Monday, November 16, 2015

Wednesday BEFORE SCHOOL Symphonic Band (7th grade) rehearsals

Our Dec.3rd concert is fast approaching and we need to have combined rehearsals in order to prepare. Our two combined rehearsals will be Wednesday Nov. 25th and Wednesday Dec. 2nd.  BEFORE SCHOOL
The rehearsal begins promptly at 8:30 am. All students must be here by 8:15 and in place ready to play at 8:30. I will be here by 7:30 am and you may drop students off early if need be. We will need volunteers to bring breakfast. I'll put a sign up genius link on the band website. Typical items are juice, muffins and doughnuts, If you have special dietary needs please contact me directly.
Ms. S.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Please don't stress about grades right now - An explanation of the new grading system

Dear parents and students,
As we all get used to the new grading system please don't be concerned about percentage that are showing up on Family Access. If you are getting 3's and 4's on your playing tests you are doing well. You will have the opportunity to make up any test that is not a 4. Often the next test you take will raise your grade and show your progress and you won't have to make up tests that are 3's. Those of you who are receiving less than 3's or incompletes do need to redo that test when you are ready.
I am entering incompletes instead of zeros. Please look for the incomplete indication before assuming an assignment is missing.
This new system is all focused on student growth and is helping me provide more individualized instruction to students.
If by the end of the trimester you are not seeing growth and good scores you may need to add more time to your home practice sessions. Please also consider our private instructors or after school mentor program.
Ms. S.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tone Test # 2 for all classes on Tuesday, October 27th

All classes will have a follow up tone quality test in class on Tuesday, October 27th.
6th grade brass and woodwinds will play the first 6 notes, ascending 4 to 8 counts per note.
6th grade percussion will play the Bb scale one octave up and down with alternating sticking.
7th and 8th graders brass and woodwinds will play the major scale of their choice, one octave ascending in whole notes.
7th and 8th grade percussionists will play a two octave scale of their choice with alternating sticking.

MusicFirst First assignment

The first Musicfirst assignment is due on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
All classes have the same assignment.
Log in to Musicfirst and click on the software tab. Choose "Focus on Sound". Click on "Orchestra" unless you play saxophone or euphonium/baritone. Saxophone and euphonium/baritone click on Jazz-Rock-Band.
Then click on your instrument in the left hand column. Go to the "note" tab or "movie" tab (NOT THE YOUTUBE tab) and listen to one or more recordings of your instrument. Send Ms. Sunmark a comment through Musicfirst stating the name of the recording or artist you listened to and one thing you heard in their tone quality that can help you.
All students received their user id in class. Your password is your student id from Family Access.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

7th and 8th grade tone quality tests

All 7th and 8th graders are playing today for an assessment on tone quality.
I will adding one more test for next Tuesday based on what I'm hearing today. For next Tuesday you may choose your favorite one octave major scale in whole notes.
This will help you focus just on tone and not on note reading.
I am also handing out a list of recommended mouthpieces and reeds. This list is not exhaustive. The best thing you can do is set up a lesson with a professional musician who plays the same instrument to experiment with different mouthpieces and/or reeds. Brass players may be ready for a mouthpiece with a deeper or larger cup. Woodwinds should be looking for hard rubber mouthpieces with a warm sound and a better quality reed and working toward using a #3 reed.
If you have not had your instrument serviced in a while now is the time to be sure it's functioning well. If it's in your budget it might be a good time to step up the quality of your instrument if you are playing on a beginner model. Again, a professional musician is your best source for information.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

MusicFirst now available

MusicFirst is now available to students. Click on the link MusicFirst website and enter your username and password. Usernames were distributed in class and your password is your student ID in Family Access.

I will be assigning lessons in Musicfirst soon.