JOHS Music Newsletter
April 3rd, 2020
This week everyone is to log on to smartmusic using the code and instructions below. Pick one or two songs to work up on your instruments. Share your progress with me between now and next week's letter.
How to log in to smartmusic:
1. Open a chrome browser and visit: https: https://admin.smartmusic.com/join
2. When prompted for a class code, please enter:
3. Now you have access to 1000s of pieces of music for all instruments!
Last week we focused on staff identification, but this week we are focusing on staff construction, including notes, key signatures, intervals, scales, and chords.
Go to https://www.musictheory.net/exercises - click on the exercises under "staff construction" and remember that you can customize the exercises by clicking the gear in the upper right hand corner of the screen to fit your instrument clef, ability, etc. You should all be able to do note naming in your clef, key signatures, and scales. If you need help with intervals check out this video. If you need help with chord identification, check this out.
If you're struggling with any of these, I am happy to help. There are also many videos on youtube explaining theory to beginners.
Interested in creating your own music? www.musescore.com is a great free resource to start exploring composition. It takes some time to learn how to use the program, but once you do, utilize your theory skills and try to create a melody for your instrument!
Miller and Barna's Practicing Tip for the Week!
Remember those lovely little things called scales? Yeah, the ones we used to practice every single day in class. We do that because they are IMPORTANT! Believe it or not, practicing your scales makes you a better musician. You might be thinking, "Why Ms. Miller?! Why? We hate practicing out scales." Well, funny you should ask kids. Here's why:
1. Scales help you recognize common patterns in music.
2. Scales build your understanding of music theory and composition.
3. Scales improve your hand/finger technical coordination on your instrument.
4. Scales make memorizing music easier.
Tips for practicing scales:
1. Learn your major scales going through the circle of 5ths. You know the one. You know the page in the blue book. Dust those things off and get to it!
2. Once your major scales are awesome, practice starting on different pitches. For example, start on D for your C major scale, but continue to play in C. That will really test your skills.
3. Practice your minor scales (natural, harmonic, melodic) and blues scale. There's a whole world of scales out there waiting for you!
Student Spotlight - Jonathan McVay
Favorite color? Red
Favorite food? Chocolate Moose Tracks Ice Cream with a side of Chocolate Moose Tracks
What clubs and organizations are you apart of? I am a part of the symphonic band, wind ensemble, and marching band at John Overton.
What has been your favorite pass time during the COVID19 quarantine? My favorite activity has been talking with my friends, mostly over video games and online voice calls.
What do you miss most about school? I miss seeing my friends everyday and just generally being able to be somewhere other than my house.
Do you have a secret talent? I can juggle, kinda...
What advice do you have for the underclassmen? Give marching band a chance, Juuling isn't cool, make friends, and keep it real.
Wine-Dark Sea by John Mackey
- A three movement piece commissioned by The University of Texas Wind Ensemble conducted by Jerry Junkin. Check out the story behind how it was titled and what each movement is supposed to portray here.
- This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE violin concertos. I remember in college listening to one of my friends practicing this in the practice room next to me and absolutely loving it. I would take a break from my own practicing and go sit and listen to him practice this opening statement to the 3rd movement. It's amazing!
Good Day by Surfaces
- The band Surfaces was introduced to me just this week by some of YOU! Shoutout to Jojo, Matthan, and Jess for this recommendation. Want to feel good and just chill? Listen to this group. They're super chill.
A NOTE of inspiration (pun intended)
Did you know that Dolly Parton was the 4th of 12 CHILDREN?! She grew up in a small run down cabin in rural Tennessee. One of the most inspiring parts about Dolly is not only her rags to riches story but her continued philanthropy. She started Imagination Library in an effort to increase literacy amongst children and donates money to many other organizations. In fact, she just donated 1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for research on coronavirus vaccination. Check out her story!
Greek Dancing 101 with Miller
Leadership training is going to look a little different since we aren't in school, but this is a great lesson to start us off on our training. Sometimes we have to be flexible and what's most important is how we respond to adversity. So, we are going to stay positive and train virtually. This will include reading, writing assignments, some video watching, meetings, etc. More info on how to sign up soon!