Wednesday 9 December 2020

Kate and Brooke - Artists of the Month


Band Students of the Month:

Brooke S.and Kate W.

It is with unparalleled enthusiasm that we announce that Kate and Brooke have been named the band students of the month for December.  You may recognize these two outstanding young ladies from their athletic accomplishments: basketball, volleyball, hockey, rowing, badminton and just being all around wonderful athletes….  But, did you know about their dedication to another team… Symphonic Band and our top tier jazz ensemble - the Little Tykes Jazz Orchestra.

These two amazing young ladies have set themselves apart from the other musicians in our school through their willingness to tackle any part that is given to them.  “Good enough” is simply not in their vocabulary and they now have come together to form the backbone of the Symphonic Band percussion section.  Snare drum… no problem.  Play maracas in your left hand and castanets with your right… you betcha! 4 mallet vibes part… bring it on.  There is nothing that can stop these two from having a great time doing what they love!

The best part is the smile that they both seem to share when the parts come together after hours of hard work.  They both brighten up any room they enter. Brooke brings a light to the 7:10AM rehearsals for L.T.J.O. and her auxiliary percussion skills are unparalleled here at Westwood.  Just ask her to demonstrate her authentic Afro-Cuban Tumbao on congas if you want to see her in action.

As for Kate, she is happiest when there is a percussive problem to be solved and you simply know that once she commits to solving it, you it will be spectacular and everyone will benefit from her awesomeness.

These two do not seek the limelight, but if you every want to see them at home, drop by a rehearsal sometime and you will find them both doing what the love best, and that’s sharing their love of music with whomever will listen.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Instrument Rental and Percussion Fees

We have updated our renal fees today.  We held off a bit this year to give families some time to settle into their "new normal." Shortly you will be receiving a message from School Cash Online that you may have a rental fee or a percussion fee owing.  Please click on the link above for a detailed explanation.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. E.

Monday 26 October 2020


With the government's announcement moving schools to "CODE ORANGE," we have had to make some changes to the band program in the absence of wind instruments (basically 95%of our bands).  What follows below is a 2 week plan and will be open to change and modification as new information develops. IF we go past two weeks, we have a longer term solution in place.  However, for the time being, with the goal will be ultimately the same - to get students playing and making music together and to perform a concert sometime around semester changeover or at such a time that we are back to "code yellow" at Westwood.I

In the case of CODE RED, all bands will be using TEAMS as an assist to synchronous and asynchronous remote learning.  Classes will be meeting on TEAMS during their scheduled times as per the existing Westwood Timetable.  Moving forward, all bands will be asked to record themselves performing specific sections along with the recording of their music.  Specific assignments will appear here on the website when and if it is necessary. Music can be located in the band listening site - Westwood iTunes

You can count on me giving help every day after school, as always.  If you are unsure about any of the information below, please feel free to send me an email or stop by the band room and I'd be glad to help.

Specific details for each ensemble can be found in their classroom drop down menu

Monday 5 October 2020

Time for Band Auditions

All auditions will be recorded on your device (or something similar) and must be submitted to Mr. Edwards via email ( no later than the 19th of October.  Recordings must be in the form of a video that clearly shows you playing your instrument.  All recording should begin with you stating:

1.    Your Name.

2.    Your grade.

3.    Your class.

4.    The number/ activity/ piece you are performing.

To find out more about the audition process and to see the marking rubric click - HERE

Concert Band Audition Requirements

All Concert Band bands:

Chromatic scale 2 octaves (10 Concert Band and Symphonic from memory,  Gr.9 may use a fingering chart)

Chromatic scales must follow the say/ play format.  Detailed instructions can be found -  HERE

A reminder the the chromatic scale is pass/fail. 

In addition choose one of the following: 

(appropriate setting for your metronome is indicated beside each number)

Don't have a metronome?  Click HERE or download a free App for your device.

Symphonic Band:

# 27 (100) , #43 (65)  (take 2nd ending) or #47 (90)

Grade 10 Concert Band:

#7 (80), #23 (70) or #31 (70)

Grade 9 Concert Band:

#3 (60), #11(100) or #15 (55)

Jazz Band Performance/ Audition Requirements

L.T.J.O. and B.I.G. Band:

Record yourself playing your part complete with counting rests (Africa/ On Broadway) along with the recording of our version of the tune. Video must clearly show you playing your instrument and you must be heard easily above the recording.  

PLEASE NOTE: The following B.I.G. Band members must book a live audition with me before the 19th.

Juliana, Julia and Jeremy

Friday 4 September 2020

Band: Your Immediate Questions Answerd

Welcome back! 
Band may look different, but we are here and we are still making wonderfully fun music!

Stay tuned for more information but for now......

Your Top 10 Questions Answered:

1.  Safe?
  • I am up to date on all of the recent research and recommendations for operating a band program and making music during these unprecedented times and we have implemented as many as we possibly can.
  • The protocols we are putting in place are in no way unique to Westwood. These protocols are being tried and tested by our musical colleagues throughout the world.
  • I am continuously getting updates and am remaining flexible to adapt to any changes in these protocols.
  • I have the support of an amazing team of administrators that have not hesitated with the implementation of any of our new protocols.
  • I am a member of the Manitoba Music Educators Association and the Manitoba Band Association and these two groups have been in contact with our Health Minister, Minister of Education and Chief Provincial Health Officer and have helped shaped the provincial back to school document for music making entitled: Covid-19 Guidelines for Vocalists and Instrumentalists.
2.  Masks?
  • LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN FOR EVERYONE - MANDATORY in the band room - for your safety and the safety of others.  
  • For us in addition to contact transmission, it's all about aerosol mitigation. The good news is that with proper masking, band is no more risky than talking (some studies are even suggesting even less).
  • Therefore, No student will be permitted to enter without one.
  • We will be issuing disposable masks which students will cut a horizontal "slit" in them for the placement of the instrument mouthpiece.  
  • Once we have established proper placement for the "slit," we will be asking that each student get a hold of a cloth washable reusable mask which they use specifically for band.
3.  I've heard talk of instrument masking?
  • Absolutely! Anything we can use as a mitigating factor to the dispersal of aerosol from an instrument will be used.
  • At a great expense to the school, each student will be receiving a  custom made instrument mask of their own free of charge.  These are a one-of-a kind reusable washable aerosol mitigation filter.
  • Once in place, students will be asked to bring them home and wash them.
4.  Will my child be sharing an instrument?
  • Not at all.  There is absolutely NO sharing of instruments.
  • Each student will have their own instrument and mouthpiece.
  • further to that, there is no sharing of: pencils, valve oil, cork grease, music or folders.
  • We will be renting instruments, as always, and these have gone through an extensive sterilization over the summer along with a deep cleaning... including the cases. 
5.  Can they leave their instrument in the band room?
  • As part of the new protocols, students with smaller instruments (Flute, Piccolo and Clarinet) cannot leave them in the band room.  They will have to bring them to class each day and take them with them at the end of each class.
  • Medium instruments will follow the same protocol with the one exception that these students will be issued an instrument locker outside of the band room where they will store their instrument when not in use. These would be: Trumpet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Clarinet, Alto sax and some Tenor Saxes.
  • Large instruments will be stored in the band room under strict protocols. These would be: Trombones, French Horns, Bari Saxes, Baritones, Euphonium, Tubas and String Basses.
 6.  What about percussionists?
  • No sharing of mallets or auxiliary instruments.
  • Mallets and mallet instruments/ drums/ etc. will be wiped down and disinfected following a strict protocol at the end of each class.
7.  A to K and L to Z ...  my child does not even get band, as band class happens on the day opposite to the day they are in the school (their"off" day)...... Is that right?
  • That is correct.
  • For the first two weeks of school we will be having the school rotate on days 1,3,5 and 2,4,6 based on the first letter of your last name. 
  • this may mean that for the first bit you may not actually be in band class.
  • During that time, I will be in touch with each and every one of you to make sure you have your Red Book and an instrument if you need it and to make sure you are familiar with any of the in-class discussions you may have missed.
  • This is only a measure to help us better understand how students are going to be moving through out the building and to make sure we do so in as safe a manner as possible.
  • The band room can comfortably accommodate 45 students socially distanced (took me two days to figure that out and to mark the floors -( see Instagram for pictures).
  • We can accommodate all of our band and jazz band classes in the band room socially distanced with the exception of Symphonic Band.
  • Symphonic Band class time will be divided into woodwinds in the choir room with Ms. Muncer while the brass and percussion meet with Mr. Edwards in the band room.
8.  What about Jazz Band?
  • Morning Jazz Bands (Sr. and L.T.J.O.) will not begin until the week of the 28th.  Enjoy your sleep in.
  • B.I.G. Band will meet during period 4 (lunch) for the first class or so and then pause until the 28th.
  • If you look in your Power School app, you will see which jazz band your are a part of.  Senior Jazz - 7:20AM (1,3,5)  L.T.J.O. - 7:20AM (2,4,6) and B.I.G. Band 12:03 - (1,3,5)
9.  Then what does my child need to bring to class for the first couple of weeks?
  • A Mask, a smile and a willingness to make this work.
  • No instrument will be needed, but we will be signing out instruments for those students who need one.
  • Our time will be taken up mostly with teaching the new protocols to all levels and going over the many changes to the overlying structure of the class.  
10.  Concerts, performances... a thing of the past?
  • Heck no!
  • If anything we have been the leaders when it comes to on-line music making.  Never fear, I have not one but may plans on ways we can publicly display and demonstrate our student's awesomeness.

Wednesday 17 June 2020


How to watch our Happenin' Online Neverbeentriedbefore Koncert

Around 4:00PM on Thursday June 18th the links below will go live:

H.O.N.K. on YouTube

H.O.N.K download from Dropbox

As mentioned in the concert, my gift to you in celebration of all of our wonderful music makers.....

All of the videos and pictures from our Winter Concert + Optimist Photos

Thursday 28 May 2020


Monday June 1st - I am in the building every school day from 8:30 - 3:30 starting.


Tuesday June 2nd - Grade 12’s only.  From 10:00 - 11:30 and 1:00 - 3:30
- Folder Drop Off - ERASED
- Pick up your band Portfolio, Mug, 4-Year of Jazz Medallion.
- This is not a gathering but a 1 on 1 meeting of students with their teacher.
- I cannot tell you what to wear.....
- I will be wearing my band uniform and if you wish, you can get a socially-distanced picture.

Monday June 8th - GRADE 12’S ONLY  - Final Written reflection due.  Jazz people you are doing only one written reflection summarizing you Jazz and Concert Band experience.

Friday June 12 - All other grades (9,10,11) Final written Reflection due along with your Part 2 Group Assignment.

Monday June 15th - All folders (music erased) and school owned instruments MUST be returned to the band room.  The band room will be open from 9:00-12:00 and 1:00 - 3:30 for drop off.

Thursday June 18th - H.O.N.K. - link will be on the band website that day at some point.

Monday June 22nd - Award pick up 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 3:30.

- This is not a gathering but a 1 on 1 meeting of students with their teacher.
- I cannot tell you what to wear.....
- I will be wearing my band uniform and if you wish, you can get a socially-distanced picture.

Thursday 14 May 2020

Music as a Language

Music is a language and it is always wonderful to hear that talked about so passionately and in my book there is no one better than Victor Wooten - the world renown bassist -  to get us all thinking of the value of music and music education.  His TED talk is surely one of my favs.

Friday 8 May 2020

6 Minutes that confirms what we all know

 I recently had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jack Stamp - world renowned composer and educator.  His thoughts echoed my own and, rather than listen to me, I thought I would let him speak.... I imagine you will all be nodding your heads in agreement.

Monday 13 April 2020

APRIL 13th

All courses have been updated with assignments for the remainder of the year.  See the drop down menus above (on the website homepage).  Please take your time and read through/ watch the posted items and follow the instructions.  If anything is unclear or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get back to me -

Don't forget to mark you calendars on June 18th for our first ever Westwood H.O.N.K.

Monday 6 April 2020

APRIL 6th - Band at Home

Students and parents - welcome back from the break.

Grab a beverage and get comfy as there is a lot here to digest.

I sincerely hope you had some time to sit back and enjoy yourself. For me it was a time of reflection.  In order for me to move forward with our classes, I spent a lot of time ruminating on the essence of our band program.  I strongly believe that the essence of what we do has a lot to do with making music together (team work), listening,  interacting, learning about its creation and the people who created it.  Whether we realize it or not, we are a strong community (team) based program, where each individual literally plays their part and as a result of some crazy mad teamwork we are better and stronger as a group.  (If you're really interested in this idea, check out the philosophical concept of holism)

A Mining Metaphor:

Throughout this week I will be implementing what may seem like some major changes to our program. 

If we follow the essence of band (in bold above) as a miner would follow an ore body, we would all agree that data from the dig dictates the direction of the shaft.  Thus, any changes we make to band class must be based on the data we have.  In that spirit, we are going to mine that idea to see where it takes us... and trust me it takes a team to build a mine and maintain its operation.  Following this metaphor, I am imaging our classroom as an active mine and the students as team as an "old time" miners armed with a pick-axe, shovel and a wee bit of ingenuity.  We are going to do our best with all the available resources at our disposal to figure out where to dig in a way that will give us the best yield.  And, just like all the miner's who have come before us, we may inevitably after a lot of work, abandon that shaft and try a new direction in search of a better ore body that will hopefully lead us to the motherlode.


1.  There was a section here about getting a ZOOM account.  The school division is no longer supporting educators and students using this platform so we will be switching to Skype.  Old article is below for reference only.

Everybody needs to activate a Zoom account.  Why Zoom?  After a load of research over the break and chatting with colleagues across the continent, it would appear that Zoom works consistently across all platforms, devices and desktops - and at this moment, seems to be the best platform out there for our needs. This will be our primary method of live communication and there are going to be times when meeting together over the next three months where we will all want to talk about what we have found and how it will guide our decision making.  No, we will not be making music this way.  I cannot find a single example on the entire planet where this has been successful on any platform... I can; however, find may examples of the disaster of an online band class (Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.).  We are simply going to use it as a way to talk together, check in on each other as a way to quickly and effectively share ideas of the successes and failures as we try to complete our assignments.  This is now a part of our course just like regular class-time and students will want to meet with us at the times suggested as we will be talking in detail about the projects you will be doing to complete the year. 

2.  Written Reflection (Get it?  The picture above is a reflection - hee hee smile) is a thing we do in our class. As you are all aware, it has been in place since you started in grade 9 and the dates for its submission were outlined in September. This is a quality assignment and its importance is not lost on us as it gives you an open line of communication that directly guides our learning.  Consequently, I felt it best to include this assignment as your last official "mark."  In order to facilitate this, I implemented a couple of changes that are educationally sound and driven by my mantra: what's best for students?  Changes:  No late marks will be deducted from this assignment, so if you have not got it in, let's do that regardless of the date (I will be contacting those of you that have not submitted your Written Reflection shortly to help you).  The due date was changed by three days to the 20th of March to align with the provincial mandate.  

3.  I will be adding two new drop down menus to our website to make it a bit easier to follow what classes are doing.  Next week you will find a "Concert Band Online" and a "Jazz Band Online" menu which will have area specific information for each class including assignments and a time-line for submission and due dates.

4.  Concerts?  Simply put - No.  I am heartbroken, as I am sure you all are.  As the days go on and we look at the data from around the world, this is just something that is not going to happen in the time we have left.  YES you will be playing.  No, you will not be playing the music we have been working on.  Major bummer.  Next week, following our mining metaphor,  I will be mapping out an alternate route for us to follow that still meets our needs and may very well give us an opportunity to share our music making in a virtual concert setting.  

5.  As you know, I do not have all the answers - in this unprecedented time, nobody does.   What I like about teaching is that I learn just as much from you as you do from me. With this idea as my guide, I will be setting out a series of assignments that will take us all the way to June.  In that, I have tried a few things, but some of these ideas simply may not work. Like our mining metaphor, it is very possible that we may dig hundreds of feet into the earth and find nothing. Besides just checking in on each other, our Zoom meetings will be a way for us to share some of the solutions we have found as we creatively complete our assignments so that we can all be successful.  WE ARE ALL STRONGER AS A TEAM. 

6.  How much "work" is enough? (I hesitate to call it homework, as isn't it really all just home work at this point?)  Looking at guidelines that have been posted around the world to help manage my expectations and make them as realistic as possible, I will be going with the idea of a MAX of 2 hours a week.  You may find that you are able to accomplish these assignments in less time or you may want to put in more.  To be specific, any time you will spend doing something for band would be a part of this 2 hours.  Downloading and researching an app., reading this small novella, getting staff paper writing out a part, figuring out away to solve a problem... whatever you are doing to forward your band learning it counts.  

7.  In accordance with the provincial mandate, assignments going forward from the 20th of March  will simply be pass/fail.  They will appear in the grade book as a check mark if the assignment is completed or missing if it is not.  If you do not complete the assignments, in accordance with the provincial mandate, course credit may be withheld. 

8.  Things that are to be submitted to me for a "check mark" in the grade book will be highlighted in blue from now on so you can easily pick out the assignment from all of this writing.


1.  Establish a ZOOM account.  I will be posting links (codes for our specific group chats) in the Drop down BAND/ JAZZ menus (that's how you join) later in the week and we will be meeting on ZOOM  in classes by Friday.  

   A.   When you have established and opened your ZOOM account, please email me at with the word: DONE!

Online "Etiquette" and Privacy are key.  Some things to think about before we meet.  Think of them as the must-do’s of online meeting etiquette:
  • Think about what you are wearing.  If it is inappropriate at school is inappropriate for our chat.
  • Don’t stare at your phone while other people are presenting - give each person speaking the same attention you would give them if they were right in front of you.
  • Don’t interrupt other people when they’re speaking (or attempt to speak over them)
  • Test all technology (including camera/video, Wi-Fi, and screen sharing) before the meeting
  • I don't want to see your bedroom. Think of your background before you activate your camera
  • Don’t work on other tasks (like checking email) during the virtual meeting
  • Turn off all notifications and make sure your cell phone is on silent
  • Make sure you you have told your family that you have a meeting and that you are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.
  • Use headphones... preferably ones with a microphone.
  • For the first part of the meeting or class,  it will be best if you mute your microphone and just listen.  Then as the meeting goes on, and we all share, you will be invited to turn on your microphone.
  • will try my best to introduce everyone during the meeting, and if at all possible give everyone a chance to contribute - might be hard in symphonic band.
When in doubt, just practice common courtesy. People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting—just like they do everywhere else.
2.    I am slightly concerned about something called ZOOM Bombing where people can get our meeting access codes that are not involved in our classes and join our meeting and raise havoc. I will announce that I have posted the codes in the drop down menus by posting a picture of an instrument of some kind on instagram with a title of Mr. Edwards says (insert name of instrument).  That is our own special code so you know that I have put something in the drop down menu on the web site.  Keep your eyes out for the meeting times and PLEASE get that info into your section group chats as soon as you see it is posted. And obviously please do not share the codes with people not in our classes.

3.  I wanted to do a great team building assignment for this week to get you all used to collaborating online within your sections. My Idea was that you were all going to get Minecraft accounts and have to meet together in that virtual sandbox and complete a variety of tasks together... like Symphonic Band trombones have to build a massive T-Rex. One small problem... I thought Minecraft was free.  Nope. Mojang ain't like that. 

So I have come up with another plan.  A FREE plan. I would like you to connect with the members of your concert band section and play some UNO online.  Yes play UNO.  UNO mobile Fun Room supports up to 10 players at once, so it should accommodate even the most populated sections.  I am going to also recommend that you group chat on WhatsApp? while you play.  Makes for more fun and you can easily comment on the action.

NOTE:  If you do not have a device, you will have to kindly borrow your parents device for this one.

Never played?  Don't matter, it will walk you through it all.... super simple.

There is both the Android and an iOS version for devices available for free on Google Play and the App Store.  Links below if you need help.... and its FREE.


A.  Get familiar with ZOOM and be prepared to meet sometime Thursday or Friday.

B.  Set up a time in your group chat for a game within your concert band section using the UNO mobile app on Wednesday.  Play for about 30 min or 3 games so you have a good idea of what's going on. THEN.... challenge another section to a match on Friday.  Winner's get bragging rights!

C.  When you have completed the above (played 30 min or 3 games with your section and challenged another section), please have the section leader or a designated member from your section email me at with your section's answers to the following:

   a)  Which members from your section participated?(names please)
   b)  Which section did you challenge?
   c)  What did your section find was the most fun completing this this assignment?
   d)  What did your section think were the limitations and or frustrations?
   e)  Was any member of your section unable to participate? (name them) Why?
   f)   Is there anything I could have done to make this assignment better?
   g)  Do you have an suggestions for other multi-player games that would work if we tried this again?

Before you get all excited in your group chat, there's a FEW  STEPS you will have to do on your own before you can use the multi-player mode.  Thank goodness you will only have to do this the first time you use the App.

1.  Download the App if you do not already have it.

2.  When you open the app it will ask your age.... I think you can handle this one on your own.

3.  It will ask you to sign in - I suggest sign in as  GUEST

4.  Agree to terms

5.  Play the sample game to help you quickly learn the rules of game play.

6.  After the game is done follow the prompts.

7.  Choose and Avatar and a user name.  TO AVOID CONFUSION PLEASE USE YOUR REAL FIRST NAME!!!!!! 

8.  Follow the prompts to start your first game.... you must play this game to unlock the multi-player mode.

9.  After the Game follow the prompts to return to your Avatar.

10.  Click on the Avatar and you will be taken to a screen with and "ADD NOW" button for friends.

11.  Click ADD NOW.

12.  Along the top click the FIND banner.

13.  Click on the INVITE FRIENDS button.

14.  Now it will open with a series of options - Messages/ WhatAPP?  etc.  Send link to your section member or  person whom you are challenging.

15.  New Friends appear under the friends tab

16.  Your friends will receive a clickable link.

16.  In the top right click the yellow back arrow.

17.  The "I'm New Here" screen appears, click Confirm.

18.  Now the "FUN ROOM" will unlock

19.  This is where you can now play in the multi-player mode up to 10 people.

20.  Click "Create Room"

21.  Select "Classic" and click "Create"

22.  Now add friends and you are set to go.

23.  Don't forget that to chat while you play and throw some shade.  To do so you will need to have a group conversation going on WhatsApp? - unless of course you all have the same type of device then... well you know.

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.


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: - 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.


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.


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).



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


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.


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  - )

Monday 16 March 2020

Lesson Continuity in Band


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 ( 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:

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

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