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Re: Lessons a pre-requisite for top band?
I would never make it a pre-requisite for being in the top band. I have had all-staters who never took a single private lesson. Since you have the numbers to have more than one band I would make it a requisite to audition for the top band. Those taking private lessons should have the advantage, but not a free pass. Do what is best for your program with the least negative impact on your students.