The Pine Road Backstage Pass
The Quarterly Newsletter for Pine Road Band and Orchestra!
A Message from Mr. DeGeorge
For more immediate updates and a look into our day-to-day operations in the music department, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @glendegeorge. I actively post throughout the week with interesting things we are doing in our classroom. As always, please reach out to me at any point throughout the year with any comments or questions you may have I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming winter concerts!
You're Invited - Pine Road Winter Band and Orchestra Concert 2018
Students are kindly asked to wear "concert black" performance attire and should arrive at 6:15PM with their instrument and music. Parents, guardians, friends, family, and all adoring fans are invited join us for an exciting evening of music in as we transform our Pine Road Cafeteria into our esteemed Pine Road Concert Hall!
The Pine Road Choir concert will be held on December 17th at Pine Road Elementary School. Please note that 3rd Grade Orchestra and 4th Grade Band will make their debut performances at concerts in 2019.
Winter Concert featuring 4th and 5th Grade Orchestra and 5th Grade Band
Wednesday, Dec. 19th, 7pm
3737 Pine Road
3rd Grade Highlights:
Throughout October, we solidified our playing positions and performed open string songs in our lesson books to build our music literacy and confidence with our instruments. We also introduced students to our beginning bow holds and worked with the "bow bunny" to help shape our right hand bow holds (pictured right).
As we enter November, students will combine these beginning fundamentals to start working on the development of their left hand fingers manipulating the strings. We have had an absolute blast starting these young musicians on their instruments and they are off to a fantastic start!
Cool tools we use to help us learn...
Bow Hold Pinky Holders
Pinky placement is crucial for good bow sound and balance!
This is a device called the Pneumo Pro. It helps flute students "see" their air and the direction that it is flowing!
This is a B.E.R.P. (buzz extension and resistance piece) that helps brass students feel and hear the buzz that their lips should make while they practice the correct fingers to put down on their instrument!
4th Grade Highlights:
4th Grade Band students are taking on the challenges of their new instruments head on and with a positive attitude! We spent much of September and October focusing on learning the fundamental process for assembling instruments and for making good sounds on our new instruments. A lot of our primary focus has been on our use of AIR and how that impacts our tone production. We have used lots of adaptive tools (see above) to help us visualize our use of air and develop the necessary muscles to make our instruments sound great. We are working throughout November to build our confidence in note reading while expanding our range of notes to begin playing some more challenging songs.
5th Grade Highlights:
5th Grade Orchestra members have been focusing on their use of the bow and the impact the bow has on their tone production. 5th Grade Band Members are working on expanding range and breath support to hone their sound and range on their instrument. Our overarching goal for fifth graders is to develop a full and clear sound on their instrument!
Practice Journals and the Importance of at Home Practice
The Practice Assignment and Practice Log:
The first section is a practice log where students write down their assigned music for the week and keep track of the number of minutes they practice each day. We suggest that students aim for about 4 days a week of practice for approximately 20 minutes. There is no penalty for students not completing a practice session and students are welcome to format their sessions to fit their schedule and needs. We simply ask that you use this journal as a guide for developing good practice routines at home.
As part of the practice log, we ask for journals to be signed by parents and guardians as a way for you to participate and converse with your student about their musical growth. If a practice journal is returned to music class with a signature, students receive a stamp on their journal that recognizes it's completion!
The "3 Step Recipe" for a Good Practice Session
Students should use this three step guide for working through their practice session. As part of Step 3, students are asked to identify an improvement goal and a practice strategy they will use to help them improve throughout the week. The bulk of a students time
Weekly Self Reflection
The third and final section is completed after your student's final practice session of the week. This is a self reflection section where students think back through their week and identify some areas of strength and potential areas for growth. There are also two optional short answer questions where students are prompted to highlight some challenges they faced and some things they identify as strengths in their practice session.
We hope you participate in our practice journal initiative and we look forward to seeing our students' progress as we embark on this project.
Make sure you have everything you need for lessons. Especially your instrument, lesson book, and binder!
About Mr. DeGeorge
Mr. DeGeorge is an active music educator and performer throughout the Philadelphia area. His teaching career, enriched by his performance experience, has included positions in public and private institutions teaching at the elementary and secondary level. Mr. DeGeorge oversees the instrumental music program at Pine Road Elementary School which includes daily band and orchestra lessons and performing ensembles for third through fifth grade students. Mr. DeGeorge serves as the director for the 3rd Grade Orchestra, 4th and 5th Grade Orchestra, 4th Grade Band, 5th Grade Band and Lower Moreland High School Jazz Lab Band.
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