A word about practice cards and home practice.

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Aug 302010

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.

Mr. S.

John Philip Sousa, The March King

The United States Marine Band

Smart Music Practice Cards via internet not ready yet.

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Aug 302010


Please use the practice cards that all PMMS and PMA band students were given.  The submission of practice times via Smart Music is not ready yet, as it requires upgraded software to be installed at the schools.  Your student can still practice using Smart Music, but can not submit the time by computer.  Please use the practice cards that are due at the beginning of each week.  I will inform the students when the system is up and running.

Thank you.

Mr. S.

Smart Music Returns

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Aug 252010

The Smart Music instructional program is up and running once again at PMMS and PMA.  This system of computer instruction for band is the greatest addition to the music education field in the past 40 years.  Read the letter and go to the Smart Music link.

Smart Music info ltr 2010

Smart Music Overview

Let me know if you have any questions.  Or just post a comment and I’ll get back with you!

Mr. S.

Percussion lessons to start soon

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Aug 252010

Mr. Vierling, ISU Percussion specialist, will be offering drum lessons after school at PMMS for all PMMS and PMA drum students.  Please see the attached forms and letters for more information.  I am very excited that Mr. Vierling will be making himself available to our students.

Another outstanding opportunity for our band students.

Karl Vierling Bio and Lesson Flyer

Mr. S.

Band Handbook sent home!

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Aug 252010

Band parents:

Here is the band handbook.  It includes an introductory letter, the main body of the handbook, as well as a Paige’s Music accessory list and the band calendar.  The students MUST return the parent acknowledgment form by Monday, August 30.  They will receive a grade for returning it.  They are welcome to return it either tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday.

Also, I will not be at school on Thursday as I have a lengthy dental appointment.  My student teacher, Mr. Karl Vierling, will be conducting the bands so all students should bring their instruments.

Thanks for checking in and here are the Band Handbook links.

Mr. S.

handbook page 1 2010 Band Handbook 2-9 2010-11

Accessory price list 2010-2011 Band Calendar 2010-2011

Back to School night – PMMS and PMA – Time to meet all the Band Parents!!

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Aug 222010

Good afternoon, PMMS and PMA Parents!!

Back to School night is upon us.  The PMMS Back to School night will be Monday night from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  A reminder for Concert Band parents of the meeting preceding Back to School night.  That meeting will be in the PMA Gym at 6 pm.

The PMA Back to School night will be on Wednesday, August 25th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

The band students will receive extra credit when the parents sign the parent registry located in the band rooms on my music stand at the front of the room.

I look forward to meeting with all the band parents.  If your son or daughter uses a large school owned brass instrument, Back to School night is the perfect opportunity to pick up that instrument for home use.  Remember, the yellow instrument contract must be turned in before the instrument be taken home.  The cost is $40.00 for use of the school owned instrument.  If you have a financial concern, please let me know and I will help in any way I can.  Here is a copy of the instrument contract.  It is printed on yellow paper.  Ask your band student about it.  They went home starting Wednesday of last week.

Instrument rental contract – PMMS/PMA

Thanks to all and see you at Back to School night!!

Mr. S.

Concert Band Parent form

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Aug 202010

Good morning Concert Band parents!

Concert Band form for Parent Meeting Aug. 23.

The Concert Band students were given this letter today during rehearsal.  It will be collected at our parent meeting at 6 pm on Monday night in the PMA gym.  The meeting will last about 35 minutes.  This will allow time for you to go to the middle school for Back to School night which starts at 7 pm.

Also, a note to any parent of students interested in the PMMS Jazz Band.  There will be a short meeting following the larger group meeting to discuss Jazz Band this year.  Please plan to stay for a few minutes.

Thanks for reading and as always, for your continued support of the PM Bands!

Mr. S.

Attention all Parents!!!

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Aug 172010

For PMA band students and Varsity Band students who need to order a book or band shirt, and for Concert Band students who need to order the new band book, use this form.

Shirt and Book Order form PMMS 2010

For the latest copy of the PMMS/PMA Band Calendar, click below.

Band Calendar 2010-2011

For the latest prices on all band supplies (reeds, oils, etc), just click the link below for a list of Paige’s Music Accessory Prices.

Paige’s Music Accessory price list 2010-2011

Keep checking this website for all the information you need about the PMMS/PMA Band program.

Mr. S.

Ready for the 1st day!

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Aug 062010

Looking forward to seeing everybody.  Remember that you DO NOT need instruments the 1st day of school.  We have lockers to assign, instruments to issue and the calendar to discuss.

By the way, look for the newest addition to the Music Dept.  His name is Mongo.  He joined my wife and I on the adventure in Boston.  The newest member of the PMMS/PMA Band program.

See you on Tuesday.

Mr. S.

The pirate from Boston. Joined the adventure and guarded the Land Rover. Doesn't say much.