WAYLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL BANDS
Last updated September 25, 2012
TO ALL WMS PARENTS AND STUDENTS: Ms Wellons will be creating her own site and it is live!
Art is the transfer of emotions from one person to another. ~Tolstoy
Looking for a new instrument?? The School Band & Orchestra Magazine has created a website with information that might be useful to you when embarking upon the fairly difficult task of purchasing a new instrument. http://www.sbomagazine.com/howtobuy.html -- PLEASE beware of instruments that have a cheaper sticker price -- they look great, but there is a reason that they don't cost as much, and usually they develop major wear problems very quickly (we sometimes call them "Band Quitter Models"). Ask a private teacher or your band director about the brand you are considering. Don't just buy off the shelf! I would say never buy from a discount store, and I would be cautious about buying from a store that seems to deal primarily in guitars, keyboards, drumset, etc. I have found that even though they look like they have a band/orchestra instrument department, they often don't have people who really know the instruments and the instruments are often not good quality. Even some of the beginning drum kits that come from these stores are often not worth the money - I had a terrible time trying to adjust an elementary student's drum at the spring concert (I never did get it to sound right). When I asked, he said it came from a local store that really deals mostly with guitars. Follow link for more info on cheap instruments and why it is a waste of money to buy them.
Student need to practice at home; just playing at school is not enough to even keep up, let alone progress! The best students practice a 30-60 a day. I think a minimum for making good progress is 20 minutes 6 days a week. BUT... we all get too busy sometimes and have to cut it short - that is a given. On really busy days I recommend the young musician play for 5 minutes and spend some time on a really tough spot. That way, even when too busy some work gets done and progress is made. If your child is keeping practice charts, new practice record sheets are available in the band room or printed from the website
Thinking about private lessons? It is a GREAT idea for all students! Advanced students, behind students and average students all benefit. Follow the link for a list of teachers in the area. In 99% of cases, middle school students should be working with an adult and not with one of the high school tutors. Talk to me if you are unsure...
If you know of other great teachers that should be on the list - let me know. By the time students are in middle school, they should be studying with an adult teacher who really knows how to teach and knows pitfalls to watch for and knows ways to help solve problems. Our high school tutor program is fantastic for motivating the young player, but in middle school, it is time to move to an adult. Email/call me if you have questions.
Looking to purchase some music? Good music stores are hard to find these days and I, personally, really miss being able to walk into a store and browse for things.. There are a couple of really good on-line stores -- Sheet Music Plus and JW Pepper are two of them.
GMajorMusicTheory.org is a great place to get free sheet music at a variety of levels for both piano and guitar! Check it out!!
Here is a link to a pretty cool flute podcast of flute duets from the Voxman duet book 1. He plays both parts together and just the flute 2 part so you can play along. (David Summer - summersong.net)
MusicTheory.net - this site helps you learn almost everything there is to know about reading music! Need help learning to read the note names? Want to learn more about advanced chords? Want to learn to compose with minor scales? It's all here for you
WGBH has a wonderful webpage demonstrating five instruments from Japan; you can click on their pictures individually to hear the sound, or put more than one together to create a larger composition. Try starting with one or two and adding others after a few measures, then deleting some, etc. See what you come up with! While looking at instruments and music from other countries, check out our pages on "Music From Where?" It includes Chinese music, traditional Jewish music & Klezmer, Latin American Music and music from India.
The Wayland Historical Society has a wonderful picture of a Wayland Military Band from around the1890s. With the Society's permission, I have posted this wonderful picture! Check it out!
Looking for music supplies?? See our list of
local music stores.
Buying a new instrument?? Don't just buy off the shelf! Get help from your child's private teacher or band director; you don't want to end up with one of the "Band Quitter Models" - see below for more info.
The composer, Morton Subotnick, has created an interesting website with some musical puzzles & beginning composing games. He also has some GREAT composing software - one aimed at ages 5 and up - MAKING MUSIC, and the other for older kids (better for middle school) - MAKING MORE MUSIC. Both treat composing music like finger-painting and make the creative process fun and easy. I hope to have Making More Music on my computer at school soon. http://www.creatingmusic.com/
NUCLEAR WHALES SAXOPHONE ORCHESTRA is an interesting group... on their website they say, "The entire "Family of Saxophones" is featured - the tiny sopranino, the soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass and the rare and monstrous 6'8" contrabass (described by The Los Angeles Times as "...an instrument with the stature of a power forward in the NBA and a pitch that makes a foghorn sound effeminate.") Together they create incredibly innovative music with a rich ensemble sound covering an amazing range of over six octaves." Click on the the contrabass sax below to go to their website (how does anyone have enough air to fill that thing????)
From the Top. What an awesome radio program and website for young musicians!! I just ran across the website this summer & it has wonderful information for young musicians - especially those who are serious about their art. There are answers to questions you might have, interviews with "pre-collegiate" musicians who have been on the radio program (including Alex Rabin, a former Wayland High School student & an amazing pianist!). The radio program, From the Top, is aired on WGBH Sundays at 6:00. It is performances of pre-collegiate musicians from all over the world and includes some interviews and information about the person and music. Check it out!
Parents - there is also a lot of wonderful info for parents of musicians. You will find music terminology for nonmusical parents of musical kids. You will find questions to lots of other questions you might have like, what age is best for starting an instrument, practicing music vs. sports, supporting advanced musicians, waning interest, etc.
NotePad is a basic music
note writing program for both Macs & Windows
and is downloadable. It used to be free, but now it costs $10 or something very minimal (of course they are hoping
you will upgrade to one of their other more powerful products at some point.)
Coda Music puts out Finale which is the standard in music
writing programs - most professional musicians use it. They
also have another program called PrintMusic which is more flexible and powerful than NotePad. Then they
have the intermediate level, Allegro and the pro, Finale.
If you have been wanting to mess around with writing music
on your computer, I strongly recommend NotePad.
Download for Free at: http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad
College / University Music Education students, click here...
Diane Muffitt: firstname.lastname@example.org