Tuesday, 24 March 2020

MARCH 24TH - Moving forward



Since you are all used to coming into the band room with music playing, I thought is very apropos to have you listen to David Bowie's "Changes" as you read this post.

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed? ✋  Take your time.  This is a long post, but my hope is that it will answer all your questions in one spot rather than posting lengthy daily updates.

I hope that everyone is still doing well, staying home as much as you can be, and taking good care of yourself and others.  I hope you have been able to find time to practice but COMPLETELY understand if not yet. You’ll get there. One day at a time. 

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last week about different ways that I can be helping everyone continue their practice at home and have weighed the pros and cons of many. 

Here is what I have decided:

1)  To make your life easier (if you have not already done so), add your and your parent's email address to our "FOLLOW BY EMAIL" box in the top right hand side of our web page.  That way you will receive an email every time I update the web page and you will not have to check back daily.

On that note, I am not going to be notifying you when I update the page... kind of silly actually.  You can check on your own, hence the advice above.

2)  I will continue to use INSTAGRAM as a way to reach out to as many students and families as I can with quick hits of info, reminders and intel as I always have.  If you are not following us on instagram, you are welcome to start, as it is the easiest way to keep you current - follow us at @bandatwestwood.

3)  You know I love to laugh, but better yet I love to share my laughter.... and making you giggle has been my goal for over 26 years.  To that end, I am encouraging you to follow our TWITTER account (Twitter: @bandatwestwood) where I will be posting solely to make you giggle with little bits of the musical (and non-musical) world as we all (the world) struggle with being at home for the next little while.  Knowing that I can make you smile (or groan) for even a second or two will make me, and hopefully you, feel a whole lot better.

I KNOW YOU FOLLOW LOADS OF PEOPLE ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER, PLEASE CONSIDER TURNING ON NOTIFICATIONS FOR BAND SO YOU DO NOT MISS ANYTHING IMPORTANT AS YOU SCROLL THOUGH THE LATEST OFFERINGS FROM YOUR MEME ACCOUNT.

4) Posting daily homework online is just not our thing in band as it is pretty obvious what you need to do - get the music ready for our concert.  Our progress on pieces is often slow and one day you have it an the next day you don't.  Had we been in the classroom,  we would be doing homework as we did in first semester to move our pieces forward and looking at questions from that homework, along questions from sectionals and Written Reflections, to guide our learning as we move towards our performance mid-term and final concerts.  BUT, we are not in the classroom and, as I have said before, we require new types of learning to match new types of teaching.

5) For this week, the only thing I am requiring of you is to submit your Written Reflection # 3 which is due Tomorrow: March 25th.  Email to: greg.edwards@sjasd.ca - if you are unsure IN ANY WAY how that is supposed to look or what is involved click here WRITTEN REFLECTION INFORMATION

6)   If you have not done so already (or if you just want a refresher on my thoughts) please go to Instagram and watch the 5 little videos I posted.  I'm not going to win an academy, but at least it is my words in my own voice.

7)  I feel like a broken record, but for all of this to work you need and instrument.  The school is open today from 9:00AM -2:00PM and then you will not be allowed back for the next little while.  Please make sure you have your instrument and your music. 

8) I am already hearing of students using online methods to hold sectionals.  I am very excited to hear that and am very curious as to how it worked out. Please let me know your successes and failures and I will share with the whole program so we can all learn together.

9) TO make this work, you are going to need to be creative. Think outside "the box."  Do what you must to make music.  Don't have Timpani... use Tupperware.



10) If you are comfortable with it, share a video of your practice session or sectional disaster.  If you like I can share it on our account and we can all nod our heads in understanding.  Comments off.

11) Don't forget that you can always listen to the recording of your music on the band website:  Westwood iTunes

12)  As well, there is loads of online help available in our Useful Links section and I will be adding more.

MOVING FORWARD:

How to get a hold of me:

I will be available to you, as I always have, whenever you need me.  I quote the brilliancy of Dumbledore:  "Help will always be given at Hogwarts, to those who ask for it."

What is that going to look like in these strange and unprecedented days?

1)  I will be available from 8:30 - 3:30 daily via email.  Be patent, I may not get back to you immediately, but I will do my best.

2)  Some of you have the pleasure of having my personal texting info.  DO NOT ABUSE THIS METHOD OF COMMUNICATION.  IT IS NOT A NUMBER FOR YOUR PARENTS.  IF THEY TEXT ME THEY WILL BE BLOCKED.  IF THEY NEED TO GET A HOLD OF ME THEY CAN EMAIL.

3)  If you need some one-on-one help that cannot be solved through an email, let me know what time works best for you and we can arrange a time to: SKYPE, FACETIME, WHATSAPP (i.e. JJ and NV).

I WILL NOT BE HOLDING SKYPE/ FACETIME/ WHATSAPP CONVERATIONS OR MEETINGS WITH PARENTS - as I mentioned before, they can contact me via email.

SKYPE:  greg.edwards@sjasd.ca
FACETIME:  westwoodband@mac.com


Just for Fun:

I imagine you are really overwhelmed by this lengthy tome and you may need to destress - I highly recommend that you let you inner DJ loose and try this out for size.  

I recommend starting with V1.0



Last Thought:

As you move forward with your practice be creative.  If any of the above does not meet your needs, lets talk about it.  We all need to be agents of change and I am doing my darnedest to adapt to these new and unprecedented circumstances.  If you have an idea or thought, please let me know.  The band program has been shaped into its awesome form by student voice... why would we change that now?

Be safe.

Take care of each other.

All of you are missed.

and...... Wash Your Hands.


Monday, 23 March 2020

LAST CHANCE



Your absolute last chance to pick up your music and your instrument is tomorrow:  Tuesday March 24th.  The school will be open from 8:00AM -2:00PM for pick up.  You will not be allowed into the school with out assistance of an administrator. If you do go by, please be patient, as there may be a wait as Social Distancing will be in observance.  Please remember that after the 24th you will not be allowed into the school until further notice.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

What you can expect shortly



We are all doing our best to get you the info you need.

By Tuesday March 24th, I will have more details and information for you about the on-line plan for band.

ALL OF THIS WILL BE MOOT, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN INSTRUMENT.  NO EXCUSES, FIND A WAY AND GET IT HOME ALONG WITH ALL OF YOUR NEW MUSIC.

In the meantime:

Parents and Students, if you have not done so, please go to instagram and watch the 5 little videos I posted on March 17th. These videos will help guide you until more specific information is available. (As always, if you do not have access to instagram, the videos are embedded in our website  - www.bandatwestwood.com )

Monday, 16 March 2020

Lesson Continuity in Band

Hello;

These are unprecedented times and we are all agents of change in the education system and band is no different. We are working hard at Westwood to maintain lesson continuity and provide opportunities for students to continue their learning regardless of the challenges and unique situations that lie head. 

Right now the best thing you can do is to make sure you have access to your instrument with you at home.  If you have not done so already, you need to stop by the school and pick up (or make arrangements to pick-up) your instrument along with your music for jazz and/or concert band. Large instruments need to be placed in their cases or travel bags and percussionists may be able to take some large instruments home, as well.  See Mr. Edwards or Mr. Walden for further assistance.

Shortly, I will be posting on the band website (www.bandatwestwood.com) a series of lessons that will be able to be completed at home in preparation for your performance midterm, which will happen upon your return to in-class instruction. In the days ahead we will be exploring the possibility of having students Skype or FaceTime any performance questions or problems you may be having so I can do one on one live lesson with you. This technology is tried and true and private instructors have been using it for years around the world as a way of connecting with their students. 

In addition please remember that written reflection number three is due on the 25th.  As a slight change for some of you (in alignment with social distancing protocols) this assignment cannot be handed in and MUST be emailed to: greg.edwards@sjasd.ca






Any assistance needed for completing this assignment has already been posted in the drop-down menu above entitled: written reflection information. 

Again, we really appreciate everyone’s patience as we do our very best to adjust to these fluid and unprecedented circumstances. 

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Mr. Edwards. 

Friday, 13 March 2020

Important Information: Brandon Jazz Festival

As many of your are already aware, the Brandon Jazz Festival has been cancelled as a precautionary measure to assist with the control of any possible spread of the NOVEL COVID-19 virus.  

I have included the information we have received from the director of the festival and from our tour operator - Fehr Way Tours below.

Under no circumstances are you as a student or parent to contact either of these organizations, as they are swamped dealing with the massive changes that come with cancelling these events.  They will be dealing exclusively through our school and we will transparently share any information we have with you as soon as it is available.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we all deal with this unexpected change,

Mr. Edwards

P.S. - the best thing you can do at this time to help is to keep washing your hands.



From the Director of the Brandon Jazz Festival:

MARCH - SPECIAL 2020 Newsletter
Brandon Jazz Festival 2020   March 19 - 21  CANCELLED


Dear Directors:

After much thought and consideration of the quickly changing health situation in Manitoba, Canada and North America and with the health and well being of students and teachers our main consideration, we have cancelled the 2020 Brandon Jazz Festival.  

Reported on the news this morning was the first confirmed case of Corona Virus in Manitoba.  By this time next week there could be hundreds of cases and we cannot take the risk of bringing all of your students together in tight quarters in concerts and having them all sharing equipment and microphones.

Please DO NOT call the WMCA about concert ticket refunds at this time.  I am meeting with them this afternoon to come up with a plan for refunds for concert tickets and registrations.  It will take time and I will update you as soon as we have more information.  

Please stay healthy!

Brent Campbell, Director
Brandon Jazz Festival.


From our tour company - Fehr Way tours:

Good Evening Brandon Jazz Family,

As you are aware by now - the 2020 Brandon Jazz Festival is officially cancelled.

We have contacted all of our suppliers and have informed them of the situation.  In fact, all of them have been gracious in providing a full refund.

For those who have purchased Festival Concert Tickets - they are still assessing the situation and will let us know the outcome.

Fehr Way Tours will be forwarding your Security Deposit (1st payment) over to a credit for next year.

We are grateful for your support and patience, as we begin the process of issuing refunds to everyone.

Stay well and we look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Dave Robinson
Fehr Way Tours


Wednesday, 4 March 2020

NEW Brandon Jazz Info

New Brandon Jazz info has been posted in the link above.  Just click the Brandon Jazz 2020 drop-down menu above to access.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Optimist Wrap Up

What a  wonderful year at festival for Westwood Collegiate Congratulations to all of our Jazz Bands and Concert Bands for their outstanding performances at the festival.

At the Concert band portion of the festival, all three of our bands played extremely well and when the dust had settled,  Symphonic band walked away with a perfect mark.  And at the Jazz festival this past weekend competing against groups from all across our province we also fared extremely well.  Special congratulations goes out to the members of LTJO and Sr. Jazz who brought home trophies for having the top marks in their respective categories. 

A special thanks goes out to Ms. James for being the best chaperone ever and making sure that we were all looked after and that the instruments were safe.

In a nutshell, these two awards along with Symphonic Band’s perfect mark two weeks ago solidifies Westwood as one of the top music programs in our province.  Way to go bands!

Here's some photos, but please read the copyright release below before sharing and if you would like an actual copy, please contact JJ at the info below.







COPYRIGHT RELEASE
The image(s) contained in this folder are copyrighted images of JJ Ali Photography.

JJ Ali Photography gives the school and members of it’s band program permission to use, reproduce, distribute and display the images for any lawful, personal, noncommercial use.

Simply put, you may print the images for yourself, or in your school newsletter and post to the schools online pages. But you may not sell the images in any form. Commercial (for profit) enterprises must contact JJ Ali Photography for permission. This would include for example a for profit newspaper.

JJ Ali Photography
541 Harstone Road
Winnipeg, MB R3R 1C8
204-889-7777
jjaliphotography.com
jj@jjaliphotography.com

Instrument Rental and Percussion Fees

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