I teach 250 seventh, eighth, and ninth graders at a junior high school in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. The entire school population is roughly 1200 students. I am the only band teacher in the school, which is very common in Utah. I see my students daily. We are nearing the end of the year and it is fun for me to see the growth that the students have made.
The school population is both racially and economically diverse, with a good portion of the students on free and/or reduced-price lunch and/or breakfast.
However, there are some students that spend their spring breaks in Hawaii. One of our school goals is that every student can learn. It is a joy to work with these students.
The low sounding instruments in the band are critical to a band in order to have a good quality sound. Right now at our school, the bass clarinets are sixty plus (60+) years old. Unfortunately, most musical instruments do not get better with age especially when being used daily by junior high school students. While most students will rent a clarinet or trumpet from a local music store, bass clarinets are far too expensive for music stores to make them available for rental. Purchasing is the only option. We have students here that cannot afford to buy their own lunch. It is critical for us to have these instruments available at school for them to use.
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