It’s been a long time, and I am looking forward to another great year with the East Wiltshire band students!
While this year will definitely be different from any school year any of us have experienced before, I am excited about the return to school, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to make music with the students again. Music students are creative and resilient, and I am confident that we will be able to work together to make the music program enjoyable and rewarding this year.
Please find below the most recent news from the band department:
Students will attend 2 or 3 sixty minute band classes during the 6 day cycle depending on their grade level. We will not be having rehearsals with full concert bands at this time due to space constraints. We will work on appropriate music (band repertoire, music for small ensembles and/or solo repertoire) to achieve curriculum outcomes during class time. I understand that many students have not been playing their instruments regularly during the time we have been away from school and that’s ok! I ask only that students come back to the band program with a willingness to give their best effort, and a desire to make a positive contribution to this year’s band ensembles. We will all get back into the routine of playing and practicing together.
Early Morning Band Rehearsals
As per current provincial guidelines for school reopening, all extra-curricular activities, including band rehearsals and band activities outside of the regular school day, are paused for now. We will begin early morning extra-curricular band classes (most likely retaining the same small class groupings) if and when we are given approval to do so by the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and the Public Schools Branch.
At this time, traditional band concerts cannot be held in the school gym. I will work with the students to brainstorm ideas for sharing the music we are going to be working on with audiences in new ways.
Students will not be permitted to share instruments this year. Each student will be assigned one instrument and each percussionist will be provided with a basic set of sticks and mallets to be used for the year. I understand that it is challenging for students who play large instruments to make arrangements to take them home to practice, and I know that time for individual practicing is limited during the school day. If there are any spare instruments after each band student is assigned a primary instrument, I will do my best to accommodate as many requests for home instruments as possible.
Cleaning protocols for each instrument will be reviewed with students in September. Students will be asked to adhere to current safety guidelines by not touching other instruments in the band area and by following the current guidelines for cleaning their own instruments.
I will be collecting a $25 band fee from each student again this year to cover the cost of band supplies (reeds, valve oil, slide grease, etc.). Please do not include this fee with the September school fees. I know that September is an expensive month so I will collect the band fee in November at the end of the first reporting period.
Please note that I will not be sending group e-mails throughout the year, as the blog will be the primary source of information for the band program. Please check the band page regularly for news: https://eastwiltshireschoolband.com/ . There is also a link to the band blog on the main East Wiltshire School blog (Click on the Band News link at the top of the page).
If you prefer to receive e-mails, please follow the blog by entering your preferred e-mail address on the home page. You will then receive automatic e-mail notifications whenever new posts are added.
My primary school email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I do not check the Google Classroom address (email@example.com) on a daily basis, so please use the primary email address for communication.
Google classroom is another tool that students will be using again this year to support their learning in the band program. Every band class will have their own Google Classroom and every student will be given a code to join their classroom during their first band class of the year.
Recommended School Supplies for Band Classes
Students are asked to please bring the following supplies to band classes.
-a ½ inch or 1 inch binder (black)
Optional, but useful:
-personal headphones (these don’t have to be expensive!)
-approx. 10 protective plastic sleeves (for 3 ring binders)
-a music stand to facilitate home practice
Thank you for your support of the music program. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.