Featuring the WHS Honors Jazz Ensemble, Jr. Jazz from the middle school, and the WHS Woodwind Ensemble (aka “The Flarinets”).
It’s a sure sign of spring when the Band Festival permission slips are given out to the Beginning and Advanced Band students!
All Band students have received their Band Festival packets within the past week.
These packets contain important permission slips (parade and concert), a Band t-shirt order form, and a ticket order form.
These forms should be returned to Ms. DiLullo as soon as possible, with the final deadline being Monday, April 27, 2015.
What is a LYRE? Click here:2015 What is a lyre
(Hint: We need it for the parade)
BEST MONDAY EVER!
What a great “welcome back” surprise I got today as we all returned to school from vacation week! I had the opportunity to teach my Monday Advanced Band students for the first time in a month! The last time that we met to make music was back on January 26, which was followed by two consecutive Monday snow days, and then vacation week. Over the weekend, as I prepared my lessons for this week, I was very uncertain about how to plan for this day, given all of the “time off” we’ve had from lessons. To my great surprise and astonishment, almost every single student remembered to bring their instrument to school today and, the best part……THEY HAD BEEN PRACTICING ALL THIS TIME!! These students continued to work on their assignment from four weeks ago, and then most of them had also ventured into working on their new band music and other songs. BRAVO and thank you for the best Monday ever! I encourage all of the band students to keep up the great work!
Fight Leukemia With Cookies
I also would like to share some news about a WONDERFUL project that two of my students have started. Please check out this website: http://onecookieonelife.webs.com
Three students at the North Intermediate School (two of them are in our Advanced Band) have formed a business called “1 Cookie, 1 Life”. These students have formed their company to raise money to help in the battle against leukemia. Their slogan is, ” 1 Cookie, 1 Life – Take A Bite, Save a Life”. For every cookie or cookie basket sold, they will donate the proceeds to Dana Farber in Boston. The cookies are homemade by the students and include Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin (gluten free!), and my favorite, the Hershey’s Peanut Butter Kiss cookie! Please check out their website and help them by joining in the fight against the leading childhood cancer, leukemia.
What a snowy winter we are having all of a sudden! The band students who have lessons on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday have been most impacted by our recent snow days. Please read the following tips for what to do when there is a snow day on band lesson day:
SNOW DAYS/DELAYED OPENINGS:
SNOW DAY: If the Wilmington Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather on your lesson day, that lesson will be missed and cannot be made up. Students should continue to work on the assignment that they were given at the previous lesson.
Delayed opening: Band lessons will take place for those students whose lesson time is scheduled after the delayed start time plus twenty minutes. For example: IF school starts at 10:10 AM, any student who is scheduled to have a lesson at 10:30 or later WILL HAVE A LESSON. For those students whose lesson falls prior to the delayed start time, they will NOT have a lesson and should continue to work on the assignment from the previous week.
Clean Instruments = Happy Musicians (part II)
Instrument Cleaning: All of our band students have been taught how to clean out their instruments and mouthpieces. Band students have been instructed to clean out their instrument after every time they play it.
CLARINET, SAXOPHONE, TRUMPET and TROMBONE students have been instructed to clean out their mouthpieces with warm, soapy water and let them air dry overnight, once a week or immediately following an illness (Clarinetists must reapply cork grease following this). Following an illness, clarinet and sax students should discard the reed they were using prior to becoming sick and use a fresh one. FLUTISTS can clean off the embouchure plate/head joint with a cloth/paper towel that has been dampened with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer (PLEASE DO NOT USE SILVER POLISH OR JEWELRY CLEANER). It is OK to use antibacterial hand wipes to clean off instrument keys and drum sticks. Band students are reminded not share their instrument with friends or family members to avoid sharing germs.
NEVER PUT MOUTHPIECES OR ANY PART OF AN INSTRUMENT IN A DISHWASHER!!!
The 5th Grade Advanced Band students at the North & West Intermediate Schools have begun to work on music for this holiday season. These students have selected these pieces themselves and are applying the skills that they have learned in lessons to reading the music and performing the songs on their instruments. Enjoy!
Jolly Old St Nicholas by the Advanced Trumpets
Joy to the World – Flute solo
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Flute duo
Our 4th and 5th grade beginning band students at the North and West Intermediate Schools have been hard at work since September! They have learned how to assemble and care for their new instruments. Clarinets and saxes have discovered just how fragile reeds can be, and the trumpets have learned how to oil their valves correctly. Additionally, all of the students are working on the basics of producing sounds (some great and some…..less than characteristic) on their instruments and reading music. We’ve established a short repertoire list in these past 10 weeks, which includes “Hot Cross Buns” and “Rolling Along”. The melody for “Rolling Along” can also be recognized as the more popular “Mary Had A Little Lamb”.
Facts About Mary
Did you know that “Mary Had A Little Lamb” was first published in Boston in 1830 as poem by Sarah Josepha Hale? The text of this poem was inspired by a true life incident that took place when a young student, in Sterling, Massachusetts, named Mary Sawyer took her pet lamb to the Redstone School (now relocated to Sudbury, MA) as possible acceptance of a dare from her big brother. If you ever visit Sterling, MA be sure to stop by the town center where there is a statue of Mary’s little lamb, commemorating its school day adventure. Shortly after its publication, Lowell Mason (the father of music education) set this poem to a melody in the 1830’s and established its place forever amongst children’s nursery rhymes and songs.
Feast Your Ears
Below are several renditions of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” as performed by members of our beginning band classes.
The 5th Grade Advanced Band students have been hard at work since returning to school in August!
In band lessons we have been focusing on increasing our range by reading and playing higher and lower sounds our on instruments. We have also been studying different types of articulations. Articulations in music are the ways that you can make a note sound different. We have been working on tonguing, slurring, staccato, and accents. In addition to playing fun songs, duets, and solos, we have also been working on exercises in our lesson book and preparing music for our December Concert (REMINDER: the date has changed to December 22, 2014). One part of lessons each week is critical listening, where we listen to different examples of music. In advanced band lessons we have also enjoyed listening to recordings of the pieces we will be playing in December as performed by professional wind ensembles (recordings from the JW Pepper website).
Here are links to these recordings:
Jingle Bell March
The Andromeda Connection
The Nutcracker (Overture and Trepak)
All band students have been taught how to clean their instruments after each time that they play them. They have also been reminded to have clean hands and clean faces when they play their instruments. We have discussed the “No Sharing” policy during lessons, and the students have been reminded that sharing instruments means sharing germs.
Flutes: Flutists need to use their cleaning rod and a cleaning cloth to swab out the head joint, foot joint, and body of the instrument at the end of their practice sessions.
Clarinets: Clarinetists will use their cleaning swab to clean out all of the parts of the instrument (including the mouthpiece) starting at the bell end of the instrument. Run the swab through the instrument 3 times in a row. The damp swab should be placed loosely in the case to dry. Broken or moldy reeds should be thrown away. Cork grease should be applied once a week.
Alto Saxophone: Saxophonists will use their cleaning swab to clean out the body of the instrument starting at the bell end of the instrument. Run the swab through the instrument 3 times in a row. The damp swab should be placed loosely in the case to dry. Broken or moldy reeds should be thrown away. Cork grease should be applied once a week.
Trumpets: Trumpeters have learned how to oil their valves!! Yay, no more sticky valves!! Brass players can use a soft cloth (clean cotton sock) to polish the outside of their instrument.
Trombones: Trombonists have learned how to oil their slides!! Yay, no more sticky slides!! Brass players can use a soft cloth (clean cotton sock) to polish the outside of their instrument.
Percussion: Percussionists have been reminded that their snare drums are not tables. They should not stack laundry, book bags, or other items on top of their snare drums. Drum sticks can be wiped down with antibacterial wipes following an illness.
The 5th Grade Advanced Band and North Int. 5th grade chorus will be performing at the annual Performing Arts Winter Music Festival at Wilmington High School on Monday, December 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the WHS Auditorium. This is a change from the originally scheduled date of Thursday, December 16, which conflicts with the first night of Hanukkah.
Mark your calendars!!
Beginning Band lessons at the North and West Intermediate Schools have started and there are strange and wondrous new sounds happening in the instrumental music rooms and homes all over Wilmington!!
New band students had their very first lesson last week! After walking through the school to discover where the instrumental music room is located, their first instruction with their new instruments was how to open the case. Cases should always be opened with the bottom half of the case on a flat surface (floor, table, etc). Beginning band students then learned about their individual instruments (footnote to parents: for your reference, each lesson book comes with a DVD that includes a brief movie of how to correctly assemble, hold/handle, and produce a tone on the instruments) :
Beginning Flutes: We named all three parts of the instrument (head joint, body, foot joint) and learned that the head joint also has additional parts called the crown and the embouchure plate (where we put our mouth). We worked to produce 3 distinct sounds on the head joint (low sound, high sound, and “alien” invasion). We assembled the instrument and learned where to correctly place our hands. The practice assignment for the week included practicing making the three sounds on the head joint (it’s harder than it looks!!) and assembling the flute and producing a sound.
Beginning Clarinets: The clarinet has more parts than any other instrument, and while being one of the easier instruments to make a sound on, the initial challenge for beginners is learning how to assemble it. The students identified all of the pieces of the instrument: bell, lower joint, upper joint, barrel, mouthpiece, ligature, reed, and mouthpiece cap. All of the parts with cork required us to use our cork grease (keep this away from younger children and pets as they may think it is chapstick and try to eat it. Cork grease will make you sick if you eat it!). We assembled all of the pieces of the body and then assemble the mouthpiece next. At the very end of the lesson we were able to try to make a sound. The practice assignment for the week included practicing assembling the instrument, and naming all of the parts, correctly placing the mouth (embouchure) on the mouthpiece and making a good clarinet sound (as opposed to a shrill, spine jangling squeak).
Beginning Saxophones: There are MANY beginning sax students!! We started by identifying the parts of the instrument, which are more than a flute, but less than a clarinet! Students named the body (including the bell where the sound comes out), the neck, the mouthpiece, ligature, and reed. We learned the important step of how to adjust the neck strap so that the saxophone mouthpiece can naturally rest at mouth level. After connecting the body and neck together, we applied cork grease to the cork part of the neck (Cork Grease: keep this away from younger children and pets as they may think it is chapstick and try to eat it. Cork grease will make you sick if you eat it!). Next we made a sound on the mouthpiece by correctly forming our embouchure on the mouthpiece (it was a VERY LOUD squeak!!!). Once we made a sound on the mouthpiece we were able to attach it to the neck and try to make the sound again, EXCEPT this time it sounded more like a sax (hopefully!). The practice assignment for the week included practicing assembling the instrument, and naming all of the parts, correctly placing the mouth (embouchure) on the mouthpiece and making a good sax sound (as opposed to a shrill, spine jangling squeak).
Beginning Trumpets: The simplest instrument to assemble with just two parts! Students first learned how to make a “buzzing” sound on their mouthpieces and to use their air stream to make the buzzing sound like a car on a race track. Next, we studied the body of the instrument and identified the parts: bell, keys, valves, lead pipe, water key. We assembled the instrument by inserting the mouthpiece into the lead pipe. We learned that it is OK if the mouthpiece gets stuck sometimes as the trumpet is still playable and Ms. D. has a specially designed tool that can pull it at the next lesson. Students then learned the proper way to place their left and right hands on the instrument. The left hand holds the instrument with the thumb curling around the 1st valve casing and the first and second fingers curling around the 3rd valve casing, with the third finger going inside the ring of the third valve slide. and the pinky staying close by. The right hand thumb nestles between the 1st and 2nd valve casings and the first, second and third fingers rest on the corresponding keys, while the pinky rests ON TOP of the hook (not under it). We experimented with producing a tone on the trumpet while pressing down on the keys. We also learned that the bottle of valve oil in the case is toxic and should be kept safely away from younger siblings and pets who may mistake it for water. We will use valve oil at lessons within the coming weeks, but until then, it should remain tightly capped in the case. The practice assignment for the week included practicing buzzing on the mouthpiece and making “race track” sounds, then assembling the instrument and correctly placing the hands in the right places. Students were encouraged to try to produce two different tones (high and low) on the trumpet this week .
Beginning Trombones: While this instrument is certainly the tallest/longest beginning band instrument, it is also SURPRISINGLY light, weighing less than a saxophone! Like the trumpets, we first practiced learning how to make a buzzing sound on the mouthpiece along with race car sounds. Next we identified the parts of the instrument (bell, slide, slide lock, water key). We learned how to correctly assemble the bell to the slide and added the mouthpiece. Students were then shown how to correctly hold their instrument by placing their left hand on the brace on the bell and their right hand on the brace on the slide. We unlocked our slides and experimented with making high and low sounds that imitate “sirens”. We also learned that the bottle of valve oil in the case is toxic and should be kept safely away from younger siblings and pets who may mistake it for water. We will use valve oil at lessons within the coming weeks, but until then, it should remain tightly capped in the case. The practice assignment for the week included practicing buzzing on the mouthpiece and making “race track” sounds, then assembling the instrument and correctly placing the hands in the right places. Students were encouraged to try to produce two different tones on the trombone this week (high and low) in addition to siren sounds.
Beginning Percussion: Not only do these students play the LOUDEST instrument, but they also learn that they play the heaviest one to bring to school! The good news is that after this lesson, the students were instructed to set up their drums at home and only bring their books, sticks, and drum pads to lesson each week where they will use the percussion instruments in the band room. These students unpacked their drum cases and we identified the parts of the drum stand (tripod base and drum support bars) and assembled those, learning how to correctly use the adjustment screws to change the height of the drum. We identified the parts of the drum (batter head, snares, snare strainer lever, rim) and attached it to the drum stand, making sure that the top of the drum was slightly below waist level. Next, we learned the proper hand position for holding a drum stick and placement of the sticks on the drum surface (in a wedge or pizza slice) and how to properly strike the drum head. We experimented with the different sounds created by turning the snare strainer lever off and then on and applying the drum pad in both scenarios also (for the ultimate in QUIET practicing, we learned that the drum pad ON the drum with the strainer lever in the OFF position creates a barely detectable tapping sound when practicing….the students were not impressed but parents may love this….). The practice assignment for the week included assembling the drum stand and attaching the drum in the space at home where practicing can take place on a regular basis (sorry….not the garage, shed, back yard, unfinished attic or basement, it needs to be a climate controlled space). Students were asked to practice making tapping sounds on the drum OR drum pad carefully observing proper hand position and striving for right and left hand equality when playing.