Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’…

8th grade band students got their first taste of Rawhide today in class.  The song will be part of their Blue Brothers show later this quarter.  They have a playing test over Gimme Some Lovin’, and the Fight Song (On Salina) on Friday.  We tried a slightly different seating arrangement today, setting up in a circle, and I think it worked pretty well.

In 7th grade band, students continued to review concepts from Book 1.  They are getting used to working with our new software program, SmartMusic.  The program has all the lines from the book for students to listen to, play along with, and hear an accompaniment part.  You can slow down the music and do other things to aid in practicing.

We began our blitz through the book in 6th grade band today.  With some students on new instruments and everyone needing a good review of concepts from last year, we start off every 6th grade band back at line number 1.  We review the important steps in practicing a line as we go from one line to the next, as quickly as possible.  Today we made it through lines 1-10. Here are the 4 steps to practicing a line:

1. Listen to the line (if you have a recording – otherwise, skip this step)

2. Count, clap, and tap the rhythm of the line

3. Tongue and finger along (percussionists can touch the bells or pat the snare drum rhythm on their laps)

4. Play the line!

Band Routine

Posted in 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band

Scales, Blues Brothers, and Note Names

With the band students falling into a class routine, we are beginning to delve into the material.  7th graders will have a test over their Bb Concert Scale (Line 159) on Friday.  We will be spending the first couple of weeks working through the review section of Book 2, which is designed to refresh everyone on concepts from Book 1.

8th graders reviewed marching commands today and hit Gimme Some Lovin’ pretty hard.  They also got a good start on the Fight Song (On Salina) and a small taste of Think.  Learning the music is the first step in preparing for our Blues Brothers marching show.

6th graders reviewed clefs and note names today.  We played a few lines out of the book.  On Friday they will be tested over the note names on the staff, an important skill when reading music.  The “For Students” section of this website has a link to, where students can practice their note names on the Note Trainer.

Band Routine

Posted in 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band

Band students play first notes of the school year

Today the band students brought their instruments to school and played their first notes of the year. It was an especially exciting time for the 6th grade band students who only last year were learning their first notes at different elementary schools in town.

Students found their new locker assignments this morning and have a place to store their instruments in the band room. The focus this week will be on reviewing fundamentals and getting back into a routine. Band contracts were due today, and most of the students brought them back completed and signed. Folders were passed out in 7th and 8th grade band. 6th graders will get folders tomorrow.

Tonight is open house for 6th graders. I hope to get a chance to visit with each of you about your student and band.

Class Routine

Posted in 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band

Bring your instruments on Monday

All three band class finished going over class expectations and need to bring their instruments to school on Monday. As part of class, students watched a video featuring Mr. Bley’s brother, Carlos. “Cool” Carlos reminded students that following the rules is cool. Locker assignments will be posted by grade and last name so that students can store their instruments in the band room before school starts. It would be a good idea for students to practice their instruments over the weekend to make sure they are still in working order. Band Contracts are also due on Monday.

8th grade band students got a taste of some of the music from their “Blues Brothers” show. They will be preparing a pregame show for the October 9 football game at Salina Central Stadium. One of the songs will be part of Aretha Franklin’s hit, Think.  View a funny hippo version of the song with the link below.

Think, by Aretha Franklin

Posted in 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band

7th & 8th Graders Have Successful First Day

7th and 8th graders at Lakewood Middle School returned from summer break for an exciting day filled with teambuilding games and orientation activities.  After the morning assembly, students participated in class activities with their 1st hour teachers.  After lunch, students blitzed through the rest of the schedule and met with their teachers for about 10 minutes.

Students review class expecations

Students review class expecations

In both 7th and 8th grade band, Mr. Bley met with students to share information about what we would be doing in band this week, this quarter, and this year.  8th graders are looking forward to their pregame show which will take place at Salina Central Stadium on Friday, October 9.  7th graders are excited about moving on to Book 2 of the Essential Elements and participating in band contest in March.  Tomorrow, 7th and 8th graders will review class expectations and procedures, so that (hopefully) they can bring their instruments next week and play them in class.

In 6th grade band today, students began the process of going over class expectations.  They each received a handout detailing what to expect out of band, what they needed for class, how to be successful in band, and what is expected of them in band.  Students watched a PowerPoint presentation as they made their way through the handout.  Tomorrow, they will finish going through the handout and learn about class procedures.  The contract and agreement for class is due on Monday, August 17.

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Posted in 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band

School Begins for 6th Graders at Lakewood Middle School

6th graders listen to Mr. Lowers speak at the morning assembly.

6th graders listen during the morning assembly.

6th graders at Lakewood Middle School participated in first day orientation and activities.  There are about 60 students in 6th grade band!  Members of 6th grade band learned how to line up in the hallway and walk to band class.  Then they watched a slideshow of pictures taken by Mr. Bley during the day as well as a short introduction video about Mr. Bley and his dog, Jake.  This week students will be learning about band procedures and expectations.  Next week students will bring their instruments to school and continue working out of their Essential Elements Book 1.

Posted in 6th Grade Band

The Inaugural Blog!

Hello Everyone!

I finally finished designing this blog, and now I get to write on it. Hooray!

This blog will add an interesting dimension to our band classes at Lakewood Middle School. Each day, we will post what we learned in class, what music we played, and what to practice. Parents will be able to check in and see what’s going on in class. And, under my watchful eye, students [with permission] will be able to reflect and comment on the posts each week.  Also, students who miss class will be able to check the posts and find out what we did in class.

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Posted in All Classes

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