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Summer Lessons
Summer is almost here!  Don't let your young musicians lose everything they've gained this year!

Private lessons are absolutely the BEST thing you can do for young musicians!

There are lots of private lesson teachers in the valley, as well as the PALS and Pays-2-Play programs offered by the Music Festival and Jazz Aspen, respectively.

Here's a link to Jazz Aspen's list of private lesson instructors:

I (Mr. H) also will be teaching lessons this summer.  If you would like to sign your student up for lessons with me, simply go to this Google Doc and type in your name!  All details are listed in the Doc.

Thanks and have a great day!
Steve Heldt

New Website
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How Parents Can Help
By now, you are hopefully hearing beautiful music from your child’s instrument!  They need your support to keep improving!

The recommended amount of practice is 25-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for a total of 125-150 minutes a week.  This practice time can be broken up throughout the day.  For example, students can practice for 10 minutes in between homework of differing subjects, or they could play for 15 minutes after school and 15 minutes after dinner.

·         Listen to your child at times and praise, praise, praise.
·         Set up a safe practice environment without distractions.
·         Keep a timer with you so you can keep track of your students practice time.  Remember, learning an instrument is physical, too.  Beginners need to spend enough time playing every day to build up the necessary muscles to expand their range.
·         Have your child give you a short lesson on how to play their instrument.
·         Set up a play-date with another one of their friends that is in band.  Any combination of instruments can play music together; practicing with a friend is a lot of fun!
·         Attend all concerts (Your child will appreciate it more than you know.  He/she will also remember if you are not there.)

Private Lessons

Set your student up with private lessons!  They are the single-best thing you can do for your young musician’s development.  If you are very serious about your student's development, Jazz Aspen-Snowmass has a program called “Pays to Play” that will cover the cost of your student’s first three hours of instruction.  You can find out more information at:


SmartMusic is an amazing program that will change the way your child practices.  It is a program some 20 years in development that can interactively improve your child’s playing!  I could explain, but it’s much easier to understand by seeing it in action.  Check out the attached files for more information or check out .

Looking to Buy? Read This First!
 Dear Parents,

In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in students and their families purchasing instruments online or at discount department stores.  While it's true that good deals can be found online, it's also true -- and increasingly alarming to band directors nationwide -- that there are many instruments of inferior quality being sold to unsuspecting buyers. These instruments are referred to by people in the music profession as ISOs: Instrument Shaped Objects!

The instruments, often new, may look good when they arrive, but due to substandard craftsmanship and materials, soon develop problems. Instruments with metals that are too soft to hold an adjustment cause woodwind players great frustration, and valves that don't fit correctly can make brass instruments virtually unplayable.  In fact, many instrument repair shops refuse to service these types of instruments!

An instrument that does not work properly can be tremendously discouraging to a student. I and many of my colleagues have seen this lead directly to students quitting band out of frustration. A quality instrument that plays in tune, stays in alignment, and has a life expectancy of 25 years or more is a crucial factor in the success of students at all levels of the band program.

If you are considering buying an instrument, you need to follow one simple rule: Buy an established name brand. It has been my experience that instruments made by Yamaha, Bach, Selmer, Conn, Gemeinhardt, Buffet, LeBlanc, and Schilke are well made and long lasting.

I would be happy to advise you on instrument purchases, online or otherwise. We also have several reputable local music stores in Colorado. With a local dealer, you save shipping costs (often a substantial savings) and you have service after the sale, if needed. Both Glenwood Music in Glenwood Springs and Mesa Music in Grand Junction carry a complete line of high quality instruments from beginner to professional models. I have no ulterior motive in recommending either company; there are other fine music stores in Colorado, but these two are in our area and specialize in instruments and service to school music programs.

I want to assure you that I have absolutely no business or financial motive in recommending a particular brand of instrument or company. The opinions stated here are based on my experiences from more than 20 years of playing. My motive is to prevent students from getting stuck with inferior instruments. While it may save a few dollars in the short term, it almost always results in failure over the long term.

Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you or answer any questions regarding instrument purchases.


Steve Heldt

PS:  If renting or purchasing a quality instrument is financially prohibitive for your family, please conact me so that we may make arrangements to supply your student with an instrument.

Discussion Topics
 GWM Rental Agreement.pdf
Glenwood Music's Rental Agreement
 GWM Rental Information.pdf
Glenwood Music Rental Information
 ISO Letter.pdf
Regarding Instrument Purchases
SmartMusic Parent Flyer
 Signup Night Info.pdf
Sign-Up Night Information
SmartMusic PowerPoint for Parents
No "Homework" exist(s)

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