Welcome to another wonderful school year at Ray Lewis! I am looking forward to another successful year in the arts department! This letter outlines the student expectations for the music program for grades 6, 7 & 8.
Playing an instrument is a huge responsibility as well as a privilege. Grade 6, 7 & 8 students will be instructed on the proper techniques for the handling, playing and care of their instrument. Students need to take very good care of their instrument both at school and at home, so that we can spend our music budget on NEW instruments instead of repairs! Instruments are very expensive to purchase, and very expensive to repair. Any breakages that may occur at home need to be brought to my attention as soon as possible. Please DO NOT attempt to fix any instruments at home. Students need to sign-out their instruments each week in order to maximize their potential. Practice Logs will be starting soon for Grade 7 & 8, and in October for Grade 6. Please encourage your son/daughter to practice regularly! (All instruments will be returned by 9:20 a.m. the following morning; those instruments signed out on a Friday will be returned on Monday). Late instrument returns will result in a temporary loss of sign-out privileges. Repeat offenders will not be permitted to sign-out. Some nutrition breaks will be available for practicing at school. Playing an instrument is also based on behaviour and attitude in the classroom. Poor attitude and behaviour may result in the loss of an instrument for a period of time.
Board policy allows students who are assigned a reed instrument (clarinet, saxophone) their first FIVE reeds for free. After the fifth reed, students will need to purchase a reed. The reeds are available, from the music department, at a cost of $1.50 each for clarinet reeds, $2.00 each for alto sax reeds, and $3.00 each for tenor sax & bass clarinet reeds. Students will be sharing their instruments with other students in the school, and will need to disinfect their mouthpieces at the beginning of each class. Disinfectant is provided in the music room. If students are concerned at the possibility of spreading germs, they are able to purchase their own mouthpieces from the music department (for all instruments except the flute). Prices vary depending on the type of mouthpiece.
Given that there is a performance aspect to the class, and that there’s an expectation for students to be comfortable performing in front of others, students will gain confidence by using their peers as their first audience. This will be accomplished in the form of performance tests that will be done during class time. These performance tests will take place regularly throughout the school year.
Students will be able to sign-up for the Ray Lewis Middle School Band shortly! Band practices will hopefully be starting the third week of September. Sign-up will start on Friday. Practices will be held during nutrition breaks. A detailed letter will go home with each student who signs up for band. There will be 2 concerts and a Band Festival taking place this year.
I teach music and visual arts in the same classroom for all middle school students, therefore music classes will only take place for a portion of each term. Please note: band cannot take place while art is in session, as tables are set up in the music room for art classes. Music will continue until the second week of December, start again in February, and finish the end of April.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at 905-318-3131, ext. 203. Thank you!
Mrs. J. Janssens