The first week of the practice competition has been a success.  Many students have turned in cards signed by a parent after practicing at home.  Students were given a special “weekend” card for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  They can turn this card in on Monday only.  Here are the current standings: Practice Competition

Students in all classes filled out their signature sheets today in class and played lines for each other to get signatures.  They have at least one line (6th graders have two) to play for a parent and get their signature.  The sheets are due on Monday.  All classes are hard at work learning music for the concert.  Here are the songs the students should be working on at home:

6th grade – The Nutcracker Suite, The Nutcracker March, A World Holiday Celebration

7th grade – Christmas Celebration, Star of Bethlehem, Go Tell It On the Mountain

8th grade – For Unto Us, I Saw Three Ships, Santa’s Fiesta

Band Routine

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

Musical chairs and feelings…

Today the jazz band was at Kansas Wesleyan University participating in a jazz festival.  The remaining students in 7th and 8th grade band came up with suggestions for what to do in class that would involve their instruments.  The 7th graders continued working on SmartMusic and also spent class playing musical chairs (they played lines out of the book and music for the concert while their classmates walked around the chairs).  The 8th graders played musical chairs for most of class.  The spent the last few minutes of class “talking about their feelings and then demonstrating their feelings on their instruments.”  [Don’t ask me, I didn’t come up with it!]  Funny stuff.  Toot-toot!

The 6th graders are making a lot of progress on The Nutcracker Suite for the concert.  They also learned a solo out of the book that they can play with piano.  The continue to lead the band practice competition, passing the 1.0 card per person average.  Here are the current standings: Practice Competition

Band Routine

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

Practice competition heating up

The 8th graders turned in enough practice cards to take the lead over the lunch hour, but the 6th graders turned in more cards in the afternoon to regain their position at the top of the competition. Practice Competition

In rehearsal today, the 7th graders voted to play “Star of Bethlehem” (from the movie Home Alone) instead of “Silent Night” at the concert in December.  They also memorized line 171 (Concert Ab Major Scale) in preparation for their playing test next week.  The class is nearly finished rotating through the practice rooms using the new SmartMusic software.

The 8th graders made a lot of headway on “Santa’s Fiesta” and also played through “For Unto Us.”  They have also been working on chromatic lines out of the book.  The clarinets and saxes have been working on their chromatic fingerings.

In 6th grade band, students reviewed dotted quarter rhythms.  They also learned to play the “Arabian Dance” from the Nutcracker Suite.

Band Routine

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

Practice competition off to a great start!

Several students turned in practice competition cards today and earned a piece of a candy and another card.  See the stats here:  Practice Competition

With the band concert one month away (December 3) students are busy in class preparing music for the concert.  7th graders continued to work on SmartMusic in class and played through all of “Christmas Celebration.”  8th graders are making a lot progress on “For Unto Us,” a selection from Handel’s Messiah.  They are also working on a song in 6/8 time called “We Saw Three Ships.”  The sixth graders have been working on dotted quarter notes in class.  For the December concert, they have been learning to play selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Band Routine

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

Practice Records and Signature Sheets Due

Today signature sheets and practice records were due in band.  Today is also the beginning of the band practice competition.

7th graders learned a new key signature, a new note, and a new scale (Concert C Major).  They also started rotating through the practice rooms to use SmartMusic on the computers.  The students seemed to catch on to the program pretty easily.  We also spent some time working on “Christmas Celebration” for the band concert in December.

8th graders reviewed scales and 6/8 time.  Then they rehearsed “Unto Us.”

6th graders reviewed their new note from Friday and applied it to exercises A1-3 on their 4-note exercises sheet.  Then they learned about dotted quarter notes.  They counted and clapped new rhythms and played some lines with the dotted quarter note in it.  At the end of class they spent some time on the overture of “The Nutcracker Suite” and “The Nutcracker March.”

Band Routine

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

Happy Halloween!

All band students filled out their signature sheet today in class.  The signature sheet and the first practice record are due on Monday, November 2.

Monday is the first day of the “Band Practice Competition.”  The class with the highest average number of practice days per student will earn a party at the end of the quarter.  Students will be given a one-day practice card on cardstock.  All they need to do is take it home, practice 15 minutes, have a parent sign it, and return it to Mr. Bley to get another one.  The competition runs from November 2 through December 2.  This competition will take the place of the second practice record.  Students will not need to fill out a practice record.  If they practice, they can fill out the card and return it to get another one (they will also be rewarded with a small treat).  If they are unable to practice, they just keep the card until they have time to practice and fill it out and return it then.  This competition will not take the place of locker checks.  Students are still required to take their instruments home on Fridays. 

Band Routine

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

SmartMusic Training

7th Grade Band – Students reviewed cut time and learned how to use SmartMusic.

8th Grade Band – Students reviewed 6/8 time and had sectionals over Unto Us.

6th Grade Band – Students took notes on key signatures in class today and applied this knowledge to playing music.

Band Routine

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

Long day…

7th grade band students memorized line 163, learned some new lines in cut time, and sightread a portion of a song in cut time.

8th grade band students finished testing over scales 1-5 and learned some new lines in 6/8 time.

6th grade band students learned exercises E1-E3, reviewed line 105, and learned line 106.

Band Routine

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


7th Grade Band – Students had their playing test over line 159 from memory.  Many of them demonstrated mastery of the scale.  Those who didn’t will have opportunities to redo it until they demonstrate they have it mastered.  Students also learned about 2/2 time, also known as cut time.  At the end of class, students played through the first few measures of Go Tell It On the Mountain.

8th Grade Band – Students had a playing test over scales 1-5.  Scales 2-5 were to be memorized.  This test is a review of scales students played and memorized last year.  About half of the class finished the test.  The other half will finish tomorrow.  Students then learned to play music in 6/8 time.

6th Grade Band – Students learned about the natural sign and got music for the concert in December.  Students had time to read part of The Nutcracker March.

Band Routine

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


Mr. Bley and Mr. Rohrer will be at high school marching festival in Hays on Monday, October 26.  Students are expected to be on their best behavior for the substitute teacher.  They will be viewing a video called “Stomp Out Loud” and filling out a worksheet.

Today, 7th grade band students reviewed their Bb Concert Scale (Line 159) for Tuesday’s playing test from memory.  They also worked in groups to fill out the STARS sightreading worksheet for two more songs that they sightread today.  The 8th graders reviewed scales 1-5 for Tuesday’s playing test over those scales (lines 2-5 need to be memorized).  They also reviewed the 2-octave chromatic scale for Wednesday’s playing test.  Students had a nice discussion about the logic behind the brass positions/fingerings in the descending chromatic scale.  8th graders sightread an arrangement of Handel’s “For Unto Us” from his most famous work.  6th graders reviewed B1-3, C1-3, and learned D1-3 on their 4-note exercises sheet.  They also got signatures from their classmates today and completed their signature sheet.  At the end of class, they learned a new duet out of the book by Bach called, “Minuet.”

Band Routine

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

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