I am just touching base with you all to give you any updates and reminders that I have.
Playing Tests: I am STILL grading these. I am giving each student individual feedback and watching their videos multiple times to make sure that I am catching anything that I can. I plan to have these finished and in the grade book by Wednesday evening. Your students were very flexible and patient through this trial process. We all learned a lot and can plan for our next playing test.
AYP Fundraiser Cards: I have received multiple questions about these AYP Cards and when we will begin selling them this year. We are waiting on the company to finish putting them together for this year. Once we receive them, you all will know and we can begin that fundraiser. It is my favorite fundraiser each year because it is an easy sale! More info soon!
Monday After School Practice Sessions: Tons of kids are making the extra effort to stay after on Mondays to play with their friends, pass off things, and get extra help. I love spending extra time with them and making music. Thank you for supporting that.
Wednesday Instrument Club: This week we will begin an instrument club on Wednesdays. This will run exactly like Mondays do (until 4:15pm) but we will split off into sections and have high school leadership down here teaching your students. This will give them info that pertains to their instrument, and a fun time with their section mates. It begins after school and ends at 4:15 pm as stated above. This is a new tradition so I cannot wait to begin!
Star Chart: We now have a star chart posted in front of the class. When a student learns a scale and is ready to pass it off, they can stay after school at one of our practice sessions, or come before school between 7:50-8:05am to pass it off for me. To pass it off they must Finger and Name the scale and then play it. A scale is when the students play up and down 8 notes of the scale with an arpeggio. Your students understand how to read these scales. Students who pass off all 12 scales will receive an award at the end of the year at our Spring Concert. Please encourage your students to become Scale Masters!
Remember that each Monday we check our practice logs from the previous week. Take a second tonight and sign your student’s practice log for last week so that they can get full credit please.
Have a fantastic rest of your Sunday and Happy Super Bowl!
(I’m not sure if that is a phrase or not… oh well)
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 email@example.com 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!
I have submitted the equipment order for the students and I am hoping that they will be in early next week.
Mallets/Reeds/Reed Guards/Cork Grease are set to be delivered on Monday the 14th.
The Valve Oil/Trombone Slide Oil Kit are set to be delivered the 17th-22nd. (If it is a date after school releases then I will arrange a time where you all can stop by and pick up your products).
I wanted to show you all the equipment that I recommend for the students and where I found them at the cheapest price. The things that I am recommending are not things that are meant to break your wallet, they are meant to be durable, yet reasonable for a 6th grade student while ensuring that their instruments will play in the best way that they possibly can. Teaching our students to maintain their instruments at a high level is something that all of us will appreciate as it saves time and grief in the long run!
Below is a shopping cart that I made on Amazon that shows the exact product and price for you. If your student missed out on this equipment order, they may either order it with you online or wait until January for that equipment order. I plan on doing one each month and setting up an CMS band account for it soon.
Amazon Shopping List
*Buying the reeds by the box instead of individually and a reed guard will save you money in ways that you would never imagine. Having multiple reeds allows for the students to rotate them which gives them a longer life. Having a reed guard helps even more by keeping the wood sturdy and in place as it sits in the instrument case. They also help to dry the wood evenly. *
Have a fantastic weekend and I will see you Monday the 14th, at 6:30 pm in our uniform.
- Our chocolate candy order is set to be delivered Monday morning. The boxes are much smaller than the cookie dough boxes were. Students will receive their chocolate and their order form so that they can deliver their orders to their customers.
- The chocolate is set to be here at CMS around 9:30am. I will need help at that point and in the afternoon during dismissal as well. Your support and help is very much appreciated!
- If there are any parents who would like to volunteer you may fill out the form below:
- The coat orders have been placed but are not ready yet. They will be ready before we get out for break.
- I sent home a letter today to remind you of the concert attire and report times for the students (6:30pm at the Mabry Arts Center).
- As we prepare for the concert please ask your students to perform the pieces for you so that we can monitor that they are practicing and preparing to do their best on Monday the 14th.
I hope to see some familiar faces at the Christmas Parade this evening here in Carrollton! Have a great day!
I hope that this break has been as restful for you as it has been for me! Nothing beats spending time with those that you love.
Here are some reminders about our upcoming concert on Monday, December the 14th.
- The concert begins at 7pm. Your students must arrive in uniform with their instrument at 6:30 to the stage. We will be seating your students and getting last minute details worked out. Please do not show up late. Students who are not in full uniform will not be allowed to perform.
- Full uniform includes: black pants/dress, black socks and dress shoes (closed toed shoes for females), and your black performance polo. EDIT: Black dress was meant to say long black skirt. That way the band polo can be worn as the top half of the outfit. I apologize for the lack of clarity there.
- The band polos are set to be in on the first of December. Your students will be allowed to take them home.
- I HIGHLY recommend that you take your student shopping NOW to make sure that they have their appropriate performance attire. Many students wait until the days before and “have no dress pants that fit me”. We want for the students to learn to be proactive and responsible so hopefully after Monday I will have them annoying you about taking them shopping. You’re welcome for that by the way 🙂
- It is a formal concert that will last about one hour. Not only do we expect for you and your students to stay for the entire concert but we encourage it so that both you and your student can support the other grade levels and have something to aspire to. It is one of our two after school concerts and we ask that you enjoy the whole thing! Attending the concert is a grade for your student!! Do not forget that.
The chocolate candy fundraiser was a success and I appreciate all of your hard work with that. I do not have a date where they will be delivered to the school but you will know that as soon as I do.
The jackets have been ordered and are being worked on. You will know about that date when I do as well.
Your students have a practice log that is due on Monday for the past TWO weeks. Please encourage them to get their horns out today and tomorrow and play out of their book. They can play old lines or even learn new lines! Either way it will get them into shape as we head towards our first concert!!
Contact me with any questions that you have.
The response to our website has been great so far! Thank you for all of the comments and questions so far.
Below are a few important announcements:
- Band Binders: Both Ms. Menendez and Mr. Huls decided to use a binder this year to hold music instead of a paper folder like we have used in the past. The folders were not as durable as we had hoped and caused many students to lose their music throughout the school year. In the handbook I requested a 1 inch black binder with sheet protectors inside of it. On Monday, Mr. Huls and I realized that 1 inch binders are too large for our music storage cabinets in the band room at the Middle and Junior High school. We are asking that you purchase a 1/2 inch black binder for your students instead of the 1 inch binder. This reduction in size will not only weigh less but it will ensure that all 120+ members can store their band binders in a organized location in our band rooms. I apologize for the confusion and will update the handbook to reflect this change.
- Band Fees: The band fees for the year are $30 for 6th grade members and $15 for 5th grade band members. If you have multiple students in our program or in another Carrollton band program you may email me directly for clarification on the amount that you owe. *Cash or checks are accepted. Please make the checks written out to “CMS Band”.*
- 6th Grade parents: We will begin testing our students one-by-one for their instruments in class today. This process will continue until our Instrument Nights. The first 6th grade connection class will attend the August 31st instrument night to rent/purchase their instrument, equipment and band books. The second 6th grade connection class will attend the September 2nd instrument night. These will run from 5-8pm on both nights. More information will be sent home in the new few weeks on options for obtaining an instrument for your student.
The behavior and work ethic of your students has been fantastic so far this year. I look forward to teaching your students daily and making music with them. Please do not hesitate to contact me through email with any questions.