Patrick Marsh Middle School Band

Welcome to 2019-2020 School Year!


We hope that you are having a great summer! We would like to welcome our incoming 6th graders and welcome back our 7th graders to Patrick Marsh Band! We have such an exciting year planned! We wanted to get some important information to you. Please read about the great opportunities quickly approaching for your band students.

Chris Gleason


Sharon Haraldson


Getting Started

Band Starts Now Class (6th Graders)

We start our 6th graders in a free class that is called “Band Starts Now” on Aug 19-23 at Patrick Marsh MS. Here are the exact times for each instrument section:

8:00-9:30 am - Flutes, Percussion, Trombones, Euphoniums

9:30-11:00 am - Clarinets

11:00 am-12:30 pm - Trumpets, *Tubas

*(tuba class ends at 12:00 pm each day).

All incoming 6th grade band students are highly encouraged to attend (even if you didn't get officially registered... we can do that for you). This is considered a summer school class, however there is no bus transportation. Click HERE to see the 6th grade band roster (organized by instrument then last name) so you might be able to arrange carpools with friends etc.


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

2) 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 to find their room. 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.

3) We will work on instruments right away so if you own your instrument or have it already, please bring it with you. Those who rented will have instruments waiting at school! If you still need to rent an instrument see the information below for details - it is not too late!

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, Sept 3, 4, and 5 from 2:45-4:00 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”

This is our sixth year offering this class! The goal is to promote teamwork, review fundamental skills, start on some new music, and play some games! Students will need their instruments all three days (Horn, Euph, and Tuba players can use school instruments). Students will need swimsuits and towels on Thursday, Aug 22nd (weather permitting). If you didn’t officially sign-up for this, no worries...come anyway - we will take care of it!

Tuesday, Aug 20

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room (enter in door #9)

2:30 pm Team Building Games

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

Wednesday, Aug 21

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room (enter in door #9)

2:30 pm Beachball Activity behind school

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

Thursday, Aug 22

1:00 pm Rehearsal in the Patrick Marsh Band Room - wear swimsuit. (enter in door #9)

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).

Band Instruments & Supplies?

All incoming 6th grade & 7th grade families should have made arrangements for an instrument and supplies already. 6th grade families probably took care of this on the "instrument fitting night" this past May. If you rented an instrument or purchased supplies from Ward Brodt Music, they will be delivered prior to the start of school. Tuba and euphonium players will have school instruments ready for them as well. If you HAVE NOT taken care of renting an instrument or purchasing the necessary supplies (lesson books, reeds, mouthpiece, etc) then please visit the Ward Brodt website to place your order today or call Rob Smith directly 608-220-6104. If you own your own instrument, please have your child bring it with them the first day of school.

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. "Sound Innovations" warm-up book for 6th Graders and the White Warm-up Book "Warm-ups and Beyond" in 7th Grade. Note - 7th graders already have this book and 6th graders will get this book if you are renting an instrument or purchased the books from Ward Brodt.

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 "Wessels Mallet Book"

5. Band Black Dress Shirt - Black Pants, Black Socks, Black Shoes. The band shirt fee ($18) should be included on the 6th grade registration costs. We will get the kids fitted for these the first week of school. NOTE - 7th graders do not need to purchase another shirt. If the size no longer fits, just see a director to swap sizes.

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 Order Forms and 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. For example, let's say you need reeds or some other supply for your child? Look under "Downloads" on our website and you will find a Ward Brodt Order form. Just fill it out and return it to one of the band directors with money and we will order it for you. Deliveries take place every Friday during the school year.

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 Ten

As you may know, we have embarked on another commission project. This time we have commissioned renown composer Dr. Erika Svanoe 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 4, 2020.

Jazz at the Marsh

We will have a 7th Grade Jazz Ensemble and a 6th Grade Jazz Ensemble this year. All jazz ensembles will begin after October 16th. 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 thirteenth 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 16th 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 and audition requirements can be found HERE. Audition recordings are due October 16th. Online registration opens October 1st 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. Lessons will begin on Mon., Sept 9

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 19-23 -Band Starts Now! Beginner Classes 8 AM-12:30 PM

August 20-22 -7th Grade Band Jump Start 1:00-3:00 PM

September 3-5 Fall Beginner Class 2:50-4:00 PM

September 10 6th Brass Team Building 2:50-4:00 PM

September 11 6th Woodwind/Percussion Team Building 2:50-4:00 PM

October 8 Fall Band Concert 6:30 PM (6th grade) 7:30 PM (7th Grade)

October 10 7th Grade Band Clinic at UW-Eau Claire

October 17 Band Lesson Academy Begins 2:00-5:00 PM

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