Fifth Grade Cadet Band

Contacts:  Mr. Swallow and Mrs. Ogden

The 5th graders should report to the band room at Chiddix by 6:30 pm on Tuesday, March 5. The concert will begin at 7:00 pm. Concert attire is the same as before.  You can find guidelines elsewhere on this page. The highlights would be:  "No  Jeans,  no t-shirts, no tennis shoes." As always, if you have any questions please contact Mr. Swallow.     
posted 2-28-2019

     The students should wear nice, dress up clothes at each performance. We are asking that there be no blue jeans, no t-shirts, no shorts,  no leggings (or any kind of "eggings") and would prefer no tennis shoes. If your child decides to wear a skirt or dress, it must be past their knees AFTER they sit down without stretching it. Two of their three performances will be on the stage at the high school. The stage is about four feet above the first few rows of seats in the auditorium. Hopefully that will guide you in the direction of nice pants instead of the skirt or dress.  posted 9-30-2018

****HOME PREPARATION (practicing at home):
     The 5th Grade Band has been taking part in their musical assessment during the past few days and should be finished this week. If you remember during the mini-lessons we reminded parents that the students must spend time on their instruments on the weekends. If they haven't been volunteering to play for you, you should be asking them to play for you each weekend, or any other time you see them bring their instruments home. 
     We have a few students that are consistently forgetting to bring their instruments to school. You may not think one missed lesson is a lot but when you think of them missing 25% of their instruction for an entire week, then it is suddenly a big deal. Anytime you child misses class or doesn't have their instrument, they are still responsible for the material that they missed. For most students, missing one time is not going to put them behind. However we have students that between missed classes and forgetting their instrument, have lost out on almost of a third of their instruction. 
     When the first assessments are finished you will receive one of three emails:
  1. Your child is doing fine and excelling in class.
  2. Your child is doing ok but one or two areas that could use a little extra attention when they are home. From our past experience (which is over 50+ years of teaching experience), these things are nothing to become alarmed with. Some students just need a little extra time. 
  3. Your child is struggling in class. At this point we would list what we see as the possible reason (missed class / no instrument; difficulty in functioning in a large class setting - remember we have almost 60 students, learning 8 different instruments all at the same time; lack of preparation outside of class; etc.) for the struggle. 
     We understand that sometimes the students may not want to practice at home. We are asking that you set up some kind of practice policy for the weekends. Don't allow them to make excuses for not practicing, help them problem solve so that they can find time to practice.  Just a side note, we consider practicing their instrument a form of homework.
     Unlike a lot of musicians, you will never hear us give the students a certain amount of time to practice. We will let the students know what needs to be prepared and just like any other homework, we expect that they keep working / practicing until it is achieved. 
     Any time your child wants extra help, one or both of us are available after school to work with your child. You and your child need to work out the arrangements for you to pick them up BEFORE they stay for help. An individual or small group help session will usually be 15-20 minutes in length. You will find that we don't believe in rout teaching. When a student asks for extra help, they should have already spent time at home doing as much as they can on their own. All students should know their note names (A, B, C, D.....) and the correct fingers that are required to play those notes. They also need to be able to identify whole notes / rests, half notes / rests and quarter notes / rests by what each looks like as well as the value of each of those notes and rests. Other than fingerings all of the other items are part of the general music curriculum. When we talk to the students about what a quarter note looks like or how many beats that it receives, it should actually be a quick review of something that already know. 
     We have one last thing that needs to be addressed. All students must have a pencil with them each and everyday in class. We would prefer that they have a pencil that they leave in their music folder. Thanks for helping with this.     posted 9-30-2018