In band, we learn concert pieces and also perform at certain events like Spirit Rallies or football games. Practicing 140 minutes a week is necessary to get the highest grade possible, and extra credit can be earned by practicing more. If someone is unhappy with their seating, they can challenge the person directly above them in chairs, and if the band votes for the challenger over the defender, the challenger moves up a chair. If the challenger is unsuccessful, nothing happens. Whenever we have a substitute, we have a crossword and word search of music theory to work on. We are currently working on note-speller packets to make sure that we know all of the fingerings and alternate fingerings of the notes on our instruments. While practicing our concert band music, we are concentrating on creating a balanced sound, along with correct rhythm and intonation.
Musical Crosswords and Word Search
Whenever band has a substitute, we work on crosswords and word searches that have to do with musical terms. Everyone in the band has a music vocabulary sheet that they can use to answer the crosswords. The puzzles are designed to help the students memorize the meanings and spellings of the vocabulary terms. The terms are extremely important to young musicians, because they will appear regularly in future music and are necessary to play music with more than just notes. Speeding up, slowing down, loud, soft, get louder, get softer, or command that the conductor would say, like "everyone together" translate into accelerando, ritardando, forte, piano, crescendo, decrescendo, and tutti. This productive way of passing the time reminds me of what my science lab class at my elementary school would do when the science teacher was absent. Instead of carrying on with the planned potentially complex or dangerous experiment, we would watch a "Bill Nye the Science Guy" movie related to what we were currently learning.
Some of the terms themselves relate to French words that I am currently learning through Rosetta Stone. For example, grandioso means to play with much nobility and feeling, while grand means tall in French. While I didn't use much tools to write in the answers, I did find some good places to write on in the band room and got to familiarize myself with Windows Photo Gallery. I was able to use the best of the crop, correction and rotation tools to edit my pictures for the slideshow.