Sound Machine Notes

Week of September 19-23, 2016

This Week's Band Notes:

Things are moving right along in Sound Machine Land! All of our classes continue to work very hard to sound their best. The Honor and Symphonic Bands continue to increase the amount of music we know for our upcoming performances, and the Beginners are making great strides each day as well!

We are on the downhill side of the first six weeks. That being said, please help your child stay on top of what they need to be successful in Band. For Honor and Symphonic Band members, you should be working to complete your goal sheet. Many students already have their Daily Grades section completed! The very best thing you can do for yourself is to be sure you're attending and participating in your weekly sectionals.

We have a few schedule changes for the week, so please keep reading carefully!


Dear Parents - Please sign up to help at one or more of our Stafford Football games! This is a fantastic fundraiser for us, but we must have enough people to make it work. There is always an experienced band parent on hand, so you don't need any experience! Shifts are short and lots of fun, so please check your calendar and click on the link below to sign up.

Our next games are THIS WEEK - Monday and Tuesday!!!

We are so fortunate to have this relatively easy fundraising opportunity available to us. The money raised from these events directly benefits every student in the Stafford Band program. Please do what you can to help!

Don't forget to click on the FISD Volunteer Background Check before volunteering! Even if you are unable to help at one of our upcoming events, please fill it out just in case. Thank you for all that you do for our students!


Congratulations to those who have passed off all of their scales! Continue to work for accuracy, speed, and add the Chromatic scale into your daily practice. Everyone should work to pass these off within the next few days so that we can move on to other things, like etudes! Remember that everyone has one etude to perform in its entirety this week in sectionals, and that you should be working to learn the fourth one for Friday afternoon's master class.


We have a couple of sectional changes, so pay close attention!


7:15 - Trumpets

3:45 - Oboe


7:15 - Horns

3:45 - Percussion


7:15 - Clarinets (permanent change!)

3:45 - Low Brass (possible permanent change)


7:15 - Saxes


7:15 - Flutes

Double reeds - we will be back on a normal schedule next week.


We have our second of three All-Region master classes this Friday evening from 3:45-6:00pm. Students will meet in the Band Hall at 3:45pm for a quick snack and bottle of water before joining their master class teachers at 4:00. We will conclude at 6:00pm and you'll all get pizza as you leave Friday evening! Remember that you should at least know all of your notes and rhythms for the etudes before Friday afternoon. That way, you'll be able to be the most productive for the master classes. Have a pencil and be ready to learn!


Congratulations to those who are all passed off on their scales! For you guys, continue to work on the rest of the scales on your scale sheet. Those will be asked for during the 2nd six weeks, so you're getting ahead! Everyone should strive to have at least three scales passed off by the end of your sectionals this week.

You did a fantastic job getting to sectionals this week! We had several sections with 100% attendance! We do have a few schedule changes this week as well. One is permanent and the other is temporary, but please take note of the following:


7:15 - Flutes

3:45 - Oboes


7:15 - Percussion

3:45 - Trumpets


7:15 - Clarinets (permanent change)


7:15 - Saxes


7:15 - Trombone (only this week), Euphonium & Tubas

3:45 - Horns

All-Region Master Class - Friday afternoon

Remember that you should plan on attending this Friday's master class if you are at all interested in auditioning for All-Region Band. Those who do not attend will have an alternative assignment, but we highly encourage you to aim high and continue to learn the All-Region music. We will get an exact head-count in sectionals this week, so please be mindful of this as we discussed in class last week.

3:45 - Snacks in Band Hall

4:00-6:00 - Master classes

6:00 - Pizza and pick-up!


We are having so much fun in Beginning Band classes! Each day brings lots of new adventures in music making and you are all starting to sound really great!

On Friday, everyone received the "Interactive Practice Assignment." To get the most out of your Band experience, it's incredibly important that everyone make a commitment to practicing every day. Not only will you see more improvement in your playing, but you'll also enjoy playing much more because you'll notice such a positive difference in how you sound! Daily practicing also builds confidence, which is an important skill that musicians must develop as well.

Just like doing homework, scheduling daily practice time is a family commitment. Work together with your child to establish what works best for your family. Then sign and return the "Practice Commitment" by Friday, September 23. You'll notice an immediate difference in how your child sounds and feels about their playing!

In classes last week, everyone learned how to clean and properly maintain their instruments. Ask them to show you! An instrument that stays in good condition will not only sound better, but also feel better to the student when played. Instrument maintenance is not unlike caring for a car - more frequent attention keeps it in good running condition!

This week we will be continuing to work on our music literacy and how that translates into the notes we are playing. Students should continue trying to pass-off one letter and Warrior line each day. We already have several students on Double Time and one who has finished the left side of Warrior Level 1! Keep it up! :)


Our shirts are set to arrive this week! As I mentioned before, please be sure you have logged into Charms and taken care of your child's band fees for the year. Charms will ask you to reset your child's password when you log in for the first time. Change the password to something that works for your family. The link to log-in is below.

We are still missing several forms as well. Please click the following and return the last three pages. We will start sending home personal reminders this week, so thank you in advance for taking care of this ASAP!


Don't forget to mark the following on your calendars!

September 27

  • Signed and completed Goal Sheet due for Honor and Symphonic Bands
  • Beginners - Should have all Single Time letters and at least 3 lines of Rhythm Warriors completed

October 5

  • Honor Band performs for Phillips "Walk to School Day" - before school
  • Honor, Symphonic, Jazz Band - Fall Concert! Lone Star HS, 7:00pm (Beginners receive an extra credit "100" for attending this concert!)

October 12

  • Pep Rally performance (during school)
  • Honor and Symphonic Band perform at Football game vs. Trent!

October 14

  • 8th graders perform with Lone Star Band at their Friday night football game

October 21

  • Final All-Region Master Class for all who are auditioning for All-Region, 3:45-7:00pm (dinner included)