Harpeth Middle School Band!

6th, 7th, and 8th

Weekly Newsletter for the week of November 1st!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I have to tell you how proud I am of our students! They have been working hard this fall and are making steady progress and are learning new skills. I can’t wait for you to hear them in our next concert.

As a parent, however, I’m sure there have been times where you may have asked yourself if your child was progressing quickly enough. As the students move beyond their first year of playing, sometimes it’s not as easy to recognize the development of new skills.

During this time, it’s easy for students and parents to get discouraged because progress is not as obvious. This is a time when your child will need your encouragement more than ever. Recognize their efforts, praise them when they remember to practice without being reminded, and continue to ask them to play for you from time to time.

This might also be a time when you want to consider private lessons for your child. In a private lesson, a specialist who plays the same instrument as your child will work with them one-on-one to develop a program of study tailored specifically to your child’s unique strengths, weaknesses and goals. It’s a great way to provide your child with new opportunities in music and jump start their interest. With lessons, they will feel more accomplished, be more confident and progress more quickly. A small jump start now could set them up for long term success by helping them to rise above the crowd and see their inner talent.

I recommend a thirty-minute lesson once per week for students this age. If you are interested, I can help connect you with just the right person.

I know that these are not normal times and studies show that now more than ever, students need music as it provides a much needed creative outlet and opportunity for social-emotional growth.

Thanks for your support of our school music program, and most especially of your child’s participation. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help.


Christopher P. Vaughn

Director of Bands

Harpeth Middle School

Harpeth Middle School Mentor Program

Band Students Mentors


HMS has a mentor program going where all students have someone in the building looking out for them. Students, if you receive a note of encouragement or email from a teacher you do not currently have, do not be alarmed. It's just someone looking out for you and is available to help you with anything! For our band students who are involved in the program, Mr. Vaughn are the students mentor. I decided to have all band students since we are involved with each other in our classroom building our relationship and family. I will always keep in touch with our students in the program in ways to make our students feel safe and stress free in our school.

HMS 7th/8th Grade Band Perforamance!!

The HMS 7th/8th Grade Band had the opportunity to perform at the first HMS Basketball Game and we had a lot of fun! The crowd was packed and I could tell that the students were excited and nervous, but the band did an amazing job! The band did so well that they want us to do a similar performance in the future and I say we should. Thank you to the students and parents for being involved and to our amazing faculty for collaboration. If you are interested in watching the videos, Mrs. Alicia Zerkle posted our performance on the HHS Band of Blue Facebook page. Thank you Mrs. Zerkle!! The link is below


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HMS Band Pictures of the Week!!

6th Grade Band Concert!

Our 6th Grade Band Students had the opportunity to perform for the 6th Grade Teachers and it went great! There are more pictures on the HMS Instagram and the Cheatham County School Twitter and Facebook!

Parent Teacher Conference

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This Monday will be our annual Parent/Teacher conferences. As you know, parent/teacher conferences will be virtually over Zoom. During our parent/teacher conference we will discuss the gradebook, your child’s progress, and if you have any questions about our program that benefits your child. Meetings will be only 15 minutes due to the number of students we have in our band program. When you sign up for a slot, I will email the Zoom link on Sunday so I can see how many parents have registered. Here is the link for the Parent/Teacher Conference:


Thank you for cooperation

Schedule for week of November 1st

Here is what the HMS Band will be working on this week plus ANNOUNCEMENTS!!

As you know, students are not to report to school on Monday and Tuesday, so our week will start on Wednesday. After our performance at the basketball game, 7th and 8th grade band members will be back to working on fundamentals in our Essential Element Book. Mr. Vaughn will be passing out Christmas Music and Jazz Band music as well!

6th Grade Band

Wednesday - Essential Elements 15 through 20

Thursday - Essential Elements #1-10 focusing on Long Tones

Friday - Essential Elements #31 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

7th Grade Band

Wednesday - Essential Elements Number 152-155

Thursday - Sightread Timber and Happy

Friday - Learn Super Mario Theme Song

8th Grade Band

Wednesday - SCALES!!!! and Essential Element Book 2

Thursday - Sightread Christmas Music

Friday - Learn Super Mario Theme Song

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Cheatham County School District Updates

Beginning Monday, Sept. 28, students in grades 5-6 at Cheatham Middle School, Harpeth Middle School and Sycamore Middle School will return to the traditional schedule (in-person learning five days a week).

This means the hybrid schedule (a combination of both in-person and virtual learning) will no longer be available for students in grades 5-6.

Students in grades 7-8 will remain on the hybrid schedule.

This decision will allow our middle schools to navigate the logistics of eventually bringing all students back into the building for in-person learning.

Students in grades 5-6 who are currently all-virtual may continue as all-virtual.

As students in grades 5-6 return to the classroom, we will continue daily monitoring of data in hopes of reinstating the remaining middle school students as well as high school students to in-person learning after fall break.

As a reminder to our families, we have ordered laptops for students in grades 5-6. We are in constant communication with our vendor about our receipt of the devices and it is still to be determined when they will be delivered. Once they are received, they will be distributed to the students.

If we experience cases of COVID-19, we will contact trace and quarantine based on Tennessee Department of Health guidelines. We will continue to respond as quickly as possible so that we can minimize the spread and keep students in school for as long as possible.

Additionally, you can help us out by not sending your student to school if they are sick.

Please remind your students of the following mitigation strategies so that we can help to maintain a safe environment for all:

● Continued adherence to our mask requirement
● Daily screenings, including temperature checks
● Social distancing as much as possible
● Strategic movement of students
● Frequent hand-washing and hand sanitizing
● Cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces throughout the day

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we move closer to having all students at school while also navigating the COVID-19 situation.

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Assignments and Messaging on Schoology

Reminder Parents,

Assignments will be through Schoology this year. If students need to contact Mr. Vaughn, they can do that through schoology. Also, we are using Conferences on Schoology for our Virtual Learners. If you have any questions, please contact the HMS Tech Department to help you.

Thank you

Virtual Band vs. In Person Band

So how do we have band working this year???

Greetings Parents and guardians,

First I would like to say welcome back to Harpeth Middle School. With the ongoing situations we are in, we are doing our best as teachers to accommodate our classroom and resources for making everything safe and under the county guidelines in procedure. As you know Band is a different class comparing to a Math or core curriculum subject, so there are a few new steps that we need to take! If you read below, I will post the HMS Band Covid-19 Mitigation Plan where you can read the steps we are taking in our band program.

Band is a hands on experience, that's a fact. Learning an instrument takes alot of work and patience where the teacher needs to guide the student to be successful. Band is definitely in our curriculum at HMS and I am creating the resources to make sure that your child still have a great Band Experience at any needs possible. If you are a hybrid student, you will be attending school two days a week, but if you are a virtual student, you will be remote and listening/learning from your own area of comfort. For all of our students, we have made the accommodations for band to continue in our class through playing assignments, online assessment, discussion board questions, etc. Schoology is the county platform all teachers are using so my assignments will be posted there. The assignments are still for a grade and I will be communicating with students via Schoology.

Attendance is highly required for students in band (virtual or hybrid). Even though band is hands on with playing instruments, there will be times where I will be lecturing about music theory or have important announcements. For virtual students, attending band could be a matter of 10 minutes or 45 minutes. I will communicate with students about the agenda on band if it is required to attend or not. For virtual students, if you read below, there is a great opportunity for you to have one on one lessons with Mr. Vaughn that you can schedule.

We are all new to this platform and circumstances we are in, but as your band director, I will do my best to help parents and students feel comfortable in our classroom. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by email or phone.

Thank you

Christopher Vaughn

Director of Bands

Harpeth Middle School



Upcoming Calendar of Events


August 13th, 2020………………First Day of School

September Fundraiser……………….TBD

October 12th-16th, 2020……………Fall Break

October 29, 2020...................7th/8th Grade Performance at HMS Basketball Game

HMS Band Veteran’s Day Concert Livestreamed………..TBD

November 4th-19th, 2020…………………Butter Braid Fundraiser

November 25th-27th, 2020………….Thanksgiving Break

HMS Band Holiday Concert (Live Streamed)……………..TBD

December 18th- January 4th, 2020…………Winter Break

March 22nd-26th, 2020……..Spring Break

HMS Band Spring Concert……….TBD

May 26th, 2020………….Last Day for Students

Your Band Directors

Mr. Chris Vaughn

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Mr. Noah Taggart

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Signing up for One-on-One Lessons

Virtual Parents/Guardians,

I am taking the opportunity for your student to sign up for one on one lessons with Mr. Vaughn. Doing band virtually can have their pros and cons, but I would like to give you the best experience a student can have WHILE at a safe distance and virtually. So how will these lessons look for my child?


The link above is a page called Signup Genius where you can reserve a lesson time with Mr. Vaughn. Lessons will be 30 minutes. Lessons will take place outside at HMS. I understand that your choice for doing virtual and the sake of safety for your student is the upmost important factor for you, so if we did lessons they will be outside in the front parking lot. Mr. Vaughn will provide a stand and chair. Mr. Vaughn will be 6ft apart from your child and will have a mask/gloves equipped. Lesson times are Monday through Thursday 3:30pm to 7:00pm. I care for all of our students in our program and I want to do the very best as a teacher to give them the proper instruction to become better on their instrument and as a person. If you have any questions or concerns about the Private Lessons, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The Socially Distant HMS Band Room

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HMS Covid-19 Plan


Here is a look of our band room that goes with our CCSD Guidelines for Covid 19. Students are spaced 6ft apart in our classroom and we have tape that signifies placement for stands and chairs. The green boxes will be areas where students will release their water from their instrument. All students will be assigned a chair/stand number and brass players will have microfiber towels for their water. Below is the HMS Band plan:

Mr. Vaughn believes it is essential to the physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of HMS Band students across the school that they will have the opportunity to have music instruction. The Covid-19 pandemic created challenges and opportunities that were unforeseen when the 2019-2020. As we develop plans for the new school year, the health, safety, and security of our students, faculty, and staff is the predominant consideration. As a result, we are faced with preliminary procedures to continue the use of band in the classroom.

· The study and test among researchers is that the aerosol dispersed in the air when playing an instrument is the same or less when people are talking in a normal volume. This is because the aerosols emitted from the musician are still contained in the musical instrument. Social Distance is the preferred option to minimize the effect of aerosols. Currently that distance is 6ft by 6ft foot space around each student with the student sitting in the center. We will be in straight lines in the band room to enhance the use of social distancing.

· Trombones should have an additional three feet of distancing making their space 9x6. The player should be seated three feet in front of the back line, leaving an additional six feet in front of them to the extended nature of the instrument and slide that can be in extended position.

· Bell covers are highly recommended as “masks” for the instruments. Bell covers will be made of multi-layered high denier nylon material and provide a barrier for aerosols. Each student in the band program will be assigned a bell cover for their instrument.

· Masks/Face Shields should be worn by all students prior to entering the band room. Each student in the HMS Band will be assigned a face shield provided by the band. The masks/face shields will stay in the band room in their storage locker. Masks should continue to be worn until all students are seated and ready for instruction.

· Brass Players…..Spit valves will be emptied on a microfiber cloth provided by the HMS Band. At the beginning of class, brass players will pick up their microfiber cloth to use for dispersing water from their instrument. At the conclusion of class, students will move their towels to a sanitized area to be cleaned.

· Students will be assigned a chair/stand number for the year and will be responsible (as well as the teacher) to clean their area.

· When students need repairs, Mr. Vaughn will be wearing gloves and mask to keep the instrument clean and sanitize.

· Woodwind players…..Reeds are not to be shared or loaned to! Students are responsible for their own reeds in the classroom. Mr. Vaughn will be selling reeds in the classroom or you can go to our local vendor Bandwagon.

· Percussionists are required to purchase their own personal snare drum sticks. Vic Firth 2B sticks are the most common to have. Mallets will be assigned to percussionists from the band room. Percussionists will not rotate from instrument in the classroom. They will be assigned to their particular instrument the entire class period.

HMS Band Website!!

Reminder that you can see the updates as well on our Band Website and Instagram @harpethmsBand
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Here is Mr. Vaughn's Virtual Classroom where students can access their online platforms! Please give it a look!

Woodwind Reeds!!

Students who play instruments that require reeds should have 3 good reeds with them at all times. If your student is running low on reeds, please contact Bandwagon Music to order a box (clarinets and saxes) or individual reeds (bassoon and oboe). Brand and strength of reeds are listed below for your convenience:

Clarinet (6th grade)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Clarinet (7th and 8th grades)

Vandoren 3

Bass Clarinet

Vandoren 2 1/2

Alto Sax (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

(7th and 8th grades may use strength 3 if desired)

Tenor Sax (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Bari Saxes (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Oboe (6th grade)

Lescher medium soft

Oboe (7th and 8th grades)

Lescher medium

Bassoon (6th grade)

Danzi medium soft

Bassoon (7th and 8th grades)

Danzi medium

Bandwagon Phone Number 615.721.2263

Bandwagon Website

Music Instrument Donations!

The value of the arts in education is something that the Harpeth Middle School Band Program takes very seriously. The district feels that every child deserves the chance to play a musical instrument. Studies have shown that it makes kids smarter, improves the quality of their education, and helps to teach them the skills necessary for success later in life.

In times when instrumental music programs are shrinking and being threatened due to budget constraints, the program at Harpeth striving. Students are enjoying the positive educational benefits of playing in the band. Participation is at an all time high and the programs continue to grow exponentially each year.

This unprecedented success also has its challenges. Acquiring instruments for eleven schools during these tough economic times is difficult. Not all students can afford to rent or buy an instrument and our inventory in the district is quickly shrinking with additional participation. Help keep music alive for everyone in our schools and consider donating an instrument for our students!

Perhaps you have a saxophone or trumpet in your attic that hasn’t been used in awhile. Maybe you know someone who has a violin gathering dust. If you have an instrument that we could put to use, please click on the attached form from the email and fill out the required information to schedule a drop off of the instrument.

I will send you a thank you letter documenting your donation and you will be giving the gift of music to a deserving student. Playing in the band or orchestra may have shaped who you are today. Please help us allow our students to have that same experience.

About the Harpeth Band Program

It is our mission to provide experiences that create that "spark" in students to become live long lovers and students of music. We want the students to not only learn the material but to be able to apply and think on their own. In addition, we pride ourselves on being able to be serious and sound "good" while still having a "good" time!