According to the Alberta Government, K-12 Classes will be moving online beginning friday, May 7, 2021 until at least May 25. What does this mean for music?
First, let me say thank you for allowing your students to continue in music. It is a release point for so many of our students during the challenging times of pandemics and academics, and they need it. Let's do what we can to maintain the high spirits that music can bring!
But We're Not Done Yet. We still have 2 more days before we go online. all students in all grades should bring instruments to school. we will play for enjoyment!
But once we switch to online, logistically, there are a few things families need to know ...
Please Note: This is all dependent upon any details and announcements shared by our school administration, and is subject to change (but isn't likely to).
In terms of what is being instructed, this will be FAR less intense than what happened in December. Although the students approached December with an incredibly high sense of work ethic, and their skill increased substantially, this is not the time to pressure students in music. Rather, the focus of the music courses over the next few weeks will be maintenance and love of music.
For Grade 7s, 8s and 9s, Marching Band will be the focus. Although we do not have the opportunity to march together, we will be able to memorize the music so that when we gather again, we can put the feet to the pavement. That being said, we will still be working on basic Marching skills, so if they can also have space to work outside, that would be awesome.
For Seniors, we will continue our Black Music unit, but we will also begin working on something the students have been really looking forward to, our year-end performances.
For Strings, we will continue working on Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and we will learn it little by little as we have been. Please ask students to bring in their instruments on Thursday, as we will try to get them to record themselves one more time during Block 3 that day.
For The Woodshedders (Stage Band), students will receive new music tomorrow, and we will be working gently on that (hopefully it will keep us "In The Mood").
For Panorama, we will be working on our repertoire for the entire year including Eye of the Tiger, Everybody Wants To Rule the World, and Mamma Mia. If students' parents can pick up steel pans tomorrow night after our rehearsal (May 5), that would be ideal. Due to this switch to online learning, we will be shifting our focus to one-day being able to perform on an outdoor stage, hopefully before the end of June.
I hear you are switching to using discord. What is that?
Discord is a tool that was originally used by gamers to connect with other gamers, but it has evolved into a very useful and free tool. Mr. Windsor has set up a Discord server to help with music instruction, and students are encouraged (but not required) to use it.
Mr. Windsor prefers Discord to nearly all other social apps. Unlike Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat and similar apps, it is free of distractions, and you can't make connections with random people very easily. You must be invited to a person's server, and it is almost always moderated (in this case, by Mr. Windsor). There is no "feed" where random other user's content, sponsors, or strange memes can suddenly appear without anyone asking for it. It is a much more controlled social connectivity tool, and for Mr. Windsor's music class, it makes playing and practicing much easier and even recording is simpler as well.
Students will not be required to use it, but encouraged, as it will help us maintain our music-building community, provide students with relevant tools to help them learn, and will be a moderated way for students to stay connected with each other. If you have questions about it, please email Mr. Windsor.
What about that concert? What now?
We are looking at airing the concert during this online break. While not all songs we've been working on will make it into this concert, they can easily be showcased at a future online event the school will host. These dates will be announced in the future.
No seriously. Thank you. For raising kids that I can't wait to get back to working with in person. Take care of yourselves and your family.
Mr. Joel Windsor
Mr. Windsor will provide you with some interesting hints, help, advice, and resources on this page.