Patrick Marsh Middle School Band
Sept 13-17, 2021
Band Is Back Inside!
We are happy to reach out about changes in requirements from Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) that will allow band classes to resume safely indoors following appropriate mitigation measures.
Late last week, PHMDC released Face Covering Emergency Order #2 which allows masks to be removed when actively playing a wind instrument that has a fabric bell cover, or similar cover, that acts as a face covering over the instrument, as long as individuals are spaced at least six (6) feet apart at all times.
We had been prepared to start the school year with conducting band safely indoors following the mitigation guidelines highlighted by a study of aerosols at the University of Colorado. These measures include the use of masks whenever a student is not actually playing, fabric covers (with a MERV 13 filter) on the bell of the instrument, and physical distancing. We believe strongly in this comprehensive research study on responsible and appropriate mitigation strategies for band classes to take place safely indoors.
With this new exemption endorsed by PHMDC, we will transition band back to an indoor setting as of tomorrow, Monday, Sept 13. We look forward to continuing a strong tradition of music education for our students. Please reach out to your child’s band director with any questions.
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".