March was Music in Our Schools Month, a nationwide celebration of public school music programs. Now in April, we celebrate National Poetry Month. Two students at the West Intermediate School have captured the BEST of both months!
The 5th grade Advanced Band members from the North and West Intermediate Schools will be performing as part of the Wilmington Public Schools Performing Arts Department’s Winter Music Festival on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the High School Auditorium.
This one hour concert will feature the band students playing as an ensemble as well as some soloists. Additionally, the 5th Grade Chorus from the North Intermediate School will also perform!
The 5th Grade Advanced Band Permission Slip is here: 2016adv-band-fall-perm-slip
***UPDATE: BEGINNING BAND REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED***
WELCOME BACK PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO A NEW YEAR IN BAND!!
All 4th and 5th grade students who are playing a band instrument for the first time (or who are switching instruments) must complete the simple online registration form below. Parents of beginning band students are required to attend the informational meeting on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the WILMINGTON HIGH SCHOOL Auditorium. Beginning band lessons will start during the week of September 19. Please contact Ms. DiLullo with any questions by calling your child’s school, or emailing at: Anita.email@example.com
BEGINNING BAND REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
5th grade students who played last year and are planning to be in the Advanced Band this year (continuing on the same instrument from 4th grade) should NOT complete the online registration form. They will be receiving band lesson schedules this week and advanced band lessons will start on Sept. 12
THINGS TO KNOW FOR BEGINNING BAND
Beginning Band students are assigned to a specific lesson day each week, and are grouped in small classes with other students who play the same instrument. For lessons, students will need to bring their instrument and lesson book to school each week. Both the instrument and lesson book should be CLEARLY LABELED on the outside with the students’ name, school, and classroom. Band students should also purchase a portable wire music stand to use at home for practicing. These music stands DO NOT need to come to school on lesson day, as we have plenty of music stands in our classroom.
Instrument Specific Details
FLUTE: In addition to the instrument, lesson book, and music stand, students will need a soft, cotton cloth for cleaning the instrument (a handkerchief, or 1/4 of a regular sized bandana is adequate).
CLARINET and SAXOPHONE: Parents will need to purchase reeds from time to time. The reeds are a thin piece of wood that go on the mouthpiece. Without a reed, the instrument is unplayable. Because they are very thin pieces of cane, reeds can break, chip, or split easily. This happens frequently with beginning students who are just learning how to properly handle them for the first time. Reeds are sold in “strengths” with the lowest numbers being for beginning students and the highest numbers being for professional musicians. We recommend that our beginning band students purchase #2 strength reeds, in boxes of 5 or more as, again, they do tend to break very easily in the beginning. Please be sure to specify which instrument your child plays when buying these (either Clarinet or ALTO Saxophone). Additionally, these students will also have tubes of cork grease in their cases. A tube of cork grease should last a student for about 2 years. Cork grease can make you very sick if it is eaten (young children may mistake it for chapstick), so please keep it away from small children and pets.
TRUMPET and TROMBONE: These students will need a soft cloth (a clean sock for example) for polishing the outside of their instrument. Students will also have valve or slide oil in their cases. A bottle of oil should last a student for about 2 years, and the oil should not be applied until we have learned how to and where it goes. The oil is toxic if consumed, so please keep it away from small children and pets.
PERCUSSION: These students will receive a “drum kit” that includes a case, snare drum, drum stand, rubber practice pad, a pair of drum sticks and a lesson book. Beginning Band students will be REQUIRED to bring this kit (in the case) to school TWO TIMES this year. The first time will be on the first day of lessons, when the students will receive instruction on how to properly assemble the drum and stand without puncturing it. The second time will be on May 2, 2017 for the spring concert. For all other lessons, percussion students will be bringing their lesson book, drum sticks, and practice pad to school. Percussion students will have the opportunity to use the snare and bass drums at school, in addition to cymbals and other auxiliary percussion instruments. Beginning percussion lessons do not include instruction on drum set.
BELLS (Xylophone): These students will receive a bell kit that includes a case, chromatic xylophone, stand, mallets, and a lesson book (some kits may also include a drum pad and drum sticks, but we will NOT be using those in lessons). Students will need to bring the xylophone, mallets, and lesson book (in the case) to school each week for lessons.
WHERE TO GET AN INSTRUMENT & SUPPLIES
We recommend these local vendors:
K&C MUSIC: http://www.kandcmusicco.com
NATIONAL MUSIC: http://www.nationalmusicinc.com
PERFORMANCE MUSIC: http://www.performancemusiccenter.com
THE MUSIC PLACE: http://www.themusicplace.com/store
TEWKSBURY MUSIC CENTER: http://www.tewksburymusic.com
All parents of beginning and advanced band students have received a wrap-up email by now summarizing a wonderful year of music!
In the email there was a link for a quick survey about what your child will be doing next year, for example, continuing in Advanced or Middle School band, switching instruments, or withdrawing from the band program.
To access this survey, please click on this link: http://goo.gl/forms/drr32tmh9akz4wTA3
Have a great summer!!!!
Dear Elementary Band Parents:
The Wilmington Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled tomorrow due to the heavy rainfall that is expected.
The Wilmington Apple has more details here: https://wilmingtonapple.com/2016/05/29/breaking-wilmington-memorial-day-parade-cancelled-ceremony-still-on/
All of the band students worked so hard to be able to perform for our town tomorrow, and I am sorry that they will be disappointed by this news.
We have made it through the winter, although….isn’t it very ironic that it is snowing hard as I write this on April 3! Both the Beginning and Advanced Band students have been working very hard and they sound GREAT!! In just a few short weeks, they will be performing at our annual Spring Band Festival, on Thursday May 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the new WHS Gymnasium. At the end of May, our amazing band students will also be marching in the annual Memorial Day Parade as well.
Permission slips and ticket order forms were given to all of the band students at lessons last week. The due date for returning them to school is Friday, April 8.
You can print an extra copy here:
Beginning Band Permission Slip: BEG-Band-Spring-perm-slip-2016
Advanced Band Permission Slip: ADV Band spring perm slip 2016
A word about tickets…
This band concert will feature all of the band students in grades 4 – 12 in an amazing one hour showcase of incredible music. There are approximately 400 students in the band program, and the beautiful, new WHS Gym can seat approximately 1,200 audience members. To be fair to all of our students and their families we are able to allot 3 tickets per family.
During lessons this week, we discussed that while this means that some family members may be disappointed, there are some other opportunities for them to also enjoy the performance. For example, WCTV will be taping this concert and right after they finish editing it, this concert will shown on their Wilmington cable stations, so family and friends who cannot be there in person will be able to watch on TV and via Vimeo (online). Additionally, all of the band students will be performing in the annual Memorial Day parade, and that is another opportunity for friends and family members (unlimited!) to see and hear them in action. Some parents have also mentioned networking among themselves to see if there may be unused tickets that they can purchase (but please, no scalping!).
We are SO EXCITED to be able to show off our months of hard work where the students have learned to read music, play an instrument, and work together as musicians in an ensemble. Many thanks for the hours of encouragement and support that all of the parents have provided to make this performance possible!! See you on May 5!!
Dear Beginning Band Parents:
Congratulations to you and your student(s) for successfully completing 12 WEEKS of Beginning Band lessons!
By now, your child should have a small “repertoire” of lesson songs to play for you that should sound recognizable. These songs include: Hot Cross Buns, Mary Had a Little Lamb (aka Rolling Along), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (aka Mozart Melody) and Jingle Bells. Some of the students can also play London Bridge and the Theme to Star Wars. For the parents of percussion students, please know that your children are playing only the rhythm parts for these songs, so they may not be easily recognizable as there is no melody occurring.
Here are just a couple of important updates:
1. The Beginning Band students DO NOT have any concerts or school performances this month. You may see announcements about the Advanced Band concerts, but those are not for your students who just started to play a band instrument in September. Some beginning band students will be playing on the morning announcements in school later this month. The Beginning Band will play in their first concert on Thursday, MAY 5, 2016.
2. Instruments and ILLNESS…….”tis the season for bugs and viruses! We have been talking in lessons about how to care for instruments FOLLOWING an illness. Here is what your children have been taught…
a. The best way NOT to share germs is not to share their instrument with friends and relatives.
b. If a student is too sick to go to school or to play outside, then they are too sick to play their instrument.
c. Following an illness students need to care for their instruments in a special way:
Flutes: wipe down the mouthpiece and keys of the flute with a disinfectant wet wipe or a paper towel moistened with hand sanitizer, also wipe down the handle of the instrument case. DO NOT USE SOAP AND WATER TO CLEAN THE FLUTE. WATER WILL DAMAGE THE INSTRUMENT. Hand sanitizer evaporates quickly and does not damage the instrument.
Clarinets & Saxes: THROW OUT the reed that was used just prior to becoming sick. Wash the mouthpiece in warm soapy water (dish soap or hand soap is fine) and let it air dry. NEVER put the mouthpiece in the dishwasher!!! Wipe down the keys and case handle with disinfectant wipes or a paper towel moistened with hand sanitizer. Use a brand new reed.
Trumpets & Trombones: Wash the mouthpiece in warm soapy water (dish soap or hand soap is fine) and let it air dry. NEVER put the mouthpiece in the dishwasher!!! Wipe down the keys and case handle with disinfectant wipes or a paper towel moistened with hand sanitizer.
Percussion: Wipe down the drum sticks and drum pad with disinfectant wipes or a paper towel moistened with hand sanitizer.
3. Report Cards: Band students receive marks for Effort, Concepts and Skills on the part of their report card labeled “Instrumental Music”. If you or your child has any questions about those marks, please email me to set up a phone conference where I can answer those questions for you.
As always, thank you so much for your support and encouragement of our band students! This is a really special group of beginners and I am LOVING working with them in lessons! They are hardworking and very serious about their instrument studies, and yet we are also having the best time in lessons too! Just today I overheard a student leave my class saying “I wait all week for lesson day and then it seems like its over in 5 minutes!”…..I feel the same way!
I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season!
The 5th grade Advanced Band students are preparing for their part in the Performing Arts Department Winter Music Festival. This concert will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the new WHS Auditorium. We will feature the 5th Grade Advanced Band students from the North and West Intermediate Schools and the 5th Grade Chorus from the West Intermediate School.
All of the Beginning Band students at the North and West Intermediate schools recently completed their sixth week of lessons!
Look What We Can Do
All of the students are now “experts” in assembling their instruments and performing basic maintenance, such as cleaning out the instrument and using accessories like valve oil and cork grease. Most students are able to produce and identify 5 sounds on their instrument from memory. Our “greatest hits” now include Hot Cross Buns, Rolling Along/aka Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Go Tell Aunt Rhodie. Here are some samples below:
West Intermediate Beginning Trumpets perform Hot Cross Buns
North Intermediate Beginning Saxes perform Mary Had a Little Lamb
North Intermediate Beginning Saxes perform Hot Cross Buns
What Success looks like….
The Beginning Flutes at the North asked if they could write their names on the white board after playing Hot Cross Buns as a solo…..We call this Success Graffiti!
Challenges We Are Meeting
The beginning band students are working on two challenges at this time. The first is trying to build time for practicing their instruments into their busy lives. Each week in lessons we are learning new skills and information and the students are given weekly assignments to practice. Since learning to play a musical instrument requires developing muscle memory and hand-eye coordination, it is VITAL that the assignments are practiced over the course of several days in a week (we recommend 4 – 5 days each week, for 10 minutes a day). Practicing 40 minutes in one day will not provide the necessary repetition vital for building the mind and body connections that we need to learn to play an instrument. Students are now participating in a 5 week experiment to see how well they are meeting their weekly practice goal. We will review their practice journals in a few weeks to see how they did.
Reading music is the other challenge that we are working on. Right now, we are trying SO HARD to combat the urge to write in the “letters” above the notes. When a musician reads notes on a page, those notes are actually giving them TWO pieces of information: 1. what sound to make on the instrument (pitch) and 2. how long to make the sound last (rhythm).
When students write in the letters, they are not actually reading music because they are only getting HALF of the information, what sound to make, but not the other critical part which is the rhythm. All of the woodwind and brass students are working to memorize five sounds on the staff. All of the beginning band students are also working on identifying: quarter notes and rests, half notes and rests, and whole notes and rests.
Keep Up The GREAT Work!
Beginning Band students can keep up this great progress by working to be responsible and well prepared on lesson days. Every student is required to bring their instrument and lesson book to every lesson. Additionally, they need to have their practice journal as well, all filled in and signed by a parent/guardian. Every band student should work hard to try to practice their weekly assignments at least four days each week, for about 10 minutes each day.
WELCOME TO A NEW YEAR IN BAND!!
All 4th and 5th grade students who are playing a band instrument for the first time must complete this simple online registration form. Parents of beginning band students are required to attend the informational meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the NORTH INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL Cafeteria. Beginning band lessons will start during the week of September 21.
UPDATE SEPT. 22, 2015: BEGINNING BAND REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
5th grade students who played last year and are planning to be in the Advanced Band this year (continuing on the same instrument from 4th grade) should NOT complete the online registration form. They will be receiving band lesson schedules this week and advanced band lessons will start on Sept. 14