Patrick Marsh Middle School Band

This Week in Band at PMMS (Dec 21-23, 2020)

A Note From Mr. Gleason

In my twenty-four years of teaching, this year has been by far the most challenging. Teaching students musical concepts and how to play an instrument through a computer screen has been humbling, to say the least. I took for granted the ability to sit alongside a student and to use all of my senses to correct or affirm what I see and hear taking place; to be able to touch and manipulate an instrument that doesn't respond, and to give a high five to a struggling student who just made a breakthrough.

Yet, in the midst of my self-doubt and angst, YOUR children have shown me grace and compassion. YOUR children have given me permission to make mistakes, learn, and grow as an educator. Don't get me wrong, most days I still sign-off Zoom feeling like a first-year teacher all over again. However, I know YOUR children have my back and are eager, to take that next step together.

I, along with my colleagues, are appreciative of your continued support of your child's music education. It would have been very easy this past year to drop band from your child's schedule. We appreciate your trust and encouragement and will continue to do whatever it takes to make this class nothing short of life-changing for your child.

Wishing you safe and happy holidays. Here's to 2021!

Mr. Gleason

This Week's Plan

Due to the shortened week, we will do a few unique offerings regarding band class and lessons-

  • In class on Monday and Tuesday, 6th and 7th grade band students will join forces with Choir and Orchestra to do a collaborative project. On Monday music students will recreate the story of the "Three Little Bears" using musical sounds performed on their instrument. On Tuesday, music students will combine to play an online Kahoot game based on musical concepts. Band students should plan to come to band at their normal time, however, they should use Mr. Gleason's Zoom Room Link.

  • We will not have regularly scheduled lessons. Instead, students can sign up for an extra lesson on Wednesday by typing their name into this schedule and then coming to the appropriate link at their time.

  • 7th Grade Jazz WILL take place as scheduled on Tuesday

6th Grade Jazz Sign-up

6th Grade Jazz will meet on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:00 PM beginning January 11 and ending March 9. This class is open to all current 6th grade band students. All instruments welcome. The goal of the class is to introduce the basic concepts of swing, the blues, and improvisation. Interested students can sign up using this Google Form.

The Best Is Yet To Come

SP Band Highlights

Previous Information

The PERFECT Gift For Your Child (and it is under $5)

App developers have created some good apps for musicians in recent years. However, one of the BEST apps that nearly every professional uses is TE Tuner (Tonal Energy Tuner). This app provides feedback about your child's pitch and tuning. It also has a metronome to assist with steady pulse as well as fancy tools like a tone generator and visual analyzer. I think it may also do your laundry! This is a must-have for all musicians and it is $4.99! It is available for iOS and Android devices.

Another Gift Idea -- Private Lessons!

For students that are interested in taking private lessons for enrichment and extra help from a professional musician, please consider reaching out to our list of fantastic professional musicians. These are a group of people that are connected to Sun Prairie in various ways - some are alumni! Whether you participated in last year's "Band Lesson Academy" or you are looking for more - please check out this fantastic resource! To start lessons with any of these teachers, simply email them requesting a lesson time. Payment will be done between you and the teacher directly. Click Here to find a teacher:

Looking For More Music To Play?

Is your child looking for something fun and different to play? Here is a list of popular tunes and movie music that your child can play with a recording. The music shows up on the screen. This document lists the instruments (and associated links) in score order. Have fun!

7th Grade Solo Project Started

This past week the 7th grade band members each selected a solo to begin working on. This will be the focus of our next five band lessons. You should hear a LOT of this solo being played over the upcoming weeks. We have encouraged your kids to "chunk it up" by working on small sections at a time. False starts, going slow, and making mistakes is certainly part of the learning process. The key is to work slowly attending to the mistakes and making the corrections. If you hear your child saying "I can't do it", just say back to them "you can't do it yet".

Your child will record their solo and turn it in for a grade by January 15. There is an optional (but recommended) online solo festival sponsored by the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) that your child can participate in as well. The fee is around $9 per entry. More information about this will be coming out in future newsletters.

PMMS Band Solo Timeline (all 7th graders required to do it)

Nov 16-20: Select Solo in lessons

Nov 23-24: No lessons

Dec 21-23: No lessons

Jan 15: Solo Recordings Due

Jan 19-21: Solos graded and shared prior to the end of the quarter.

Those interested in WSMA Festival (optional)

Jan 12: Registration Form Sent To Students

Feb 12: Registration and Video Recording for the WSMA Festival Due

Feb 19: Payment Due In Infinite Campus*

Feb 23: Student Performance Uploaded to WSMA (fee must be paid)

April 16: Evaluations Completed and Returned to Student

*Entry fee is approximately $9. If finances are a concern, please contact Mr. Gleason

Need Supplies?

Visit Ward Brodt's website to order any band supplies you need. Order what you need and then at check out you can choose home delivery or school delivery under the shipping section. If you choose school delivery, your supplies will be delivered to Cardinal Heights and we will make sure you get them. If you are unsure what kind of reeds/valve oil/slide grease to purchase, we have attached a list of recommended supplies here.

Where Can We Find Information About Band This Year?


1. This newsletter will be sent every Sunday afternoon. It will contain the plan for the week, updates on classwork, and special events or opportunities.

2. Our PMMS Band Website will have weekly lesson plans, resources, links, and our weekly lesson schedule. I will also keep links to all of our newsletters on this website if you ever need to look for something shared previously but lost it in your inbox. Consider the website as the "go to" place to find out information this year.


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