Welcome to another exciting year of music making! I am looking forward to working together with the students to make music for the glory of God! Below are some tips and helpful insights as what to expect this year in your child's band class.
MUSIC AND SUPPLIES
Clarinet and saxophone reeds and trumpet and trombone oil can be purchased at any music store. There is a music store, Hollis and Germann Music, Inc, on Rte. 88 (4136 Library Road, Stoner Center). Students should have these items in their cases to be prepared for class, rehearsals, and performances. I have extra reeds for purchase for emergencies, clarinet reeds (should have 3 #2 working reeds) are $2.00, saxophone reeds (should have 3 #2 working reeds) are $2.50.
Please remind your child to bring their instrument and music (lost books need to be replaced a.s.a.p.) to school on band day. Ask your child what two days they have class. The school is not responsible for instruments left in the hallways or classrooms. Please help your child to remember to bring their music and instrument the two days scheduled for music. All instruments should go home so that your child can practice between class lessons. Students are to turn in a piece of paper or card with dates and times practiced. Homework grade of 20 minutes=1 point; for grades 5-8, all should work toward 10 points. Homework grade of 15 minutes=1 point for 4th grade. Participation in class, homework, weekly rhythm assessments , quarterly music theory quizzes, and concerts are all part of the grade.
DIOCESAN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PROGRAM
Thank you for your support in the instrumental music program here at St. Bernard's. We are part of the instrumental diocesan program under the direction of Sr. Serafina. Our school has been participating in this program by way of using the music that Sister has in her office and being part of the Honors Band and All Star Band in the Pittsburgh Diocese. We have had students in the past represent our school proudly in these festivals.
In order to participate and keep this program running, Sister asks for $25 administration fee for one child and $35 for two or more children in a family. Please send cash or check, payable to INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC DEPARTMENT, to school by October 1. This needs to be collected from all families before I can borrow any music or before the auditions for Honors Band, more information on this to follow. I will submit this fee to the Instrumental Music Office and according to Sr. Serafina, any overdrawn checks will be fined according to the charge set by the bank.
After a level of proficiency and if you are in grades 6. 7. or 8, I can recommend your child to audition for the Diocesan Honors Band. The administration fee enables your child to participate in the Diocesan functions and other administration functions. Students also have the use of band music provided by the Program for use at concerts at St. Bernard School.
This is a graded class. The following ways are for the student to earn their grade:
1) Bringing instrument and music to school for complete participation.
•If a student forgets the first time in a quarter, a C grade will be earned for participation(cannot fully participate) for that day
•If a student forgets the next time(s) in a quarter, a D grade will be earned for participation(cannot fully participate) for that day
2) By trying to accomplish in class what is expected (participation grade; 20 points per class)
•4th grade 15 minutes=1 point; total of 10 or more points(minimum 150 minutes) to be earned during a quarter;
•5-8th grade 20 minutes=1 point; total of 10 or more points(minimum of 200 minutes) to be earned during a quarter.
Minutes are to be turned in with practice dates and times with parent/guardian initials. Weekly is best.
4) Throughout the year, 5 point music theory quizzes will be given.
5) There will be weekly Rhythm assessments (10 points)in class
6) Concerts are mandatory and are 50 points per concert.
7) Playing at school masses will be 10 points(no points taken away if not playing)
8) Any performance outside of school planned concerts and masses are extra credit(May mart, side by side with high school)
9) After school band practice is extra credit (to be determined)
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
We have all heard that practice makes perfect. Another saying is perfect practice makes perfect. The only way that any child can succeed in anything is to repeat a skill to perfection or near perfection(muscle memory). Your child is expected to study notes and rhythm and playing their instrument for their success. No more than a half an hour is needed in the beginning. However, more quality time can lead a child further. Your child needs a music stand for quality practice time. This is a good item for the Christmas list. Most music stores carry them and are no more than $20.00. We will need the use of the stands during performances and rehearsals (please make sure names are on all parts of the stand).
A few guides to help your child be successful at home:
1. Have a regular practice time every day! This is an important part to the success of any musician. If you tend to put off practicing until later you will never achieve your musical goals.
2. Warm up slowly! Long tones serve well as warm-ups. Don't blast on your instrument or try to show off with all sorts of non-musical sounds. Be serious about music.
3. Concentrate on the new material! Observe key signatures, time signatures, new rhythms and new notes. Isolate the tough spots and work on them.
4. Review old material! Professional musicians like to keep as much music as possible under their fingers. Review music from previous lessons and keep it fresh and playable at all times.
5. Practice without being reminded! This indicates that you are a mature individual and a serious musician.
PERFORMANCE AND REHEARSAL
The date for the Christmas performance is Wednesday, December 19 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm in Clairvaux. The date for the spring performance is Wednesday, May 22 at 1:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in Clairvaux. The performances are part of the student's grade. Your child will receive 50 points for each concert. This is their final test.
CONCERT DRESS for the evening (school uniform for school time concerts):
Boys- school shoes and socks, dark blue or black pants (no sweats or jeans or shorts)white dress shirt (button down) with a tie or Christmas shirt for Christmas concert
Girls- school shoes and socks; dark blue or black pants, white tops or Christmas top for Christmas concert.
It is important for the students to learn that there is a dress code for performing in front of an audience. For the in-school performances, students are to wear their uniforms. For the evening, the above dress code should be followed.
This is going to be a successful year with you and your child's cooperation. The students will get a chance to share the gifts that God has given them. Please encourage your child in this learning process.
Musically yours,Mrs. Terri Sullivan