My child couldn't make an open house. Can she still join?
~ Yes! Of course! Your child can join throughout the year. We welcome visitors on the first Thursday of each month. (However, we do not have rehearsal on July 5, July 19, or August 23 this summer.) Check out the "Join" tab on the menu for next steps and welcome! (Or click JOIN right here!)
My child is very shy. Is this the right activity for him?
~ Fife and drum is a terrific activity for all kids from the very shy to the very outgoing.
My child is homeschooled. Can this satisfy a fine arts requirement?
~ Absolutely! We teach music and our instructors are excellent. We can help you sign any paperwork that you need. Many of our members are homeschooled and the parents can help you as well.
My child learns best one-on-one. Is this a good activity for her?
~ Children are taught in small groups of similar ability. From time to time, children are pulled out of the small group for individual instruction. However, most of the time, they are taught with other children of varying ages.
Does my child get one of those neat drums or wooden fifes right away?
~ No. Your child will learn on starter practice instruments. Drummers will learn using drum pads with sticks or beaters. Fifers will learn with inexpensive plastic fifes. Parents do need to purchase those starter instruments, but they are very affordable. When the musicians have learned a basic repertoire, the corps will lend them "real" instruments to use for as long as they play with us. The real instruments are very expensive, so we make certain that the musicians are ready before we give them to the children to use.
How long does it take before my child will get a "real" instrument?
~ That depends on your child! We cannot answer this as it depends ENTIRELY on your child, not us. The question that will answer this is, how often does your child practice at home?
When will my child get a uniform?
~ We will discuss uniforms at a parents' meeting. All children who are in the corps will have uniforms and will march and participate in the events. That's part of the fun!
What will my child do during events before he has a real instrument?
~ Your child will be part of the Color Guard! The Color Guard is a very important part of any band or marching group including a fife and drum corps! The Color Guard carries flags, banners, and an important special flag called the guidon. The guidon is a flag that has our name on it and tells everyone who we are. Before members have learned to play a basic repertoire and have earned instruments, they will march in the color guard. Not only is this the Color Guard fun and valued by the group, but it is important since this is where people learn how to march.
When are the events and performances?
~ Typically, events are in the late spring, summer, and early fall. In 2016, we performed in eight events. In 2017, we performed in nine events.
What is the parental involvement? Is there any?
~ We encourage and rely upon parent volunteers, but there really is not much of a parental commitment at all. Honestly, we want you to encourage your child to practice. (We are a very relaxed group and we have fun together!)
Does your group have any political or religious affiliation?
~ No, not at all. We are not affiliated with any political organization. We are not a religious organization nor do we have any religious affiliation. Our fife and drum corps is purely musical and youth-oriented. We respect all our members and we do not discriminate in any way.
Do you discriminate?
~ Quite simply, no. We never discriminate based on any reason.
My child is on an IEP. Do I have to tell you?
~ If your child receives services or accommodations through school, it is very helpful for us to know what those are only because it helps us to better teach your child. But, that would always be voluntary information for you to give. Also, it would be confidential between you and your instructor. We would never hold this against your child - ever! We love kids and we want every child to succeed.
Can you tell me more about the history of fife and drum music?
~ Sure! It is varied. The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, have a great history from their website. Click here to read it. There are also lots of other fife and drum corps in the United States. We are a the newest member corps of The Company of Fifers and Drummers!
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