Month: January 2016

Playing Test Due 1/26/2016

Good morning,

As I have mentioned to the students, we are planning on doing some of our testing online and through Google classroom this semester.

Benefits of online testing with video include:

  • The ability for me to visually see the embouchure, grips and keys that the students are playing.
  • The ability for me to re watch the video to get a good read of what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • The ability for me to give a more detailed report back to the students so that they can know exactly how they are doing and how to improve.
  • The ability for me to watch the video with the students to point things out so they can hear themselves play from an audience members perspective.
  • Students have a large window to complete the test on and do not need to submit their video until they get their best repetition of the line. Students can submit it when they are ready as long as it is by the due date.
  • Especially in my large class of 80, the students do not have to sit and wait as I test EACH STUDENT INDIVIDUALLY.

There are many benefits that I see with this form of testing. We will not use online testing for every test, but we will when needed.

Ways to submit the test:

  • Students must take a video where I can see their face and entire instrument (specifically the hands).
  • Students will either email the video to me directly  OR submit it through GoogleClassroom. (Make sure to put your first and last name please).
    • Class 6.1 (10:15-11:05) class key= 8e52j9
    • Class 6.2 (12:00-12:50) class key= 89xry6d
  • Students without a cell phone or recording device will use a Chromebook at school to turn in their test. Every student has the opportunity to submit this assignment. Any students who do not turn in the test by the due date will quickly be tested in class with a late penalty. 

I WANT to hear each student and I am thrilled that I will get recordings so that I can really diagnose anything that I see. This will make our band immensely better especially moving on to 7th grade band because I am now able to give each student the individual attention that they need.

Once again, I accept using Google Classroom or an email sent to me with the video. If students do not have a cell phone/ipad/ipod/recording/GoPro/recording device they may use yours or our equipment here at school. 

The beauty is that your student can practice and take multiple takes and only send me their best one! I want to see them at their best.

The info for this playing test is below:

Essential Elements book page 10 line 45 “William Tell”.

The due date is Tuesday January the 26th at midnight.

I would like for you all to review what I have written above and email me with any concerns. This is our first time ever at Carrollton using GoogleClassroom for online testing so I would like to get over any hurdles that we run into now. This is going to be a fantastic thing!

-Ms. Menendez

Practice Logs

Good afternoon,

We are off to a great start of the semester here in the CMS band room! I am very happy to see them again.

Please assist me in monitoring their practice logs. These are logs that they are given to track their practicing every week. I ask for one hour per week from student and check the logs every Monday during class. Students can break up their practice time in 10 minutes 6 days of the week, 20 minutes for three days, or even knock out 45 minutes by attending our after school practice sessions. We want to make sure that our students are doing their “band homework” and developing their muscle memory. This is also a way for them to reinforce the pieces and concepts that we learn in class.

Please make sure to sign their practice logs on Sunday nights and to make sure that you hear them practicing at home. If your student absolutely cannot practice at home or stay after school on Mondays, please contact me and we will find a time to make sure that they are on track.

Many band directors count practice logs for a grade. I choose not to do so but am willing to try that if needed. I hope that our constant encouragement will be enough to motivate them to do the right thing. I aim to teach them responsibility and integrity through this and appreciate your reinforcement at home.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.


M. Menendez

Happy New Year!

Good morning!

I hope that your break has been relaxing and full of love.

We are going to be back on Monday ready to tackle this semester with full force. Please make sure that your students are getting reacquainted with their instruments before Monday.


Students: practice your three embouchure steps, and play from line one in your book as far as you can go. This will be a great way to get your brain going again. Never be scared to finger and name to get reacquainted with the notes.

*special challenge*

use your scale sheet and find a scale (a line of letters) to learn. The scales are read from left to right and will tell you the note names to use. Your fingering chart in the back of the book will explain your fingerings for any new notes.

I cannot wait to see the students and Monday and pass out jackets for anyone who ordered them.

Enjoy the rest of your break!


-M. Menendez