Monday, August 31, 2009

Beginning Band

This is how I am setting up 4th/5th grade band:

1. I spoke to each class for 5-10 minutes on Friday. I handed out an interest form.
2. Those forms started to come back today. I will meet with each student, evaluate them, and send information home for parents. Rental forms will be included.
3. I will work with teachers to get a schedule that works for everyone.
4. I will go after the stragglers. I hope to get everyone who should be in band on to an instrument.

Ideally this gets each kid on the correct instrument. We get a balanced and happy band.

Thoughts? Anything I should do differently?

Monday, August 24, 2009


I wrote this with my team a few years back and I can't find much to change. Thoughts?

The purpose of music education is to prepare students for a lifetime of active, satisfying involvement with music in a variety of forms. Each student needs to develop an appreciation for music and the arts through exposure to different styles and genres and to experience the use of a variety of media.

In this age of ever-changing technology, music remains a constant. It is our responsibility to ensure that students do not lose touch with both the historical and cultural traditions of society. Through a diverse musical education, students are not only able to express and communicate the aesthetics of their own culture; they are able to participate in traditions that are representative of a multitude of belief systems from around the globe.

Music develops higher-order thinking and creative problem solving. It fosters self-discipline and self esteem. Students of music learn to analyze, reflect upon, and constantly improve the quality of their work, resulting in a sense of achievement and success. Music offers these experiences not only on an individual level but also on a collective one. Leadership opportunities are presented, and the success of the collective goal is contingent upon the individual's responsibility. By developing musical skills, understanding, and appreciation, students are prepared to make both musical and non-musical contributions to society.

Music education allows students of varying abilities to explore the full potential of their creative talents and intelligences. Participation in music offers students opportunities to succeed and excel. A quality music education program increases learning in other subjects and creates a positive and inclusive school atmosphere.

Albert Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. Through a quality music education we hope to foster independent, self-directed, and creative learners that will prepare students for developing and enjoying the new frontiers in our culture and society.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now what?

I've been working hard this week to get equipment for the developmental band class at the high school. I'm hoping to purchase some instruments since we have really only two baritones and a tuba here. Makes it tough to share!

My idea is to do the following:

Sept: Recorder, basics, reading, etc...
Oct-Dec: Students learn instrument #1. I hope to have trumpets, clarinets, and flutes. They will perform on this instrument at the winter concert.
January-Feb: Rotate instrument. Student learns new instrument, but hopefully this moves faster since they can read at this point.
March: Student learns third instrument.
April-June: Student is assigned (or student chooses) their best instrument. Performs with full band at Spring Concert.

Now, we only have 8-10 kids in the regular band. So getting this right is a huge deal.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Post #1

Here we go....

I have started a new job as band-choir director at Seymour High School in Connecticut. I have taught at this school for the past three years as a web design instructor and have transferred into this position. I will also teach elementary band in two elementary schools.

I'm not sure where I will go with the blog but above all I hope to make this about my experiences as I tackle this opportunity. I hope to share ideas and get feedback. I hope my students read this blog and work on communicating as well.

I will work on setting this up and getting the bells and whistles going. Some things I hope to write about shortly:
  • HS Developmental Band. I was handed this class, but we don't have any instruments. Its been the task for this week.
  • Discovering the culture of the department. What do the kids, parents, staff believe in? What should be the role of the department?
  • Pep Band with eight kids. I am not sure what we will be playing.
  • 20 teenage girls in choir vs. one "less-than-middle aged" man. I hope this is fun. It should be great.