Music at Salem Hyde

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Entrance requirements for Band on Brass and Woodwind Instruments

on December 20, 2014

As we start our holiday vacations, I’m glancing over to my own instrument area to see: a flute, a clarinet, a trumpet, a tenor saxophone, a trombone, and a tuba! I look forward to spending time with each of these “axes” (as jazz players call their horns) and improving my own playing so I can do the best job at modeling good technique for all the band students at Salem Hyde. Home practice is key for every musician at any level, and I encourage all students to spend time with instrument practice over the break!

All beginning brass and woodwind players at Salem Hyde have received a list of requirements to qualify for the school band, and I am confident that a certain number will be able to achieve this level by the end of the second marking period, i.e. January 29, 2015. Enrollment in the band will be ongoing throughout the third marking period as well. All students will also receive a grade for band in the second marking period, and are encouraged to treat this work with the same degree of commitment (or more!) as any other subject. Mrs. Lefkus will make determinations for percussion students.

The requirements are as follows:
1. Note recognition at sight of the first five notes they have learned. I will point to these notes and students will play them on their instruments. The sheet “These are the notes I know” is essential to practice here– parents can help by simply pointing to random notes and having the child play them.
2. Correctly play exercise #31 in the lesson book (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) with proper technique including posture and tonguing.
3. Correctly play a B Flat concert scale on their instrument on long tones (4 beats crescendo, 4 beats diminuendo). (Flute, Trombone, Baritone and Tuba play a B Flat scale, Clarinets, Trumpets and Tenor saxes play a C scale, Alto Saxophones play a G scale). We still need to teach a couple more notes in lessons, but all students are invited to go ahead in their books to learn these on their own.
4. Attend at least seven group lessons.
5. Present at least three properly filled out “Practice Talley Sheets.” If parents have not seen these yet, please speak to your child…. Students are asked to fill out these sheets according to our instructions, and parents are supposed to sign them to confirm the practice totals that have been indicated.

The band did a great job with their holiday concert, and we look forward to new levels of achievement in 2015, including participation in All-City and All-County events.

Have a wonder holiday vacation, filled with wonder, love, family and all of the joy of the season! Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions or comments.

Musically yours,
F. Willard, Band Director

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