Since I began teaching in the school that I am in now, I have really struggled to find a schedule that works well for beginning band.
At first, we did not start meeting until the beginning of November and met twice per week as a full ensemble, which was very difficult as they were first beginning. My wife and I both taught the class and even with two of us, as we were teaching students how to put the instruments together and make a sound, the rest of the band was not doing much of anything. It would take at least three weeks to get through this. A big problem that we had with this was having students not arrive to class until about 10 minutes into class, no matter how much we talked to their teachers.
I did offer sectionals before and after school; however attendance at these sectionals was very poor.
This year we tried something new and have all of the 5th graders meet for 60 minutes in the morning. At the beginning of the year, my wife took the woodwinds for 30 minutes while I taught the general music class and then we would swap. This worked pretty well for band at first; however, the general music class suffered because they ended up being taught the same information twice, which caused some behavior problems. We have changed it so that the class meets for general music for about 30 minutes and then we switch to full band. Those who are not in band then get some supplemental instruction. This has helped some; however, I am now really struggling with any sort of continuity between classes. I only see each class once per week, sometimes if I am lucky, I will see one class twice. It is very much a struggle, especially with my brass players. I still have trumpets and trombones who have a 3 note limit. It is hard for them to buy into a practice routine without more class time.
I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I'd love to meet with the band separately 3 or 4 times per week, but scheduling is an issue as I also teach the middle school and high school bands.