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Slate The Tuesday/Friday accompanist will be at HMS for small groups Tuesday Feb. 21 and Friday Feb 24. Be sure to have your instrument and music and be prepared. Ensembles have your music so you can practice. 

Check the bulletin board for new small group information. Our focus will be on preparation for the Feb. 8 Solo and Ensemble Festival

Those of you participating in Solo & Ensemble Festival must bring there music to each coaching and lesson class! I will not be able to coach you if you do not have  have your music. Please try to remember to bring your music to class so you can become your best.


Be sure to bring a spirit to do your best to each class. 

Daily practice produces consistent quick results. If you choose not to be consistent with daily attention to your instrument you choose not to improve. Your choice Be sure to play your instrument daily to keep your skills fluent.

We will start the year with some very good, challenging music... You will need to bring your Essential Element book, instrument, pencil and assignment note book to each small group lesson!!!!!!! There will be a general grace period of 2 weeks for folks who forget to come to small group lesson. After the two weeks we will not take our valuable lesson time to come get you. If you miss a lesson class you will need to check in for assignments and missed technical skills. Try your best to remember, our time together is short and it is important we work together to be our best. Make a note in your assignment notebook as a reminder.

INSTRUMENTS MUST GO HOME AND MUST BE PLAYED IF WE ARE ALL TO DO OUR BEST. It is important that each of us contributes to our musical team. We must all put in some effort so we can become the best we can become individually and as an orchestra. There are no short cuts, step up and be your best.

You will make progress this year on your journey to become a better instrumentalist and musician. Please be sure to continue playing everyday. Choose something you enjoy playing to get started and then work toward perfecting a technique or general music reading. Your Essential Elements book is a great resource.

Parking Tickets will be issued to instruments left over the weekend. Three tickets and you will need to come in during lunch/recess for practice. Enough said just do it.

The lesson schedule is posted on the board. See me if you see conflicts.

Trimester 1
6th Grade:
Musicians will perfect pages 2-10 in Essential Elements book.  Numbers 5, 13 and 25 will be assessed to assure student skill and understanding on a Pass/Retake basis. Students will perfect reading skills, rhythmic understanding, and bowing techniques. We will be learning many new notes and hand positions so that you will be able to enjoy playing more and more different types of music. Mastering of techniques will be tested on a regular basis.  There will be an emphasis on musical terms and symbols. Knowledge will be tested.

7th Grade:
 Basic first position scales will be reviewed. Young musicians will learn to play in third position on the G, D, A, and E string. Violas will concentrate on third position on the C,G, D, A string. Celli and bass will also learn to play in various positions.  Students will be learning more advanced techniques as the year progresses; positions, shifting, vibrato preparation, two octave scales. Basic rhythms will also be reviewed. The students will use Essential Elements Book Essential Technique. Mastering of techniques will be tested Pass/Retake on a regular basis. Knowledge of musical terms and symbols will also be covered. Young musicians will have the opportunity to visit the Learning Center Listening Library. They will have the opportunity to listen and respond to the music of the masters from J. S Bach to Phillip Glass, Bella Fleck to Yo Yo Ma. This is an essential activity for the young musicians. Listening to good music will help them to understand the importance of their own study, mastery of skill and performance.

8th grade:
Young musicians will review 3rd and 2nd (violins and violas), 3rd 3 1/2 and 4 (cello) positions and shifting techniques. New positions will be introduced by mid trimester.Students will be assessed to assure student skill and understanding on a Pass/Retake basis.  Bowing techniques will be reviewed and expanded, Vibrato technique will be emphasized. Mastering of techniques will be tested on a regular basis, Pass/Retake.  Basic rhythms, musical terms and symbols will be tested.  Young musicians will have the opportunity to visit the Learning Center Listening Library. They will have the opportunity to listen and respond to the music of the masters from J. S Bach to Phillip Glass, Bella Fleck to Yo Yo Ma. This is an essential activity for the young musicians. Listening to good music will help them to understand the importance of their own study, mastery of skill and performance.

We are coming to the close of trimester 1.
6th grade - #5, #13, #25 should be ready for final assessment!
7th grade - You should have a basic understanding of 3rd position and assigned scales. Be ready for evaluation.
8th grade. You should have solid 3rd position understanding and third position skills. You should have a start on 2nd position. Know your assigned scales. Be ready for evaluation.

Trimester 2:
6th grade:
We will explore many new notes that have # and b accidentals. We will gain an understanding of all those first and last names of notes and how they are played on your fingerboard. You will gain skill in reading those pesky directionals. We will also continue to explore rhythms, musical symbols and terms and learn what they indicate in the music. Of course we will expand our understanding of how to use our bow to play beautiful music.

7th Grade:
We will continue to explore third position and shifting. Bow usage will be stressed. Two octave scales, arpeggios, and thirds will be stressed. As always an understanding of rhythms will be explored. Be ready for some Around the World terms and symbols games.

8th Grade:
You should be able to play your 2 octave scales, arpeggios and thirds. Those of you who are ready will start three octave scales. You should have solid third position skills and shifting. Again those of you who are ready will learn second position and 5th position. Br ready to climb up your fingerboard. No fear it is only a fingerboard: Same notes, new location. For those of you who do not have vibrato powers be sure to practice the strengthening exercises daily. If you do not do these simple exercises daily you will not have a vibrato until you are a senior in high school and then only maybe. As always bow use will be stressed for good tone and musical application. We will be working more and more in the Gold Books be sure to bring them to class. Rhythms, terms and musical symbols will be strengthened. We will also start a listening unit using the Learning Center IPod Nano. Please let me know if there is anything more you wish to do this trimester.

Trimester 3:
6th Grade:
We will continue to explore # and b notes. There will be an emphasis on one octave scales culminating in a final playing evaluation in May: G, D, A, F, and Bb major scales will be tested as well as d minor and g minor. We will also explore how to listen to good music. We will continue to learn how to use our bow to play beautiful music. We will continue to explore rhythms, terms and symbols.

7th Grade:
Two octave scales, arpeggios and thirds will be stressed and tested. We will explore how to listen to good music. A Classical Music Super Star project will be assigned soon. Young musicians will get to know a classical musician of their choice, write a short informational page, and listen to the artist perform a piece of their choice. Bow use will once again be stressed. Third position skills will be improved.


8th Grade:
Vibrato, shifting and bow technique skills will be stressed. The Classical Music Super Star project will be assigned. Learning how to listen to good music will be explored. We will focus on  our understanding of the fingerboard and use of positions. Young musicians will be assigned  several position etudes to expand position use. Bow styles will be explored. All two octave major and minor and scales will be reviewed. Three octave major scales will be introduced. Our young musicians will be ready to start the next step in their musical journey as they move on to high school.   
Updated 1-20-2020 1:02 PM