Welcome to the Beginning Band!

Directors: Sara McGarry, Casey Alvarado, Billy Leo

Conference Periods:
Mrs. McGarry: 11:00 – 11:46 AM
Mrs. Alvarado: 11:00 – 11:46 AM
Mr. Leo: 8:25 – 9:16 AM

E-Mail addresses:
Sara McGarry
Casey Alvarado
William Leo

Beginning Band - Bailey Band

Beginning Band Classes

Every student enrolled in beginning band is scheduled in a 46-minute band class which meets every day during school hours. There are no required after/before-school practices for beginners. Different instruments meet at different times, as follows:

Mrs. Alvarado 3 716
Mr. Leo 6 716
Mrs. McGarry 6 803
French Horn
Mrs. Alvarado 7 805
Mrs. McGarry 7 803
Mr. Leo 3 805
Mrs. Alvarado 2 805
Mrs. McGarry 3 803
Mrs. Alvarado 2 805
Mrs. McGarry 2 803


Requirements and Activities

Concerts: All band students are expected to participate in two night concerts during the school year. These concerts are in December (Winter Concert) and in May (Spring Concert). The dates of these concerts can be found on the online calendar. Each concert is equal in importance to a major project grade, as all of our efforts culminate during concerts. Most importantly, a band depends on each of its members to produce an excellent performance. Because much is learned by listening to others perform, each student is expected to remain for the entire performance. Concert attire will be dressy clothes. Attendance at concerts is required unless a written excuse from the student’s parent or guardian is given to the director two weeks in advance of the performance. An absence from a concert will be excused only in the following circumstances:

  1. The student is ill. (Please notify the school in advance and send a written note when the student returns to school.)
  2. A family emergency (such as a death in the family).
  3. Special circumstances (submitted in writing to the band director at least two weeks in advance).

Transportation problems to a concert can usually be worked out, if the band director is informed of the problem ahead of time.

Behavior and Grading

Class Work: The development of good musical skills is dependent on each student having his/her instrument and all necessary materials each time the class meets. To stress the importance of this, a part of the band grade is based on this class participation. A lack of instrument in class due to its being repaired or a failure to play because of discomfort due to dental work will be excused if the student brings a note from his parent or guardian on the date of the occurrence. Forgetting to bring an instrument or materials or failure to bring a note from home will not be excused and the daily grade will be lowered.

Daily Practice: Daily practice is the student’s homework in band and is absolutely necessary for progress to be made. Every student is expected to have his/her instrument at home every evening and practice on a regular basis. We recommend a minimum of 10-20 minutes, five days a week of home practice during the first year, increasing during 7th and 8th grade years. Some students need more than that to achieve their musical goals. The students will have specific exercises and songs to practice, in addition to reviewing material presented in that day’s class. They will be writing these assignments in their Bailey Daily Runner. You can help by confirming they are practicing the correct assignment, and by listening to find out if practicing, and not just “playing around” is being occurring. It’s not the amount of time that is practiced that makes the greatest difference, it’s the quality of the practice session.

Grading: Six-weeks grades in band are based on:

      1. Daily class participation,


      1. Homework (nightly practicing),


      1. Performance and written tests which are given weekly,


      1. Concert attendance as noted above.

Behavior: Following the rules printed in the Bailey Daily Runner, band students shall:

      1. Show respect for self, others, and property,


      1. Be on time and prepared for class, and


      1. No food, drinks, or gum.



General Information

Instrument Storage: All instruments brought to school must have the student’s name clearly labeled with a luggage tag attached to the case. Since many instrument cases look alike, much confusion can be avoided by doing this. Students will bring their instruments to the band hall/band portable by 8:10 am and pick them up daily immediately after school. Instruments assigned to the main band hall must be secured with a combination lock that remains on the locker at all times. Storage in other band rooms will be on shelving. Instruments may not be stored in students’ school hallway lockers or other classrooms during the day or overnight.

Books and Music: This year’s band textbook is Essential Elements 2000, Books 1 and 2 with recommended play-along cassettes/CD’s at all available at area music stores. In addition, distributed sheet music and theory handouts need to be kept in a black notebook. The students will be held responsible for the loss or damage to any music and books checked out to them.

Expenditures: All receipts for expenditures will be kept in a student file at Bailey Middle School. These receipts will be maintained in the file throughout the child’s time with the Bailey Band. When the child leaves the band program in 8th grade, this receipt file will be given to the parents.

Private Lessons: Letting your child have private lessons is a great way to gain encouragement and make greater progress on the instrument. Private lessons enable a student to get ahead and stay ahead, rather than a “catch-up” tutoring technique, as in most other school subjects. Bailey has several private instructors teaching after school, and the band directors can recommend teachers that teach at other locations. Lesson information will be distributed in early September.

Insurance: Insurance for your child’s instrument is highly recommended. The band hall is locked whenever it is not in use, but instruments can be lost by being left accidentally on the bus, in classrooms, etc. Please talk with your child about the importance of keeping the instrument with him/her and not setting it down while waiting before or after school. For instruments not covered by adding a rider to your homeowners policy, insurance is available through an AISD recommended company. Forms are available at the Band Hall.

School-Owned Instruments: The school has only a few instruments available each year for check-out to beginners. These instruments are generally the larger, more expensive instruments and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During the summer, the school-owned instruments are checked and cleaned. Once a student checks out a school instrument, he/she is then responsible for the maintenance and repair of the instrument during the year. Students who use a school-owned French horn, baritone, or tuba will be expected to purchase their own mouthpiece in addition to listed supplies. These instruments, remember are not insured through the school district, so you are responsible for obtaining an insurance policy. Instruments in need of repair must be inspected by a director. In the event that a repair will be covered by the school, you will receive a voucher to have the instrument repaired at no cost to you.

Necessary Supplies

All band students are to bring to each class their instrument with a luggage tag attached, music and Essential Elements 2000, Book 1 (later Book 2) music books, black 3-ring notebook, and mechanical pencil (never a pen). A music stand, tuner and metronome for home practice is important to use. Additional instrument supplies are listed below. For more information on supplies and/or instruments, please see General Information, Instruments & Supplies.

Flute: A flute tuning rod, a soft cloth, and thumb and index guides.

Oboe: Three good medium strength reeds should be kept at all times along with a silk swab for cleaning, cork grease, reed case, and an empty 35mm film canister, with lid.

Bassoon: Three good medium strength reeds should be kept at all times along with swab and drop swab for cleaning, cork grease, reed case, and an empty 35mm film canister.

Clarinet: A minimum of three strength 2-1/2 Vandoran reeds at all times. As the students get more advanced, a harder reed will be required. Also needed are a swab for cleaning, Thumb Ez, VibraEase mouthpiece cushion, cork grease, and a reed guard for storing reeds.

Saxophone: A minimum of three strength 2-1/2 Vandoren reeds should be kept at all times. As the students get more advanced, a harder reed will be required. Also needed are a chamois swab and cloth for cleaning, a neck strap, cork grease, VibraEase mouthpiece cushion, and a reed guard for storing reeds.

Trumpet: Tuning slide grease, a soft cleaning cloth, mouthpiece and snake cleaning brushes, valve oil and a B.E.R.P.

French Horn: Rotary valve oil, tuning slide grease, a soft cleaning cloth, mouthpiece and snake cleaning brushes and a B.E.R.P.

Trombone: Conn Formula 3 lubricating supplies, tuning slide grease, 2 cleaning cloths, cleaning rod, mouthpiece and snake cleaning brushes, and a B.E.R.P.

Baritone/Euphonium: Tuning slide grease, a soft cleaning cloth, mouthpiece and snake brushes, valve oil and a B.E.R.P.

Tuba: Tuning slide grease, a soft cleaning cloth, a mouthpiece cleaning brush, valve oil, mouthpiece pouch, and a B.E.R.P.

Percussion: A practice marimba rental (MPM Model preferred), 1 stick bag w/pocket, 1 pair Vic Firth SD1 general snare drum sticks, 1 pair IP240 Innovative Percussion Medium Marimba Mallets, 1 pair T1 general Vic Firth timpani mallets, and a pitch pipe.  Simple Steps to Successful Snare Drumming by Kennan Wylie, and a Fresh Approach to Mallet Percussion by Mark Wessels.


Parental Support

There is nothing more important to your child’s study of music than your sincere and consistent support. Please help by attending our concerts, by encouraging home performances, and by helping your child understand that the more he/she practices now, the more fun and success they will have later.