Winter Concert Recordings!

Our Winter Concert recordings are finally available! Before I tell you where they are, I want to thank Mr. Russell and his video production class for producing these recordings. There were many hiccups and delays along the way, most of which were unanticipated and unpredictable, and I very much appreciate the perseverance from all that were involved in taking our video footage and audio and mastering them to near-professional quality!

Secondly, I’d like to thank the MMS Instrumental Music students for not only working diligently on the music, but displaying professional-level stage etiquette during the recording sessions, and having tremendous patience as we awaited the release of the videos. This same gratitude extends to all of the families of MMS Instrumental Music students for supporting them in their musical work and going through the highs and the lows of the rehearsal process. I am very proud of our bands and orchestras, and we wouldn’t be in such great shape without the great foundation of love and support at home.

And now….the moment you’ve all been waiting for! To reduce clutter here on the main page, all recordings have been posted to each class’s dedicated page here on the blog. On each page, you will find that class’s performance in both audio only and video formats which can all be played directly from the page. Everyone is welcome to share the performances with family and friends far and wide! Enjoy!

Yearbook Class Photos on Friday 1/28/22

This Friday, January 28th, the MMS yearbook students will be taking photos of our performing arts classes, which will take place in the theater during our normal class periods.  Students must wear their full concert attire for the class photo.  Given the circumstances of the photo shoot, I strongly recommend that students simply wear their concert attire to school that day.  The photo needs to be taken in the first 15 minutes of each class period, so there will be no time nor space provided for changing.  The only reasonable exception would be shoes.  If students would like to wear an alternate pair of shoes for the school day, then quickly change their concert shoes for the photo, I don’t expect there to be a problem.  Students who are not in full concert attire will not appear in their music class’s yearbook photo.  If you’d like to review the concert attire memo from a few months ago, you may do so here.

Given our current place in the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to mention that students will be standing closely to one another for the class photos.  Masks will be worn in the photos and will not be removed at any time during the photo shoot.  Students will not hold their instruments in the photos, and we will only be standing closely for a few short minutes.  However, if any student chooses not to appear in the photo due to safety concerns, all they have to do is communicate that choice to me.

Honor Musicians!

Congratulations to the following MMS Instrumental Music students who made the 2022 SDUSD Middle School Band/Orchestra:

Eric Min – violin
Claire Kim – cello

Ryan Choi – clarinet
Brandon Park – alto saxophone
Arya Arasu – trumpet
Michael Bowden – trumpet
Ben Leader – French horn
Prem Ravikalyan – percussion

Playing Masks


Recently I’ve gotten many questions about the disposable playing masks used by wind instrumentalists and whether there are any better options for this purpose. If you or your child play a wind instrument and you or they would like to explore a more permanent solution for a playing mask that can be worn during classes, I have shared some links below to various online vendors that make playing masks. These masks are obviously much sturdier than the disposable masks wind players currently use, and I have several colleagues that strongly recommend masks such as these for better protection and increased ease of use by students. The links below are not the only playing masks available on the market, but just a list of some recommended products. Feel free to search the web for one that suits you or your child best. This is an entirely optional purchase, and free disposable playing masks will still be made available to students.

American Band Accessories (flutes should be sure to purchase the flute version)

National Educational Music Company

J.W. Pepper & Son

McCormick’s Group (Minimum order of 12 masks in case any families would like to “band” together on an order. Sorry, for the bad pun. I couldn’t help myself!)

LanaDsBees shop on Etsy

Flute masks by SkyeGraphics84 on Etsy

MagicalMarketCrafts shop on Etsy

Conn-Selmer musician face mask on Amazon

Food for Musical Thought


If you find yourself bored and needing a good article or two to pass the time, here are a few from my good friend, Dr. Noa Kageyama, a.k.a. “The Bulletproof Musician.”

What to Ask Yourself After a Failure or Setback

8 Things Top Practicers Do Differently

“Perfect” Practice May Be Preventing You from Learning that Tricky Passage

Why Listening to Reference Recordings is an Important Part of Practicing

The Importance of Writing Notes in Your Music (one of my favorites!)

For more delightfully thought-provoking articles about music and becoming a better musician, feel free to browse Dr. Kageyama’s blog, and feel free to email me with any articles you don’t see above that you found to be applicable to middle school musicians.