Patrick Marsh Middle School Band

Band Starts Now and Band Jump Start Final Information

Final Reminders

Hi PMMS Band Families!

We can't wait to get started next week! This newsletter contains important information about next week's band classes and more. Please keep in mind that all students will need to wear a mask when inside PMMS. Please reach out if you have ANY questions!

Chris Gleason


Sharon Haraldson


Getting Started

Band Starts Now Class (6th Graders)

Students will start learning their instrument in a summer school course called Band Starts Now! This course will run from August 9-13 and is a great way for students to get a jump start on their new instrument. Here are the exact times for each class each day that week (your child only needs to be present for their instrument's class time):

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Flute Class

Percussion Class (6th and 7th)

Trombone & Euphonium Class

9:30-11:00 AM

Clarinet Class

7th Grade Saxophone Class at PVMS

11:00 AM- 12:30 PM

Trumpet Class

Tuba Class (end at Noon for tubas)

We will automatically enroll your child in this free class, however, if your child cannot attend just email us and we will plan to start them the first week of school. Please note that transportation to/from this course is not provided. Students are able to ride bikes, walk, or be dropped off for this class.


1) Enter in the Main Entrance of Patrick Marsh. We will have signs leading you to the music wing.

2) COVID Mitigation: All students are still required to wear masks inside Patrick Marsh so please make sure to bring a mask. Students will be given an instrument bell cover for indoor playing.

3) Tell your kids it is ok to be nervous! However, nerves go away pretty quickly as we start making music and learning new things! Feel free to walk your kids into the building and to the band room. We will all start there on the first day before breaking off into separate rooms. If you are the second or third group of the morning, just wait in the hallway until the group before you finishes and the door opens.

4) We will work on instruments right away so if you own your instrument or have it already, please bring it with you. Information about band instruments and supplies is below.

Can't Make It?

Students that cannot attend the Band Starts Now Classes will need to attend three after school start up lessons on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Aug, 24, 25, and 26 from 3-4 PM. Students will cover the same curriculum as the Band Starts Now Classes, but in less time. The classes will take place in the Patrick Marsh Band Room. Read the information below about equipment. An activity bus will be available to take students home who usually ride the bus at 4:15 pm. All are welcome to play in band, just contact us and we will get you started.

7th Grade Band “Jump Start”

7th Grade Band Jump Start REMINDERS:

  • Dates: Tues, Aug. 10, Wed, Aug. 11, and Thurs, Aug. 12
  • Time: 1pm-3pm (NOT 1:30-3:30 PM as indicated on the school calendar!)
  • Where: Patrick Marsh Band Room
  • What to Bring: Students will need their instruments. Mr. Gleason will have music when you arrive. Tuba, Euphonium, Horn, Tenor/Bari Sax and Bass Clarinet students do not have to bring their home instruments, we will have a school instrument for you.
  • Transportation: Students are responsible for their own transportation, there will be no buses.
  • COVID Mitigation: 7th grade students are still required to wear masks inside Patrick Marsh so please make sure to bring a mask. Students will be given an instrument bell cover for indoor rehearsals.
  • How to Sign Up: If you have not signed up for 7th Grade Jump Start and are still interested there is still time! Please fill out the google form linked below. If you are not sure if you signed up or not just email Mr. Gleason.

Tuesday, Aug 10

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room (enter using Main Entrance)

2:30 pm Team Building Games

3:00 pm Finished – students responsible for own transportation (no buses).

Wednesday, Aug 11

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room (enter using Main Entrance)

2:30 pm Kickball Activity behind school

3:00 pm Finished – students responsible for own transportation (no buses).

Thursday, Aug 12

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room - wear swimsuit.(enter using Main Entrance)

2:15 pm 100 foot homemade waterslide on the back hill of school (very fun!)**

3:00 pm Finished – students responsible for own transportation (no buses).

**If your child doesn't feel comfortable wearing their swimsuit they can wear a shirt over it OR they do not have to participate in the slide and can help me slide management. : )

Band Instruments & Supplies. One Delivery Already Made.

If you rented an instrument or purchased supplies from Ward Brodt Music, a delivery was made on August 2nd. If your name appears on THIS LIST then an instrument and/or supply has been delivered already. Note - Tuba and euphonium players may not appear on this list as they will receive a school instrument.

If you HAVE NOT taken care of renting an instrument or purchasing the necessary supplies (lesson books, reeds, oil, etc) then please visit the Ward Brodt website to place your order or call Rob Smith directly 608-220-6104 ASAP. If you own your own instrument, please have your child bring it with them.

Students using school instruments (percussion, tuba, euphonium, horn, bari & tenor sax, oboe, bassoon) a rental fee of $50 per year will be charged to those who use a school owned wind instrument. All percussion students will be charged $25 per year for use of the school percussion instruments. The fees for the instrument rental will be included with your other school fees at registration. If you rent from Ward Brodt or another store...those fees are taken care of by the store directly. If you have questions, please contact us.

What Will I Need In Band?

1. Your band instrument in good playing condition. You may be renting already from Ward Brodt, own an instrument or using a school instrument. The key is to make sure it is working properly!

2. A pencil - keep one in band folder or instrument case.

3. Warm-ups and Beyond book for 6th Graders. 7th grade will use a variety of warm-ups that Mr. Gleason will give you.

4. Blue/Green Lesson Book "Student Instrumental Course" Book 1. Some 7th graders may have completed this book or be close to finishing it. The next book to get is "Student Instrumental Course" Book 2 (for your instrument). Percussionists will use "Alfred Snare Drum Book" and the "5 Minute Drill Book"

5. Band Uniform - typically we have our families purchase a band shirt that is worn at concerts. As a department, we made the decision to NOT require the purchase of a shirt this year due to next year's boundary changes and grade level shifts. We will communicate a concert dress preference for this year in the near future.

6. Clarinet and Saxophone musicians make sure you have at least 6 good reeds to start the year.

7. Brass players should have valve oil and slide grease.

8. Percussionists should make sure they have all of the necessary mallets and sticks needed for this year. Consult the percussion equipment chart on the band website ( for more information. Make sure your sticks/mallets and clearly labeled with your name and keep them in a stick bag.

How Can I Find More Information?

Here is a link to our Band Website ( this is a great place to look if you ever have questions. We try to keep it updated with everything you would need.

Will You Send Out Newsletters Like This Each Week?

YES!! Every Sunday during the school year you will find PMMS Band Newsletter! Our goal is to help busy parents/guardians like you manage all of the events and opportunities band has to offer.

Upcoming Opportunities/Events

ComMission Possible 11

As you may know, we have embarked on another commission project. This time we have commissioned renown composer Viet Cuong to write a piece of music for our school. As with previous commissions, the students will collaborate with the composer and play a vital role in the music's creation. The world premiere performance of this new work will take place by our 7th Grade Band at our Spring Concert on May 10, 2022.

Jazz at the Marsh

We will have a 7th Grade Jazz Ensemble and a 6th Grade Jazz Ensemble this year. 7th Jazz will begin October 12th and 6th Jazz on Dec 7. More information and specifics will be shared as we approach the beginning of the Jazz season.

Sun Prairie Middle School Honors Band

Going on its 14th year, the SPMS Honors Band is a wonderful opportunity for your young musician. The honors band is a one day event taking place at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School on Saturday, November 13th from 8:30 am-8 pm Students need to complete a recorded audition to be considered for the honors band. Honor Band Information can be found on the website or by clicking HERE. Audition recordings are due October 13th. Online registration opens this fall on the website. Mr. Gleason and Mrs. Haraldson will help interested students get ready for the audition.

Band Lesson Academy

Back for another year! The Band Lesson Academy is sponsored by the Sun Prairie Band Boosters. The Lesson Academy was created to provide convenient access to quality private instrument instruction for students in the Sun Prairie Band Program. The program is designed to give 6th and 7th grade students access to one-on-one instruction on their instrument with professional musicians/teachers that specialize on specific instruments. Students will focus on fundamental skills that are particular to his or her instrument. Instructors provide individualized assignments and instruction specific to the student’s particular abilities. The benefits of private instrument instruction include: accelerated study of instrument technique and repertoire, preparation of audition materials, or study of subjects of particular interested (e.g. solo literature of improvisation). Private study is a powerful tool in supporting musical growth in students. This program is organized by the Sun Prairie Band Boosters as a service to band students in Sun Prairie Schools.

A list of this year's Band Lesson Academy teachers will be communicated to you soon along with the schedule, fees, and the link to sign-up!

About The Band Program

Our Philosophy

We believe that an education in music and the arts is vitally important to all children. Students in band will not only learn the skill needed to perform an instrument, but they will also learn about life through music (knowledge) and their feelings/ideas/concepts about it (affect). We believe in educating in this comprehensive approach. Students will be assessed based on the standards below. The goal is to have the students become self-directed, self-assessing, life-long learners who value the sense of being part of something larger than themselves. We will work with students to set goals, gather evidence of growth, evaluate the data, and formulate a plan for continued progress. We will work hard to help your child to achieve success in learning through band.

Sun Prairie Band Mission Statement: “Move beyond the notes to cultivate a life long passion and drive for creativity, curiosity, and community through a vision of students as accomplished learners and evolving musicians in pursuit of artistry

Our Curriculum

1. Instrumental Skills -Demonstrates appropriate skills and techniques (individual/lessons)

2. Ensemble Skills - Demonstrates appropriate skills and techniques (group/ensemble)

3. Building Myelin - Demonstrates goal-oriented practice, practice strategies, and self-evaluation.

4. Literacy – Read and notate music

5. Connections - Demonstrate connections between art, cultures, history, community, and self.

6. Analysis and Evaluation - Respond to music through analysis and evaluation

7. Imagination, Creativity, Composition, Improvisation and Innovation – Develop the powerful skills of divergent thinking.

School Lesson Procedures

1. Students will be scheduled for lessons during the first week of classes. Lessons will meet on the same day throughout the year.

2. Each lesson grade will be determined based on the following: Timeliness, Materials, Assignment Completion. (See “Band Lesson Rubric”)

3. Students are responsible for lesson attendance. Your lesson teacher will not come and get you from class.

4. If you miss a lesson you need to make up the lesson before your next scheduled lesson.

5. Students who are absent on their scheduled lesson day may make up that lesson at a mutually convenient time (before or after school) within one week of the date of the missed lesson.

6. Students who have prearranged absences (vacations, etc.) will be allowed to make up their lesson before or after their planned absence. Please see your lesson teacher to schedule these lessons.

7. Students who are absent on a planned fieldtrip need not make up their lesson. If a student desires to make up the lesson, they make contact the lesson teacher.

8. Attached is more information about our Sun Prairie Booster Band Lesson Academy. A year of lessons would make a GREAT gift idea (and doesn’t need batteries!). It truly is a gift that keeps giving!

Practice Is More Than Just “Putting In Time”

New research has shown that "talent" really is myelination (the wrapping of neural circuits increasing signal strength, speed, and accuracy). "If you fire your skill circuits the right way- by trying hard to do things you can barely do, in deep practice - then your skill circuits will respond by getting faster and more fluent." - The Talent Code p 45 by Daniel Coyle

Practice is essential in the growth and development of every musician (student, athlete, etc). It takes repetition in order to build skills and knowledge. Consequently, it takes great discipline to practice consistently and routinely. However, the rewards are great for not only the individual, but also the entire group.

The practice grade will be determined by averaging the student’s self-assessment of their practice and progress and the teacher’s assessment of their practice. Practice is more than just “time” playing the instrument. Good practice means concentration and focus rather than just going through the motions. Consequently, the grade will take into account their success in completing the lesson assignments AND the time the put in. We recommend that students practice on average 4 to 5 days a week (20-25 minutes per day). Again, this is just as average!! More is better, but only if it is SMART, DEEP practice.

Watch this video that I created about what "practice" really means and how you can help your child to grow "myelin".

Class Rules

"Rehearse, perform, and behave like professional musicians."




Concert Attendance Policy

Concerts are an extension of the band classroom and the learning that takes place every day. Music was created to be shared and not performed in isolation (or in the band room only). For this reason, we need to perform for an audience in order to share the wealth of learning that has taken place. This sharing helps the students to bring closure to the learning process and also propels them towards the next step in the journey. Student participation in concerts is vital to the success of all the students involved. Please make every effort to have your child be a part of these experiences. Sporting events/practices and other extracurricular activities are not acceptable reasons to miss a performance. If you have a reason to miss any performance, please contact your teacher as soon as possible prior to the concert date.

Concerts On The Web

If you have family that cannot attend the concert have them watch us the next day on the web on our YouTube channel. Follow us!

Band Lockers - Keeping It Safe

1. Every band locker has a combination lock that we provide. Students will be given a combination for their lock. Students are not allowed to bring their own locks or swap locks. Students are responsible for turning in these locks at the end of the year. Lost locks are $5.00.

2. Put your name on your instrument case AND record your instrument serial number!!

3. Students using school-owned instruments have TOTAL responsibility for their care and may not allow others to play the instrument at any time. Normal wear and tear on school instruments will be paid for by the school. Damage done to the instrument due to abuse or carelessness will be paid for by the student.

Upcoming Dates

August 9-13 -Band Starts Now! Beginner Classes 8 AM-12:30 PM

August 10-12 -7th Grade Band Jump Start 1:00-3:00 PM

August 24-26- Fall Beginner Class 3-4:00 PM

August 31- 6th Brass Team Building 3-4:00 PM

September 1 6th Woodwind/Percussion Team Building 3-4:00 PM

October 5- Fall Band Concert 6:30 PM (6th grade) 7:30 PM (7th Grade)

October 7- 7th Grade Band Clinic at UW-Eau Claire

Patrick Marsh Middle School Bands

“Move beyond the notes to cultivate a life long passion and drive for creativity, curiosity, and community through a vision of students as accomplished learners and evolving musicians in pursuit of artistry