JOHS Music Newsletter

March 27th, 2020

Welcome to our new and prettier way of communicating information related to the Overton Music Department! We realize emails can be lengthy, information can easily be lost, and your inboxes get crowded quickly. Here's our effort to make your lives easier and more aesthetically pleasing!

The newsletter will be released weekly (hopefully every Friday during quarantine) and will provide resources for your musical, personal, and physical growth and inspiration. Enjoy!

P.S. It's better to view this newsletter on a laptop or desktop computer.

Educational Resources

Music Theory

This week's focus for theory is staff identification, including notes, key signatures, intervals, scales, and chords.

Go to - click on the exercises under "staff identification" and remember that you can customize the exercises by clicking the gear in the upper right hand corner of the screen to fit your instrument clef, ability, etc. You should all be able to do note naming in your clef, key signatures, and scales. If you need help with intervals check out this video. If you need help with chord identification, check this out.

If you're struggling with any of these, I am happy to help. There are also many videos on youtube explaining theory to beginners.


Interested in creating your own music? is a great free resource to start exploring composition. It takes some time to learn how to use the program, but once you do, utilize your theory skills and try to create a melody for your instrument!

Want to create fun beats without needing too much theory knowledge? Check out and


Bored out of your mind? Want new music to play? Head on over to to test your sight-reading skills. You may also enjoy On this website you can find all kinds of popular songs, available in multiple keys and varying instruments. You can get the first page of most songs for free, but then you must pay a few dollars if you'd like the whole thing. This is great for anyone who is looking to spice up their musical lives!


smartmusic is offering free subscriptions through June 30th to schools impacted by COVID19. I submitted an application and was approved! Follow the instructions below to sign up and have access to SO MUCH MUSIC!!!!!!! Seriously, there's even music from the Cavaliers drum corp.

1. Open a chrome browser and visit: https:

2. When prompted for a class code, please enter:


Miller and Barna's Practicing Tip for the Week!

Do you keep making the same mistake over and over and over and over again? Don't lie to me. If so, stop. Put your instrument down. Figure out what part is messing you up. Isolate that one spot. Literally, if it's two notes then only work those two notes. Next, slowwwwwww it dowwwwwwwn. Once you have the isolated part clean at a slow tempo then start to speed it up. Gradually, start to connect the music on either side of the tricky part so you are still working in small chunks. REMEMBER, if you start to make the same mistakes, STOP. ISOLATE. SLOW. IT. DOWN.

Happy Practicing!

Ms. Miller


Did you know that when you exercise you release something called endorphins? Endorphins are chemicals that your body releases that help reduce stress and pain. They even boost your happiness! Now, I'm sure allllll of you have been up moving in your yards and getting your steps in around the house, but just in case you haven't GET UP! Trust me, you'll feel better. Click the play button below! Do it with me!
JOHS Quarantine Workout #1

Student Spotlight - Jess Clements

Let's get to know some of our band family members a little better! Jess is a senior french horn player in the wind ensemble, has been a drill instructor and mello player in the marching band, and is also the AIR student of the year! Let's get to know Jess a little better!

Favorite color? Maroon

Favorite food? Dark chocolate covered pomegranates

What clubs and organizations are you apart of? I am in the National Honor Society, marching band, and theater.

What has been your favorite pass time during the COVID19 quarantine? My favorite pass time has been arts and crafts. I've been using different colored or designed paper, even paper bags, and doing a lot of writing/calligraphy to create my own little projects. It's been fun!

What do you miss most about school? The thing I miss most about school is the community and seeing all my friends and teachers. I'm a hugger, so I really miss being able to physically see my favorite people and hug them.

Do you have a secret talent? I have a very odd talent that is a little embarrassing, but it's kind of cool. I can do a really good baby voice, meaning I can easily raise my voice and sound like a young child. I think it would be really fun to use this talent and be a voice actor.

What advice do you have for the underclassmen? Truly embrace the joy in the moments you have right now. Never say that you hate high school because you truly never know what you've got until it's gone.

Listening Snack

Each week I'm going to include one wind band or orchestral recording, as well as one solo artist recording. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Undercurrents by Robert Buckley

  • An electrifying, virtuosic showcase featuring solos, duets, and trios as well as various chamber sections within the band. The music was inspired by watching schools of fish and flocks of birds perpetually moving with the ocean and air currents. Once in a while a single solo shape, or two or three, will appear as they dance apart and then are drawn back into the ensemble. A powerful tour de force from beginning to end.

The Flight of the Bumble Bee for flute - James Galway

  • Let me introduce you to James Galway. Galway is one of the most famous flute players in the entire world. He had a humble upbringing, but by the age of 9 was already winning competitions and impressing people with his playing. Galway studied flute, was an orchestral player with many groups including a 6 year residency at the Berlin Philharmonic, and then pursued a solo career. He has played on many albums and movie soundtracks and at age 80 is still rocking it on flute. Check out his wiki page for more information!
  • Check out this 9 year old playing Flight of the Bumble Bee. It'll really boost your confidence...She has some of the cleanest multiple tonguing and flutter tonguing I've heard on flute. She's also suuuuuper relaxed when playing.

A NOTE of inspiration (pun intended)

Woman plays violin while undergoing brain surgery

Student Sharing

Have a project you've been working that you'd like to share in the next newsletter? Send it my way!

Office Hours

I'll be hosting office hours once a week on Wednesdays from 10am-11am. Some weeks that time may need to be adjusted, but I will let everyone know if that's the case. The medium in which we will communicate is still being tweaked, so more on that before next week.

Calendar Update

Due to school being canceled through April 24th, the spring concert, jazz concert, percussion concert, and band banquet have been canceled. We will continue to update you on leadership training, kick-off camp, etc. as we find out more information about the rest of the semester.