FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUMMER BAND & CHOIR CAMPS, PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK TO THE LEFT.


Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns. My e-mail: mmcmullan@stmarys-school.org.

Click here to listen to "The Light of Jesus"

Greetings Parents and Students! Thank you for stopping by to check out the notes on notes - I'll pause for the collective groan at my terrible joke!

Music has thus far defined my life - the last 40-plus years of it anyway. No matter what track I embarked upon I always carried music with me. Music permeates every fiber of my being and I wish to continue to share that gift, love, passion, wonderment and zeal with any student so inclined.

Success in music begins with understanding the following:


Music is a Science - It is exact, specific; it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.

Music is Mathematical - It is rhythmically based on the subdivision of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.

Music is a Foreign Language - Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English - but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas (abstract thinking). The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language. Also, many songs we study are from other cultures.

Music is Physical Education - It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Most of all, Music is Art - It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion.

Practice does not make perfect. Rather, Perfect Practice produces consistent competence.

Perfect Practice? - Simply, practice time is a daily appointment with oneself. In the beginning, several short practices of 10 minutes (minimum 3 per day, 5 out of 7 days per week, no more than 2 days in between) are all that is required. As the student grows more confident a new task is assigned. On average, one new task is introduced each week for beginners for the first 6-8 weeks; for advanced students 3-4 new concepts. Each concept constitutes an item for the Practice File. Variety - as is often stated - is the spice of life. This is no less true in the learning process for a musical instrument. Your children will receive ongoing training in the concept of Perfect Practice. The ideal - for starters - is make that appointment for the same time each day. The practice space should be free from all distractions (computer, television, ipod, etc.), quiet except for the sounds made by the student, and moderately private (I still chuckle at the memories of only being able to practice behind a closed door).

This site will serve as my primary means of communicating with all Band and Choir students and upcoming song selections for the Children's Choir - including links to audio files and/or lyric sheets. I screen all links before posting to the page.

The current resource for choir music is www.spiritandsong.com.

Occasionally, a song will not have an audio file at the above site. In this case, I plan to either find a link elsewhere or will rely on past methods of teaching new material.