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  • Band Update all grades 11/12/19

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 11/12/2019
    Parents,
    First, let me apologize for not getting the update out last week.  With the long weekend, I thought I would have time to get it done.  However, as all of you know (I hope!) I have been at the NC Music Educators' Convention in Winston Salem since Sunday morning.  And coming home late from that after all that I did during the day there, I just could not get motivated to send an email.  So again, sorry for that.  However, WOW what a weekend.  I heard NINE concerts from bands across the state ranging from middle school to college, went to some very helpful workshops (look out jazz band, I learned a great way to learn how to improvise!) and have been rejuvenated and renewed for coming home to the kids, plus I have some cool stuff and lots of new ideas.  It was well worth the trip and I'm grateful for the chance to have gone.  We as educators do not do enough to renew ourselves and our passion for our craft, and I'm glad I had the chance for this one.  I hope everyone had a good day at school today (I'll find out tomorrow!) and are ready to get back at it.  Practice sheets should have been collected today and will also be collected tomorrow as usual, so check with your child and make sure they get theirs turned in.
     
    We WILL have jazz band tomorrow morning and all Jazz Ensemble students need to attend.  We need to get moving on music for the concert, and all students need to be there.  We will also have jazz ensemble on Thursday morning as usual.  
     
    A BIG congratulations to all those who made All-County Band this past week.  Southwest had some good data regarding those auditions:  we were 7th out of 11 in amount of students sent to the auditions, but 3rd out of 11 in amount of students who made the band (10%).  And if you look at our percentage of students who made it compared to our total sent, we were second in the county (67%) only to Northern Middle.  I want to encourage ALL the students who auditioned for All-County to also audition for All-District band in January.  I know they would be competitive there as well and now that they have one audition under their belt, they would be much more experienced and comfortable, plus they have two more months to prepare.  The requirements are the same, except students should prepare the entire solo they have worked on, not just the excerpt for All-County.  Info regarding the All-County clinic will be sent home tomorrow or Thursday, so be on the lookout for that if it applies to your child.  I'll also send some detailed info regarding All-District then too.
     
    Polo shirts have been distributed to students who ordered one.  I do have some extras from last year's re-order that are available for $15 cash only.  If you wanted a polo but didn't get one in the order in October, you can see if I have your size.  Please email me or send in info by your child.  T-shirts and hoodies have also been shipped and should arrive at school by Thursday at the end of the day.  If I can get them counted out and checked for accuracy of the order by Friday, I'll send them home then.  Otherwise, it will be Monday for sure.  Thanks again for your support with t-shirts and hoodies!  Our cymbals and new keyboard for jazz band have been ordered and should be here soon!!
     
    Don't forget our Winter Concert date is Thursday, December 12 at 7pm at the Southwest Middle Gymnasium! Everyone is welcome and there is no admission charged.  This is a great concert every year and always a good time for everyone so invite your family to come and share!  All students are now working on music for the concert (sixth grade starts tomorrow!) and recordings are on my website for them to listen to while practicing.  Here's the link if you need it
     
     
    I think that's it, but I'll probably think of something as soon as I hit send 🙂  Have a good rest of your week!
    Comments (-1)
  • 7th/8th Grade Band Update 10/27

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/27/2019
    Parents,
    First off, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for supporting our t-shirt/hoodie fundraiser and for all your diligence in getting money in by the deadline.  Thank you so much for making sure money was in by Friday and for all your support because we (I am almost positive) have reached our goal of $500 for the crash cymbals we need and I sent an email to the music company on Friday requesting a quote.  I'll need to get all the final totals from the shirt company to know exactly how much we ended up making, but if my preliminary estimate is correct, we are there.  Shirts and hoodies should be delivered in class within two weeks (probably sooner).  THANK YOU for making this happen and I can't wait for you to see the cymbals at our concert.
     
    Speaking of concert, it's not too early to start talking about our first performance of the year, our Winter Concert, which will be on Thursday, December 12 at 7 pm at the Southwest Middle School Gymnasium.  Dress for the concert is black polo (band polo if you have one), black dress pants (or skirts if ladies prefer), and black dress shoes.  There is no admission charged and everyone is welcome.  More specific information about arrival times for students will be sent out closer to the date.
     
    Also a huge thank you to all who came to the 7th/8th Grade Night at the football game on Friday.  I hope the students had a good time meeting with Mr. Cox and the high school students and got to learn a lot about being in high school band and performing with such a large group.  Mr. Cox was very pleased at the turnout and hopes to see all middle schoolers in band at the high school in the future.
    We have been working hard this week on music for our upcoming concert.  All students have all their concert music at this point and should be working on it at home.  I've posted recordings on my website for the students to listen to in order to help them in practice with these songs, so please make sure they are doing just that.  
     
    Our last All-County Band rehearsals are next week with woodwinds on Tuesday and brass on Thursday, each until 5 pm.  Audition times have been sent to parents so that you will know when to arrive.  As a reminder, the auditions are at Western Guilford Middle School on Tuesday, November 5 after school.  
     
    Don't forget there is no school tomorrow due to the teacher workday.  I will be updating all grades tomorrow so you can check on your child's most updated grade tomorrow afternoon.  Also, there will be no instruments in class on Friday because of House Quarter Celebrations during encore times all day.  Finally, don't forget to check out my website as well for upcoming information.  Here's the link
     

    Thanks for reading this long email and have a great rest of your weekend!
    Comments (-1)
  • 6th Grade Update 10/27

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/27/2019
    Parents,
    First off, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for supporting our t-shirt/hoodie fundraiser and for all your diligence in getting money in by the deadline.  Thank you so much for making sure money was in by Friday and for all your support because we (I am almost positive) have reached our goal of $500 for the crash cymbals we need and I sent an email to the music company on Friday requesting a quote.  I'll need to get all the final totals from the shirt company to know exactly how much we ended up making, but if my preliminary estimate is correct, we are there.  Shirts and hoodies should be delivered in class within two weeks (probably sooner).  THANK YOU for making this happen and I can't wait for you to see the cymbals at our concert.
     
    Speaking of concert, it's not to late to start talking about our first performance of the year, our Winter Concert, which will be on Thursday, December 12 at 7 pm at the Southwest Middle School Gymnasium.  Dress for the concert is black polo (band polo if you have one), black dress pants (or skirts if ladies prefer), and black dress shoes.  There is no admission charged and everyone is welcome.  More specific information about arrival times for students will be sent out closer to the date.
     
    Yet another great week in band was completed last week.  Students finished their second playing test and are working so hard to improve.  I'm beginning to hear that some students in our brass class are not making high enough sounds, which, at this point, they all should be able to play the first five notes at the correct pitch.  I've told them how to help fix this, by playing the first two notes of the warmup back and forth until both are correct, then do the first three, then four, then five, until all notes are coming out correctly.  They must change their mouth as they move up and blow faster air to make the higher sounds.  They should know what this means and not be satisfied that "some" sound is coming out.  That is the challenge with brass instruments, and it is much better to work it out now than allowing those sounds repeatedly because it becomes harder to fix later.  Please listen to your child and remind them of these things as they practice.  You should be able to recognize songs they are playing at this point.  
     
    For our woodwinds, the biggest takeaway from this last test is lack of tonguing.  Some students are not using their tongue to start each note and are just blowing air and moving fingers instead.  Again, listen to your child and see if you can hear each note started with the sound of the tongue touching the reed (clarinets) or roof of their mouth (flutes) each time they play a note.  If you are not sure if this pertains to your child, check their last test scores on Monday after I've updated them.  If your child has a high B or a low A, this is probably because of one of the issues I've mentioned.  I'll be available some after next week to work with students before or after school if they feel they need extra help.  These are not things that I haven't been saying in class, and aren't things they don't know, but the first step is for them to apply them diligently in practice at home.  Then, if there's still an issue, they can meet with me if they need to.
     
    Don't forget there is no school tomorrow due to the teacher workday.  Also, there will be no instruments in class on Friday because of House Quarter Celebrations during encore times all day.  Finally, don't forget to check out my website as well for upcoming information.  Here's the link
     

     

    Thanks for reading this long email and have a great rest of your weekend!
    Comments (-1)
  • 6th grade update 10/19

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/19/2019
    We've had another good week in band class this week.  There will be a playing test on #25 beginning Monday, so please listen to your child perform for you so you can hear how much progress they are making.  I'm really pleased with how things are going and they are doing a great job.  We also had a notebook check on Friday, but because I neglected to put out reminders, some forgot.  They can turn in notebooks Monday for no penalty, but they must remember to get them in Monday.  
     
    Our last practice sheet of the quarter is due on Monday, so please make sure your child gets this one in.  It is also the last week to purchase polos or grade level t-shirts/hoodies.  Thanks to all who have sent in payment for the t-shirts and hoodies.  If you haven't sent in your payment for the t-shirt or hoodie, please do so by Friday or your order will have to be cancelled because the school will not pay for them ahead of time and be reimbursed.  All money must be in before the order will be placed.  Also a huge thanks for supporting our fundraising efforts with these items to help us purchase new crash cymbals!  With concert season starting soon, we will definitely need them!  Here is the link to the shirts if you need it
     
     
     
    Finally, here is a link to my school webpage which also has some important information and resources, including links to recordings of concert music.  Please check it out!
     
     
    Thanks for making it to the end of this long email!  With the quarter ending there are lots of things happening, and I appreciate your support in helping your child do their best.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great rest of your weekend!
     
    Comments (-1)
  • 7th grade update 10/19

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/19/2019
    Parents,
    We've had a pretty good week in band class this week.  We have started with concert music and students have been given copies of two of the pieces we will be doing.  They need to be practicing on that and will be getting more next week. 
     
    All-County Band rehearsals resume with woodwinds on Monday and Brass on Thursday.  I sent info to those involved regarding audition times earlier this week.  I also sent home info regarding 7th/8th Grade Band Night at the Southwest High football game this coming Friday, October 25.  I'm attaching the info here in case your child didn't get one as well.  Basically this is a chance for all 7th/8th grade band students to rehearse with/socialize with the members of the high school band to learn more about what band in high school is like, to see the high school facilities, meet Mr. Cox (the high school director) and get to know some of the students they would be in band with in high school.  Students can walk over to the high school right after school or come back at 5:30 and will remain with the band during the game.  The admission for students is free, but family members will need to pay at the gate.  Students are expected to be with the band during all activities and have been told this is not a chance to get in free and disappear since they are coming as members of the band and will be supervised by the band and myself.  Parents are welcome to come as well and meet current band parents to know what it is like from the parent perspective.  Finally, students will need to have the attached letter signed by a parent giving them permission to participate.
     
    Our last practice sheet of the quarter is due on Monday, so please make sure your child gets this one in.  It is also the last week to purchase polos or grade level t-shirts/hoodies.  Thanks to all who have sent in payment for the t-shirts and hoodies.  If you haven't sent in your payment for the t-shirt or hoodie, please do so by Friday or your order will have to be cancelled because the school will not pay for them ahead of time and be reimbursed.  All money must be in before the order will be placed.  Also a huge thanks for supporting our fundraising efforts with these items to help us purchase new crash cymbals!  With concert season starting, we will definitely need them!  Here is the link to the shirts if you need it
     

     

     
    Finally, here is a link to my school webpage which also has some important information and resources, including links to recordings of concert music.  Please check it out!
     
     
    Thanks for making it to the end of this long email!  With the quarter ending there are lots of things happening, and I appreciate your support in helping your child do their best.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great rest of your weekend!
    Comments (-1)
  • 8th grade update 10/19

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/19/2019
    Parents,
    We've had a pretty good week in band class this week.  We have started with concert music and students have been given a copy of one of the pieces we will be doing.  They need to be practicing on that and will be getting more next week. We also had a notebook check on Friday, but because I neglected to put out reminders, some forgot.  They can turn in notebooks Monday for no penalty, but they must remember to get them in Monday.  
     
    All-County Band rehearsals resume with woodwinds on Monday and Brass on Thursday.  I sent info to those involved regarding audition times earlier this week.  I also sent home info regarding 7th/8th Grade Band Night at the Southwest High football game this coming Friday, October 25.  I'm attaching the info here in case your child didn't get one as well.  Basically this is a chance for all 7th/8th grade band students to rehearse with/socialize with the members of the high school band to learn more about what band in high school is like, to see the high school facilities, meet Mr. Cox (the high school director) and get to know some of the students they would be in band with in high school.  Students can walk over to the high school right after school or come back at 5:30 and will remain with the band during the game.  The admission for students is free, but family members will need to pay at the gate.  Students are expected to be with the band during all activities and have been told this is not a chance to get in free and disappear since they are coming as members of the band and will be supervised by the band and myself.  Parents are welcome to come as well and meet current band parents to know what it is like from the parent perspective.  Finally, students will need to have the attached letter signed by a parent giving them permission to participate.
     
    Our last practice sheet of the quarter is due on Monday, so please make sure your child gets this one in.  It is also the last week to purchase polos or grade level t-shirts/hoodies.  Thanks to all who have sent in payment for the t-shirts and hoodies.  If you haven't sent in your payment for the t-shirt or hoodie, please do so by Friday or your order will have to be cancelled because the school will not pay for them ahead of time and be reimbursed.  All money must be in before the order will be placed.  Also a huge thanks for supporting our fundraising efforts with these items to help us purchase new crash cymbals!  With concert season starting, we will definitely need them!  Here is the link to the shirts if you need it
     
     
     
    Finally, here is a link to my school webpage which also has some important information and resources, including links to recordings of concert music.  Please check it out!
     
     
    Thanks for making it to the end of this long email!  With the quarter ending there are lots of things happening, and I appreciate your support in helping your child do their best.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great rest of your weekend!
    Comments (-1)
  • 6th Grade Update 10/11

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/14/2019
    Parents,
    We've had another successful week in band class and are now playing our first "real" song, Mary Had a Little Lamb.  I always love this time because the students begin to realize this "music" thing is something that is really hard but really rewarding when they FINALLY hear themselves playing a song that they know.  They will be taking their test on this song on Monday or Tuesday, whenever they feel most ready.  Just as a reminder, I am looking for good posture, good hand position, correct fingerings/slide positions, several notes blown on one breath, steady beat and tempo, and maybe (hopefully!) the right sounds coming out.  Please encourage and listen to your child perform and let them show off how well they are doing and how hard they are working.  This is an exceptional group of children and they are making incredible strides every day.
     
    Practice sheets will be due on Monday,  Students should be practicing 150 minutes this week (30 minutes each weeknight) and should turn that in on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.  Missing practice sheet notices for this week's time went out yesterday and the email to parents will be coming out today of who did not turn in time this week.  Please make sure to check with your child to make sure he or she turns their time in each week.
     
    Percussion auditions will begin on Monday as well.  Students who have turned in a permission form from parents will be allowed to stay on Monday and we will begin the process of learning what is on the audition and how to do some percussion things.  Students will be staying after on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of next week until 4:45 to get instruction, and then will do the actual audition on Friday after school.  Please make sure you are hear on time to pick up your child each day if at all possible.  Just as a reminder, there is no need to purchase anything for this audition.  Please do not purchase anything until I email you next Friday that your child has passed the audition and been selected to switch.
     
    Don't forget that if you have placed an order for a t-shirt or hoodie online, the payment for that must be sent to me before October 25 (the close of the sale) in order for your child to receive their item.  Polos, which we will be wearing on the concert, are also on sale and can be paid for online.  Delivery will be one to two weeks after the close of the sale, and will be done in class.  Links are on my webpage.
     
    And speaking of my webpage, I've updated a lot of things there and put some helpful info for you as well.  Here's the link 
     
    I'll be working to keep it updated with upcoming stuff, as well as sending out emails to you for things upcoming.  Thanks for reading this long email and have a great weekend!
     
    Comments (-1)
  • 7th Grade Update 10/11

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/14/2019
    Parents,
    We've had another successful week in band class and finished up another playing test.  Students are learning about sixteenth notes and are working towards one more test coming up soon on #55.  We had a notebook check in class today and most everyone did really well.  Just as a reminder, if your child is missing any handouts for his or her notebook, they can always ask me for replacements at any time.
     
    Practice sheets will be due on Monday,  Students should be practicing 150 minutes this week (30 minutes each weeknight) and should turn that in on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.  Missing practice sheet notices for this week's time went out yesterday and the email to parents will be coming out today of who did not turn in time this week.  Please make sure to check with your child to make sure he or she turns their time in each week.
     
    Seventh and eighth grade band night at the SWHS football game is fast approaching, so please plan on attending if your child is interested in band in high school, marching band, or if they're not sure about band after middle school.  The date is October 25, and all seventh and eighth grade band students are invited to come rehearse with the high school band and play along with them in the stands during the game.  Students will get in free with the band, but parents will have to pay at the gate.  Also, students will need a permission form to attend the game (I'll get those for them) that they should keep with them during the game.  More specific information will be coming on that next week.
     
    Don't forget that if you have placed an order for a t-shirt or hoodie online, the payment for that must be sent to me before October 25 (the close of the sale) in order for your child to receive their item.  Polos, which we will be wearing on the concert, are also on sale and can be paid for online.  Delivery will be one to two weeks after the close of the sale, and will be done in class.  Links are on my webpage.
     
    And speaking of my webpage, I've updated a lot of things there and put some helpful info for you as well.  Here's the link 
    https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/30363
    Thanks to everyone for a wonderful concert! Practice time for this week is only 120 minutes because of the concert. That time is due on Monday or Tuesday, December 18 or 19.
    www.gcsnc.com
     
    I'll be working to keep it updated with upcoming stuff, as well as sending out emails to you for things upcoming.  Thanks for reading this long email and have a great weekend!
     
     
    Comments (-1)
  • 8th Grade Update 10/11

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/14/2019
    Parents,
    We've had another successful week in band class and finished up another playing test.  Students are learning about the key of Db Major and are working hard towards being ready for concert music in a couple of weeks.  Our Winter Concert will be on December 12 at 7 pm, so put it on your calendar!
     
    Practice sheets will be due on Monday,  Students should be practicing 150 minutes this week (30 minutes each weeknight) and should turn that in on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.  Missing practice sheet notices for this week's time went out yesterday and the email to parents will be coming out today of who did not turn in time this week.  Please make sure to check with your child to make sure he or she turns their time in each week.
     
    Seventh and eighth grade band night at the SWHS football game is fast approaching, so please plan on attending if your child is interested in band in high school, marching band, or if they're not sure about band after middle school.  The date is October 25, and all seventh and eighth grade band students are invited to come rehearse with the high school band and play along with them in the stands during the game.  Students will get in free with the band, but parents will have to pay at the gate.  Also, students will need a permission form to attend the game (I'll get those for them) that they should keep with them during the game.  More specific information will be coming on that next week.
     
    All-County band rehearsals are suspended next week because I will be doing sixth grade percussion tryouts all week.  We will resume rehearsing for All-County on October 21 with woodwinds on Monday and brass on Thursday of that week.
     
    Don't forget that if you have placed an order for a t-shirt or hoodie online, the payment for that must be sent to me before October 25 (the close of the sale) in order for your child to receive their item.  Polos, which we will be wearing on the concert, are also on sale and can be paid for online.  Delivery will be one to two weeks after the close of the sale, and will be done in class.  Links are on my webpage.
     
    And speaking of my webpage, I've updated a lot of things there and put some helpful info for you as well.  Here's the link 
    https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/30363
    Thanks to everyone for a wonderful concert! Practice time for this week is only 120 minutes because of the concert. That time is due on Monday or Tuesday, December 18 or 19.
    www.gcsnc.com
     
    I'll be working to keep it updated with upcoming stuff, as well as sending out emails to you for things upcoming.  Thanks for reading this long email and have a great weekend!

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 8th grade band update 10/7

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 10/9/2019
    Parents,
    First, let me say thanks so much for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother-in-law's passing.  We had some good family time this weekend, and I appreciate your patience and understanding with my being out of school.  I also appreciate your student's good behavior for our subs while I was away.  That is more helpful than you know.
     
    Practice sheets are due today in class.  Students should have finished 150 minutes last week and will be turning that in today or tomorrow.  Check with your child to make sure they turned it in. You can also email me their time if they've forgotten.  We started working on our next playing test, which will be the Db concert scale for winds and #99 in the book for percussion.  The test on that will happen on Thursday and Friday.  Please make sure your child is memorizing the scale to play at the end of this week.  Percussion does not have to memorize their exercise.
     
    I am staying after school today for woodwind students interested in trying out for All-County Band.  Pickup time is 5:00 pm.  I will also be after school on Thursday for Brass and Percussion students as well.  There will be no All-County practice next week because I will be having percussion auditions for sixth graders after school.  Also, there will be no Jazz Band this week due to the teacher workday, but those I spoke with about participating in Small Jazz Ensemble WILL meet on Thursday at 7:45 am.  This is ONLY for the 18 students I've already spoken to and given music to for Small Jazz Ensemble, not full Jazz Band.
     
    Finally, here are the links again for polo shirts (paid for online) and t-shirts and hoodies (order online but send payment to me) if you need them.  The sale ends October 25.



    Thanks again for all your support and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
    Comments (-1)
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