raystrobel47: (Default)
Howdy y'all. It's been a while.

I am relatively pleased with the progress of the elementary band so far. I am incorporating new teaching methods/tricks/tools with some success. I had my first principal's visit earlier this week and she was seemed to like what I was doing. I have been incorporating Kodály's solfege hand signs to gesture non-verbally what notes to play. I'm just starting with the first five, and am trying to get them familiar enough with them to get more flexible and even do two-part harmony, signaling different notes on each hand.

There are about 68 kids returning this year, up from 54 last year. I have, so far, 54 new kids on the roster, and have yet to finalize the roster for the third school. We might top 150 to start this year, and I'm hopeful. I'm hoping I can get more kids renting instruments. I've given more info out about that, but am still waiting for the applications to come back.

The Volkwein's music rep who's been helping me with trying kids out did me a huge favor. She left 4 boxes of reeds (2 clarinet, 2 sax) and two bottles of sterilizing spray for me to keep. That was really kind of her, and she didn't have to do it.

I have *got* to remember to bring in the flute and trombone from our house to donate. There's a cornet and trombone also making their way to Wilkinsburg, hopefully by next week.

I am still waiting on my budget requests to be ordered from one of my schools. I have been trying to get this done since school started, when I realized that two schools didn't order *anything* I'd submitted. Of course, the fact that in all three elementary schools the principals, secretaries, and heads of maintenance were switched. Rotated, as it were, and the secretaries were placed with new principals, all of them in new buildings. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that things got dropped, should I? Frustrating...

Holy cow, is this disjointed. Does it read that way? I'm out of practice. It's been really busy, I've neglected LJ for over a month, maybe two, and I'm just not writing like this that often.

It's frustrating, as I stated before. Frustrating to constantly fight for students' attention, and frustrating to not have what I need. But the support is still there, and the joy of the students' success still motivates and excites.

Let's see if I can stay more current with this.
raystrobel47: (Director)
This morning I tried playing "Yakkity Sax" on the alto, and the best alto I have for use as the teacher. It went pretty well, and the gym teacher came in the room commenting on how he knew the song. :-) Visions of Benny Hill danced through my head, all at high-speed motion, no less.

This is a trying time for me. I was hoping to be farther along with the band than I am. The second song still needs a lot of work, and the third song has only been touched on for the most part. I know this will turn out ok, it's just a realization of how long preparing a concert really takes. I pessimistically think that I'll have to choose the spring concert songs right after Christmas and only work on those, leaving behind all the other lessons in the method book. While this isn't true, it will take more than one 'regular' year for me to get a good feel as to how far along I can have these kids perform for their second concert. It's still my first year. :-)

So, for those of y'all in Pgh., the "Spring Celebration of the Arts" is going to be next Thursday, April 30th, at 6:30 in the Wilkinsburg high school auditorium. The concert is free, and will feature all of the district's performing ensembles at the elementary, middle and high school level. The elementary band will perform after the first intermission so that their families don't just up and leave after their performance. There is a reception to follow, for which I'm playing in a jazz trio. If you're interested in coming, please comment. If not, comment about something else. :-P

GIP

Dec. 10th, 2008 01:23 pm
raystrobel47: (Director)
From a photo on jimmeb.com photography, taken with permission. I finally have that band icon!
raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
It's been a pretty productive week. The room is going well, I have much more color, musical references, and posters up now, including a hand-made "billboard" on a back bulletin board that says "Music gives a soul to the universe..." by Plato. There's more to the quote, but there's not enough room to put it all in without cluttering everything up.

The instrumental program's funding has just been given a green light, and it looks like it'll get up and running at the end of the month! Woo-hoo! We'll have our work cut out for us to get a program ready by December, but I think we can do it. A co-worker of mine is going to be the woodwinds teacher, so it should be all good.

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raystrobel47

January 2011

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