Grade 8 band


Picture of Amber Aitchison
by Amber Aitchison - Friday, 16 January 2015, 3:23 PM

Students completed their first playing test (concert Bb thirds/triplets/chords) in band 8 with me over the past two weeks. I heard some wonderful things from many of the students! There were some students to whom I gave suggestions for improvement. With a bit of focused practice, I believe those students should come in for a re-test at recess/lunch/afterschool next week to earn a higher mark (and have a better performance).

Many thanks to the students for being so open to the changes I have introduced over the past two weeks! I have enjoyed meeting each one of you and look forward to getting to know you and helping you develop a passion for making music while in Band at Bayside.

A new style of practice card was distributed for students to use. It is a monthly practice card in which students record their at-home practice as well as masterclass practices (regular band class does not count). Ideally students are practicing at home every day, but realistically I know that isn't possible for most families. Try to aim for everyother day. The band room is open at recess and lunch as well as after school until 3:15pm for practicing alone or with friends.

What does practicing look like?
1. Students should be completing a warmup for about 5 minutes (scales, long tones, buzzing on the mouthpiece, breathing gym, etc),
2. then spending the majority of their practice time (approx 15-20 mins) targeting something specific in a piece of music (ie: measures 1-9 in Shepard's Tune---specifically working on notes/rhythms/dynamics/articulations---see the back of the sheet for suggestions) working on it slowly until they can play it correctly 10X,
3. then 5 minutes of "fun" playing...pick a pop song, something you enjoy to play from band, disney music, or try to make something long as it's fun to reward yourself for the hard work. Students do not record their practice time. They will find that it will average out to approx 30 minutes each session. Some students may take more, others less. There's no target amount. But my bet is that students will start looking forward to practicing when they know how and what to practice along with knowing that they will have built in time for fun!

I will collect the practice cards during the week of Feb 2-6 and distribute new sheets. Extra sheets will be available in the band room in the green folder on the wall below the light switches.