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.