Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Archive for the ‘Skyview Junior High’ Category

Activities, events and happenings at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell, WA, where, as an assistant to the band director, I teach brass instruments (trumpet and trombone) to beginning band students.

My 7th Year Teaching Brass at the “New” Skyview Middle School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on October 9, 2017

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This fall, for the first time, Skyview Middle School opened its doors—the same doors that belonged to Skyview Jr. High School ever since it was built 1993. SJHS served 7-8-9 grades, whereas the newly re-named SMS now serves 6-7-8 grades. And that has changed lots of things for band classes.

First-year band students (5th graders) still come early in the mornings, before regular classes start, but their lessons now begin 15 minutes later than in previous years. These classes remain 40 minutes in length. The schedule for second-year band students (6th graders), however, is more complex—different times on different days, but not before school, as in past years— these classes are part of the school curricula and are scheduled during the regular school day.

How do I know all this, and besides, who cares except the students and their parents? Well, I do. I’m teaching beginning brass again for the seventh year in the same building, in the same classrooms, as before, under the leadership of Mr. Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director. IMG_5896 (2)

This year, Mr. Fix wants more variety, depth, and balance in the sound of the sixth grade band. In the past, few students switched instruments before the seventh grade. But this year, when he offered them the early opportunity, lots of sixth graders chose to switch. We now have more bassoons, alto and tenor saxophones, French horns, euphoniums, baritones and tubas than ever! Regrettably (for me), I lost some good trumpeters, but it’s good for both the kids and the band to have everybody playing the instruments they like best.

 

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Beginning Brass Teacher at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell—My Sixth Year!

Posted by glennled on October 4, 2016

quartetLucky me! Under the guidance of Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director, I get to teach beginning brass again to 5th and 6th graders in the two elementary bands that practice and perform at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. Classes for 2nd-year band members began on 12 September and for 1st-year band members, today, 4 October.

This year, I have about 35 trumpet students, 10 trombones, and one French Horn. Some years, I have baritone players, too. This is my sixth year as a para-professional teacher in the Northshore School District.

In addition, I give private lessons to other students in the North Seattle-to-Edmonds and Eastside areas.

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31st Trumpet Student Comes from New Jersey to Bothell, Washington

Posted by glennled on September 22, 2016

picture4Last April, a family from Cherry Hill, New Jersey (just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia) moved cross-country when the Dad took a new job in Bothell, Washington. At Cherry Hill, the son attended Rosa International Middle School, which offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. He’s been playing trumpet since 4th grade and took private lessons back there, starting in the 6th grade. Now that he’s an 8th grader at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, he has become my 31st trumpet student. Our first private lesson was on 28 July.

Listening to music at a young age, he especially liked “Star Wars” and decided, “I can play an instrument, too.” He likes percussion—“rhythm is fun”—but so do lots of other kids. So his attention turned to saxophone, flute, and trumpet. Then he realized that the sound of the saxophone usually blends in with other sounds, and the flute isn’t very versatile. On the other hand, the trumpet can either blend in or stand out and often gets to play the melody. It can play all styles from classical to jazz—“It all works!” And it looks simple–only three buttons instead of all those keys. Only later did he learn how the embouchure complicates playing a brass instrument. So that’s how trumpet became his choice, and obviously, he’s happy with that decision.

He takes private lessons because he likes to excel at whatever he’s doing and wants to play in the lead group of the trumpet section. But he has no ambition to become a professional. He will eventually choose some other career. Meanwhile, being in the concert and jazz bands is fun, and he’s looking forward to playing in the marching and concert bands at the new North Creek High School. After that, he’d like to play in college, too.

That’s my privilege and challenge: to help him play well, be a leader, and enjoy doing it!

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2016 Northshore School District’s Sixth Grade Honors Concert

Posted by glennled on February 22, 2016

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NSD 6th-grade Honors Orchestra and Choir, 2016

Three hundred and thirty-three students from the Northshore School District made the Honors Orchestra, Choir and Band this year and played a concert for their parents, relatives, teachers, and friends at Northshore Jr. High School in Bothell on 9 February. And among them, three (~1%) are my students in elementary band at Skyview Jr. High—one trumpeter, one baritonist, and one trombonist. I’m in my fifth year as a para-professional teacher of beginning brass for fifth and sixth graders who come to Skyview from Crystal Springs, Canyon Creek, and Fernwood elementary schools for classes each week.

Guest conductors were Eileen Treusch (orchestra), Darcy Morrissey (choir), and Frank Halferty (band). The program allotted four pieces to the orchestra, five to the choir, and three to the band. If this were a contest instead of a concert and if I were an adjudicator, I would give the “Best Performance Award” to Darcy Morrissey and her choir. The orchestra was 111 members strong, but the choir was even larger: 128! And the band was 96; that’s a big band, too. I wonder what percentage of the band students are taking private lessons—20%, 10%, 5%? That’s how you “Become your Best” (my motto). And that’s how you eventually make Washington State Band in high school.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Posted in School Concerts, Skyview Junior High, Student Competitions, Honors & Awards | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2015 Holiday Concert, Elementary Bands at Skyview Jr. High School

Posted by glennled on December 16, 2015

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It’s a new era for the two elementary school bands who gave a concert at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell on Friday, 11 December. It’s now Mr. Charles Fix’s era, and his first elementary band concert at Skyview was a huge success. The school cafeteria was overflowing with parents, relatives, and friends—it was SRO (Standing Room Only). Mr. Fix is the new band and orchestra director (see my post of 22 September 2015).

The 1st year (5th grade) elementary band opened the program with three Christmas pieces:

  • “Good King Wencelas”- traditional English carol
  • “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”- American carol
  • “Jingle Bells”- by J.S. Pierpont, arr. Chuck Elledge

The 2nd year (6th grade) elementary band finished with these:

  • “Regal March” – by Bruce Pearson, arr. Chuck Elledge
  • “The Second Storm” – Robert W. Smith
  • “Imperium” – by Michael Sweeney

The 1st year band is exceptionally large (75). I’m tickled that about half the band is comprised of the brass section alone. There are 30 trumpeters and 8 trombonists! In a short time, they have learned their lessons well.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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She Came, She Went–Trumpeter Deserted Band for Choir!

Posted by glennled on September 27, 2015

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My 20th trumpet student, a 6th-grader in 1st-year band, took private lessons from me for a few months starting on 8 November 2010. Apparently, she has a great voice, because she made the Northshore School District’s Honors Choir in 2011. And when she had to register for 7th grade classes at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, she chose choir, not band.

Today, when I was compiling a list of all my trumpet students since 2009, I found I’d never written a blog post here about her…until now. She must have been “out of sight, out of mind.”

But now I remember. That next year, when I would occasionally see her in a school breezeway, I would tease her about leaving and try to re-recruit her. She would just smile broadly and walk on by. It reminded me of John Benson Sebastian’s song, “Did you ever have to make up your mind? You pick up on one and leave the other behind…” Here’s The Lovin’ Spoonful singing it (1966): http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=did+you+ever+have+to+make+up+your+mind&FORM=HDRSC3#view=detail&mid=670FAA7BDA3F05CECD73670FAA7BDA3F05CECD73.

She had come to a fork in the road, and “now she’s gone, gone, gone, o-o-o-o-oh.”  Just kidding. Best wishes for the Good Life, Young Lady! See you in the movies.

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Charlie Fix Takes Charge of Music at Skyview Jr. High, Bothell

Posted by glennled on September 22, 2015

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When school started this fall at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, there was a new faculty member in the music department for the first time in 15 years. Welcome to Mr. Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director. Mr. Fix has a Masters Degree in Music Education from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin. Like his predecessor at Skyview, Mr. Fix is a trumpeter!

Mr. Fix has previously taught at Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, Carlsbad Unified School District in California, and Mount Vernon Community Schools in Iowa. He has taught music at all levels, elementary, junior high, and high school, in addition to teaching as a graduate assistant at Florida State.

Here at SJHS, he has three para-professional assistants to help with the 1st and 2nd year elementary bands. One teaches flutes, one teaches clarinets and saxes, and the other teaches brass–that’s me!

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McGinn’s Farewell Elementary School Bands Concert

Posted by glennled on September 19, 2015

After 15 successful years as Director of Instrumental Music at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, Mr. Shawn McGinn is leaving for California in the coming months.

Music-clipart4-1024x835He conducted his final elementary school bands concert on 27 May at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) at Bothell High School. The two bands (1st year and 2nd year) are comprised of students from nearby Crystal Springs, Canyon Creek, and Fernwood elementary schools.

The 1st year band played Bang the Drum All Day (I Don’t Want to Work) by Todd Rundgren, arranged by Michael Story.

As guest conductor, I then led the 2nd year band in playing Andromeda Overture by Mark Williams.

Finally, both bands joined in playing William Tell Overture by Gioacchino Rossini, arranged by Andrew Balent.

The concert concluded with a jazz trio jam session featuring piano, tenor sax, and flugelhorn, played by Mr. McGinn.

 

Posted in School Concerts, Skyview Junior High | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Tenacious, Motivated 24th Trumpet Student

Posted by glennled on May 5, 2015

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

For his first lesson at his home in Bothell on 26 February 2015 , my 24th trumpet student played for me from the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet by Peter Gelling. He’s a sixth-grader at Fernwood Elementary and in 2nd year band at Skyview Jr. High School. I asked him what first attracted him to trumpet. “It’s loud,” he said, so it stands out among the other band  instruments as a leader, “and I like that.”

What does he like about playing in the band? He likes being amongst his friends, and he likes playing music, although it does not come easy for him. He wants lessons to improve his tone and play higher notes. He’d like to continue in band at least all the way through high school. He knows the music is only going to get more complicated, so he wants to be able to handle it.

His Dad is confident that his son will master the trumpet because he has determination—once he sets out to do something, he sticks with it and gets it done.  Mom was a versatile musician in high school. She played tuba, trombone, saxophone, and oboe, and became a drum major in her school band.

That’s what I like—motivated trumpet students who are determined to become their best!

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Photo Gallery: Elementary Bands’ Holiday Concert at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell

Posted by glennled on April 16, 2015

On 4 December 2014, the two elementary bands (1st year and 2nd year) which are affiliated with Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell played their first concert of the school year in front of an adoring, proud crowd of parents, relatives and friends in the cafeteria/auditorium. Below is a photo gallery of the concert, with an emphasis on the brass section, whom I teach. Shawn McGinn, Director of Instrumental Music, conducted the concert and graciously allowed me to conduct the final piece by the 2nd-year band. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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