Mokena Meteor Music

December 21 - December 27, 2018

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Important Information from the Music Department!

Please be sure to read it in its entirety as I have updated sections.

The concerts this week were absolutely wonderful. I am so excited to hear the progress these students are making this year and even more excited about how far we will be able to go.

We want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! We appreciate each and every one of you and are so thankful for the opportunity to work with your children to create music. Please take time this holiday season to enjoy your families and embrace the season.


We hope every student has brought their instrument home today! Two weeks without playing will wreak havoc on their embouchures and will set them behind - just like taking two weeks off at the gym. To encourage practicing over the break, I will be offering Cadet, Concert and Symphonic Band students extra credit for each completed weekly practice entry on Charms (75 minutes per week for Cadet and 100 minutes per week for Concert and Symphonic Band). Reminder that the week ends at midnight on Sunday evening.

Here are 7 Tips for Practicing Over Winter Break:

1) Break practice out into 5-10 minutes. Finding the time to practice is difficult, especially during the holidays. By breaking up longer practice sessions into short 5 to 10 minute sprints, you and your child will be more likely to find the time to get it done.

2) Set goals. With each practice session, have a specific goal in mind (even if it's just practicing one or two notes). Setting small goals will add up to huge accomplishments.

3) Keep your child's instrument out (in a safe place). Ever heard of out of sight, out of mind? That's exactly what happens when you put your child's instrument away in the closet. Instead, keep it out, somewhere out of the way, but where your child will see it every day.

4) Let your child pick their practice time, and then stick with it. One of the many skills music teaches children is self-discipline. Let them choose what time they want to practice, but once a time is chosen have them stick to it as much as possible. Even if they have to skip a practice here or there, it helps build the habit of practicing regularly.

5) Be excited for your child. If you see practice time as dull, so will your child. Be in the room when they practice and encourage them when they feel like giving up. When they do master a song, or even just a new note, show genuine pride and excitement in their accomplishments.

6) Game-ify Practice. Make a game out of difficult passages that could otherwise get frustrating. Work with your child to make up a game to encourage practicing. Small rewards go a long way to encourage young musicians.

7) Play with the instrument. You don't always need to follow the Essential Elements book or the sheet music handed out in band. Encourage your child to make up their own song. It encourages creativity and makes learning more fun!

The important thing is that they continue to play on their instrument regularly. It only takes a few minutes every day!

Since next week's schedule is pretty crazy, I am breaking it down by Grade/Group.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Enjoy the holidays with your families and I look forward to making music with your students in the new year.


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As soon as I have more information or a finalized itinerary, I will let you know. Here is what we know so far:

Here are the trip details:

  • When? Tuesday, January 8th
  • Time? We will depart from MJH after 3pm, head downtown for dinner, and then see the 7:30 performance of Hamilton. We should arrive back at MJH around 11pm
  • Who? All MJH Choir and Band students are invited to register - up to 105 students may attend
  • Apparel? Students are expected to dress nicely to attend this performance
  • Cost? The cost of the trip will be approximately $150 - it may go up or down slightly depending on bus and gas prices, but it should stay near $150. This includes transportation, dinner, and the ticket price for the show. Students can use fundraised IBA money to pay for this trip!

I will update with more information as soon as I have it available.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Bussean.

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Help Support the Music Boosters by Shopping Online!

The AmazonSmile fundraiser is available year round - not just at Christmas time. This is a great way to support our music programs without any cost to you! Any time you are shopping via Amazon, please consider using Amazon Smile for your purchases. Go to You can select the Mokena Music Boosters to receive a donation on your behalf just by making your regular Amazon purchase through them. It doesn't cost you anything and helps the Music Boosters fund our programs. This is available year round. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Bussean.

Private Music Lessons

It is not required that Mokena music students take private lessons. It is true, however, that the vast majority of students who do not take private lessons tend to have improper playing habits, and never reach their full potential as musicians. SECTIONALS ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR PRIVATE LESSONS. There are still many benefits of private instruction over full band rehearsal and small group sectionals. If you are interested in getting your child private lessons on their instrument, please visit the following link:

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Bussean or Ms. Beekman


Come out on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM to the monthly Music Booster Meeting held at Mokena Junior High School in the Library. Music Booster meetings are open meetings that anyone can attend. Come see what our Boosters are all about and how you can help support your child's music education. I look forward to seeing you there!
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TonalEnergy Tuner is an all-inclusive, easy to use application designed for individual practice and/or large ensemble rehearsals that aides musicians to improve sound quality and intonation.

Tuning, volume, articulation, release, duration, and steadiness are the key elements of developing a beautiful tone quality. TonalEnergy Tuner is the first multi-purpose application that allows users of all ages to understand and improve every aspect of their sound.

This app is especially useful to young brass players who struggle to find the correct partial. Oftentimes they think they are playing the correct pitch, when in fact, they are not. This can be very frustrating. This app can help students learn where the correct partial is and to hear when they are not matching the correct pitch.

In addition to its tuner capabilities, it has a built in metronome to keep students rehearsing with a steady beat!

We highly recommend that all students in our band program invest in this application if they have access to a device. It is well worth the $3.99 it costs. This is much more inexpensive than a separate metronome and tuner device.


We still have quite a bit of outstanding money due in Charms. Please check your accounts over break and make sure you are up to date. Please be aware that the District is also reaching out about outstanding District participation fees. While this can get confusing, it is important that everyone understand that there is a difference between the participation fee charged by the District for participation in activities (ie basketball, track, scholastic bowl, band, choir, etc.) and the fees charged through the Music Boosters (Booster registration fee, books, polo shirts, etc.). Please make sure you are current on both sides. If you ever have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to your director.

You will be receiving monthly Charms statements (these are the Music Booster fees) on or about the first of every month. Please check your balances in Charms at any time by logging into your child's account. If money is due, please pay one of four ways:

  1. Cash (in an envelope clearly marked)
  2. Check made payable to the Mokena Music Boosters - write who and what it is for in the memo line
  3. Paypal via the Paypal button on your Charms account
  4. IBA Transfer - please complete the online transfer form:

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Bussean

Facebook Page

Did you know that we have Facebook page? We do! Please search Mokena Meteor Music Department and request access. All posts must be approved first. We post information about what is happening in the department, Dine and Earn information, fundraising information, etc.
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December, 2018

12/22/18 - 1/7/19 - WINTER BREAK - NO SCHOOL