Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Spring Concert May 23 6:30

Dear Students and Parents
Thanks for being part of our musical community! We are all very excited about our Spring Concert on Thursday May 23d at 6:30 p.m. Performers should arrive at 6:00 p.m. in concert attire:  black and white.  Beginning Band students will meet in K115. Honor Band students will meet in the MPR. We will be having a bake sale.  If you can bring something to donate please bring it on the night of the show! If you can help supervise students for a few minutes before the show, please let me know (smitchell@wusd.org) As you probably recall, the concert is a big part of the student's grade so it is imperative that they be there. Don't hesitate to write or call with questions!


Friday, May 10, 2019

Band Reward Trip to Discovery Kingdom 5/11/19

Hello Everyone -- Here is the final information about our Trip to 6 Flags Discovery Kingdom.
  1. All bus riders need to be at WMS no later than 8:45 a.m. The bus will load at 9:00 a.m. and we won't be able to wait for people who are late
  2.  The students will be walking around the park in groups of 3 or more.  They are required to physically check in with me 3 different times throughout the day.  I will be seated at the tables near the lake where most of the food vendors are.  
  3.  I will give my # to the Security and First Aid Departments at 6 flags who will be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency. 
  4.  I will call you at the numbers you have left on the permission slips if there is any problem with your child. 
  5. We will be loading the bus at 6:00 p.m. for the return to Windsor.  We will be back in Windsor by 8:00 p.m.  Since it is a school trip, school rules will apply.
  6. Please, please be here to pick up your child at 8:00 p.m. at WMS.  I will have students call and/or text you when we get to Santa Rosa.  It will be a long day and I would love to get home at a reasonable hour like 9:00.
  7. Please send me a message at smitchell@wusd.org if you have any questions.  
  8. Thanks for encouraging your child to be a musician!  It's great for them and the school.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

May the Fourth Be With You!

 Congratulations to the WMS "Strolling Wildcats" on their outstanding performance in the Windsor Day Parade!  Despite having minimal practice with both sections together, our players did an amazing job.  We are especially grateful to Mr Morrow, Mr. Lopez, Mrs. Rainwater. Mrs. Gorenec and Mrs. Hirayama for their help in supervising the kids before and during the parade.



Thanks, also, to WMS principal Brian Williams for his help in the staging area.  The students and I appreciate all that he is doing to make sure that students have many opportunities study music at WMS!

Monday, April 22, 2019


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Windsor Middle School Bands

Discovery Kingdom Reward Trip


Hi Parents  We are so excited that we will be able to offer a Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Reward Trip for Band Students on Saturday May 11!   I apologize for the tardiness of this post, but we have been scrambling to adhere to the new requirements associated with these type of field trips.  I am hopeful that we will have enough people sign up to be able to complete the trip.  There is a chance, however, that we will have to cancel.  As always, thank you for encouraging your child to study music! 



Saturday, May 11, 2019
Who Is Invited?  Any Band Student who wants to go with us on the bus.
Can Anyone go?  Only open to students who are eligible to go.
What Makes You Eligible?  Successful participation in Beginning or Honor Bands during the 2018/2019 school year.  Eligible for other WMS events and activities.
How are we getting there?  The Bus will leave from WMS at 9:00 on May 11, 2019.
How much are the tickets?  $55.
What does that include?  A ticket for DK on Saturday May 11 and the bus ride.
WHEN DO WE HAVE TO PAY? BY MAY 3.  WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO CANCEL THIS TRIP IF WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH PARTICIPANTS.
I want to drive my own child.  Can we go?  Sure, but we will only be able to take this trip if enough students sign up to ride on the bus. 
I want my kid to go.  How can I sign up? Your child has been given a order form and permission slip
Can we pay by cash or check?  Yes. 
Can we pay just for the bus?  Yes, the bus will be $25.
Can I chaperone?  Yes, we absolutely need your help.
Do we need to fill out a permission slip? Yes.
Can I drive kids who are not my own?    Only fingerprinted drivers with current 2019 paper work can drive kids on school trips. The logistics of getting you a ticket may be difficult.
Why is this different than past years?  Rules on what individual teachers can or cannot do regarding reward trips have changed drastically.  As always we are only trying to follow rules.
Is this part of my child’s grade in class?  No
Do they have to go? No.
Will there be any consequence if they don’t go? No.
We are out of town that day.  Can you send them on another trip?  8th grade students will have their own trip.  If you are a 6th or 7th grader, we are sorry.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thanks for a Great Winter Concert!


Dear Students and Parents -- Thank you very much for being part of the WMS Band community.  I'm so grateful to be able to work with you and for all of your support.  Best wishes for a happy Holiday season and New Year!  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Analy Fall Festival

The Analy Band Wagon Fall Festival takes place during the last weekend in October.  The WMS Honor Band will play on Saturday afternoon.  The schedule is as follows:

3:30 Picture
4:00 Warm up
4:30 Perform
5:00 Clinic

We will meet at the Analy High School Cafeteria at 3:30.  Students should be dressed in their best concert attire (eg. black and white).  Our performance will be for a panel of college professors who will record our performance and provide a running commentary on our strong points and things that we need to improve on.  After the performance, one of the professors will give us a clinic that will really help to improve our band's sound.  Windsor Middle School has been participating in this festival for many years.  The picture printed here, shows the view of one of the adjudicators as he listens to our band.  This photo appeared in the Press Democrat about 10 years ago.  Many thanks to everyone for making sure that they attend this important event.  Please don't hesitate to write or call with questions or concerns. 

A Great Time at CAZ!!!

 The students and I had a fantastic time at the Sonoma Jump Start at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp.  We joined students and teachers from Healdsburg, Sonoma, and Sebastopol for an amazing weekend of music, friendship and fun.  Even though the first rain storm of the season hit, we managed to have an excellent time underneath the redwoods and along the banks of Austin Creek.  25 of Windsor Middle School's best band students were able to attend.  Many thanks to our parent chaperones James and Beth for making this trip possible for us.  Thanks, also, to WMS principal Brian Williams for attending our concert on Sunday afternoon!!!  Congratulations on another successful year at CAZ PAC!

Monday, September 03, 2018

Music and the Brain!

I love this video which summarizes the latest brain research and shows how learning to play music affects the brain in powerful and profound ways.  As I tell the students, every student should have a music class AND an elective.  The goal is not to prepare students for careers in music, but to develop well rounded scholars that excel in all areas of the curriculum.  Thanks for encouraging your child to study music!! 

Welcome to the 2018/2019 School Year!!

Welcome to another exciting year of music at Windsor Middle School.  The students and I are very excited about the year ahead.  The Honor Bands are really well balanced and talented.  We are already playing some challenging and wonderful music.  The Beginning Bands are off to a strong start with great instrumentation and some strong players.  We expect that they will be outstanding this year.  We're also very excited about the new Keyboard Lab.  Housed in room K101, the lab features 10 Korg Krome keyboards, 6 Korg Kross keyboards and the Kross GEC 5, group education controller.  This setup allows us to have two students on each of the 61 key stations.  With the GEC 5, the teacher can listen and talk to individuals as they are practicing.  What a wonderful setup.  Many thanks to principal Brian Williams and the Windsor Unified School District for their commitment to music education!  The students in the Beginning Piano class are already learning to read and write music notation and learning to play with two hands on independent parts.  We are looking forward to discovering all of the capabilities of this magnificent resource.

Important Dates 2018-2019


Sonoma Jump Start @ Camp CAZ                                                       9/28-9/30/18

Analy Fall Festival                                                                                10/26-10/27/18

Winter Concert                                                                                      12/13/18

Windsor @ Weill                                                                                    TBA 3/19

Town of Windsor Parade                                                                        5/4/19

Discovery Kingdom                                                                                5/11/19

Spring Concert                                                                                        5/23/19


Honor Band Syllabus 2018-2019


Dear Students and Parents -- Welcome to another tremendous year for the Windsor Middle School Bands and thank you for being part of our musical community!  I am looking forward to once again achieving our primary goal:   to have as much fun as possible, and to reap the many benefits of music education by creating outstanding performing ensembles!  This document should provide all of the information that you will need to have a rewarding and fantastic year!
What is Honor Band?
Honor is defined as “high respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem.”  We are happy that WMS can offer two sections of “Honor Band” this year.  The Honor Band is a specially selected group of 2nd and 3d year players.  Each group was carefully chosen to blend ability and instrumentation.  A great deal of effort was put into this process which will allow students to play in high quality groups while still taking advantage of the many other outstanding programs and course offerings at our school.  It is an honor for me to have you as students.  I know that you will honor me with your outstanding attitude, behavior and effort!
Attitude
Attitude is the most important thing in life, and certainly the most important thing in our bands.   Attitudes are contagious:  bad attitudes tend to spread to others and can ruin a group and the experience for every member.  Similarly, good attitudes can sweep through a group creating a feeling of connectedness and loyalty that can make good groups great.  As Charles Swindoll said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church (a band)... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”  Your attitude and your behavior account for 1/2 of your grade in this course.  Please be here because you want to be here and participate in all of the fun things that we will do this year.  Students who develop an unacceptable attitudes or behaviors will be removed.                                                          
Community
Band classes are different from other classes.  In Band, we learn by working together to create something that none of us could create on our own.  Every person in the group affects every other person to a much greater extent than in other types of classes.  Each person’s behavior and performance directly influences both the quality of the music that we produce together, and the amount that we can learn.  Because we perform in public and represent Windsor Middle School, the quality of our work reflects the quality of our WMS community.  Each person in the group has a responsibility to every other person, and to the school at large,  to do their best, in class and in performance.   It is critical that we work together to create the best possible experience for ourselves, and an outstanding impression on the community.  You are a member of our team, and every other member of the team is relying on you to be there and to do your best every time we are together.
Behavior
Behavior in instrumental music classes presents a unique challenge for both students and teachers.  Think of it this way: the goal of our class is to create sound - beautiful, artistic sound hopefully.  We have large classes full of students who have instruments that can make a great deal of noise.  Because our classes are “electives”, students are more likely to be in groups with their friends.   (This is good, because we are creating a community, as noted above.)  The challenge is to enjoy the company of our friends and to create an environment that allows everyone to learn.  It is imperative that students have outstanding behavior in the classroom and in public performances. Please see the “Rules” sheet for specific rules and consequences. Parents can help by supporting our efforts to maintain high standards for behavior and performance.
Calendar
Here are the important dates for the 2018/2019 School Year

Sonoma Jump Start             9/28 to 9/30 2018

Analy Fall Festival            10/26 or 10/27 2018

Winter Concert            12/13/2018

Windsor at Weill Hall            TBD (3/19)*

Discovery Kingdom             5/11/19*

Spring Concert                        5/23/19
* This date has not been confirmed.

It is my hope that with this advance notice you will be able to keep these dates in mind as you plan your other activities.  The Winter and Spring Concerts and the Fall Festival are curricular events and are considered part of the student’s grade.  Unexcused absences to the Concerts including Windsor @ Weill will cause a student’s final grade to be reduced by one letter grade for that term.  Failure to attend the Fall Festival will result in a 250 pt. fine.  Bonus points will be awarded for attendance at our important cocurricular events that take place outside of school hours.  It is important to remember that our ensembles are communities in which every person contributes to the work that we produce together.
Performance Attire
We ask that students wear black long pants, or skirt a white long sleeve button down shirt or blouse that will be tucked in (for guys),  and black shoes.
Grading
Fifty percent of a student’s grade is based on behavior, attitude and participation in class.  These will be listed as “Behavior” points.  Fifty percent of their grade is based on work they do outside of class, or on demonstrated service to the group.   These points will be listed as “Academic” points.   Options for earning “Academic” points include documented practice time, written reports on composers and performers, written music theory assignments, musical or concert reviews, directed composition projects, music careers research projects,  solo and small ensemble performance projects, extra or cocurricular performance or fundraising opportunities.  There are points available for playing in extra curricular ensembes, serving as a Band Officer or other service to the “musical community”.  There are 900 points per term available for behavior and participation in class and 900 “Academic” points available for work that is done outside of class, or for extra service to the group.  The final grade is calculated as an average of the two scores described above.  Students who earn less than 540 points in the “Academic” category, can still get a “C” if they have outstanding classroom behavior and participation.  Students who earn more than 900 points in the “Academic” category will not be able to subsidize poor scores in the “behavior and participation” category.  Student scores are posted by “code name” in the room, so students will know how they are doing at all times.  The Academic portion of the course is “self-directed” in the sense that students choose which assignments they would like to do and when they would like to turn them in.  This gives students the freedom
to plan their homework around their individual schedules, but adds the responsibility of making sure that they have the points that they need for the grade that they want to earn by the time the term ends.  The grading rubric is as follows:



Grading for Windsor Middle School Bands
 
Behavior Points available per quarter:  900
Behavior points available per day:     20
Academic points available per quarter:  900
Your grade will be based on the “Average” of your “Behavior” and your “Academic Points”
       810 - 900               = A          
       720 - 809              = B
       630 - 719              = C
       540 - 629              = D
       below 540 - does not     earn a passing grade
Ways to earn points:
  • Practice during flex – 200 points
  • Practice – 1 hour – 100 points. 
  • Playing tests – 50 – 100 points depending on difficulty.
  • Research papers on Composers or Performers – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Performance Review – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Composition projects – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Music Theory worksheets - 50 points per sheet (4 available per term)
  • Music Careers research projects -50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Band Officer – 500 points (President, Librarian, Treasurer, Sound Tech)
  • JB or EC ensembles – 50 points per session – 250 pts. per performance
  • Fill an Instrument vacancy (low brass/low winds) – 500 – 750 points
  • Numerous other incentives that make it easy for you to get the "A" such as "signing bonuses", "character bonuses", bonus questions offered. 
If you have less than “540 points” in the “Academic” Category on the last day when the grading period is over, 539 points is added to your “Academic” score.  This will bring your average up.  If you have more than “900 points” in the “Academic” Category, your “average” is calculated based on 900 points and not your actual total.  This keeps well behaved students who have not done enough work outside of class from failing, and poorly behaved students who get a large number of “Academic” points from automatically earning a good grade.
Instruments
Windsor Middle School has been fortunate to be able to loan instruments to students over the last few years.  As our program grows, though, it has become increasingly difficult to provide instruments for Honor Band students while continuing to supply our Beginning groups with adequate numbers of instruments to play.  It is sometimes possible to buy used instruments at very reasonable rates.  I frequently buy used instruments off of Craigslist to add to the WMS instrument inventory.  In addition, there are reputable dealers who offer good quality refurbished instruments at reasonable rates.  Please be careful about buying poor quality new instruments that are often available at Costco, Sears or online.  If the price seems to good to be true, then the instrument is probably not worth the money you are going to pay for it.  (These cheap instruments have come to be called “Instrument Shaped Objects” by music teachers.  I often ask the repair techs at Stanroy for advice about instrument quality because there are so many instruments out there with so many different names.)  If you have any interest in buying a new or used instrument for your child to use, please let me know.  I can give you more information and suggestions about how to go about it.  Also, if you or anyone you know has an instrument they would like to donate to our program, we are always happy to give generous tax deductible donation letters.

Thanks again for encouraging your child to play music and thank you for supporting music at Windsor Middle School!  As always, you can reach me at 837-7737 ext 8134 or by mail:  smitchell@wusd.org


Thank you very much for being part of the Windsor Middle School Honor Band!  By participating in our group your are demonstrating that you are a person of character and depth who cares about your education and your future.  Every year, the WMS performing groups draw the finest individuals in the school and this year is no exception.  Thank you. 






























































Beginning Band Syllabus 2018-2019


Dear Students and Parents -- Thank you for being part of the Windsor Middle School Musical Community.  Music enriches our lives in many ways, and the work that we do together enriches the overall climate and culture of Windsor Middle School.  Consequently, we have a responsibility to our selves and to our school to live up to our potential and to create the best bands that we possibly can!  I know that the students in this year’s bands are capable of great things.   I truly believe that we can create some of the best music ever produced at Windsor Middle School, and I look forward to working together, having fun, learning many things and taking advantage of your abundant talent.  This document should provide all of the information that you will need to have a rewarding and fantastic year!
Attitude
Attitude is the most important thing in life, and certainly the most important thing in our bands.   Attitudes are contagious:  bad attitudes tend to spread to others and can ruin a group and the experience for every member.  Similarly, good attitudes can sweep through a group creating a feeling of connectedness and loyalty that can make good groups great.  As Charles Swindoll said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church (a band)... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude..I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”  Your attitude and your behavior account for 1/2 of your grade in this course.  Please be here because you want to be here to participate in all of the fun things that we will do this year.  Students who develop an unacceptable attitude that affects other members of the group will be removed.                                                          
Community
Band classes are different from other classes.  In Band, we learn by working together to create something that none of us could create on our own.  Every person in the group affects every other person to a much greater extent than in other types of classes.  Each person’s behavior and performance directly influences both the quality of the music that we produce together, and the amount that we can learn.  Because we perform in public and represent Windsor Middle School, the quality of our work reflects the quality of our WMS community.  Each person in the group has a responsibility to every other person, and to the school at large,  to do their best, in class and in performance.   It is critical that we work together to create the best possible experience for ourselves, and an outstanding impression on the community. 


Behavior
Behavior in instrumental music classes presents a unique challenge for both students and teachers.  Think of it this way: the goal of our class is to create sound - beautiful, artistic sound hopefully.  We have large classes full of students who have instruments that can make a great deal of noise.  Because our classes are “electives”, students are more likely to be in groups with their friends.   (This is good, because we are creating a community, as noted above.)  The challenge is to enjoy the company of our friends and to create an environment that allows everyone to learn.  It is imperative that students have outstanding behavior in the classroom and in public performances.  A list of Band Room Rules was sent home with a section to be signed by both the student and the parent.  Please consult the “Rules” sheet for specific rules and consequences.   Parents can help by supporting our efforts to maintain high standards for behavior and performance. Students who develop an unacceptable pattern of behavior that affects other members of the group will be removed.
Calendar
Here are a list of the dates that we have on the calendar for the 2018/2019 school year:
Winter Concert            12/13/18
Windsor Day Parade           5/4/19
Spring Concert             5/24/19

It is my hope that with this advance notice you will be able to keep these dates in mind as you plan your other activities.  The Winter and Spring Concerts are considered part of the student’s grade.  Unexcused absences to the Concerts will cause a student’s final grade to be reduced by one letter grade.  Failure to attend the Windsor Parade will result in a 250 pt. fine, but extra credit work will be available for any student who is uanable to attend. 

Performance Attire
We ask that students wear black long pants, or skirts a white shirt or blouse (tucked in for boys), and black shoes. 
Grading
Fifty percent of a student’s grade is based on behavior, attitude and participation in class.  These will be listed as “Behavior” points.  Fifty percent of their grade is based on work they do outside of class, or on demonstrated service to the group.   These points will be listed as “Academic” points.   Options for earning “Academic” points include coming in during Flex Time, documented practice time, written reports on composers and performers, written music theory assignments, musical or concert reviews, directed composition projects, music careers research projects,  solo and small ensemble performance projects, extra or cocurricular performance or fundraising opportunities.  There are points available for playing in extra curricular ensembes, serving as a Band Officer or other service to the “musical community”.  There are 900 points per term available for behavior and participation in class and 900 “Academic” points available for work that is done outside of class, or for extra service to the group.  The final grade is calculated as an average of the two scores described above.  Students who earn less than 540 points in the “Academic” category, can still get a “C” if they have outstanding classroom behavior and participation.  Students who earn more than 900 points in the “Academic” category will not be able to subsidize poor scores in the “behavior and participation” category.  Student scores are posted by “code name” in the room, so students will know how they are doing at all times.  The Academic portion of the course is “self-directed” in the sense that students choose which assignments they would like to do and when they would like to turn them in.  This gives students the freedom
to plan their homework around their individual schedules, but adds the responsibility of making sure that they have the points that they need for the grade that they want to earn by the time the term ends.  The grading rubric is as follows:

Grading for Windsor Middle School Bands
Behavior points available per quarter:            900
Daily points available per day:              20
Academic points available per quarter:            900
Your grade will be based on the “Average” of your “Behavior” and Your “Academic”

810 - 900                         = A          
720 - 809                        = B
630 - 719                        = C
540 - 629                        = D
below 540 ---- does not earn a passing grade

Ways to earn points:
  • Practicing during Flex 200 pts.
  • Practice – 1 hour – 100 points. 
  • Playing tests – 50 – 100 points depending on difficulty.
  • Research papers on Composers or Performers – 100 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Performance Review – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Composition projects – 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Music Theory worksheets - 50 points per sheet (4 available per term)
  • Music Careers research projects - 50 – 250 points depending on quality
  • Band Officer – 500 points (President, Librarian, Treasurer, Sound Tech)
  • Jazz Band or EC ensembles – 50 points per session – 250 pts. per performance
  • Fill an Instrument vacancy (low brass/low winds) – 500 – 750 points
      (The points awarded for filling instrument vacancies will be negotiable.
      We clearly have a need for some instruments more than others.)

If you have less than “540 points” in the “Academic” Category on the last day when the grading period is over, 539 points is added to your “Academic” score.  This will bring your average up.  If you have more than “900 points” in the “Academic” Category, your “average” is calculated based on 900 points and not your actual total.  This keeps well behaved students who have not done enough work outside of class from failing, and poorly behaved students who get a large number of “Academic” points from automatically earning a good grade.

Instrument Selection
It is very important that beginning students select the correct instrument when they are starting out.   A student is much more likely to be successful and reap the benefits of studying music, if they choose an instrument that they are well suited for.  Each person’s body and face is different and most people will find that they have an easier time with some instruments than with others.  Many students already have an idea of  what instrument they would like to play, or the student’s family has an instrument that they can use.  Please keep an open mind about instrument selection.  Our goal is to have everyone be successful in their efforts to play an instrument.   The students in the Beginning classes will soon be trying out the different instruments mouthpieces to see which instruments will suit them.  A letter will be coming home soon letting you know how your child did on the instrument tryouts.
WMS Instruments 
We are fortunate to have a limited number of schools instruments that we will be able to loan to students for the year.  We are happy to loan the WMS instruments that we have for the year, and ask that families who are able donate $50 for  instrument maintenance so that we can insure that all WMS instruments remain in good working condition.  Preference for WMS instruments will be given to families that have a financial need to borrow one from the school.  All other WMS instruments will be distributed by lottery.  “Music for Schools” also has instruments to loan to those families that are unable to rent an instrument.  Once again, preference is given to those families with a financial need.   I have applications available for those interested in pursuing this option.  Rental instruments are available from several shops in the area including Stanroy Music Center and Santa Rosa Music Center in Santa Rosa.  
Percussion
Students who wish to play percussion instruments will be able to apply and audition for one of our percussion positions after our Winter Concert.  Our percussionists must be among the finest musicians in our group.  Not only do they need outstanding music reading and rhythm skills, they need to  be proficient in reading both treble and bass clefs.  They also must have outstanding classroom behavior, a strong work ethic and outstanding musicianship.  For these reasons, we wait until half way through the year to determine which students will be selected to play percussion.  A student who really wants to play percussion will have to demonstrate that they can play all of the material that we are playing on their first instrument.  Parents who would like to help their child become a percussionist can help by making sure their child is successful on their first instrument. 
Practice
 Beginning students will have the best success if they adhere to a regular practice schedule to develop the skills that are taught in class.   1 hour of practice time per week will give a student the 900 points required for an “A” in the “homework” portion of our grading system.  Students are always welcome to practice more than that, and they may need to at the beginning.  Students who do not practice outside of class will have a much harder time being successful in class and will be much more likely to want to quit.  10 - 20 minutes of practice 5 days a week will really help a student to pick up the skills that they need to be successful.  Parents can help by providing a quiet space and time for students to practice.  Listening to your child and providing a few words of encouragement can really help!

Thanks again for encouraging your child to play music and thank you for supporting music at Windsor Middle School!  As always, you can reach me at 837-7737 ext 8134.  It is often easiest for me to communicate via e-mail:  smitchell@wusd.org.  If you prefer to communciate via e-mail please send me a message so that I have your address in my address book.  Thank you !!