RPEMS Band Update August 28, 2017

Band Information for Grades 6th, 7th & 8th

RPEMS Band Update

This newsletter will be sent out weekly or bi-weekly. Please read thoroughly to stay informed about what is happening in the band world. Some items are duplicated from last weeks newsletter. This newsletter includes information for all three grade levels.

First Day of Band "Stuff"

Just to Get Everyone Started On the Same Page

  • What if I don't have my instrument yet? It's okay! We will not start playing until this Friday, August 25th. If you need help getting an instrument, please go to www.shopmeyermusic.com or call Meyer Music at 816-228-5656. They have a list of ALL of the items we use at East. (The longer a child goes without an instrument, the further he/she will fall behind. After about 2 weeks without an instrument, it may be necessary to switch to a different class. Also, remember we do not allow red, blue, yellow, green, purple etc. instruments in the band program. Usually/almost always are made poorly and will break instantly. We know they look cool, but they are basically just toys.)
  • Do I need to bring my instrument on the first day of school? Nope! Do not begin to bring your instrument until Friday, August 25th or Monday, August 28th (whichever day you might have band). The first two days of school are a lot to handle with lots of information, so please keep the instrument at home. Bring it Friday!
  • How can I find out more information about band? Go to our website rpbands.com/east . The website is under construction in a few areas, but is almost complete!
  • How do I contact you if I need help? Jennifer.Gibson@raypec.org or Travis.Houston@raypec.org if you have 6th or 7th grade percussion.
  • Will I have my own locker in the band room? Yes, unless you are a flutist, oboist or clarinetist. If you play one of those instruments just listed, you will need to keep your instrument in your locker, as we have 300 in our band program here at East and I have run out of instrument storage in the band room.
  • Are concerts required? Yes, all school concerts are a requirement of the class, as it is the entire reason we joined this journey--to perform! (Family emergencies and band student illnesses are excused, however.)
  • When are the concerts? You can checkout our band calendar at rpbands.com to see when your school has performances.
  • Do I need a band polo? Yes! If you have the black band polo from your 6th and/or 7th grade years, you will not need to purchase a new one. I have limited extras of those, so if you've outgrown your own and would like another one, I will check on sizes available for you. I will not be placing an order for 7th or 8th graders this year. The 6th grade students, however, will received a new one that is completely different. You can pay online through the district website or wait until I send an order form home either through email or a paper copy. Please do not send money to myself or Mr. Houston yet. :) Thank you!
  • I ordered my instrument from Meyer Music, but I don't have it yet. What do I do? More than likely your instrument is here at school. Don't panic! We will find it, I promise!
To stay Up-to-Date in the RPEMS Band World, please make it a habit for you and your child to visit the East Middle School's Band website regularly. Go to: rpbands.com/east

You will find links to:

  • Private Lessons
  • Archived Band Newsletters
  • Essential Elements Interactive (6th and 7th Grade Only)
  • Band Assignments/Homework
  • Band Syllabus
  • Band Calendar

Follow RPEMS Bands on Twitter & Instagram

Follow us on Twitter to see fun photos of the band kids in action and information regarding band classes. This is for parents only. If you as a parent choose to let your child follow the RPEMS Band Program that is fine, but the district has asked that I only share it with parents.


6th Grade Band Polos

Your band kiddo will need a band polo for all of his/her band concerts in middle school. This band polo will be used throughout 6th, 7th, & 8th grade band concerts. Please use THIS LINK to order a band polo online. Orders are due by September 8th. Parents are welcomed to order band polos too to show RPEMS Husky Spirit too! The cost is $17.25 each.

Do you want to pay by check? Please send your band polo order in envelope to Ms. Gibson and make your check payable to RPEMS. Please include your child's first/last name, grade and size. (Sizes are Adult XS to 4XL)

7th & 8th Grade Band Polos

If your child is new to our district or needs another band polo, please email me Jennifer.Gibson@raypec.org. Include in the Email Subject Line: Student Name & Band Polo. Please let me know which size he/she needs. Cost is $17.25 each. All band students must have a band polo, if purchasing one is an issue, please email me.

Do you want to pay by check? Please send your band polo order in envelope to Ms. Gibson and make your check payable to RPEMS. Please include your child's first/last name, grade and size.

All band students must have an instrument by this Friday, September 1st.

Our band program uses Meyer Music as our instrument dealer, as they carry the brand of instruments we want our kids to use. The instruments are durable, help kids to be successful fast and get a great sound. Meyer Music also carries all of the supplies your child needs to keep their instrument up and running, as well as books and a Korg TM50 Tuner.

You can find the list and everything they need on the website listed below.

Click on shopmeyermusic.com to get your child's instrument today!

*Meyer Music delivers every Tuesday (mid-morning'ish), so you can order through them and they will deliver it to school for you.

Morning Band Help/Practice Time (Tuesdays & Wednesdays)

Starting September 5th any band student may come in prior to school beginning and get extra help from the band teacher in the band room. Or, students may come in to practice just on their own.

These morning help sessions are available every Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 6:30am to 7:25am. Students may leave the band room at 7:10am if he or she wants to eat breakfast or head to their specific grade level area prior to the 7:25am bell.

Morning Band Help Passes are available in the band room and must be picked up PRIOR to the morning he or she wants to come in early. These passes require a band teacher signature and will also allow them off the bus early and in the building.

Practicing at Home

Yes! Your child must practice to be successful! It's the ONLY way to become a better musician. Band is a financial and academic commitment, so naturally you, nor I want to see money wasted and grades that are less than expected. Band is very fun, but certainly not easy. Practice is essential. The more practice occurs, the more confidence and success a student will have as a musician.

Here are some practice tips:

  • instruments must come to school and go home the same day
  • find a place in your home where your child can practice uninterrupted and a place the beautiful sounds won't interrupt you
  • 6th graders should practice 20 minutes a day
  • 7th & 8th graders should practice 30+ a day
  • students should practice homework given in class, review previous lines in the book and maybe look ahead to learn something brand new
  • students should avoid practicing the items they already know repeatedly, but rather practice the items they don't know
  • It's important to remember that when something is getting difficult and they want to give up, that's the point where they are just about to learn something brand new!
  • let your child perform for you or a family member 1 time a week
  • let them practice with another band kiddo too
  • sit in with them on their practice time and have them show you what they've been learning or let them teach you how to play their instrument
  • buy ear plugs

Practice homework will be given daily and should be written in the student agenda. Band practice homework can be found online at rpbands.com/east

How Do I Know What My Kid Should Be Practicing?

CLICK HERE for Band Homework


Ray-Pec East Middle School Band Director Jennifer Gibson

Jennifer Gibson began her career as a music educator in January 2002 when she joined the Raymore-Peculiar School District. Within the district she has taught both vocal and instrumental music classes. As a vocal music teacher, her Sixth Grade Choir performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention in January 2009. As a band teacher, her concert and jazz bands consistently receive top ratings at area music festivals. Ms. Gibson has been a Top 10 Raymore-Peculiar Teacher of the Year Finalist in both 2009 and 2012.

Ms. Gibson studied piano and flute throughout high school and college. She received her Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education from the University of Central Missouri as well as a Master of Instrumental Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Most recently Ms. Gibson graduated in May 2017 with an Education Specialist Degree in District Administration.

Ms. Gibson's experiences and interests as a musician includes education and advocacy, performance, accompanying and composition. In her spare time she enjoys running, painting, hiking and spending time with her family. Ms. Gibson is a graduate of Sherwood High School and lives in Garden City, MO with her dog Sissy. Her professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Missouri Music Educators Association, and the Missouri Bandmasters Association.

Ms. Gibson's Bottom Line:

I want kids to be good people, kind citizens and strong leaders--then be a good musician.