Instrument Talk

Instrument Collage

Parents of 3rd Grade students,

Over the next couple months we will be talking about an important
decision in our 3rd graders' lives. The decision about choosing an
instrument for 4th grade.

Here are some important questions and answers that you should review
with your child: (Spend extra time on Question #5 with your child!)

Question #1: Does EVERYONE in 4th grade take an instrument?

Answer: No! Not everyone takes an instrument. Not everyone SHOULD
take an instrument!

Question #2: Who SHOULD take an instrument?

Answer: Only people who understand that playing an instrument is
hard work! YES - it will be FUN! But playing an instrument is like
having extra homework!

I want to be extra clear about this. Fourth Grade at John Paterson
School will be the BEST year ever! Those people who play an instrument
are going to have the best year of their life so far! We will have a TON of FUN!
However, this "ton of fun" is only going to happen for the people that put
forth a good effort and work hard. If you are the sort of student that does
not get their homework done, then maybe playing an instrument is not for you.

Parents should review the Instrumental Guidelines with their child.

Question #3: What if I wanted to be in the chorus?

Answer: You can do both! In fact MOST kids in 4th grade will
play an instrument AND be in the chorus. Paterson School has
one of the BEST choruses in Newington. You'll want to be a part of it!

Question #4: When and how will we choose our instrument?

Answer: We will know which instrument each student will play by
the beginning of June. Many things will be done between now and then.
3 things need to happen:

#1 - Mr. Kemp will give his recommendation as to which instrument
he thinks each student should take.
#2 - Each student will speak with Mr. Kemp about which instrument
they are hoping to take.
#3 - Parents will speak with Mr. Kemp to discuss all this information
and make an informed decision as to which instrument is best for
their child. (Mr. Kemp will call them.)

Question #5: What can I do right now to help me make a decision
about what instrument to play?

Answer: You need to answer a few of your own important questions.
The first thing to decide is - What GROUP do you want to be a part of?
Do you want to be in an Orchestra or a Band? Click on
either group to find out more information!

Once you know which group you want to be in, be patient! Mr. Kemp
will be giving everyone his recommendations soon. After that, he will
ask you what you want to play. Next he will call each home to speak
with your parents and see what they think. I will call by the 2nd week
of June.

3 people will be involved in this decision - Mr. Kemp, the student, and
the parents.

Question #6: What if we don't want to wait for Mr. Kemp to call,
or what if he has not contacted us by the 2nd week of June?

Answer: If you are anxious to find out Mr. Kemp's recommendations
because you are trying to get your child signed up for Summer Music,
or if Mr. Kemp has not called, feel free to e-mail Mr. Kemp at (Parents only!)

Question #7: What if Mr. Kemp calls me and only left a message?
Is is important for me to call him back?

Answer: The reason I call people at this time of year is to make
sure you are aware of Summer Music and to answer any questions
you have about next year. ***If you need a Paterson instrument for
the SUMMER, then you need to send a note in to Mr. Kemp with
your request.

I am more than happy to answer any and all questions you might
have. E-mail me at

If you do not have any questions, and you do not need an instrument
for the summertime, then it is not necessary for you to call me back.