Find answers to the most common questions about our Instrumental Music Program.
Students in Grade 4 have the option of beginning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello).
Students in Grade 5 may continue on a string instrument they began in Grade 4, or they may begin studying a band instrument (flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, French horn or trombone).
For Grade 4 strings, 30-minutes during school once each week.
Parents will be informed of upcoming performances by the instrumental music teachers. Typically there is one "Informance" in each elementary school in January where parents are invited to get a look at the progress students have made to that point. In the spring, all beginning string and band students will perform at the town-wide Stringarama and Bandarama concerts.
In Grade 4, students who do not elect to play a string instrument will remain in their classroom and continue working while string lessons are taking place.
In Grade 5, students will elect to participate in either band, chorus or orchestra. Those who elect band or orchestra will receive to group lessons and two ensemble rehearsals per six-day cycle at CMS. Those students who elect chorus will participate in two chorus rehearsals and two classroom music sessions. Instrumental Music lessons and Classroom Music will occur at the same time. There will be no "study halls" in Grade 5 due to Instrumental Music, and all students will receive music instruction four times per six-day cycle.
SMMS is an optional program intended to supplement our in-school instrumental music program that offers additional group lessons as well as small and large ensemble experiences. SMMS is operated by the BPS Department of Visual and Performing Arts. The SMMS teaching staff is a combination of BPS Music Faculty members as well as adjunct music educators from outside the district. In addition, advanced middle and high school students serve as "mentors" to the younger students enrolled in the program, and this has long been considered one of the strengths of the SMMS program.
Beginning on July 1 you can register online here. If you encounter difficulty with this process, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information regarding fees – including the process of applying for a fee waiver – is available here.
Obtain a registration form here. (Please make sure that you print the registration/waiver forms for Grades 3-5 Instrumental Music.)
Complete the form and return it with a copy of your current IRS 1040 Tax Return to:
Department of Fine & Performing Arts
Attn: Elementary Instrumental Music
221 Concord Avenue
Belmont, MA 02478
David French Music Company handles instrument rentals for the Belmont Public Schools. They visit our schools each week to deliver supplies and to pick up/drop off instruments for repair.
One day each September, David French Music (DFM) holds a Rental Day in the Belmont High School cafeteria from 3:00-7:00 pm. (Announcements will be made in September with the exact date.) Parents can bring their children during this time to enter into a rental contract with DFM and to pick up their instrument.
This varies from instrument to instrument, generally from $29-50/month. Please visit www.davidfrenchmusic.com for detailed rental information, or call David French Music at (800)366-5993. DFM also offers scholarship instruments to families in need of assistance.
Call David French Music at (800)366-5993 prior to Rental Day and they will make arrangements to deliver your instrument to school. String players will need to be sized prior to ordering, so it is highly recommended that you attend Instrument Rental Day.
*Please be aware that students must have an instrument by the second lesson in order to participate in the Instrumental Music program.
In the vast majority of cases, renting an instrument is the best option, because:
Yes, you can acquire an instrument any way you would like, but David French Music is the only vendor that visits our district for service calls. If you choose to enter into an agreement with another vendor, you will be responsible for picking up/dropping off your instrument for repairs and for obtaining any other materials that you may need. Service representatives from David French Music make weekly visits to each school in Belmont, which makes it very convenient for families to order supplies, or send instruments for repair. In addition, David French Music can supply "loaner" instruments if your rented instrument does need to be taken in for service. (You must contact them in advance to take advantage of this service.) Your BPS music teachers will not be able to provide you with any assistance contacting service representatives from vendors other than David French Music.
Questions about the Elementary Instrumental Music program should be directed to Arto Asadoorian, Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Belmont Public Schools – email@example.com.
Questions regarding your instrument rental contract can be directed to David French Music, Co., (800) 366-5993.
Questions regarding Saturday Morning Music School can be directed to John McLellan, instrumental music teacher and SMMS Director – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding online registration and fees should be directed to email@example.com.
Any other questions? Contact Noreen Duggan, Fine and Performing Arts Department secretary - firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 993-5990
Our mission is to educate all students in a supportive, nurturing and challenging environment by providing them with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities for expression in art, music, drama and dance that enable them to participate actively as consumers and makers of the arts in a diverse global community.