Home/a.k.a. "The Band Room"

Welcome to the online home for the East Valley Bands!

This site is our resource for the event schedule, the handbook, and class-related resources like our YouTube channel (it's in our Links page).
Detailed information about events will be sent out via email, so please make sure I have your current email address!

If you need to contact me, please email me at eastvalleybands@gmail.com

Quick note about getting ready for school in the fall...

posted Jul 28, 2016, 3:20 PM by Burton   [ updated Apr 8, 2017, 9:00 AM ]

Hi everyone, 

We start using our method books as early as possible each year, so it's a good idea to go pick these up sometime in August.

8th Grade students need Accent on Achievement Book 3.
7th Grade students need Accent on Achievement Book 2.

Incoming 6th Grade students, please do not buy books or instruments until we do mouthpiece placements.
I want to make sure that all of you end up with instruments that are the right fit for you. We do these placements in class during the first two weeks of school, and then we make sure you have information on what instrument, book, and extra materials you need.

Please drop me a line (email is best) if you have any questions.

How To Practice

posted Mar 20, 2016, 2:03 PM by Burton   [ updated Jul 27, 2017, 8:06 AM ]

Hi everyone,

Even if a student seems to “get” what we’re doing without practicing, the routine of practicing needs to be in place as early as possible. At some point, usually late in sixth grade or partway through seventh grade, students reach the point where the music becomes more difficult. At that point, students who know how to practice will excel. Unfortunately, at that point, students who don’t know how to practice will get frustrated and quit. 

Here’s the routine students should follow:

  • long tones (brass players need to buzz their mouthpieces first)
  • scales
  • current method book exercises
  • current concert music
  • something fun

 With each section, from scales through fun music that students choose on their own, students need to remember the following:

  • Pay attention to posture, breath support, and tone first. Don’t move on from long tones until these are in place.
  • The next big fundamental is pulse/steady beat. Use a metronome or metronome app.
  • Focus on the problem spots, especially music we worked on in class that day.
  • Slow down! Don’t just play through everything as fast as possible!
  • Focus on just rhythms, just fingerings, etc., then pull it all together.
  • If the notes and rhythms are good, focus on articulation, dynamic contrast, etc.
  • At the end of the practice time, play something fun. This can be old music from the method  book or earlier concerts, music from books (music stores have popular, movie, and sacred music books that sometimes include play-along recordings) or music that students find online. This is also a good time to practice improvising. Our YouTube channel has videos with improvisation exercises, as well as videos that can be used as "backgrounds" to practice soloing.

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