Get Ready to Make Some Music! 2020-2021

Hello! I wanted to reach out and hopefully address some concerns now that we have more firm direction as to what the start of our school year will look like.

After this first of three weeks of teacher training I am feeling so much better about the virtual start. Everyone asks, "How does that look in orchestra? Isn't that impossible?." No way! Mr. B. and I are actually looking forward to this and feel our students are going to grow so much, experiencing the best we can offer. As a parent of a 4th and 6th grader in Cobb, I feel confident our district and teachers will provide the best education possible given the current circumstances.

Onto orchestra stuff! This information applies to all 7th and 8th graders, but I will include some info for 6th in case we have curious siblings.

1. All students are expected to perform on an instrument. There will be no "alternate assignments." We are a performance based class, this is the number one National and State Standard for music education in orchestra.

2. Many questions: tuning, finger tapes, instruments-where to begin? First, be sure you have an instrument. We need EVERY cello and bass player to complete THIS CELLO/BASS FORM. Please pass along or check in with your buddies in the section to be sure they have completed it as well. Second, if you need tuning, an instrument, a bigger size instrument, finger tapes, etc: please stop in to a music store. They are more than willing to help right now. Students are not permitted on campus, otherwise we would be there for you.

3. How is this going to work? Students will have live orchestra sessions during class times. Many of these will be split into instrument areas, ex: high strings/low strings with each director to give more personal attention and instruction. In addition, small groups will be assigned for smaller group lessons as well as individual time options.

4. Curriculum: As of right now, we are mostly focused on work out of EE Books 1 & 2. In addition, we are incorporating solo pieces, scales, and planning on our daily warm-ups: YouTubesday, Vocab, rhythms, etc.

5. How do you get materials? We organized and have books ready to distribute at materials pick-up (not yet scheduled through the school). We will be posting additional materials in CTLS once we get closer to start time.

6. Chamber: Is currently on hold. As we move through the first few weeks, we may consider scheduling auditions. We are planning on offering advance class/lesson materials for our advanced players.

7/8 grade takeaways:

*Get an/your instrument playing ready (including rosin and a shoulder rest as needed, finger tapes). Call/visit a music store, hop on to order something.

*Locate your music book or prepare to collect one at materials pick-up. Ones left in student lockers with names have been organized and sorted, we can hopefully give yours back

6th Grade Info: Students are participating in a General Music/Introduction to Music Ensembles rotation during the first weeks of school. Each week, they will learn music from a different music instructor at Dickerson, receiving music education and receiving grades. We are hoping to offer music class selection towards the end of the first quarter, still working this out. Please note, each middle school is doing this part differently.

I realize this is the longest ever entry on our website, but we are facing a very interesting challenge that I know we can meet and succeed!! Mr. B. and I are super excited to teach you! We will get through this and become better, stronger musicians and people from this experience. Please know we are so proud of each and every one of you and know you can do this! We are here for you so reach out with any questions or concerns.

Embrace this challenging time, appreciate your musical skills and unique way to process and express yourself. You each have a gift that brings joy and solace not only to you, but others as well. We have got this!