I’m beginning to suspect that many parents did not receive this post from August 11th, so I am re-posting it with the hope that everyone will get it this time!
Distance Learning (2.0) for Band & Choir 2020
Hello music students and parents,
I want to give you a brief description of what we will be doing in Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Chamber Choir, and Varsity Jazz Ensemble this semester while we are in distance learning. Obviously, we will go back to traditional rehearsals, concerts, and events (albeit modified) as soon as in-person learning resumes, and it is definitely my hope that we will meet in-person again soon. In the meantime:
Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Choir and Varsity Jazz: Because video conference latency issues make it impossible to synchronize voices or instruments when Zooming, we cannot have large group rehearsals online. Instead, we will have small group Zoom lessons with “breakout” rooms where students will receive individual instruction (one-on-one) with the instructor. To make this possible, Nick Dibley and Neil Fontano will assist me in giving the small group/private lessons for the 120 members of the bands and choir. Each student will participate in a Zoom lesson once a week for approximately one hour at a regularly scheduled meeting time (school day afternoons between 1:00 and 3:00 PM). Students who are in both Wind Ensemble and Varsity Jazz will have 2 small group lessons a week as will students who have both Choir and Band. In the lessons, students will be working on technique, concert and jazz pieces, sight-reading/sight-singing, and etudes. Grading will be based upon participation, just like it was in the good old days. I will post a schedule of the small group Zoom lessons near the end of the first full week of school, and instruments will be loaned to all students that need them.
During the one-hour time block in the mornings for 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th periods, students will receive instruction in music appreciation. The Chamber Choir, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band classes will be discussing musical form, structure, melody, harmony, texture, tempo, dynamics, and timbre in rock and popular music. The students will watch videos on the history of Rock and Roll, we will analyze famous popular songs, and we will have group discussions, quizzes, and oral reports. The Jazz Ensemble class will also receive instruction in music appreciation, but their focus will be on the history of Jazz. Grading will be based upon participation, the oral reports, and quizzes.
I will NOT be using Smart Music or having the students make recordings. I feel the students did not have a positive experience with either of these during distance learning in the Spring. I also do not plan to use music theory worksheets because I feel the same concepts can be taught without worksheets.
My goal is to make the music classes as enjoyable and fun as they were when we were meeting together.
Become a Member of the Music Boosters!
The PHS Music Boosters are the parents of the students in choir and band, and we could really use your participation! Please come to the first Boosters meeting of the new school year at 6:30 PM on Thursday, September 3rd. Find out what we have planned for the future and find out if you want to get involved. There’s no commitment, so just come and check out what is happening. A Zoom meeting link will be posted for all parents near the end of August.
PHS Music Go Fund Me Campaign
In order to provide small group lessons to each music student, we must continue to employ Mr. Dibley and Mr. Fontano. To do that, we need to fundraise! Please donate: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/support-petaluma-high-school-music
The PHS Music Program relies on donations through our 501(c)3 non-profit Music Boosters organization. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have lost our sources of income including Petaluma Bingo, the Petaluma Music Festival, and other annual fundraising events. In addition, the money we normally receive from the school district is going to be substantially cut. These factors have significantly impacted our ability to ensure the continued success of our award-winning program.
Please join us in making a difference by raising money to benefit the Petaluma High School Music Program. With your tax-deductible donation, you will ensure that our students will continue to enjoy the positive influence of music in their lives—you are making a difference! Thank you in advance for your contribution to this program that means so much to our students.