Beginner Band

December 5-9 2016, Concert Prep

In preparation for the concert, students should be practicing as much as possible! The following are things to practice for the show:

  • Looking Down, Looking Up, Try for Three – Brass, focus on keeping a firm embouchure and smiling while playing to get up to the proper pitch for “So.” Woodwinds, make sure you have your fingerings memorized for Fa, So, and La (especially flutes!). Everyone make sure to use good air support and control your sound to make the best tone possible! Push from your bellies, not your chests.
  • Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La – Everyone needs to be able to play all six notes with a good sound by memory. We have all filled out fingering chart tests. Use the tests to help memorize the fingerings. Then, practice transitioning from one note to another.  Feel free to write a song at home using different combinations of the six notes and come show it to me next class!
  • Jingle Bells – Jingle Bells uses all the notes we know so far. Practice the song slowly, especially flutes. Brass, make sure you go high for “So” and low for “Do.” The more you practice “Do Re Mi Fa So La”, the easier Jingle Bells will be. Remember to take things slow.

Good Posture + Good Breathing + Good Embouchure (Mouth Position) + Good Fingerings = A Great Sound!

November 23-27, 2015:

This week, we will be continuing our practice towards our Winter Concert goals.  It is very important that everyone practices daily for at least 20-30 minutes so they feel comfortable with the pieces for the concert.  As a reminder, we will be performing the following songs, and everyone needs to be practicing these:

  • Jingle Bells and Dreydl, Dreydl.  You have been handed this piece of music in class.
  • #19 – Hot Cross Buns
  • #20 – Go Tell Aunt Rhodie
  • #22 – Little Robin Redbreast
  • #23 – Merrily We Roll Along
  • #27 – Good King Wenceslas

In preparation for the Winter Concert, here is a reminder about Concert Dress outfits:

  • White dress shirt – preferrably long-sleeved
  • Black dress shoes
  • Black pants

November 13-20:

Welcome back from the break!  We hope you had a good one, and that you are ready for the final stretch before our concert on Dec. 7th!

For the concert, we will be playing:

  • Jingle Bells and Dreydl, Dreydl.  You have been handed this piece of music in class.
  • #19 – Hot Cross Buns
  • #20 – Go Tell Aunt Rhodie
  • #22 – Little Robin Redbreast
  • #23 – Merrily We Roll Along
  • #27 – Good King Wenceslas

Up until now, you have learned 5 notes.  You should be able to name these notes, recognize them on the paper, and feel comfortable transferring from any two notes in these 5 notes.  All of these 5 notes will be in the songs we are learning for the Christmas concert.

November 2-6:

A video showing how sound travels in waves: iPhone Filming Guitar Strings.

You have been working hard on your instruments, and many of you are probably getting frustrated.  The fun you had at the start may be wearing off a little, and you might be getting frustrated with yourself as you are practicing and in class.  PLEASE DON’T STOP PRACTICING!  This is the most important stage to keep practicing.  If you continue to practice through the hard times, you will see success and be satisfied with your progress very soon.  If you need some help practicing, try memorizing which fingers push down the keys for each note.  If you memorize the fingerings for each note, it will make your playing 10 times easier.

So, learn your fingerings and keep practicing!  We need to practice specific exercises in the method because we will be performing this one for the Winter Concert on Dec. 7.  The exercises you will need to know for the concert are:

  • #17 – Rain, Rain
  • #20 – Go Tell Aunt Rhodie
  • #22 – Little Robin Redbreast
  • #27 – Good King Wenceslas

October 26-30:

Happy Halloween!  Enjoy your treats, and don’t get too chilly outside!

We are continuing on through page 8, as we played #17 (Rain, Rain) this week.  We have also been working on #20 from page 8.  Continue to play through Page 9, as we are going to be playing Good King Wenceslas from Page 9 for our Christmas concert.

In addition, there are 3 short exercises at the bottom of Page 6, 7,and 8 that are homework exercises.  These need to be completed by next class.

October 19-23:

Louis Riel was born on October 22, 1844.  Happy Louis Riel Day!

Here’s a reminder to continue practicing and be “Happy” about it!  This arrangement of “Happy” is by a 5-member, a capella group called Pentatonix.  Look up videos on Youtube of this group, as their covers on Youtube are well worth the time spent watching!

This week, we have been doing some work on our rhythms, making sure we give each rest (quarter, whole or half) the proper amount of silence.  We especially worked on the rhythms in #15 on Page 8 of our books.  This week, practice all of Page 8, and continue ahead to Page 9.  Keep practicing 20 minutes a day!  In addition, don’t forget to bring your pencil, instrument/book, and good attitude to class.  If you remember these things, you will increase your points tally by 3 points.  At a point tally we decide on, you will receive a small prize!

Overall, our players have been directed to practice their rhythms and note accuracy at home.  They have been instructed to practice other details as well:

  • Woodwind players can continue practicing having quality sound, bold but not airy or fuzzy.  Flutes can achieve this by directing their air through a smaller hole through their lips, and slightly more downward into their instrument.  Saxophones and clarinets can practice taking in more mouthpiece, or tightening the corners of their mouth around the mouthpiece if their sound is airy or fuzzy.
  • Brass players have a tendency to create a note that is lower than the note on the page.  Most players need to tighten their lips a little, and use more air flowing through their instrument to reach the note they need.  The occasional brass player may play too high, and can loosen their lips slightly to create the correct note.
  • Percussion should work on becoming more ambidextrous.  They should practice having even strokes on their snare drum and bells, always using alternate sticking for consecutive notes.

This week in music: 

  • October 14, 1977: Bing Crosby died at the age of 76.
  • October 14, 1990: Famous conductor and composer, Leonard Bernstein, died.  He composed the music for West Side Story, a story inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

October 13-16: 

We have been working hard on Page 7 of the method book this week!  We need to keep pressing forward, so please practice onto page 8 for the next class.  This week we have been specifically looking at half notes and the duet on Page 7: Exercise #11.


Since the brass players are in Regina on October 14, you have been given an assignment.  You assignment can be found in this document: Oct. 14th Aberdeen Class Assignments.  Enjoy your Wednesday!

October 5 – October 9:

Continue practicing Page 6 & 7 in your method book, and if you haven’t, find a way to watch the CD/DVD from your book.  As you are practicing Page 6 & 7, practice having good posture, proper embouchure (mouth shape) around your mouthpiece, and correct rhythms (whole notes, half notes).

As a side note, the CD/DVD will work on any computer with a CD slot, or in any DVD player.  If you do not own a computer or DVD player, you may ask your teacher at school for special permission to watch the video during free time or recess.

This week in class:

We talked about why playing music can benefit your brain growth and development.  Our discussion revolved around the video How Playing an Instrument Benefits You Brain.

September 28 – October 2:

Homework: Find the CD/DVD in your new Traditions of Excellence method book.  Watch all of the videos on your CD to familiarize yourself with your new instrument. Report back next class on all of the different feature yo you can find on the CD/DVD

Practice:  Page 6 and 7  learning new notes and remembering the different note vales (whole notes, half notes and quarter notes)


Recent Posts

Happy start of the week. Just a reminder the Band Parent AGM and Band information night is this coming Wednesday at Clavet School from 4:30-6:30pm

The BPA urgently needs some parent volunteers for next year. Please get in contact if you can help out in any way.


Please also see the fantasitc upcoming concert opportunity below feature upcoming graduate Sophie James-Cavan!

Farewell Concert Many Hearts: One Voice
Friday, June 30, 2017 at Convocation Hall, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon at 7:30 PM

Our Farewell concert before we embark on our intentional tour of Italy. We will be presenting our repertoire that we are taking with us to Italy. Come and wish us safe travels!

Tickets $20 at the door. Rush seating. Doors open at 6:30 PM


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