Band Handbook

The Band Handbook is also available as a download at the bottom of this page.

Monforton School District


Band Handbook

School Year 2013-2014





Andrea Feige

Dear Band Students and Parents:


Welcome to another year of band at Monforton School.  I am very excited to be working with you and your children in the upcoming year!  I have great aspirations for this year’s ensembles and know that they will rise to the challenge. 


My name is Andrea Feige and I will be directing 5th grade band, 6th grade band and combined 7/8th grade band.  Last year was my first year at Monforton and I am excited to continue building on the growth that we’ve already experienced.


Parents, your child’s progress is of the utmost importance to me.  In order to succeed in learning music, we must have a team effort.  Please feel free to contact me at any time and keep the line of communication open.  Below are the best ways to get a hold of me:


Monforton Music Room: 406-586-1557 ext 122

Andrea Feige, home phone: 605-359-8531 (please, only call between the hours of 6:30am-8pm)

Andrea Feige: e-mail:


I have written this handbook to, hopefully, answer many of the questions that you may have about the band program at Monforton School.  It contains important information about procedures, expectations, concert dates, concert dress attire and materials required for class.  Review this book carefully and keep it available throughout the year.  PLEASE SIGN and RETURN the Band Handbook Acknowledgement form on the last page by April 11, 2013.


Thank you for your support and dedication to the music program at Monforton!  I am looking forward to a very exciting and musical year!






Andrea Feige

Music/Band Teacher










Bands at Monforton School


There are three different bands at Monforton School.  They are separated by grade level and meet during the school day.  Each ensemble meets twice a week.  As we only get (at most) 2 hours a week together, it is crucial that students practice their music outside of class so that we can rehearse and learn new things while in class.  Students will need to purchase their own books (Essential Elements 2000) which can be found at Eckroth Music in Bozeman, MT.


5th Grade Band

Instrumental music is required for all students in 5th grade at Monforton.  This group will develop the basic skills and technique to improve on their instrument.  All 5th grade students need to have their own copy of Essential Elements 2000 – Book One for their specific instrument by the 2nd full week of school.  I will provide all other music needed for the year.  My intention is to hit the ground running with these students!


Please help your child remember to bring his/her instrument on band days.  Participation is a critical aspect to a positive band experience and my ability to assess them.  Forgetting their instrument will significantly affect their grade!


6th Grade Band

Instrumental music is required for all students in 6th grade at Monforton.  This group will continue to develop their technical and musical skills on their given instrument.  They will not be allowed to switch instruments between 5th and 6th grade, as they will need to continue to work on what they have learned previously. (There may be exceptional circumstances in which this situation will prove false).  All 6th grade students need to bring their copy of Essential Elements 2000 – Book One (from last year) and a copy of Essential Elements 2000 – Book Two for their specific instrument.  I will provide all other music needed for the year.


Please help your child remember to bring his/her instrument on band days.  Just as it was last year, participation is critical to your child having a successful band experience.  Participation is also the main way I assess your child’s ability and score them.


7th/8th Grade Band

In 7th and 8th grade, band is optional, and is also the culmination of the band program at Monforton.  Students who do not choose to do band will be in Creative Writing during this period of the day.  These students will need to bring their Essential Elements 2000 – Book Two, but we will work mainly from the sheet music I give them during class.  The goal of this group is to prepare students for a future of music at Bozeman High School.


How To Make The Band Room Work


Morning Drop-Off


Students are strongly encouraged to drop off their instruments in the music room between 8:00-8:25am.  Each instrument has a special “cubby” spot. Instruments should only go in their designated spot.  Those that are found on the ground or in the wrong cubby will be confiscated and only returned upon the completion of one “special task” as designated by the director.  These tasks could be anything from organizing a score of music to cleaning out the cubbies to helping Mr. Andy with maintenance and cleaning in the music room.


Setting Up For Band


Rehearsal starts 5 minutes after the scheduled start time (ie: band is scheduled to start at 1:30, rehearsal will start at 1:35).  That should be plenty of time for students to assemble their seat, music stand, music and instrument.  Anyone not ready to begin at 5 minutes after the start time will be given a tardy.  This will affect their grade every time these instances happen.  Also, should a student receive 3 tardies in a trimester they will earn a 30 minute detention before/after school. 


The white board in front will have any special directions for the day.  It was also have the order of the music we are rehearsing that day.  It would be wise to assemble the music in playing order.


You MUST have all required materials!!! This means a playable instrument, all music you have been given and a PENCIL for marking your music. NO PENS.


Band rehearsal runs until I give the final cut-off and assignment (generally until 2 minutes before assigned end time).  Any packing up early will be perceived as disrespect to the director and other ensemble members and will affect the student’s grade.




Always treat each other kindly.

Always treat each other’s things kindly.

Always treat the music kindly.

 (There is a damage fee assessed for any music that is damaged/lost)







How To Love A Band Room




Things that are off-limits:


1)    Any instrument that isn’t your own.

2)    All percussion instruments in the room (unless you are a percussionist)

3)    Anything on my desk/stand. Including pencils.


Materials Needed For Class


#1: A PENCIL. I will provide each student a pencil at the beginning of the school year, but this is the only pencil they will receive from me.  It is their responsibility to always have a pencil available in order to mark in dynamics, fingerings, slide positions, counts, etc.  There will be random pencil checks for bonus points, it would be wise to keep the pencil I give them in their folder all year.



The following items are strongly recommended for students to have with their instruments at all times for proper use and care of their instruments. Brands, as noted * , are only recommendations.  If a private teacher recommends something else, please follow their recommendations.


FLUTE                                   Cleaning rod, Cloth handkerchief

OBOE/BASSOON                Reeds, Swab, Cork grease, small container for water to soak reeds.

CLARINET                            Cloth swab (not felt), Cork grease, 2 Playable reeds --#2 thickness for 5th grade, #2 ½ thickness for 6th grade, and #2 ½ or #3 thickness for 7-8th grade.

SAXOPHONE                       Swab, 3 playable reeds – #2 thickness for 5th grade, #2 ½ thickness for 6th grade, #2 ½ - #3 thickness for 7-8th grades, cork grease, a comfortable neck strap.

TRUMPET                             Valve oil, tuning slide grease, cleaning kit

FRENCH HORN                  Rotor valve oil, tuning slide grease

TROMBONE                         Slide-O-Mix or Super Slick slide cream and spray water bottle or slide oil, tuning slide grease, cleaning kit

BARTIONE/TUBA                 Valve oil and tuning slide grease

PERCUSSION                     5th grade: Bell Kit, Practice Pad and Snare Drum, Stick Bag, Vic Firth 5A Snare Sticks

                                                6th: All of the above, Medium Hard Rubber Mallets

                                                7th/8th: All of the above

                                                MARK ALL MALLETS WITH YOUR NAME!!!

Area Music Stores

Eckroth Music                            2855 N. 19th Ave                                    406-587-8007

Music Villa                                 539 E Main                                             406-587-4961



I have two main philosophies when it comes to grading and band:

1)    Students do not “get” their grades – they earn them.

2)    The only way a student can truly experience and learn about music is through participation.




Every week, a student may earn up to 4 points. They may lose points the following ways:


Points Lost

Forgot Instrument

1 point/occurrence (2 points/week possible)

Forgot Music/Book

1 point/occurrence (2 points/week possible)

Excessive Talking During Rehearsal (a warning will be given)

1 point/occurrence

Disrespecting the teacher, their classmates, or any instruments/music

1 point/occurrence


Should a student lose all of their points for the week, they will be given a recess detention.  They will come sit in my room during a recess and I will have an assignment for them to do. 


Entrance Assignment


Students should be entering the band room in a calm and respectful manner.  When they walk in, there will be a question, quote, or comment that I want them to think and write about on an index card (which I will provide).  Each one of these will be worth up to 3 points.  Students who are absent will not be docked the points, but will not receive credit for them either. 


Playing Tests


Occasionally, your student will be asked to complete a playing test for me.  Each test is worth 16 points and is graded by a rubric which is available on the band’s website.  They will always be given a minimum of 2 week’s notice and should have ample time to properly prepare or see me if they have questions/concerns.



I will be giving written tests. These tests will range from 10-25 points.  Your child will be given ample time to prepare for the test and I am always available to help them outside of class.



Practice Records

I will not be collecting practice records because I believe in the quality of practice time over the quality.  I do expect all of my students to practice outside of class.  I will be able to tell fairly quickly who is and who is not practicing merely by their performance in band and on playing tests. 



There will be 2 performances for band students during the school year, one at Christmas and another in the Spring.  Your child’s attendance is REQUIRED and will be excused only under extreme circumstances.  A major aspect of experiencing music, as displayed by the National Standards for Music Education is:

Standards 1&2: Performing/Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

Standard 7: Evaluating music and musical performances.


Thus, I take performances very seriously.  Your child has the opportunity to earn 50 points for showing up to the performance punctually, properly attired, with a positive attitude, and performing.  Points will be deducted if your student does not meet those requirements.


For students who meet the qualifications of extreme circumstances, there is a required assignment for them to complete in order to receive points for his/her missed performance.  They will have the option of choosing one of the following assignments and completing at some point before Christmas Break:


1)    A 15 minute presentation to the class about an approved topic relating to music/band.  This presentation must include visuals (film clip, power point, prezzie, etc)

2)    Performing one of the pieces that they missed on the performance for their classmates as a solo.  Must be prepared to concert readiness.

3)    Writing a 3 page research paper on an approved topic.


Extra Credit

There may be opportunities for extra credit given out periodically.  If there is an extra credit assignment, points earned from this assignment WILL NOT BE APPLIED TO POINTS LOST ON A PERFORMANCE GRADE











Concert Attire

Concerts are a chance for students to be proud and show off all of their hard work!  I expect them to be professional in their performance behavior and attire. 

    Boys: Khakis, black, grey or blue dress pants are all acceptable.  Blue jeans, however, are NOT.  Button down shirts and polos are absolutely wonderful.  T-shirts with a hole in them…..not!  When in doubt ask yourself, “Would I go on stage with a Symphony/Orchestra dressed like this?” (Or bring it to Ms. Feige and she’ll let you know).

   Girls: Khakis, black, grey, or blue dress pants are all acceptable.  Blue jeans, however, are NOT.  Dress shirts that are appropriately covering are wonderful.  Shirts that show your belly button are not.  Skirts and dresses are okay as long as they sit below the knee.  When in doubt ask yourself, “Would I go on stage with a Symphony/Orchestra dressed like this?” When in doubt, ask Ms. Feige!


Private Lessons

During the school year I post a sign-up sheet on my door with times that are available for students to come in and work with me one-on-one.  I love these opportunities because I can really see a student’s progress and get to know their learning style much more in depth. 


However, as there are limited amounts of sign-up times available, I do request that each student honor their time slot and show up prepared and ready to play.  I will not deny another student the chance to learn during that time if the person who signed up for the lesson is late or ill-prepared. 


Instrument Rentals From Monforton

Monforton has a limited number of instruments available to rent during the school year.  The instruments are $75.00/year.  To rent an instrument, a rental agreement form needs to be filled out and signed by a parent, the student, myself, and Mr. Nisbet.  This form needs to be accompanied by a $75.00 check/cash.  If financing an instrument is a problem, please speak with Ms. Feige or Mr. Nisbet privately and we will work something out.  NO STUDENT WILL BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO PLAY IN BAND BECAUSE OF FINANCING.



In conclusion, please review this packet carefully with your child and discuss anything that may be of concern.  When you have completed the packet, talked with your child about how awesome band is and marked down the concert dates in your scheduler – please sign and have your child return the last page to me.  It is worth the first 5 points of your child’s grade!


I am looking forward to an awesome year



Ms. Feige

Band Handbook Acknowledgement


I have read the Monforton School District Band Handbook.  I have noted that the concert dates are:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2014


_______________________________       ________

Parent’s Signature                                                                                               Date

_______________________________       ________

Student’s Signature                                                                                             Date



Andrea Feige,
Sep 17, 2013, 2:32 PM