Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Well It's About Time

Welcome back everyone!   I am really excited about all of the possibilities for the year.   I sincerely hope you had a fantastic summer and I am looking forward to hearing about all of your stories and adventures.

I am working on the website next week, and I will have everything up to date by next Friday.

As always,  you can keep up to date here with all the comings and goings of the band program.  But it is worthwhile to remind you that you will get information also on the band twitter and instagram account (@bandatwestwood) that is not posted here - such as schedules for the band and information about auditions or just some funny laughs.

See you soon!  Mr. E.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Music Makes You Smarter - Seriously Smarter

High school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

School administrators needing to trim budgets often look first to music courses, because the general belief is that students who devote time to music rather than math, science and English, will underperform in those disciplines.

“Our research proved this belief wrong and found the more the students engage with music, the better they do in those subjects,” said UBC education professor and the study’s principal investigator, Peter Gouzouasis. “The students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary and continued playing in high school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, prior learning in mathematics and English, and gender.”

Gouzouasis and his team examined data from all students in public schools in British Columbia who finished Grade 12 between 2012­ and 2015. The data sample, made up of more than 112,000 students, included those who completed at least one standardized exam for math, science and English, and for whom the researchers had appropriate demographic information—including gender, ethnicity, neighbourhood socioeconomic status, and prior learning in numeracy and literacy skills. Students who studied at least one instrumental music course in the regular curriculum counted as students taking music. Qualifying music courses are courses that require previous instrumental music experience and include concert band, conservatory piano, orchestra, jazz band, concert choir and vocal jazz.

The researchers found the predictive relationships between music education and academic achievement were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music. The findings suggest skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students’ learning in school.

“Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding,” said the study’s co-investigator Martin Guhn, an assistant professor in UBC’s school of population and public health. “A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.”

The researchers hope that their findings are brought to the attention of students, parents, teachers and administrative decision-makers in education, as many school districts over the years have emphasized numeracy and literacy at the cost of other areas of learning, particularly music.

“Often, resources for music education—including the hiring of trained, specialized music educators, and band and stringed instruments—are cut or not available in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus on math, science and English,” said Gouzouasis. “The irony is that music education—multiple years of high-quality instrumental learning and playing in a band or orchestra or singing in a choir at an advanced level—can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools.”

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Band Flash Drives

Band Flash Drives will be available for pick up during the first full week back in September.

Have a great summer!

Monday, 27 May 2019

Final Concert and End of the year information

I know it is hard to believe that it is that time already, but as we approach the end of May, it is important that we look at all of the up coming dates and get ready for the celebration of our successes and the craziness that is the end of the year.

May 24th is the cut off for our last round of sectionals for Concert Band.  

May 27th is our set up for the Final Concert at 7:00PM. As always, we will be needing your help for about 20 minutes.

May 28th will be the dress rehearsals throughout the day for our concert that evening.

May 28th. Final Concert Band Concert.  7:00PM gym - Doors open at 3:30PM

  • Here you will be able to order your band FLASHDRIVE for $20 before and after the concert. The Band FLASHDRIVE contains photos and videos from both concerts and a few candids from throughout the year. It is our only fundraiser and all funds raised go directly back into the program. THE MINIMUM ORDER IS 100, SO WE MUST SELL AT LEAST 100.
  • Students need to be here at 6:00PM

May 29th -- Dress Rehearsal for the Final Jazz concert through out the day.

May 29thst - Final Jazz Concert at 7:00PM in the theatre.
  • Doors open at 4:00PM
  • Students will need to be here at 6:00PM.
June 3rd - sign-up sheets go up for Sr. Jazz Auditions. Auditions will take place from the 17th to the 21st.

June 6th - all music music/ folders and method books must be handed in by 3:30PM for sorting by the nines. All instruments that are not being used by students for auditions or Grad Band must also be turned in today.

June 5th - Final Self-Assessment Due - Everyone else follows the same format except Seniors. Sr.'s are to take their folder home this week and re-read all of the contents. Their final self assessment is of their entire 4 years at Westwood and encompass what it is, if anything, that they have accomplished and/or learned in their time here.

June 6th to the 28th - Grad Band Rehearsals - No auditions. Students are hand selected by Mr. Edwards.


June12th - Gr. 9 Clean.

June 17th - Last Official Day of Classes and some time this week will be the Gr. 9 Movie Night.

June 29th - All instruments go for repairs.

First week in September - Band FLASH DRIVES's are available for pick-up.

LIVE - Band Concerts this week

As you know we have always been on the cutting edge of technology here in the Westwood Band Program and this concert is no exception.

We have two up coming concerts for you this week.  

Concert Band on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM CST and 
Jazz Band on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM CST.


"Shut the Front Door!"

You can watch either night by clicking on the video below or watching on your device by clicking on the link from anywhere on the planet that there is wireless.


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Joint Concert with Westwood Community Band

This past Thursday, on a surprisingly hot evening in the Westwood theatre, our Sr. Jazz got a chance to share the stage with Ms. Ginny Helmer and the members of the Westwood Community Concert Band.  What a night!  The evening opened with Sr. Jazz taking the stage and sharing their project piece Minuano and their newest funk music- The Path.  These two selections will be the foundation of the band's performance in Ottawa at the Nationals in the middle of May.  After the dust had settled, the impressive Community Band took to the stage and settled in to share their fabulous music making.  Their opening number - Windjammer - paints a musical portrait of a tall ship gliding down the west coast of B.C.  For there the enthusiasm grew as the band teased us with a Fugue and a very relaxing piece entitled Air of Band.  To close out their portion of the show they played a Gershwin medley.  Super Fun!  And as if that was not enough, the members of Sr. Jazz joined the Community Band on stage for for an epic supergroup.  Together these fine musicians to the audience on a journey with their rendition of Gadget which Brough the audience immediately to their feet in ovation... a great recognition to the wonderful music that was made here this evening.  

Thursday, 11 April 2019

FLOTA and Family Concert

What a whirl-wind week 
(how's that for alliteration).  We had two amazing nights of music celebration. First on April 8 all of the Arts community at Westwood came to Peter to perform at our anual Arts fundraiser call For the Love of the Arts or FLOTA.  Here Dancers, singers, visual artists and all kinds of performers entertained the packed house with fantastic moment after moment.

The next evening, we saw the invasion of the the little people as Sansome, Robert Browning and the choirs from Lincoln came together to celebrate the wonderful music making that takes place in the Westwood Family of Schools.

All of the bands performed outstandingly and there were even calls for an encore.  Hope the pictures capture some of the fun as both nights ended with the audience clapping along to Sr. Jazz as all of the performers danced to their rendition of Stevie Wonder's - Superstition.

(Apologies for not have any concert band pics, but could not conduct and hold the camera. (;