Author Archives: Mr. Brown

Restaurant Fundraisers This Week

MONDAY, JANUARY 22nd: The SRHS music program is holding a restaurant fundraiser at Islands Fine Burgers and Drinks in Mira Mesa.  The fundraiser runs from 4:00 PM to closing, and the SRHS music program will receive 20% of your bill.  Click here for a copy of the flyer.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25th: The MMS instrumental music program is holding a restaurant fundraiser at The Kebab Shop in Mira Mesa.  The fundraiser runs for their entire operating hours that day (10 AM to 10 PM), and our program will receive 50% of your purchase!!! Click here for a copy of the flyer.  Thanks to Ryo Vavrunek for organizing this for us!

Physical copies of these flyers will be available in the MMS instrumental music classroom all week.  THANK YOU to everyone who participates in these fundraisers this week!!!


Reminders for Friday, Jan. 19th


  • Friday, January 19th is class photo day for the school yearbook.  Students must be dressed in the required concert attire in order to be included in the photograph.  Unfortunately, no make-up will be done for any students who are absent on Friday, January 19th.
    • 8th graders interested in enrolling in marching band and/or colorguard at SRHS next year will also be measured for marching/colorguard uniforms by parent volunteers.
  • Students do not need to bring instruments to class on Friday, January 19th due to the class photo process.
  • Regular weekly practice records are still due at the beginning of band/orchestra classes regardless of the fact that we will not be playing in class on Friday, January 19th.

Jan. 15 – 19, 2018

PRACTICE RECORDS: All band/orchestra students have a regular weekly practice record due at the beginning of their music class on Friday, January 19th.

NO SCHOOL MONDAY: There is no school on Monday, January 15th in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.  Enjoy the long weekend!

CLASS PHOTOS: On Friday, January 19th, students must wear the required concert attire during their regular band/orchestra class while we take class photos for the yearbook.  It is unlikely that students will need to bring instruments to school that day as well.  I will either confirm or disconfirm that with the students at some point this week.  Students that are absent that day or do not have complete concert attire on Friday will not be included in the class photos.  It’s possible that one or more of the SRHS marching band volunteer parents will also come that day to take measurements of each 8th grader planning to do marching band.  These measurements would be used to help the parent volunteers either identify existing marching uniforms that would be the best possible fit for each student, or order new uniforms in case marching band enrollment exceeds current uniform supply.

THIS WEEK: At this early stage, all classes are in the “basics” phase in which we are learning to play pitches and rhythms with steady tempo in manageable chunks in each of their new pieces of repertoire.  During the first week of January, each class made their own, separate set of goals and deadlines to guide them through preparing their repertoire leading up to festival performances.  Parents, you can play a significant positive role in your student’s (and their class’s) achievement of their goals.  I encourage you to ask to see your child’s planning form and ask them questions about it.  Festival season is our biggest long-term project of the school year, and semi-regular conversation about their progress, as well as accountability for advancement and perseverance, is helpful in the development of their repertoire.

ADVANCED BAND: Please vote for your festival repertoire via the link on your class page before class on Tuesday!  At the time I am writing this, about half of the class still needs to submit their votes!

DEADLINE APPROACHING: While deadlines cannot legally be placed on voluntary donations, our invoice for our Forum Music Festivals participation is due soon.  We have until February 2nd to raise the funds necessary to send classes on their respective Spring Trips.  Please see the financial update blog post below for the latest figures for each class.  Donation forms are available to print on the Documents/Forms page, and copies will be available in the classroom as well.

SSC: SSC will meet at lunch on Tuesday and Thursday as normal.

CHAMBER MUSIC: Chamber music ensemble rehearsals are all normal this week, except that Monday lunch rehearsals are obviously cancelled due to the day off of school.

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.