Category Archives: Uncategorized

Orchestra Instrument Questions

Dear MMS orchestra students and families,

If you are returning to campus for in-person learning next week, please DO NOT bring your instruments to school on Monday, April 12th. The start of in-person school means that we have many classroom procedures and safety protocols to discuss before we start playing music together. Since so many things are different this year, I really can’t put a realistic timeframe on when students will be asked to bring instruments to school for in-class practice. Once we’ve taken care of procedures, safety protocols, and other set-up tasks, I will notify classes when they should begin bringing their instruments to school. My rough estimation of when we might be playing instruments during class would be Thursday or Friday.

On a related note, each student will have a dedicated storage space for their instrument in the orchestra classroom. Students are encouraged to store their instrument in the classroom before the start of the school day. When their orchestra class takes place, students will use their instruments and return them to their storage spaces at the end of the period. After school, students must return to the classroom and retrieve their instrument in order to complete playing assignments on SmartMusic during asynchronous school time in the afternoons.

Further details about instruments will be discussed during classes next week, but the short answers to the questions everyone’s asking right now are…

  • DO NOT bring instruments on April 12th
  • Yes, students have dedicated storage for their instrument in the orchestra classroom so they don’t have to carry it around with them all day

I am looking forward to seeing you all again next week whether you’re coming back to campus or continuing with remote learning!

Have a nice weekend,
Mr. Brown

MMSIM 2021 Band Festival Concert!

Greetings MMS Instrumental Music students and families,

I’m proud to present Marshall Middle School Instrumental Music’s 2021 Band Festival Concert! The performance can be viewed at the following simplified/shortened link: tiny.cc/2021bandfestivalconcert. Please feel free to share the work that our band students have done over the course of their distance learning with family and friends!

I do still plan to release the 2021 Band Pops Concert, but the current convergence of planning/prepping for in-person learning, the start of in-person learning next week, the end of a semester/school year this week, and the beginning of another semester for my other classes next week has my current plate of responsibilities beyond full. I’m hoping (not guaranteeing) to release it by the end of April. Check back here on the blog and on your band class’s Google Classroom for updates.

Thanks for making the best of a different and challenging school year, band students and families!

Until next time,
Mr. Brown

MMSIM 2020 Winter Concert!

Greetings MMS Instrumental Music students and families,

I’m proud to present Marshall Middle School Instrumental Music’s 2020 Winter Concert! The performance can be viewed at the following simplified/shortened link: tiny.cc/mmsim2020winterconcert. Please feel free to share the work that our orchestra students have done over the course of their distance learning with family and friends!

Like the band students in Quarter 1, the orchestra students have also responded with tremendous effort and dedication to great music during difficult and unique circumstances. Additionally, I am incredibly proud of the work they’ve done to keep our performance traditions alive during distance learning! Bravo, orchestras!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all music families a restful and joyous Winter Break! I’m looking forward to seeing students again when we “return” to (virtual) school on January 4th. Until then, enjoy the show!

Sincerely,
Mr. Brown

MMSIM 2020 Fall Concert!

Greetings MMS Instrumental Music students and families,

I’m proud to present Marshall Middle School Instrumental Music’s 2020 Fall Concert! The performance can be viewed at the following simplified/shortened link: tiny.cc/mmsim2020fallconcert. Please feel free to share the work that our band students have done over the course of their distance learning with family and friends!

I am very pleased with the work our MMS band students have done under such strange and unique circumstances. Thank you for all of the hard work and dedication you have displayed despite the challenges we’re currently facing! I have one more blog post to write in order to wrap up this first quarter/rotation that will include ideas for what to do while on “intermission” from your band class, as well as some thoughts on the district’s reopening plans and the significant risks and challenges MMS Instrumental Music classes will still face regarding the safety and logistics of in-person rehearsals. I am aiming to have that published here on the blog in the next few days. Until then, enjoy the show!

Sincerely,
Mr. Brown

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.