August Updates (1)

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!  

It has been a long time since we have been able to make music together, and I am very much looking forward to it!  I have been researching and following the latest protocols for safe music making and, as in every other class at St. Paul, we are committed to creating a safe environment for all students.   Although things may look and feel differently for a while, I am thrilled that we are able to rehearse together with some minor modifications.   

Concert Band

We had a great first day in Concert Band.  The students found their distanced seats in the room and we went over our safety procedures.  We played an ice breaker game with everyone answering a different random question about themselves.  (which left me at the end of the day wishing for a brownie student's favorite dessert!)  They also took home their first weekly assignment page.  It's very simple this first week, but this will be the format for weekly assignments.  We'll get our band binders, masks with slits and instrument bell covers in class on Tuesday and start making some music!    

Beginning Band

Next week the entire 5th grade class will be continuing to learn about instruments in a combined band/music class.  Recruiting for beginning band was pushed back a bit with our unique spring semester, but now's the time to sign up!  The 5th graders have had an overview of all the band instruments this week, and next week will continue learning more about woodwind instruments on Tuesday and brass instruments on Thursday.  If your student is still interested in joining band, it's not too late!  There are openings for most instruments (not percussion).  Research shows that students who participate in the arts perform better in reading and math, score higher test scores, and are more likely to attend college.  The skills students learn in band such as how to practice, set goals, and work together as an ensemble will serve them well throughout their lives.  


General Band Safety Procedures:

  • As students enter in the morning, they will place their instrument in the shelf spot assigned to them.  Class cohorts have their own designated space.

  • As students enter the band room for class, hand sanitizer will be available.  

  • Each class cohort will have their own seating space in the room.   Students will get their instruments from the shelf and take it to their seat to assemble.  

  • Chairs will be spaced 6' or more apart.

  • Students have their own chair and stand.  Chairs and stands will not be shared. 

  • Beginning Band students will be rehearsing in the church balcony, so they are able to have their own separate space.  They will bring their instruments to the balcony to assemble.  

  • Students will be provided a mask for playing (with a slit in it for their instrument's mouthpiece).

  • Students will be provided and a fabric instrument cover for the bell of their instrument.  (Two layers, plus a MERV 13 filter between) (Percussion and piano players will use their normal masks).  Instrument covers have been shown to reduce aerosol dispersal from instruments to the same levels that masks do from regular breathing.

  • Brass players will be given disposable cloths to empty any moisture from their instruments.