Harpeth Middle School Band!

6th, 7th, and 8th

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Weekly Newsletter for the week of March 1st! MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH!!!!!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Well we have finally hit March! We have so two educational programs going on at Harpeth Middle School which are:

  • Reading Across America Week
  • Woman's History Month

I wanted to take the opportunity to share what we are able to recognize at our school, but there is one I am missing.............................


Music in our Schools Month give us the chance to recognize music education in public or private institutions across America. I am excited about Music in our Schools Month because we will have the opportunity to recognize HMS musicians, programs, and faculty members. Below is a background of how Music in Our Schools Month has originated. Let's have a fantastic week and fantastic month of March!!

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For more than 30 years, March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.

MIOSM and the events surrounding it are the ideal opportunities for increasing awareness of the benefits of high quality music education programs in our nation’s schools. NAfME hopes that teachers, students, and music supporters alike will find ways to join in on the celebration through creative activities and advocacy.

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Dear Parents/Guardians,

HMS 7th and 8th Graders Band Members will be having an after school rehearsal 3:10pm to 5:00pm for rehearsal and recording our concert band music. I would like all students at this rehearsal due to the fact that

  1. We have not had a combined rehearsal with 7th and 8th graders
  2. We will need to record our music for posting and the schedule during the day does not allow that for combined recording
  3. I KNOW SPORTS WILL PLAY A DIFFERENCE TO THIS HENCE why I have asked for 3pm to 5pm. After 5pm I will be feeding the students pizza and drinks. Usually, any after school sports practice is here at HMS, so it is safe to say that your child will already be on campus
  4. This is the tentative date so it is not set in stone. I will be sending information tomorrow about this

This rehearsal is for the students to get a chance to finally rehearse/perform together, bond with each as a band, increase rehearsal etiquettes, record for our County website, and to be rewarded for their work this semester. This is the ONLY after school rehearsal I am asking as a band program since we did not have a chance to do it last year due to Covid. I will be sending information home about this scheduled date tomorrow.

Thank you

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The Harpeth Middle School now has a Music Technology page where we can post our created music and sounds on the app Soundcloud! Take a peek on some of the created music that Mr. Vaughn's RTI has made over the semester! I will be posting some samples today! The soundcloud link page is


Hey parents and students,

WE ARE ON FACEBOOK! Follow the band page with the tag harpethmsband1. Excited to add more to our communication portals. Here is the website:


Benefits of Music Education!

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Technology Music Education Software

The HMS Band program will be implementing these two programs in our classroom. We are encouraging our students to take the leap into using music technology on their laptops. Increasing music education in our school will help our students understand and create on their instruments.

Flat.io - this is a required software we will use in the classroom. Soundtrap is optional for students to use. Students first Flat.io assignment will be due February 18th due to school closure.

Harpeth Middle School Orchestra??

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Yes parents and guardians you are reading this correctly.....The Harpeth Middle School will be implementing a beginning string orchestra into the fine arts curriculum! I am beyond excited to start the transition into bringing a second instrumental program to HMS! I believe that if we implement a string orchestra program at HMS this gives another musical opportunity for students to branch outside their genre of music to learn an instrument. The program has a cello and an upright bass for the program but we will be adding more instruments to the program over the course of the semester. The program will open for students starting in the fall of 2021. We will have one more fundraiser to help with the cost of instruments, supplies, and literature.
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A fabulous message from Mr. Taggart below

Hello Parents/Guardians of incoming Freshmen! I am so excited to be writing you all about next year!

I wanted to invite you all to our Informational meeting about band and everything we offer next year. It will be March 11th at 7 pm on Zoom. Please fill out this form so we can send you an invitation to the meeting. If you or your student knows anyone interested in joining Color Guard, please forward them this email.

I also plan on announcing the 2021 Marching Band Show at this meeting!

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to email me at noah.taggart@ccstn.org

Please join our BAND Page (webpage, app, or both). It will keep you up to date on the current calendar as well as any and all other important information!

Noah Taggart

Director of Bands

Harpeth High School

HMS jAzz Band!!

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Jazz Band will be meeting Wednesdays during RTI. We have many students who are involved in jazz band this year! I am excited about our jazz band program and for the students to learn more on their instruments. We are currently working on improvisation and the Bb Blues scale. I hope we can have more students be comfortable learning how to play a solo. To get students to practice Improv, here is a link that they can play along with:


Bb Blues (110bpm) : Backing track
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Mr. Vaughn teaches at Flintville Elementary!

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Thursday I had the opportunity to teach the Flintville Band Program. I had a wonderful time teaching but I am very appreciative of our band program at HMS! We had a great rehearsal last week working on music and working together. Let's have an amazing Monday!

Spring Fundraiser


We will be having our last fundraiser of the year coming up in March. Please be on the lookout for information.

Thank you



After School Lessons will resume March 1st. Due to the sudden closure of school due to weather, we will be pushing the after school lessons a week forward. There will be a signup genius for the program.

Virtual Parents/Guardians,

I am taking the opportunity for your student to sign up for one on one lessons with Mr. Vaughn. Doing band virtually can have their pros and cons, but I would like to give you the best experience a student can have WHILE at a safe distance and virtually. So how will these lessons look for my child?

The link above is a page called Signup Genius where you can reserve a lesson time with Mr. Vaughn. Lessons will be 30 minutes. Lessons will take place outside at HMS. I understand that your choice for doing virtual and the sake of safety for your student is the upmost important factor for you, so if we did lessons they will be outside in the front parking lot. Mr. Vaughn will provide a stand and chair. Mr. Vaughn will be 6ft apart from your child and will have a mask/gloves equipped. Lesson times are Monday through Thursday 3:30pm to 7:00pm. I care for all of our students in our program and I want to do the very best as a teacher to give them the proper instruction to become better on their instrument and as a person. If you have any questions or concerns about the Private Lessons, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Schedule for week of March 1st

Here is what the HMS Band will be working on this week plus ANNOUNCEMENTS!!

Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! Rehearsal should always have a great ending just like a story or a good movie. We want to make our rehearsals planned out that we accomplish a task everyday! There might be days where we fail but remember THAT DOES NOT DEFINE US AS FAILURES.....It defines us as open minded musicians who will take the opportunity to improve given the chance again. I have spoken to students about this alot....An "F" does not define who you are or what you are entitled to be. There are days we have failed in life, but that does not define us. We will use that to grow our character and attitude day in and out.

6th Grade Band

Monday - Essential Elements Number 42-46 focusing on Eighth Notes and tempo

Tuesday - Look at Bandroom Boogie and Colossus (NEW MUSIC!!)

Wednesday - Reviewing Note Names and fingerings in the book! There will be a Mad Minute Quiz

Thursday - Sectionals Today. Students will have a list on what they will be working on. Mr. Vaughn will oversee Sectionals

Friday - Essential Elements Number 45/Sightread Bandroom Boogie

7th Grade Band

Monday - We have to look at Rock Solid! We will start with this piece

Tuesday - Blending with the Concert F Scale and New major scale C (prepare yourself 7th grade...You got this!!).....Pirates of the Caribbean

Wednesday - Sectionals....Mr. Vaughn will oversee Sectionals

Thursday - Pirates of the Caribbean......43 to the 57 section

Friday - Sight Reading over Flash! (new piece), Forge of Vulcan, and Rock Solid

8th Grade Band

Monday - Focus on Articulations today during Warm up and taking it to Rock Solid

Tuesday - New Scale concert G Major and for fun lets look at one of the hardest scale Concert Cb!!!! Pirates beginning through the end

Wednesday - Sightreading Day......Sightreading Factory website

Thursday - Forge of Vulcan beginning to 17

Friday - Reviewing the piece Flash! from last year and Rippling Watercolors

jAzz Band Wednesday - Reviewing Tyrannosaurus Charlie and working on improv with the Bb Blues Scale


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We have renewed our subscription for Soundtrap. If you are interested in registering for Soundtrap, the invite code is P8ZXTFA and use your school email!

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Cheatham County School District Updates

Beginning Monday, Sept. 28, students in grades 5-6 at Cheatham Middle School, Harpeth Middle School and Sycamore Middle School will return to the traditional schedule (in-person learning five days a week).

This means the hybrid schedule (a combination of both in-person and virtual learning) will no longer be available for students in grades 5-6.

Students in grades 7-8 will remain on the hybrid schedule.

This decision will allow our middle schools to navigate the logistics of eventually bringing all students back into the building for in-person learning.

Students in grades 5-6 who are currently all-virtual may continue as all-virtual.

As students in grades 5-6 return to the classroom, we will continue daily monitoring of data in hopes of reinstating the remaining middle school students as well as high school students to in-person learning after fall break.

As a reminder to our families, we have ordered laptops for students in grades 5-6. We are in constant communication with our vendor about our receipt of the devices and it is still to be determined when they will be delivered. Once they are received, they will be distributed to the students.

If we experience cases of COVID-19, we will contact trace and quarantine based on Tennessee Department of Health guidelines. We will continue to respond as quickly as possible so that we can minimize the spread and keep students in school for as long as possible.

Additionally, you can help us out by not sending your student to school if they are sick.

Please remind your students of the following mitigation strategies so that we can help to maintain a safe environment for all:

● Continued adherence to our mask requirement
● Daily screenings, including temperature checks
● Social distancing as much as possible
● Strategic movement of students
● Frequent hand-washing and hand sanitizing
● Cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces throughout the day

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we move closer to having all students at school while also navigating the COVID-19 situation.

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Assignments and Messaging on Schoology

Reminder Parents,

Assignments will be through Schoology this year. If students need to contact Mr. Vaughn, they can do that through schoology. Also, we are using Conferences on Schoology for our Virtual Learners. If you have any questions, please contact the HMS Tech Department to help you.

Thank you

Virtual Band vs. In Person Band

So how do we have band working this year???

Greetings Parents and guardians,

First I would like to say welcome back to Harpeth Middle School. With the ongoing situations we are in, we are doing our best as teachers to accommodate our classroom and resources for making everything safe and under the county guidelines in procedure. As you know Band is a different class comparing to a Math or core curriculum subject, so there are a few new steps that we need to take! If you read below, I will post the HMS Band Covid-19 Mitigation Plan where you can read the steps we are taking in our band program.

Band is a hands on experience, that's a fact. Learning an instrument takes alot of work and patience where the teacher needs to guide the student to be successful. Band is definitely in our curriculum at HMS and I am creating the resources to make sure that your child still have a great Band Experience at any needs possible. If you are a hybrid student, you will be attending school two days a week, but if you are a virtual student, you will be remote and listening/learning from your own area of comfort. For all of our students, we have made the accommodations for band to continue in our class through playing assignments, online assessment, discussion board questions, etc. Schoology is the county platform all teachers are using so my assignments will be posted there. The assignments are still for a grade and I will be communicating with students via Schoology.

Attendance is highly required for students in band (virtual or hybrid). Even though band is hands on with playing instruments, there will be times where I will be lecturing about music theory or have important announcements. For virtual students, attending band could be a matter of 10 minutes or 45 minutes. I will communicate with students about the agenda on band if it is required to attend or not. For virtual students, if you read below, there is a great opportunity for you to have one on one lessons with Mr. Vaughn that you can schedule.

We are all new to this platform and circumstances we are in, but as your band director, I will do my best to help parents and students feel comfortable in our classroom. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by email or phone.

Thank you

Christopher Vaughn

Director of Bands

Harpeth Middle School



Upcoming Calendar of Events


August 13th, 2020………………First Day of School

September Fundraiser……………….TBD

October 12th-16th, 2020……………Fall Break

October 29, 2020...................7th/8th Grade Performance at HMS Basketball Game

HMS Band Veteran’s Day Concert Livestreamed………..TBD

November 4th-19th, 2020…………………Butter Braid Fundraiser

November 25th-27th, 2020………….Thanksgiving Break

HMS Band Holiday Concert (Live Streamed)……………..TBD

December 18th- January 4th, 2020…………Winter Break

March 22nd-26th, 2020……..Spring Break

HMS Band Spring Concert……….TBD

May 26th, 2020………….Last Day for Students

Your Band Directors

Mr. Chris Vaughn

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Mr. Noah Taggart

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The Socially Distant HMS Band Room

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HMS Covid-19 Plan


Here is a look of our band room that goes with our CCSD Guidelines for Covid 19. Students are spaced 6ft apart in our classroom and we have tape that signifies placement for stands and chairs. The green boxes will be areas where students will release their water from their instrument. All students will be assigned a chair/stand number and brass players will have microfiber towels for their water. Below is the HMS Band plan:

Mr. Vaughn believes it is essential to the physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of HMS Band students across the school that they will have the opportunity to have music instruction. The Covid-19 pandemic created challenges and opportunities that were unforeseen when the 2019-2020. As we develop plans for the new school year, the health, safety, and security of our students, faculty, and staff is the predominant consideration. As a result, we are faced with preliminary procedures to continue the use of band in the classroom.

· The study and test among researchers is that the aerosol dispersed in the air when playing an instrument is the same or less when people are talking in a normal volume. This is because the aerosols emitted from the musician are still contained in the musical instrument. Social Distance is the preferred option to minimize the effect of aerosols. Currently that distance is 6ft by 6ft foot space around each student with the student sitting in the center. We will be in straight lines in the band room to enhance the use of social distancing.

· Trombones should have an additional three feet of distancing making their space 9x6. The player should be seated three feet in front of the back line, leaving an additional six feet in front of them to the extended nature of the instrument and slide that can be in extended position.

· Bell covers are highly recommended as “masks” for the instruments. Bell covers will be made of multi-layered high denier nylon material and provide a barrier for aerosols. Each student in the band program will be assigned a bell cover for their instrument.

· Masks/Face Shields should be worn by all students prior to entering the band room. Each student in the HMS Band will be assigned a face shield provided by the band. The masks/face shields will stay in the band room in their storage locker. Masks should continue to be worn until all students are seated and ready for instruction.

· Brass Players…..Spit valves will be emptied on a microfiber cloth provided by the HMS Band. At the beginning of class, brass players will pick up their microfiber cloth to use for dispersing water from their instrument. At the conclusion of class, students will move their towels to a sanitized area to be cleaned.

· Students will be assigned a chair/stand number for the year and will be responsible (as well as the teacher) to clean their area.

· When students need repairs, Mr. Vaughn will be wearing gloves and mask to keep the instrument clean and sanitize.

· Woodwind players…..Reeds are not to be shared or loaned to! Students are responsible for their own reeds in the classroom. Mr. Vaughn will be selling reeds in the classroom or you can go to our local vendor Bandwagon.

· Percussionists are required to purchase their own personal snare drum sticks. Vic Firth 2B sticks are the most common to have. Mallets will be assigned to percussionists from the band room. Percussionists will not rotate from instrument in the classroom. They will be assigned to their particular instrument the entire class period.

HMS Band Website!!

Reminder that you can see the updates as well on our Band Website and Instagram @harpethmsBand
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Here is Mr. Vaughn's Virtual Classroom where students can access their online platforms! Please give it a look!

Woodwind Reeds!!

Students who play instruments that require reeds should have 3 good reeds with them at all times. If your student is running low on reeds, please contact Bandwagon Music to order a box (clarinets and saxes) or individual reeds (bassoon and oboe). Brand and strength of reeds are listed below for your convenience:

Clarinet (6th grade)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Clarinet (7th and 8th grades)

Vandoren 3

Bass Clarinet

Vandoren 2 1/2

Alto Sax (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

(7th and 8th grades may use strength 3 if desired)

Tenor Sax (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Bari Saxes (all grades)

Vandoren 2 1/2

Oboe (6th grade)

Lescher medium soft

Oboe (7th and 8th grades)

Lescher medium

Bassoon (6th grade)

Danzi medium soft

Bassoon (7th and 8th grades)

Danzi medium

Bandwagon Phone Number 615.721.2263

Bandwagon Website

Music Instrument Donations!

The value of the arts in education is something that the Harpeth Middle School Band Program takes very seriously. The district feels that every child deserves the chance to play a musical instrument. Studies have shown that it makes kids smarter, improves the quality of their education, and helps to teach them the skills necessary for success later in life.

In times when instrumental music programs are shrinking and being threatened due to budget constraints, the program at Harpeth striving. Students are enjoying the positive educational benefits of playing in the band. Participation is at an all time high and the programs continue to grow exponentially each year.

This unprecedented success also has its challenges. Acquiring instruments for eleven schools during these tough economic times is difficult. Not all students can afford to rent or buy an instrument and our inventory in the district is quickly shrinking with additional participation. Help keep music alive for everyone in our schools and consider donating an instrument for our students!

Perhaps you have a saxophone or trumpet in your attic that hasn’t been used in awhile. Maybe you know someone who has a violin gathering dust. If you have an instrument that we could put to use, please click on the attached form from the email and fill out the required information to schedule a drop off of the instrument.

I will send you a thank you letter documenting your donation and you will be giving the gift of music to a deserving student. Playing in the band or orchestra may have shaped who you are today. Please help us allow our students to have that same experience.

About the Harpeth Band Program

It is our mission to provide experiences that create that "spark" in students to become live long lovers and students of music. We want the students to not only learn the material but to be able to apply and think on their own. In addition, we pride ourselves on being able to be serious and sound "good" while still having a "good" time!