We practice every Monday at Slettebakken skole, and are accepting new recruits from 3rd grade and up. Here we have collected answers to many of your questions.
If you want to begin or have questions and want to know more? Write to us at email@example.com or call Gry Sjøholt at mobile phone 93411840.
Frequently asked questions – For CHILDREN…
Does everyone play together?
The first year is spent in aspirantkorpset together with other beginners. With Pernille, the conductor, you learn rhythms, to read notes, and playing instruments together. From the second year and for 2-3 years, you will be a member of juniorkorpset, conducted by Merete. Melodies, harmonies, and rhythms become more challenging, and our classics include Born to be wild, Beat it, and I love rock and roll. Hovedkorpset plays symphonic and popular music and is conducted by Arild. In 2021, they ended up third in the first league of the Norwegian championship and are thus among the best school bands in Norway! In hovedkorpset, you can play until the year you turn 19.
Where and when does the school band practice?
All of our age groups practice at Slettebakken skole Mondays from ca 17:30. Once per week each musician also has a 30-minute private lesson on their own instrument, and we do our best do be flexible and find times that suit your own hectic schedule.
Is the social environment safe and supportive?
Our aim is that everyone knows everyone in Ulriken Janitsjar! Kids reach out across ages to make friends and have fun. In breaks, at seminars, and on trips, the kids take good care of each other under supervision of parents and instructors. In the school band, all instruments and parts are important and add value to what everyone else experiences. Because of this, mutual dependence and respect go both ways – young children have role models in the older musicians and the older ones support the youngsters by engaging with them.
At what age should one begin in the school band?
Most children begin in third or fourth grade of primary school. Every year, some older musicians also begin, regardless of whether they have played an instrument for some time or start from scratch. Older children often learn more quickly, and we individually adjust progression to more advanced levels so they quickly can play together with kids of their own age.
Can one choose which instrument to play?
The children have a large influence on which instrument they receive, but at the same time it would be boring if everyone played, say, flutes, or drums. Our conductors therefore have suggestions for what the school band as a whole needs. It is also easier to begin on smaller instruments and then change to more larger or more technically challenging instruments as one grows older.
Does one need to know how to read sheet music?
We assume no prior knowledge. Children learn incredibly fast while they do things together or copy others. No theory lesson, just learning by doing.
Is there a lot of outdoor marching?
Marching is a minor part of the regular activity of a school band. Ulriken Janitsjar spends most of the time playing entertainment and symphonic music indoors.
How does one acquire the technical skills for playing an instrument?
In addition to group practice once a week, each musician receives 30 minutes individual instruction with a professional instructor per week.
…and what is it like for PARENTS?
Do we need to buy an instrument?
No, the school band has instruments for everyone that the children can borrow for as long as they are members.
What does it cost to be a member?
The member fee is currently 1300 kr per half year per musician. In aspirantkorpset you pay only half. In comparison, music lessons in the municipal culture school cost more than twice as much. If your family economy is limiting, please contact us and we will find a solution – in full confidentiality of course.
Do I as a parent need to know how to play an instrument or read musical notes?
No, the children will learn everything they need through organized instruction.
Is there a lot of driving required?
Instruments are often large and heavy, particularly for the youngest musicians. Although these would benefit from transport, there is a culture of ride sharing and helping so share your needs and it is likely someone can assist. Weekly group practice is at Slettebakken skole (near bybane and bus) and we try as far as we manage to offer individual instruction at the nearest school.
How much voluntary work do I need to do?
As a parent it is expected that you help serve fruit and assist with practical things during group practice once or twice per semester. In addition, the school band is raising money by organizing a flea market, usually in September. That weekend you are expected to participate.
How does the school band fund its activities?
The most important source of income is governmental or private funding schemes for voluntary organizations. Thereafter comes the flea market and member fees.
(All photo: Lucius Bader.)