Digital Studio - Instrumental Music

Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year!

Getting Started

We have three students taking the Instrumental Music class this year, and all three are in middle school! We have:

Elora Burton, who is in 8th grade, lives in East Stroudsburg, and is returning for her third year playing flute

Caleb Kelly, who is in 6th grade, lives in Edinboro, plays a bunch of different musical instruments, and will be starting formal work on the alto saxophone

Annika Evans, who is in 6th grade, lives in Paoli, and has been studying the harp for three years.

Both Elora and Annika will be visiting CPFA several times this year and participating in our on-site concerts.


All of the assignments for marking period 1 are currently showing on the Digital Studio - Instrumental Music moodle page. CPFA does not follow the PALCS progress check deadlines for work, so there is a bit more flexibility in completing these assignments. This flexibility is available because, unlike most PALCS courses, we do require you to attend a chat session with us.

Your sight-reading assignments have not yet been created in the Sight Reading Factory website, so you can wait until we have had our first chat to get started with working on that and the practice recording assignment.

In addition to these recording assignments, you will be completing other online assignments as the year goes on. You also will receive a participation grade for attendance and work during our online chats. The CPFA Music Department requires a minimum of four (4) chats with the teacher per marking period. We typically schedule one for the same time each week, but if we miss a few, it's no big deal. Sometimes technology doesn't cooperate, sometimes something comes up on your family's calendar, and sometimes I get pulled into other classrooms during our chat time to cover for absent teachers.


Our chats for instrumental music are a one-on-one session that lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes. My available chat times this year are:

Mondays & Wednesdays from 1:45 to 2:45

Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:00

Please send me a Moodle Message and let me know which day and half-hour time slot you would like to set up as your normal meeting time.

Once we have selected a time, I will be sending you an invitation to a Google Calendar event for your chat. The invitation will appear in your school PALCS email. Click on "yes" to accept it, and then Google Calendar will automatically email you a reminder for the chat session 10 minutes before it occurs. Isn't that nice? :-)

You can also go into your school Google Calendar and change the notifications or turn them off completely.

The calendar invitation will contain the link to the chat room in it. The link to my chat room will also always be on permanent display at the top of the moodle course page.


Be prepared to play something for me at your first chat session - a simple song, a scale, etc. From there, we will build onto what you can already do.

I highly recommend that you attend the chat on a computer that is plugged into your internet router rather than using WiFi. Make sure that your webcamera and microphone are working ahead of time as well.

About Mr. West

This is my 18th year as a public school music teacher and my 8th year at PALCS. In addition to teaching at CPFA, I judge marching band shows for Cavalcade of Bands, drum and bugle corps shows for Drum Corps International, I compose original music for all kinds of instruments and write arrangements for contemporary a cappella groups. My personal website is a busy place! I also sing with a part-time professional a cappella group called KeyStone A Cappella.

Clarinet is my primary instrument, but I play (at last count) 18 different instruments with varying degrees of proficiency.

I live in Downingtown, PA with my wife and two sons. Michael is in 8th grade this year and Daniel is in 6th. They go to the public schools in Downingtown and are both members of the Philadelphia Boys Choir.