FAQ

How many different bands are at OMMS?
There are four different bands that meet as a class at OMMS as well as several extracurricular band activities that you can be involved in. The Beginner Band is for students who have never had any formal band training and the Concert, Symphonic and Advanced Symphonic Bands are for students who show knowledge and understanding music as well a competency in playing their instrument. The directors will assist students in auditioning for the advanced bands as well as deciding which extracurricular bands they may want to participate.

Do I have to know something about music?
No.  It is not necessary to have had any experience in other musical areas prior to joining the band.  You will learn the fundamental musical concepts necessary to be successful in band within the first few weeks of school and continue to learn throughout your years in the OMMS Band.  The majority of OMMS Beginner Band students have no musical training before signing up for the band.

Do I have to buy an instrument?
Depending on the instrument that you play, you may or may not need to purchase your own instrument.  Each year the directors of the Oak Mountain Middle School Band set aside several days day to work with all upcoming new parents and students in selecting the instruments for the student. With the help of  local music stores, the band staff will be working with new students to help them select the instrument that best suits their desire and physical ability.  Students will be given an opportunity to produce a sound on each instrument and discover the one which they are best suited. Trained musicians will observe and make notes as the students try each instrument.

If you decide to play certain instruments such as the euphonium, tuba or French horn, you will be able to rent an instrument from OMMS Band, otherwise you will need to either purchase or rent an instrument.  We can help you with that process. For more information on rental fees of instruments owned by OMMS see the handbook.

Where do I go to purchase or rent an instrument?
You are in luck!!! Gadsden Music (located on Valleydale Rd in the Southlake Shopping Center) will help you decide on whether to rent or purchase your instrument.  Instrument rental is usually around $35-$65 per month.

Do I have band class everyday?
YES!!! At OMMS band is offered as one of the elective classes available to students in all grades. Band, like the other elective options, is as an academic class just like English, Math or Science that meets every day during school.

Why do pay Band Fees and how much are they?
Unfortunately the school board does not provide any funds for the fine arts programs at Oak Mountain, other than the teachers’ salary. In order to provide the quality of musical programs expected in this community and to pay for items such as transportation fees, contest fees, supplemental instruction and new instruments the band must rely on fundraisers and fees. The fees are set each year based on the budgeted needs of the program. For more details on the fees see the band handbook.

Do I have homework?
Kinda.  Your homework will be to practice your instrument. The directors will require students to turn in a practice record showing that the student practiced their instrument every week during the school year.

Do I have after-school rehearsals?
Rarely.  Almost all rehearsals are done during the school day, however there will be a few after school rehearsals near competition times. These extra rehearsals will be announced in class and posted on the website.

Can I do sports or other extra-curricular activities while in the band?
SURE!!!  In fact, a number of OMMS Band students are involved in other activities, including football, baseball, track, dance team, cheerleading and scholar’s bowl. Experience shows that students involved in the OMMS Band program are usually leaders in other areas of the school in addition to the band.

How do I figure out what instrument I’ll play?
During our instrument selection, you will have a chance to play every instrument in the band . . . from flute to tuba.  We want every student to try every instrument even if you aren’t interested in that particular instrument.  After you have finished, we will look at your scores and talk with you about your favorite instruments.

Do I get to perform?
Yes. All the bands will have several concerts throughout the school year. The dates and times will be posted on the website.

Do I get to go on trips?
Yes.  Many 6th graders and all 7th and 8th graders go to Music Performance Assessment.  Each year we offer a big trip for the 7th and 8th grade and a small trip for our 6th beginner band students.  We’ve been to Orlando, Panama City, Gatlinburg, and Tampa.

Will being in band help in other areas of school?
YES!!!  As a member of the band, you will learn about teamwork and discipline.  This can easily be applied to other aspects of your OMMS experience, as well as life outside of school.  Students that participate in musical activity have consistently proven to be more likely to score higher on math and science test than other students.