Notes Week 1
The students have done a great job learning some band basics. We have learned about musician posture, proper breathing, music theory (including note names), and made our first sounds! We are excited to keep working, practicing, and improving!
If your child does not have their instrument and supplies, please visit a music store to take care of this soon. We don't want your child to fall behind!
Students should be taking their instruments home daily to practice.
Students click the link below to practice your note names!
Band Registration—to be completed by Tuesday, September 4
Please read the handbook and complete the online registration by clicking the buttons below.
If you would like to pay the band fees in person, please come to the band registration night, Tuesday, September 4 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the SCIS band hall. Or contact Elizabeth Rogers to make other arrangements.
Home Practice Guide for Parents
The Environment of Practice
This is the first step a parent must take to ensure a successful practice session. The practice environment should be:
Relaxed and Quiet – Similar to studying any other academic subject, practicing an instrument is a mental process. The practice environment should be as similar to a library as possible, except that your child can make lots of good sounds here.
Correct Temperature -- The temperature range of 65 - 80 degrees is needed for the wind instrument to have the best chance to play in tune, with a temperature of 72 degrees being ideal. There are times that students have been sent to practice in the garage to avoid disturbing other people in the house. While it is understandable why parents might choose this course of action, it is not in the best interest of the child’s opportunity for success. The garage would have to be in the ideal temperature range. Abnormal temperatures can adversely impact the performance of their instrument, could possibly damage the instrument, and can cause the child to dislike practicing. Also, it may create a poor perception for the child that practicing is a chore and an inconvenience, instead of a labor of love.
Sturdy Chair and Music Stand – It is vital that the child’s practice space allow them to sit in the same position they do in band class. A sturdy chair is important to help them sit in the correct posture. The child should never have to bend over to read their music, and a practice stand will allow the student to view their music exactly as they do on band class. Wire music stands are available for purchase at any reputable music company in your area.
Use a Mirror – It is imperative that students always check their embouchure to ensure it is being formed correctly, as this concept will be covered in class and illustrations often occur in the beginning of most band method books. A locker mirror or other small mirror on their music stand will work well.
The Sounds of Practice
There are several sounds that you should be hearing when your child is practicing. Students should be practicing music we play in class in an effort to make their performance in class and on stage truly outstanding.
The beeping of a metronome – For home practice, students should use a metronome. This will help them keep steady tempo.
Counting and Clapping – Counting out rhythms (like learning to read words) and then combining those rhythms with steady tempo will help your child develop motor skills and learn the concept of simultaneous responsibilities.
Note-naming – Students should be saying the note names out loud while reading the staff lines of our music. This should also be done with a metronome, and ultimately, while positioning the notes being spoken.
Essential Sounds – Students should be working on their sound with just the mouthpiece, mouthpiece and barrel, or head joint. This sound might be slightly irritating (especially with beginners), but it is crucial to their development of correct embouchure and tone quality. They should work for a steady sound that does not waver.
Long Tones – The first sounds a student should make on their assembled instrument should be long and smooth tones. Their tone quality is one of the most important aspects of learning their instrument during the early years. Again, they should work for a steady sound that does not waver. Playing into a tuner with an open and relaxed sound, and keeping the “needle” perfectly steady can achieve this.
This is What Parents Should NOT Hear
Goofing Off – Students sometimes become inquisitive about their instrument and to try to make “unique” sounds as a result. They should never make deliberately poor sounds on their instrument. Students should not attempt to play extremely high or fast notes, including “sound effects.”
Just the Music – Students should enjoy practicing and should want to play songs. However, at this point in their musical lives, they should also understand the importance of fundamentals. You should not only hear songs when they practice. Your child should be doing fundamental exercises along with note-naming and rhythm counting.
Silence – Sometimes students try to say they have been practicing note- naming and rhythm counting for their entire practice time, but this should not be the case. Students should play their instrument for at least two-thirds of their practice time.
Parent Practice: What can you do to assist your child?
Make every attempt to ensure you are helping your child practice the correct way, with a good quality instrument. All parents can help their child practice by doing any or all of the following:
Create a Healthy Environment – Make sure they are practicing in a comfortable place as described above. Do not allow siblings to distract your child during practice. Also, please do not send them away or outside to practice. Practice should not become a negative experience for your child.
Scheduled Times – Create a regular practice time for your child (preferably when you are home to hear him/her practice). When the habit of practicing at the same time every day occurs, your child’s practice routine will solidify.
Performances at Home – Schedule a time every few days for your child to perform music for your family and/or friends. Encourage them to perform music or other concepts that they are playing in class or in their private lessons. This will allow them to have performance goals outside of class.
Ask Questions – Have your child explain what his or her plan is for their practice session. Ask them about upcoming playing tests, assigned homework, or other class assignments such as scales, flow studies, or other warm-ups. Also, this is an opportunity for the child to teach the parent, which will make your child feel like a million bucks!
Observe Your Child Practice – From time to time, listen to your child practice. Ask them to explain the process that they go through for each part of their practice session. You can also time them on note-naming games, breathing games, or rhythm rockers. Feel free to mix it up!
The quality of daily home practice time directly impacts their playing level on their instruments. Thank you for supporting your child’s musical goals!
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