A Great Message for the weekend
Music Teachers have two greatest fears. The first fear is standing in front of a musical ensemble on a performing stage, begin conducting, and having their ensemble not start.
The second one is being sick.
This week I lived that second fear, but my fears were easily put to rest by your amazing students.
I started this week LiveStreaming from home. I was then told that even doing that was too much, and to take it easy. Don't worry, I'm okay, and nothing is COVID-related, but health has to sometimes take a priority.
Every night I had a conversation with my substitute teacher, Mr. Wilkowich, who loves music, but had his "maiden voyage" of conducting on Thursday. He would relay the details of the hard work and inspiring moments he would have working with your students. Every night the messages back were "you have the most amazing students, they are so respectful, and so hard-working."
Yes I do.
I seldom take the moments necessary to share with you how much I love working with your kids, and how much of a privilege it is to do so. You should know that your students have done wonderful things despite all the strange challenges of the year, and I'm proud of them.
Please continue to encourage them to play at home ... not just practice, but actual play. Have fun with the instruments. Sure, get some work done for Mr. Windsor in MusicFirst too, but have fun with them.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with your kids. You're all doing something right!
I am So Grateful for you all!
This first month-and-a-half has certainly challenged the music department. Students have been very accommodating with the frustration of not playing music indoors. They have worked hard on written assignments, listening tasks, and theory. I'm very proud of them, and thankful for their determination.
But now everyone has instruments and bell covers for their instruments, so we can begin indoors playing! That also means we get back to work on playing those instruments at home. Parents should know what to expect. To that end, I give you a quick update for Thanksgiving. Students will have this weekend and the following week to make sure they are caught up on the performing aspects of band. I've also made a video of our new assessment tool, MusicFirst.
Stage Band / Jazz Band / The Woodshedders
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
We have replaced our old system of assessment with MusicFirst. In MusicFirst students will receive assignments that allow them to practice with accompaniments providing immediate feedback, develop sight-reading skills, access a music encyclopedia, and receive digital access to a monthly subscription to In-Tune magazine. This is a huge improvement over our previous systems, and students are likely to find the tool highly engaging.
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!
Instrument Rental Night took place last night. Now we are looking to begin playing in class.
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!
This is truly an exciting time! Students will want to try their new instruments right away. They are encouraged to do so, and you can help them simply by giving them time and space to do it. Permit them a chance to make their strange first sounds in private, so that they can go through the potentially embarrassing first sounds before sharing things with you. And encourage them, no matter how much they resemble a dying duck. These first sounds are super important, and must be nurtured both at school and at home.
Thank you again for all your support!
Mr. Windsor will provide you with some interesting hints, help, advice, and resources on this page.