into their instrument and achieve a higher level of music. I look forward to having a great year with you all!

Practice sheets

Regular practice is necessary and the expectation is one hour a week. Document your practice on these sheets and have your parents sign these sheets every week. They are due the first week in the next month

October Practice Sheet

Instrument Cleaning Instructions

Important Dates

  • Monday and Tuesday, October 22 and 23 Band Camp at Camp Caroline
  • Wednesday, January 16 CCS Winter Concert (7:00 PM)
  • Feb 25 or 26 AIBF Festival in Calgary
  • May 13-16 ABA Festival in Red Deer
  • Wednesday, May 29 CCS Spring Band Concert
  • Final Playing test June 12 - solo piece at the end of EE Book 2 


Music is a gift from God given to ALL His created beings to create and share, thereby giving Him honor and praise, joy to those around us and opportunities to express our faith (Psalm 33, 44,150). Because of sin, we often fail to do this. But since we are God’s children redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we can be a light to the world.  It is here, through our work in this class and our performances in public, we seek to restore God’s original intent for music.

You are a unique image-bearer of Christ and this class is designed to help you develop your gift in music so that you can discover, celebrate, and proclaim, both as an individual and as a group the restorative power of God’s work.  This class will provide you with knowledge, insight, and skills in making music so that you can use music as an expressive of your faith and a faithful and joyful service to God and neighbor.

The music program also allows you to learn how to work together as a group.  Your role in the band is important, and you must produce in order for the whole group to improve and do the best it can.  This is a valuable tool that will be used by you long after you leave the school.

LEARN, to Shape God’s World though Music

Community Builders

  • Talent – you all have different levels of ability.  Improve what you have been given!
  • Encouragement – help and encourage others in your class
  • Sharing – using and sharing your gifts in class and in concerts

Image Reflectors – Good attitude is shown by having all you materials for class, be part of the class and participate, be positive, and try to do things in a different way.

Beauty Creating – Practice.  There are no shortcuts in music but the reward is great.


20% Concerts.  Concerts and festivals are mandatory. We are here to share together and every member is very important. See the dates listed below.

30% Class work. (theory, music history, ear-training, written tests)

25% Practice Sheets. (these sheets must be handed in every month and signed by your parents/guardians)

25% Playing Tests (monthly) 

Bonus Marks (up to 9% of total grade/report card period) will be given for participation in:

  • other co-curricular activities at school (jazz band, worship teams, musicals, etc.)
  • church services
  • musical activities outside of school (other bands, private lessons, Honour bands)
  • extra festival participation (solos, ensembles)

Sheet Music for Band

All students will be receiving the Essential Elements Book 2 which will be the core of the student's work this year. We will cover a page each week and the students are expected to perform for the parents each week (see below for ways you can encourage your children in this process). Free downloads of the accompaniment track and supplementary music are available on Essential Elements website and I encourage all students to use this (you will need to use the activation code from the book).  It will make your practicing more fun and help you with tuning and tempo.

More full band pieces will handed out during the year. These will be original copies so any lost or damaged music will cost the student $5/title. Music must also not be put in instrument cases because that will damage the instrument and the music.


The school has a sizable collection of instruments to help with supplying instruments for students. However, the instruments are prioritized for the Grade 7 students first and then the Grade 8 and 9 students. We will do our utmost to provide an instrument for your student or present alternatives so that they will be able to participate in the class.

The school instruments are available for a subsidized fee of $85 for the year unless the student already has an instrument at his/her disposal.  You will need to fill out a rental form (which has the conditions for the rental) and return it to the school with the yearly rental fee before the instrument is allowed to go home. All school instruments will include a reed guard and one reed for saxophones and clarinets, slide oil and valve oil for brass instruments (this should last you all year), and percussion bags for the percussionists ($55 for the year).  If your son or daughter will be playing a reed instrument, the school will have reeds available for $1 a reed throughout the year.  This is the cheapest price in the city.

Take care and clean your instruments regularly - you are responsible for it.  Also ensure that you have valve oil, slide grease, and functional reeds at all rehearsals. If your instrument is not working, please tell Mr Vander Woude. It often is a minor adjustment that can save you a lot of grief.

Mondays After School

For students that would like some extra help on their instrument (voluntary) and for those who are not keeping up with the class (I will ask them to come), I will be available in the music room from 3:30 to 4:30 every Monday afternoon.

Band Camp at Camp Caroline

Every October, members of our Grade 8/9 band, along with students from other Christian Schools in Alberta meet at Camp Caroline to rehearse, play, get to know each other, and then perform at a school in Central Alberta.  This event is very successful because it allowed our students to learn from each other and perform together, as well as learn more about their instruments. More information is available above.

Concert Dress and Dates

Concerts are formal events to show what you have done during the year so treat it as such. Concert dress is the black music t-shirt (school will provide free of charge this fall) and black pants.  Please have the appropriate black shoes and socks too!  No track pants or running shoes!

Tips for Practicing Your Instrument (thanks to the All City Band in Whitehorse)

WHAT TO PRACTICE: Warm up very carefully, using long tones on all the notes you know. Right from the beginning, try to play a ‘nice sound’ for up to 20 seconds. Blow air through the instrument first, and move all keys, valves and slides. Moisten reeds properly. Remember: POSTURE, POSITION, EMBOUCHURE, BREATHING

Class assignments: 

  • before playing the exercise, look for notes you don’t know the fingering for and look them up on the fingering chart.
  • after your warmup, always work on the assigned exercises / weekly evaluation
  • count the rhythms carefully, clapping and counting out loud if it helps
  • look for other musical signs that will affect how you play
  • play other pages in the book that you have already learned, especially the songs that you like. Get other music you like and play that too.
  • complete each session by making sure your instrument is left clean and in good working condition

How to Practice:

  • Select a time of day that will be as free as possible from interruptions and try to use this time or one similar every day of the week.
  • Choose a place where there will be freedom from distractions. Use a music stand!
  • Do not practice in front of the T.V. set while the family is watching or in the kitchen while someone is preparing a meal.
  • Be self-critical. Isolate troublesome passages or exercises and work on them using the following suggestions: reduce the speed until the difficulty is overcome, play the section until you can play the passage 3 times in a row perfectly, then gradually increase the speed. repeat over and over at tempo, but only if the repetition is correct!!
  • Never try to develop speed at the expense of accuracy. Practice Slowly! Be Accurate!
  • Short and frequent sessions are better than one or two long home practice sessions!
  • Every individual does not have to practice the same amount of time. Work for results - not time on the clock

Tips for Band Parents

How you fit in: Always keep in mind that your support is key in your child’s success with Music. Get involved with our program. There are many ways you can be involved!

Schedule Practice Times

Music achievement requires effort over a period of time. You can help your child by: 

  • providing a quiet place in which to practice
  • remaining nearby during practice times as often as possible
  • scheduling a consistent, daily time for practice – at least 60 minutes/week
  • praising your child’s effort and achievements
  • helping your child keep a daily record of his/her practice on the CCS practice sheet
  • making sure that your child’s instrument is properly supplied with Care & Maintenance materials as well as extra reeds at all times
  • following the assignments on each monthly practice sheet to ensure that your child is always “looking ahead” when practicing. Weekly homework is listed on the practice sheet.

What to do to give your child the best possible support you should:

  • keep in mind that in the beginning stages, efforts often resemble noise rather than a polished musical tone – listen for improvement
  • offer compliments and encouragement regularly
  • expose your child to a wide variety of music, including Concerts and Recitals, as well as recordings
  • encourage your child to talk about his or her Music class
  • make sure your child’s instrument is always in good working order
  • listen to your child practice and acknowledge improvement

"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." Gerald Ford


If you have any questions, please ask.  Find a good time and talk to me if you are having difficulties, or if you have any concerns.  You will be amazed at your progress this semester if you follow these guidelines.  Remember, have fun and praise our Lord through your music.