There will be Band!
During this time, band classes will continue at Cain Middle School and all of our elementary band programs. Though this year will look different than what your students are used to due to health and safety precautions, students will have the ability to be in band whether they are in-person or digital learners. We are grateful for the community and district leadership for providing us the opportunity to teach your students safely during the ongoing pandemic.
This page contains information and updates specifically for band classes. Due to the nature of the pandemic, information may change at a rapid pace. We strongly encourage checking back often for the latest information.
We take the health of your students VERY seriously during this pandemic. The last few months, Dr. Shelly Miller at the University of Colorado led a scientific study in the UC Boulder Aerosol lab to discover if and how Covid 19 would be spread while playing musical instruments and singing. Their findings are currently being corroborated by Dr. Jelena Srebric at the University of Maryland and they are repeating their tests to ensure accuracy. They found that playing a wind instrument does not generate any additional aerosols than a normal conversation would from about six feet away; however, they had some recommendations in order to reduce the spread of aerosols even further. We have taken all of their recommendations into consideration while formulating our guidelines for the safety of our students. You can read more about the study and see their results here.
For all of our students who choose to come back to school in-person, we will be making modifications in accordance with UIL, CDC, and district guidelines as well as the results of the UC Aerosol study. To view all of the information released from Rockwall ISD, please visit this link.
Band classes will happen for those families who choose in-person learning. Using CDC, UIL, and district guidelines, we have made the following accommodations to our classroom and procedures.
Entering / Exiting the Band Hall
- Students will be required to wear masks at all times while entering and exiting the band hall
- Students will be required to use hand sanitizer upon entering the room
- Instrument cubbies assignments will be spaced out as much as possible to reduce student contact; some students will store instrument cases and band binders under their chairs
- Band classes will line up outside the door until the room has emptied from the previous class
- Percussion students will enter/exit the ensemble room directly from A-Hall and remain separate from the band class
- Doors will be propped open during class transitions to minimize touching of door handles and common surfaces
- Backpacks and other student bags will remain with the student at their chair or in their instrument cubby if it is large enough
During Band Class
- Students will be spaced 6′ (or as far as possible) from each other in straight, offset rows
- Students will all sit facing the same direction to minimize potential exposure
- Students will be seated closest to their instrument cubby or storage area
- Percussion students will remain in the ensemble room and not enter the band hall
- As possible, band classes will be split among other directors, including RHHS directors, contingent on space and schedule limitations
- Common-touch areas have been removed or restricted (pencil sharpener, band table, etc.)
- Breathers will not be used this year
- Students will remain in their assigned seat unless given specific permission to leave by a director
- Percussion students will use their own sticks and mallets at all times; equipment that is shared will be handled with gloves by all students and be disinfected in between each band class
Masks and Band-Specific PPE
- Students will wear their ‘normal’ masks when entering/exiting the band hall
- The band has purchased ‘blow-hole’ style masks for students to use during class who play oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba
- Students listed above will wear the ‘blow-hole’ style mask for the duration of band class
- The band has also purchase attachable shields for flute students; flute students will use this in lieu of the blow-hole style mask
- Additionally, the band has purchased bell covers for trumpet, trombone, and euphonium students
- Students will be issued their band-specific PPE during the first days of school
- Students will be required to keep up with the additional PPE; students can store masks and bell covers in their instrument case
- Percussion students will wear their ‘normal’ face mask during the duration of class
- Band directors will wear face masks and optional face shields while giving instruction; to help facilitate being heard, microphones will be worn by band directors
- Arrangements are being made so students do not have to share instruments (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, French Horn, euphonium, tuba)
- We already have a policy of “don’t touch an instrument that isn’t yours” and it will continue to be enforced this year
Brass players will empty water into rags at close proximity and not onto the carpet
Percussionists playing shared instruments (ex: bass drum, timpani, hand-held percussion, etc.) will wear gloves; the instruments will also be sanitized after every class
- At this time, all private lessons will be held virtually
- To help accommodate scheduling, virtual lessons will be allowed during band classes in addition to outside of school
- Students who have virtual lessons during band class will use a practice room, log onto a pre-assigned Zoom link, and have their lesson
- Additional logistics are being discussed at this time and will be available the first week of school
Honors / Symphonic Band Sectionals
- Before/after school sectional rehearsals will occur in person for all Honors and Symphonic band students starting the week of September 7th
- A schedule will be released the first full week of school
- Attendance will be required much like ‘normal’ semesters
- Concert Band 1 and Concert Band 2 students will not have sectionals at this time
- Band aides will assist the band directors and their band aide classes in a minimal and safe capacity
- For most situations, band aides will play their instrument in their band aide period or work on Canvas-related tasks
For families choosing the online option, students will still have ‘band,’ however, it will look different than those students who participate in person. This part of the plan is the most under construction! As we receive more information and guidance from district leaders, we will update this section.
In-Person for Band Class, Online for Other Classes
- Students are allowed to come to school for their band class while staying virtual for other classes
- Parents must provide transportation to and from school for this option
- We are still working out the logistics of this option, so stay tuned!
Online Full Time
- Students have the option of participating in band online
- You will need adequate space for your technology, chair, stand and instrument
- All course content and assignments will be delivered through Canvas
- Virtual private lessons are strongly encouraged, more so than ‘normal’ semesters
- Students who play bass clarinet, bassoon, tenor saxophone, bari saxophone, French horn, euphonium, and tuba will have the opportunity to pick up an instrument before the start of school if they do not already have a summer instrument
- Students who play the instruments listed above who do have a summer instrument will keep that instrument for the first nine weeks
Honors / Symphonic Band Sectionals
- Students are allowed to come to school for their before/after school sectional rehearsal if they are choosing the online school option
- Sectionals will begin the week of September 7th
- A schedule will be released the first full week of school
- Transportation is not provided; band parents must arrange transportation to/from sectionals
- We are still working out the logistics, so stay tuned!
- 8th Grade band aides will not be allowed to come to school for their band-aide class
- We are working on ways for band aides to assist and interact online using Canvas and Zoom
Frequently Asked Questions
Click the plus icon next to the question to reveal the answer.
If my child chooses the online option, will they still have band?
Yes! Students who choose online for the first nine weeks will still have band content and assignments through Canvas.
Online students also have the option of attending their band class in person as long as transportation is provided.
Can my child attend band class in person even though they are doing the online option?
Yes! Band students are allowed to attend their band class in person and remain online for all other classes. Transportation must be provided by the parents. Additional logistics will be provided as more information becomes avaialble.
Can my child attend before/after school practices if they are an online learner?
Yes! Band students are allowed to attend before/after school sectionals and rehearsals. Transportation must be provided by the parents. Additional logistics will be provided as more information becomes avaialble.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions, please feel free to email Mr. Ousey by clicking here.