Author Archives: Mr. Brown

Sep. 18 – 22, 2017

PRACTICE RECORDS: Weekly practice records have only been assigned to Advanced Band/Orchestra at this time.  Their first practice record of the year is due at the beginning of class on Friday, September 22nd.  Intermediate Band/Orchestra will likely have their first practice record assigned on Friday, September 22nd, with a due date of September 29th.  I will update here on the blog if there are any changes to that assignment for the intermediate classes.

SPIRIT APPAREL: It’s time to order MMS Instrumental Music spirit apparel!  Students will receive a hard copy of the order form in class on Monday, but I have also placed links for the order forms on the Documents/Forms page in case extra copies are needed.  Order forms are due on Monday, September 25th.  The ordering of spirit apparel is optional, and these t-shirts and sweatshirts are not used for performances.  They are strictly for students and families to show their enthusiasm for their music program!  NO extra spirit apparel items will be ordered for later purchase; I will only order what is ordered by students/families.  This is the ONLY order that I will place for spirit apparel this school year, so don’t miss out on this order!

FINANCIAL UPDATE: Many thanks to the families that have already donated to the MMS Instrumental Music program!!!  If you haven’t donated yet, please consider doing so as we are still well below our funding goals in each class.  I will leave the financial update post here on the front page of the blog until we do.  PLEASE NOTE: Donating to the program is completely optional and voluntary, and your students’ grade, citizenship, and/or participation in the program will not be affected in any way, whether or not the student’s family chooses to make a donation.

ADVANCED CLASSES: Both advanced classes have their repertoire set for the Fall Concert, and during class, we will be rehearsing in earnest through to the performances.

INTERMEDIATE CLASSES: Both intermediate classes are nearly done with the sight-reading process and we are zooming in on the pieces we’re going to play for the Fall Concert.  By the end of this week, I anticipate each class having a full repertoire (usually four pieces) in their music binders, and plenty of things to practice at home.

SSC AND CHAMBER MUSIC: Click here to see this year’s SSC roster, and congratulations to the members of the 2017 – 2018 Student Support Crew.  The start of the extracurricular chamber music program is on hold indefinitely until Mr. Shedd returns to run the SRHS marching band following the birth of his daughter, and I am no longer in charge.  It may be early to mid-October until this program begins.


Food for Musical Thought


If you find yourself bored and needing a good article or two to pass the time, here are a few from my good friend, Dr. Noa Kageyama, a.k.a. “The Bulletproof Musician.”

What to Ask Yourself After a Failure or Setback

8 Things Top Practicers Do Differently

“Perfect” Practice May Be Preventing You from Learning that Tricky Passage

Why Listening to Reference Recordings is an Important Part of Practicing

The Importance of Writing Notes in Your Music (one of my favorites!)

For more delightfully thought-provoking articles about music and becoming a better musician, feel free to browse Dr. Kageyama’s blog, and feel free to email me with any articles you don’t see above that you found to be applicable to middle school musicians.