Belleville School #7

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Welcome to 2018-2019 Instumental Music!

Please note that my page links to the school 7 site, but I am the instrumental teacher at all of the elementary schools in Belleville.
With the 6th grade back at the elementary level, I will now be teaching instrumental music to 5th and 6th grade only (as opposed to last year's 4th and 5th). Instruments that are owned by the schools will be distributed to students as I am able. My schedule is the same. 
A Week Sept 3, 17 Oct 1, 15, 29 Nov 12, 26 Dec 10 31 Jan 14, 28 Feb 11, 25 Mar 11, 25  April 8, 29 May 13, 27 June 10
Monday school 4; Tuesday School 8; Wednesday Schools 5/7; Thursday school 9; Friday School 10
B Week Sept 10, 24 Oct 8, 22 Nov 5, 19 Dec 3, 17 Jan 7, 21 Feb 4, 18 Mar 4, 18 April 1, 22 May 6, 20 June 3
Monday school 5; Tuesday Schools 8/4; Wednesday Schools 8/3; Thursday School 7; Friday School 3
A rigorous practice routine is key to improvement. It is also the only "homework" we have in instrumental class. Students should be practicing at least an hour per week. Closer to 100 minutes is ideal. If they can give 10 minutes a day, they will notice immense improvements. In order to practice, the instruments need to be at home. I see too many instruments left in the classroom and have started taking those instruments back. You will not be allowed to keep an instrument if you are not responsible enough to bring it home to practice. 
Please see the "Links" section of my page for the calendars for each school's instrumental schedule. They are all on Google Calendar and you can subscribe to them and add them to your Android or iOS device. If any 4th graders have not received an instrument, there are likely no more available. If you are still interested, and will consider purchasing an instrument for your child, please reach out to me. I would love to help you find an instrument, and get every one that wants to play, in my lesson groups. The instruments taught are: Violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, ukulele, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, F Horn, trombone, baritone, and percussion. 
Things to consider purchasing:
Clarinets and Saxophones use reeds to make sound. I have plenty, but students may find a particular size/strength works better for them. I order only Rico Reeds in size/strength 2 or 2.5. They get as soft as 1 and as hard as 5 (the numbers are fairly subjective). There are many other brands and each brand has it's own strength scale. Reeds are available from music sites (Interstate Music) or
Cleaning and maintenance. There are kits available for each instrument to make this task easier.  These are available on music sites as well as Amazon. Here's an example from Interstate Music:
Percussion (drum) players are given a pair of sticks. It is recommended to get a good practice pad or putty pad. In my experience Silly Putty is the best. It's quiet and mimics the feel of a real snare drum. You can get more expensive practice pads or "Remo Putty Pads" but Silly Putty is best. I would say about 2 or 3 "eggs" worth is sufficient. Amazon has 6 packs that you can split between 2 or 3 students.
Method Books are in short supply and the books that we have at the elementary schools are old and out of print. If possible I'm asking all students to purchase their own method book. We will be using Sound Innovations Book One for their specific instrument. (the blue colored one not green or red) 
I usually place orders myself so if you want to just send in $9 with your child I can make a large order and have it shipped to the school for me to distribute. I will let the kids know when I will start ordering. 
If you want to purchase them yourself these are some online shops to get them. I've found Musicians Friend to have the best prices, and no tax or delivery charges.
Musicians Friend
Amazon has the books, but they have a very weird way of sorting the books by title and not by instrument so you may think you're ordering Clarinet and get Tuba. I don't recommend ordering from Amazon.
Except for Ukulele. Same publisher, different book. "Alfred's Basic Ukulele Method 1". There are 3 versions ranging from $7.99-$14.99 (book only, Online Content, or CD and DVD). Any of them is acceptable, but  the mid priced one (online content)offers the same as the DVD for $5 less just via the internet rather than a DVD.
Please look around my page (over to the right and down) and notice links I have to various instruments and how to care for them. If you don't see your specific instrument, reach out to me. Alternatively, you can just visit YouTube and search for any of the instruments and how to care for them. 
I'm looking forward to working with all the fine, young musicians in all the Belleville Elementary schools this year!
Mr R.

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Instrument Returns and Summer Repairs

As we enter June, I start planning for instrument returns and send those that need repairs out during the Summer months. Please be sure to have instruments all returned for the week of June 12. This allows me to use the last week for cleaning and repair sorting. If an instrument is lost it must be paid for and replaced as per the bond agreement.