Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow. In October.

SnowtoberOn Saturday I was at the CT Cross Country Championships.  Twelve races over seven hours.  We were the last two races of the day.  An hour before we were to race it started to snow.  Hard.  They then postponed the rest of the races.

The ride home, which normally takes 50-60 minutes took almost 2.5 hours.  Not easy.

And the races have yet to be rescheduled since 800,000 customers are with out power in Connecticut.  A mess.

Marking periods are closing, league and state tournaments are in limbo.  But.....what to do with Halloween?  Most towns are pleading with their citizens to stay home.  Limbs and wires are still down and it is not a good idea to send kids out in that.

How has technology influenced all this?  People definitely expect to be SENT their information now.  "Why didn't I get a call?" is a common refrain.  A trusted organization must reliably and consistently push information out.

I have no idea what this week will bring.  My house is down to 49 degrees.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ShowMe: Tuba

Our very quick attempt at ShowMe app. We will get better, this was a just a draft.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The difference between management and leadership

via Seth Godin:

The difference between management and leadership:
Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they'd like to go, but understand that they can't get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Comments for teachers!

I'd love it if you would leave a comment!  Don't troll.

The blog is designed to be a reflective journal, an online portfolio, and a conversation.  I write here to model reflective practice for my students.  But I also want to connect with the world so I can bring great lessons back to my classroom.

The past few months this blog has helped me start some great projects.  From Dean's Guitar Lessons, to the iAlchemy project, to writing an article for Leading Notes.  This collaboration is important.  It is collaboration we all should be modeling and displaying (its in our job description).

So, I know you are there.  In fact you can all check.  Please, say hi, leave a comment, suggest a better way.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A New Day

G´day..Choir is definitely "driving the bus" this year.  While theory will take over a lot of the load as the WSO iPad project develops, and band is making great progress, it is choir that I have to devote most of my time to.

There are 36 students in there.  I am having to relearn my assessment strategies for large groups.

We got approval to add an accompanist.  This is huge.  Not only can I choose different repertoire, but I can move soooo much faster.  Having two adults in the room will change the dynamic dramatically.

Having someone to talk to about the program and choices we make will be awesome.

Interesting fact: I googled all the applicants.  Having your work online and easy to find is essential.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October News

Seymour High School Music News

Contact Info:
Brandt Schneider, Director
1-203-881-6286 (mobile)
twitter: brandtschneider

1. We have 15 students signed up for CMEA auditions!!  They extended the deadline.  Contact me if you would like to be added to the list.  Some of you owe me some money for this activity.  In choir we have been practicing every day.  
2. Legacy Productions will be recording the groups in the spring.  We will be producing an mP3 album that will be available for download.  We believe in creating professional experiences for our students and this recording is part of that goal.
3. The Partnership with the Waterbury Symphony has begun to garner some press coverage.  Prof. Doug O’Grady at WestConn is composing a piece entitled iAlchemy.  The piece will feature a string quartet, percussion quartet, woodwind quartet, brass quartet, and iPad quartet of SHS students.  This piece will have its world premiere in May.  I will be choosing the students for this activity soon.
4. Extra help is always available.  Ask.  Some grades are lower than they should be.  Practice is your homework.  Practice is assigned every day.
5. iPads are available for sign-out.  Ask.
6. Many students are behind on their smartmusic assignments.  They need to come in before or after school or during study halls to catch-up.  I very highly recommend purchasing smartmusic for home use (  A very good investment!!
7. Dress for concerts is white top, black shoes, and black skirt/pants.  More details to come.
8. Parents and students can listen to grades and assessments by logging into
9.  We have a department facebook page and an alumni page.  Join us!  

Upcoming Dates:
November 19: CMEA auditions (morning)
December 15: SHS Winter Concert 7pm (every SHS music student will perform)
December 19: SHS Snow Date
January 13-14: CMEA Regional Festival (1/20-21 snow date)
February 4: All-State Auditions (for those who make regionals)
early April: Recording session
April 12-14: All-State Festival
May 4: Spring talent Show
May 12: Waterbury Symphony Performance
May 16: SHS Spring Concert
May 18: Tentative Lake Compounce Trip

Scale and key practice

Scale and key practice by Brandt Schneider. Uploaded with SoundCloud iPhone

Sunday, October 9, 2011

They Work Harder


Found this quote today.  Isn't it true for everything (music, sports, teaching)?

Their research suggestes that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
Malcolm Gladwell

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh My God!

I love this site called Second Hand Songs!

Takes a song and tells who wrote it originally and then takes us through all the other published versions.  Amazing.  And it accepts submissions.  Great project!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

iPad Apps for Classroom

Moments Ago is an app that I have written about before.  I rarely write about apps that are not free.  This one costs $3.99.

The app is an iPhone app so I imagine a lot more teachers could access the app.  It is so very easy to use once its set up.

The app comes with some built in messages "Moments ago I noticed Johnny acting very kindly to a classmate" "Moments Ago Suzy thoughtfully contributed to a discussion in class" "Moments Ago I noticed that Robert is not performing at the level he is accustomed to".  You can edit the messages.

Sending a message is simple.  Three clicks will send a note to a parent.

Parents have responded.  I have had 15 responses to these emails saying "Thank You".  Never had such responses.

Peter, Paul, and Mary

Do we have anything today that matches the passion, drive, and focus of this song (or the Weavers, Dylan, Havens, etc...)?

Has iTunes, headphones, a thousand channel TV had an effect that we don't use music to drive social change?