Well, we're going back home again. What does that mean for music?
No change. Students will still be expected to play their instruments at home. It is also my understanding that we will likely stick to our regular school schedule, and therefore band classes (and after school band classes) will continue. So I'm planning each of my classes with that in mind.
Today and tomorrow I will be polling students to get a feel for what they want moving forward. We have to be playing instruments, but we may be able to discuss some unique ways of doing so to keep it interesting, challenging (but not too challenging), relevant and fun.
My current plan looks like this for every class;
This plan will also be used for Strings, Stage Band and Steel Pans. I am currently working on solutions to having students who use drums, pianos, bass guitars or steel pans still have access to the tools they need.
What you need to do to enable
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Grade 7 Band
All students should have instruments and maintenance kits, including bell covers. Maintenance kits are for marks. They have their first playing assignment in MusicFirst, their First Notes. They should be encouraged to experiment with their instruments, and although their first sounds can be unusual, they are ALWAYS good first sounds ... please encourage them at home.
Grade 8 Band
Students should have maintenance kits and bell covers, as well as over-the-ear headphones for every class. We split-class, allowing each student to play 30 minutes each class with time for air-exchange and distancing as per AHS requirements, but that means they will be using headphones every class as well. They have their first assignment, Raider's March, in MusicFirst as well.
Grade 9 Band
Students should have maintenance kits and bell covers, as well as over-the-ear headphones for every class - this is for marks. They will be doing their first performance in collaboration with the Senior Concert Band, "Amazing Grace", which appears in MusicFirst. They will be playing every class, whether we are indoors or outdoors, for the remainder of the year.
Students should have maintenance kits and bell covers, as well as over-the-ear headphones for every class. We split-class, allowing each student to play 30 minutes each class with time for air-exchange and distancing as per AHS requirements, but that means they will be using headphones every class as well. They have their first assignment, Amazing Grace, in MusicFirst as well. They are also beginning a research project on one topic within the category of African American Music and Culture, which will culminate in a larger presentation later this year.
Students will occasionally have some work to complete in the middle of the week for this class, such as right now, where students have some at-home work to do on the history of Steel Pans and the Soca Style. We will continue to rehearse every Wednesday from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, doors opening at 5:50 PM and closing at 6:05 PM (to maintain AHS protocols). Apps for pan practice at home are available in Google Classroom, but you can just as easily print the layout on paper and practice on that. Students are doing very well, and I'm very proud of them!
St. Cecilia Strings
We have so far learned how to tune our violins, violas and celli, as well as some basic fundamentals around pizzicato and first position fingerings. They have an assignment in MusicFirst, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", which they are to play at home, hopefully from memory, in pizzicato style. We do not have a practice on Tuesday, October 13, but will every Tuesday following that. Students need to be picked up immediately after we are done at 4:40 PM. Next time we meet, we introduce the bow. I'm very proud of how these students have embraced the instruments!
This group meets for the first time on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, and meets every Wednesday immediately after school. Rehearsals go until 4:40 PM every time we meet. Parents will need to ensure their students are picked up exactly at 4:40 PM.
Many of your students have selected a secondary instrument for this class. This year and this year only, we are waving secondary instrument rentals of saxophones and trombones, however your students will still be responsible for maintenance of the instruments they receive. We have a full jazz group with Senior High and Junior High students, and should have a lot of fun this year!
CHARMS IS GONE, MUSICFIRST IS IN
Every student currently has at least one if not more assignments in MusicFirst. Please help your student access those assignments to complete them. If there is an issue with technology access, please contact Mr. Windsor.
As Always, but this year more than ever, thank you for your support! Have an amazing, rejuvenating, well-earned thanksgiving really-long weekend!
With Instrument Rentals Now Done, We Can Finally Begin!
This means your student is expected to have their instrument by Tuesday, October 6 in the school. If you intend to rent through Long & McQuade, you will need to do so through them by the end of Saturday, October 3 if you want them to deliver your instrument to the school. Any orders placed before that time will be delivered to the school on Monday, October 5. Watch the video from the Instrument Rental Night for more details.
PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO GET INSTRUMENT CARE KITS!
Thank you again for all your support!
Grade 7 Instrument Rentals are Finally Here!
If your student hasn't completed that form, they need to do that in order to be guaranteed an instrument of their choosing; please ask them to go into the Grade 7 Band Google Classroom to complete that form.
LONG & McQuade is the only approved source!
Did you know you're a member of the Fine Arts Parents?
After the Instrument Rental Night stick around for the Fine Arts Parents Association AGM. It will begin at 7:00 PM sharp, and is an opportunity to find out how the organization supports your students in their learning. Please stick around for this very important meeting!
Thank You For Your Patience and Support!
You are receiving this email because your student is signed up for participating in the St. Cecilia String Ensemble on Tuesdays after school from 3:20 PM to 4:40 PM.
You're probably wondering "how do I get my student their instrument?" I'll try to make it as easy as possible.
If your child has selected violin or viola, the best option is to rent from Long & McQuade. See the video below for a walkthrough of how to do it.
Welcome to NDC Music For the 2020/2021 School Year!
I encourage you to view these videos, which I shared with students already in their Google Classrooms. Then you can read on.
For Grade 7s
For Grades 8-12
STRINGS WILL NOW BEGIN September 22, Not September 15,
Due To Unexpected Scheduling conflicts. There will be a
Lunch-Hour Meeting on September 15 instead to prepare for our first session.
Fine Arts Parents Meeting - September 30, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Grade 7 Instrument Rentals - September 30, 2020 at 6:30 PM
The Super Important Tools for your Musicians and you
This document was handed out to each student to take home to families already. It includes information about how bands will operate at NDC in 2020/2021, how to rent instruments, and other important information about the operation of music classes at NDC. Read that first, as many of your questions can be answered there.
Of course your student will require a working instrument with proper cleaning and maintenance gear. Instruments will be used every class, even in the pandemic. We may not be playing them every day, but they will be used. At-home playing is also expected every week, so your student will need their instrument at-home regularly.
Notre Dame Collegiate heavily encourages instruments be rented from Long & McQuade (https://rentals.long-mcquade.com) whenever possible, as their rates are better than what Notre Dame Collegiate can afford, and their insurance program is unbeatable. View the video above for an explanation of that process for students who are in Grades 8-12, or involved in the String Ensemble. For students who are in Grade 7 Concert Band, you will have a special instrument rental night made available to you after your student has selected their instrument.
Tubas, Baritone Saxophones, Bass Clarinets, Steel Pans, Percussion and Electronic Instruments are instead rented through Notre Dame Collegiate. Where possible, two instruments are made available to make transportation easier. Mr. Windsor will connect with students who will be renting this equipment directly.
An Instrument Maintenance Checklist has been given to your students to ensure they have all the tools they need to ensure we meet not only regularly maintenance protocols, but the extensive safety protocols due to COVID19. Please ensure your student has the tools their are responsible for, as this will count towards their Skills and Techniques mark. You can again order them through Long & McQuade.
We will be replacing Charms this year with a different tool for Performing and Skills & Techniques assessments. MusicFirst will be the place where your students record playing assignments and practice Sight Reading for their instrument. MusicFirst will be used in place of Charms. New walkthrough videos on how to use MusicFirst will be sent home soon.
All assignments, announcements and documents will appear here. As we will have weekly assignments sent home (short, easy assignments), you as parents may want to get updates. Within the next two days you will be receiving an invitation to get those email updates. If you don't receive that invitation, please contact Mr. Windsor, and he will send it again.
Headphones, Pencils, and Sheet Music
Students will be doing a great deal of listening to music, performing music along with accompaniments provided on the computers, or live streaming classes. For each of these circumstances, headphones will be required.
Research has shown earbuds to be the least healthy of the options, running the risk of ear infections and hearing damage more easily than any other kind of headphone. This is why Mr. Windsor expects students to have over-the-ear headphones, whether they are corded, bluetooth, or otherwise. Although noise-cancellation is preferred, it is an expensive option, so it is not required. Earbuds are not acceptable tools for a music classroom.
Students will also need pencils regularly (pens are not acceptable), and sheet music is lent, so must be cared for appropriately.
There are many resources available on the website at http://music.ndcfinearts.ca, including explanations of the general program, assessments, and more. In addition, any email sent home to parents from the NDC Music Department will also be posted on The Musicker Blog on the website. Finally, the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NDCFineArts is also our public face and announcement board, so you may see some activity there, particularly with regards to fundraising and performances.
Out of School Ensembles (Steel Pans, Strings, Stage Band)
Thank you for SUpporting Your Child's Development in Music ... Music education has an incredibly important role,
especially in the wake of a pandemic.
We Will Be Playing Band Instruments in the 2020-2021 School Year!
If you still want your student enrolled in Band, please contact the school as soon as possible to ensure we make whatever adjustments to your students schedule are necessary.
The High River Little Britches Parade Is going Virtual, and they want the NDC Marching Band Involved!
I will also be providing bonus marks to every student who sends in a recording!
There are some quick and easy steps to doing this;
- Download Raider's March, and print your page from the file.
- Get headphones and a device that can connect to Charms.
- Tune your instrument. You can use https://theonlinemetronome.com/free-online-tuner-for-musicians.html to do it.
- Load the "Raider's March" Assignment and Accompaniment into Charms' Recording Studio.
- Record it!
They've asked us to send this in by the end of next week, so the sooner you can send it in, the better.
Thanks for participating!
This is an unusual request for you/your students to send me a short video about their experiences in NDC's Music program.
Usually, each year we take the Stage Band, Steel Pans, and a Concert Band to Holy Spirit Academy to introduce them to some of the things we do in NDC's Music Program. This year we obviously cannot do that. A student suggested to me that perhaps NDC musicians could instead share their experiences themselves.
So I'm asking you to all consider sending me just a very short video, sharing with Grade 6s why you like being in music, what your favorite memories are, what you look forward to most, maybe what your favorite song is, or anything else you can think of. I don't need videos that are super long, but whatever you can put together to share with Grade 6s what makes learning music so special to you would be most helpful! Also, the sooner you can send me such a video, the better, as Grade 6s will be getting this information very soon!
You can share them to me directly via Google Drive, or you can use a transfer service like wetransfer.com. In either case, please share them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your help in this. I miss you, and am looking forward to seeing you all again!
Mr. Windsor will provide you with some interesting hints, help, advice, and resources on this page.