♪NATIONAL HOMESCHOOL MUSIC ENSEMBLES♪

2017 - 2018

HOW ABOUT COSTS?

NHME offers homeschoolers a chance to receive their music instruction at the unheard of price of $30 dollars a month; that’s $7.50 a week  This is based on NHME having a minimum number of students so that volume creates the necessary operating funds.  Currently NHME has about 65 students.  We target growth to between 80 and 105 students. We need your help and commitment as we approach our goal of continued growth during the 2017-18 school year. We hope that all homeschool students will take an interest in the NHME’s program development and continued vitality in both Lenawee and Washtenaw counties.

NHME is easily the third largest homeschool music program in Michigan. With eyes to the future, why not the largest?

We have established a level of payment which is unheard of relative to other music programs in our area.  Private music instruction can run anywhere from $45 to $75 dollars for an hour, and many instructors give only half hour lessons.  NHME music instruction is quite intensive.  We work hard, and we expect our students to do the same.  At the same time, we have a lot of fun and hope very much our students enjoy the work as much as we do.  At NHME we seek Excellence.

We are a non-profit corporation and accept gifts of money or instruments, and have received some wonderful support (especially in purchasing our percussion instruments in Tecumseh).  Nonetheless, we need to cover the rent and the many incidental costs that arise. Our fee schedule for 2017/18 is based on student count and reflects our belief that a quality music program at a very affordable price will draw the students needed to survive.

To this end, we charge a basic fee of  $30 per month for the student’s first ensemble.  Additional ensembles are discounted.  The second activity costs $25 per month, and the third and fourth cost $20 per month.

Tuition is due in monthly installments, but it may also be paid in a lump sum at the beginning of the term.  Under the installment system, we ask for basic tuition $30 to be paid by the first lesson each month from September through May. 

Instructional books will be provided, but are not included in tuition and must be purchased.  Instrument rentals on available NHME instruments is $15 per month for band instruments, $25 for string instruments.

There will occasionally be special rehearsals for advanced students with other groups, and there is no charge for these, although there may be additional costs for transportation. Parents are advised to be aware of schedule information, which we try to make available a year in advance.

In the past we have worked with Albion College, the University of Toledo, Eastern Michigan University, Hillsdale College, Spring Arbor College, Central Michigan University, The University of Akron, Bowling Green University, Western Michigan University, Adrian College, Central Michigan, The Straits Concert Band in Mackinac City, and the National Guard Air Force Band of the Great Lakes.    NHME is always on the lookout for positive musical experiences for our students.

We also will make every effort to ensure that a good quality instrument is available to each student.  Mr. Dobrosky cooperates with Marshall Music in Lansing in the purchase of suitable instruments.  Used instruments are available in many places—several of our students have bought outstanding instruments at yard sales for $25.  Start looking now!  And ask your friends and relations about instruments that might be sitting in an attic somewhere.

FINDING AN INSTRUMENT: NHME CAN HELP!

WHAT ARE MY CHOICES OF BAND/ORCHESTRA INSTRUMENT?

WHICH BRANDS MAKE THE BEST CHOICE?

LET’S START WITH BAND.  Beginning instruments are, flute, clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor), French horn (double), trumpet, trombone, baritone, and, if the student has piano background, percussion.  

For flute we would be happy to see the student with an older student line, Gemeinhardt. For clarinet the field is open; maybe a LeBlanc, Buffet, Vito, Conn, Yamaha, or Selmer, the older the better.

For sax we would go with a student line Yamaha or Selmer; again, age is probably a plus.

For French horn it is not good to learn on any instrument that is not a double horn.  We would look at Holton; Yamaha, Conn, Selmer. Here is an instrument that seems to hold its value even as a student model.

For trumpet, a Bach or a Yamaha student line horn: be careful not to confuse a trumpet with a cornet.  Age is good but not as important here.

Trombone: Bach, Selmer, Yamaha, or Holton; again, age is good but not important.  If you come across a reasonably priced bass trombone in good condition, that’s a plus.

For baritone: the instrument is too expensive for a student musician to own.  NHME has three; all are in use.  These rent for $15 per month.  You may come across a bell-front baritone at a garage sale; that can be a good purchase.

With brass instruments, French horn, trumpet, trombone, or baritone, watch for small red dots on the surface. This is an indication of red rot, and it means the horn is not salvageable over the long term.

NHME has some instruments for sale. All need some work; they are priced generally under $100.  Garage sale instruments generally sell between $25 and $95 as do many instruments on Craig’s List and EBay. With a woodwind, flute, clarinet, or saxophone, expect that if the pads are not new or near new (even if it currently plays) you will need a repad job to be done between six months to a year after extensive playing has commenced. A repad job can run from $200 to $300 dollars and brings the instrument up to its true value between $325 to $400 dollars, depending on the type of instrument involved. NHME has had a poor experience with some instrument brands.

We hope this helps prospective band students to find suitable starting band instruments. For parents, we recommend that you keep the start up costs as low as possible, and keep funds available for an intermediate instrument down the road as the student demonstrates his or her ability and need.

FOR ORCHESTRA OR STRING ENSEMBLE. A string ensemble needs violins, viola, ‘cello, and bass. NHME has some violins and a viola.  We do  own a ‘cello and bass, and have access to two violas, each of which will rent for $25/month.

PERCUSSION. The student needs to purchase sticks (Vic Firth, Ralph Hardiman nylon tip), and a practice pad.  The percussion instruments we use belong to NHME. All percussion classes are taught in Tecumseh.

There are two instruments which are both band and orchestra instruments and have a high initial cost: oboe and bassoon.  Players of these instruments are rare enough that a good player is practically assured of some sort of scholarship to college if all the other pieces (i.e., grades, etc.) are there. A  good conservatory grade oboe can cost between $2,000 to $4,000 dollars, with a bassoon running from $4,000 and up for a suitable instrument. NHME has never been able to put the funds together to own these instruments for rental purposes. We would love to be in that position some day; maybe with God’s blessing that will happen. We would work with anyone interested to find a suitable solution for a beginning student. Beginning oboes can be found for $1,000 dollars or less. However, they do not have all the notes on the instrument, and when the band or orchestra gets to an Eb or F major scale the student finds that the instrument does not allow them to play these scales.

Please address any further questions to Mr. Dobrosky at doby7777@gmail.com.