A reminder to students and parents that 2 practice cards have been collected so far, counting the one that was due today. Today’s card is full amount of minutes required. Last week’s card was only 10 minutes for an A+. I did this to encourage the students to get in the habit of turning in the practice card.
Please check your student’s band hand book that he or she brought home to determine what is required for an “A” in practice. The grading scale differs for PMA and PMMS. Remember that home practice is 15% of a band student’s grade. The card is due the beginning of each week and must be signed and presented for grading at the beginning of each class. The grade will then be available for internet viewing by 4 pm each Monday. As with next week because of the Labor Day Holiday, the cards will be collected and graded on Tuesday.
Remember that a practice record is REQUIRED if your son or daughter plays a school owned instrument. School instruments include the following:
Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Baritone, Tuba, Percussion.
There are some students who are also play the following school owned instruments: flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, saxophone.
Please note: If a student playing a school owned instrument repeatedly fails to turn in a practice record or does not practice, that student will no longer be allowed the privilege of using that instrument and will subsequently receive an “F” on the report card.
Practicing is the single, most influential discipline that a musician must learn to be successful. The poor player will improve and the best of players will soar even higher. It is the individual’s own personal effort that will make or break their band experience.
Should a parent have to “force” a student to practice? In most cases, yes. I know that when I was in junior high in Perry Township long ago (they hadn’t invented “middle school” yet), my mother, a professional pianist and church organist, had to literally thump me on the head to get me to practice my alto sax. Was I the greatest player? NO WAY!! But I got better because I was “forced” to practice. Did I want to quit sometimes? SURE! Did she let me? NOPE!
So continue to push, prod, force, cajole, and of course love and encourage your young musicians. Don’t let them quit. The study of a band instrument is too much of a life changing activity to be left up to the whims of a middle school student. Have them stick with it. The rewards are amazing. It is the most important thing a student can do at this age.
John Philip Sousa, “The March King” and most famous director of the World’s Great Band, the United States Marine Band, started studying 7 different instruments at age 6, and joined the Marine Band at age 13 in 1867. Not bad for a middle school aged kid. So you never know what your middle school band student is capable of accomplishing. Don’t short change their future.
O.K., I’ll get off my soap box now. See you soon.