News

Getting Started with Distance Learning

As we all know, we're in strange times! I never thought that when I became a band director that I would be tasked with teaching a fully digital high school music program. The difficulties that come with this process and number of responsibilities for everyone involved are exponentially greater than in-person teaching because we ALL have to do our part to make this a successful, educational, and most importantly, musically rich experience.

I want to make the transition to digital learning as smooth and as easy as possible for everyone, so I've updated our website in an attempt to house all information we will need in one place. However, there are a few sites and applications that we need to become familiar with so we can take care of business and get to playing music as soon and as much as possible.

Please begin by reading the collapsible tabs below to familiarize yourself with some of the important aspects this website has to offer. Once you have read everything, you may use the tabs at the top of our page to navigate through this website and begin using the features. After reading this information, students and parents will have the knowledge to be able to quickly and easily locate everything we will be using while distance learning and should have a basic understanding of how to get started.

***Students and Parents: Please read the collapsible tabs below in order BEFORE you do anything so you are somewhat familiar with the programs and information first, then refer back to them for step-by-step instructions as you get started with digital learning. I believe a comprehensive understanding of what I've done with this site will give you a better understanding of what I'm trying to accomplish this school year.

0. Latest Updates! Aug. 19th, Instrument Pickup 12:45-3:30!

Instrument Pickup Information

*Please come to the band room on Wednesday, August 19th, 12:45pm to 3:30pm to pick up your instrument if you have not received one yet.*

If you own your own instrument, please do not take a second one because we will run out. Also, if you plan on dropping my class, please do not pick one up because you will have to come right back and return it.

Temperature checks will be taken at the band room by our school nurse, no need to check in at the front office first, come straight to the band room (south side of campus, attached to the large student parking lot off of Oakmore street). Please remember to wear a mask, stand on the tape outside the band room to remain 6 feet apart, and only one student should be in the band room at a time unless I have asked you to enter.

See you Wednesday!! :)

  1. Instrument Pickup Date and Time, August 5th and 6th

Instrument Pickup Information

*Please come to the band room on Wednesday, August 19th, 12:45pm to 3:30pm to pick up your instrument if you have not received one yet.*

If you are unable to pickup your instrument on Wednesday, please email me through the Contact Us quicklinks at the bottom of each page (or click here) and I will schedule a different date/time for you that works with our district guidelines.

If you own your own instrument, please do not take a second one because we will run out. Also, if you plan on dropping my class, please do not pick one up because you will have to come right back and return it.

Temperature checks will be taken at the band room by our school nurse, no need to check in at the front office first, come straight to the band room (south side of campus, attached to the large student parking lot off of Oakmore street). Please remember to wear a mask, stand on the tape outside the band room to remain 6 feet apart, and only one student should be in the band room at a time unless I have asked you to enter.

See you Wednesday!! :)


*Nurse Taylor will be checking temperatures upon arrival in the band room, no need to check-in at the front office on Wednesday. There will be safety measures in place, including tape on the ground to have students remain 6 feet apart, only one student will be allowed in the band room at a time, and please show respect to everyone's health and well-being by wearing a mask while on campus at all times. Once you receive your instrument, I will ask you to leave immediately. There will (unfortunately) be no hanging out in or around the band room, or on campus at this time. Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday! :)

2. Mandatory Forms for 2020-2021 Music Department

Once you get your instrument and materials from me, parents and students will want to fill out and electronically sign the following four google forms as soon as possible. These will be accessible in links below if you click on the title of the form, and in the Forms tabs as well. Listed below is a general description of each form and its purpose.

Image Release Consent: This is the same form we used in previous years to allow us to record student performances, create an end-of-the-year slide show, and post images and videos within our band and booster run sites and applications.

Behavior Contract: Simple form with electronic signatures agreeing to my rules about behavior within the music program, both digitally and in a full return to the classroom so it covers the entire year, wherever that may go.

Instrument Loan Agreement: When students receive their instruments, I will document everything being check out into our Charms program. However, I would like students to document their school loaned instrument in more detail so we can ensure the serial and model numbers are correct, the documented condition is accurate, and an agreement through electronic signatures that holds families accountable for loss or damage of district property while in their possession.

Copyright Agreement: Typically speaking, I would never distribute music online because of copyright concerns. Given our situation though, distribution would otherwise be impossible if we cannot meet in person regularly. This is why I am distributing parts through Charms, which is a password protected site where I will individually give every musician access to their specific part ONLY (ie, trumpets can only see trumpet music, flutes can only see flute music, etc). Students will not have access to any other music that I would not have handed out in an in-person classroom setting, and this form stresses the danger of sharing or posting this music online for public access and agrees not to share or post with anyone.

3. Overview of Programs to Assist with Distance Learning in Music

Student Perspective

Although students should become familiar with every tab and resource on this website going into the 2020-2021 school year, there are only three tabs I want you to fully understand and access frequently while we are distance learning: Zoom, Google Classroom, and Charms. Detailed information can be found in each of these tabs, but please read the general purpose below.

-Zoom: Contains all the latest zoom meeting information for our virtual classes in the 2020-2021 school year, including dates, times, meeting access codes, optional zoom meetings with our staff, prerecorded videos we use during zoom sessions, and special instructions if necessary for a class meeting. Everything you need to know about Zoom and how to access our meetings for classes can be found in this section.

-Google Classroom: Contains codes for each of my google classrooms where you will find and submit all digital assignments. Announcements will also be posted in your google classroom regularly as they pertain to each class and will be found easily at the top of the "classwork" section in Google Classroom, so make sure you log into google classroom frequently for assignment information and announcements.

-Charms: Contains sheet music, inventory, band account information, and much more will be added as we transition back onto campus and into a regular schedule. This will primarily be used for accessing your music during the 2020-2021 school year because it is password protected.

Please note that students will need to access Aeries to see their grades for all of their classes. I have also added a quicklink to this site at the bottom so this can truly be a location containing everything students need to be successful in our music program this year.

**I highly recommend adding this website to your bookmark bar so you can access it quickly and easily. To learn how to do this, watch the first three minutes of this tutorial video on YouTube by clicking HERE.


Parent Perspective

You are welcome to join our google classrooms through the tabs on this website so you help your student stay on top of assignments if you wish. If it does not add you when you enter the code, please contact me and I will be happy to manually input you into the class. I will make an effort to update grades every Friday in Aeries as well, which you can log into your account by clicking on the Aeries quicklink down below. Aside from grades, please check out the News, Booster Board, Fundraising, and Calendar tabs to stay up-to-date with what's going on in our programs and learn how you can get involved! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions using the contact quicklink and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

4. Resources

Located in the Resources tab will be links to helpful videos, metronomes, tuners, and more. Please take advantage of these applications and let me know if anything should be added that has helped you while distance learning and I'll be happy to add it to the list!

Orchestra students will definitely want to look at the video on using fine tuners so you know how to get your instrument in tune. This can be tricky, especially for freshmen who have never tuned themselves before, so please check this out and we will go over this during zoom class meetings as well.

5. FAQ (last updated: 8/3/20)

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me by clicking here, or find my email address in the Contact tab. If I receive questions that I feel will be beneficial to others in the group, I will post them to the FAQ quicklinks at the bottom of each page so others may be able to find answers to their questions in this section.


Sample Question
  • How many trumpet players does it take to log into a zoom meeting?
  1. Seven. One trumpet player to do all the work, and the other six to judge them and spread rumors about how much better they could have logged in.
  2. Zero. They can't figure it out.
  3. Trumpet players are amazing and accomplish everything on their own! :)


All joking aside, questions and answers will look something like what you see above. Often times there are multiple answers to questions so I made multiple responses to this joke I altered... Sorry trumpets! :)


*Also, please do not email me jokes unless they're REALLY good and obviously appropriate! :) Maybe a Jokes tab can be created if they are worthy; we can all use a good laugh!

6. In other News...

Most of this tab has been geared toward starting classes on August 13th, but we have plenty of other things going on as well! Continue to scroll down and see what else is in the News that is not back-to-school related! After we get started, that is primarily what this tab will transition back into: news updates.

7. First Day of School

Now that you have a general idea of what we'll be using while distance learning, please take the time to add the appropriate google classroom(s) using the codes, learn how to log into Charms, submit forms, log into Aeries, log into student email, explore other tabs, and ask me a million questions so I can post answers in the FAQ section and clarify for everyone else who is probably just as confused and overwhelmed! Try to play around with these before class starts.

*Students should receive an email from me through their school email address before the first day of school that will have links to our first Zoom meeting. Simply click the links to join during the scheduled date and time shown in that future email. Once we meet in zoom, I will share my screen and attempt to log into everything listed above during our first class so students have a demonstration on how to use these features and understand my expectations for the rest of the year.


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