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Common Times" Weekly Newsletter 1/17-1/21

Upcoming Events

  • January 31st - Required Parent Meeting for all current 8th grade band students. 6:30pm at Arend Arts Center

  • February 8th - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • February 15th - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • February 17th - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • February 22nd - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • February 28th - BPS Percussion Ensemble Concert

  • March 1st - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • March 4th - 8th Grade Band Pre-Assessment Concert

  • March 8th - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:30pm

  • March 9th - 8th Grade Band Full Rehearsal 3:45-5:00pm

  • March 10th, 11th, or 12 - Concert Assessment (we will have an exact date mid-February)

Greetings Wildcat Band Family,

Hopefully everyone is getting the opportunity to enjoy the snow and the stillness that it can bring. With the first full week back last week I noticed many students overly tired and worn out as the week went on. If you can help to encourage them to get a good night's sleep, especially later in the week, it will help them to more easily focus, have more energy to participate and most importantly just feel better.

The main focus in classes this past were were:

  • 7th Grade Brass and Woodwind Classes - continuing to count and play 16th note patterns, writing music notation, new scale, increasing our range, and a focus on how to tune our instruments.

  • 7th Grade Percussion - Percussion Ensemble through ms. 49 and Green Scales

  • 8th Grade Band - Articulation, tuning, flexibility and technical exercises in our new Essential Elements book #3.

8th Grade Band will continue sectionals this week following the restructured schedule available below. Flutes, Oboes and Clarinets will have a flipped/recorded sectional posted Monday. Students need to plan to work through the items in the video BEFORE Wednesday. Alto Saxophones, Trumpets and French Horns will have a flipped/recorded sectional posted Monday. Students need to plan to work through the items in the video BEFORE Wednesday. Percussion will meet Wednesday (until 4:45) Bari Sax, Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba will meet Thursday (until 4:30)

Please remember that if your student is quarantined but not ill they are expected to attend out google meet during their regular class time. Here is the link: Students should plan to join it with their instrument so that they can play along with the class during class times.

On January 31st, there is a mandatory 8th grade band parent and student meeting at the Arend Arts Center beginning at 6:30pm. If at all possible at least 1 parent or guardian and the student should be present. If the student is unable to attend do to another responsibility, it is important for a parent or guardian to be in attendance.

Stay healthy, stay well and have an awesome week!

-Mr. Jones


Homework Assignments this Week

Click the arrow next to a class to expand the homework for the week. Not everything is required to record or turn in for a grade. This is simply a list of items students should be working on during their practice sessions throughout the week to continue growing on their instrument and to be prepared for class.


For the practice record this quarter you must practice no less than 4 days a week for 20 minutes each. Please note that you will NOT get full credit if you cram the time in to only 2 or 3 days. You must document practice time 4 different days. This is because studies/research indicates that practice spread out over several days is MUCH more effective than cramming it into less days.

7th Grade High Winds (1st Period)

An assignment called "W21 Concept Check" will be posted later this week for you to record 2 of these below before class on Monday. Practice regularly so you'll be ready to go! :)

The focus of each practice item below is written next to it. For this to be fully effective, this is NOT a play it, check it off and move on. Your goal to move to the next item is to play with no more than 5 mistakes on day 1, no more than 4 mistakes on day 2, no more than 3 mistakes on day 3, no more than 2 mistakes on day 2 and no more than 1 mistake on day 4.

Mistakes include: Wrong rhythm, wrong note, wrong articulation, wrong dynamics, poor tone quality (closed, pinched, weak, unsteady), and not playing within the correct tempo range.

Practice the Following items WITH A METRONOME:

Breathing Exercises: (60bpm)

  • 8 beats in, hold 8, out in 8 (repeat 2 times)

  • 4 beats in, hold 4, out in 4 (repeat 4 times)

  • 2 beats in, hold 2, out in 2 (repeat 4 times)

  • 1 beat in, hold 1, out in 1 (repeat 4 times)

  • 1 beat in, 1 out (repeat 7 times)

  • Large, SLOW breath in for 4 beats and out in 4 (3 times)

  • TIPS OF AWESOMENESS - Breathe using the "OH" syllable. COMPLETELY fill up your lungs on the inhale and COMPLETELY empty your lungs on the exhale. Use your blade check point. (example:

Leveled Warm-Ups

  • Remington 2 Down (80bpm) use a tuner to work to stay right in tune. If you are sharp, open up; if you are flat firm up and blow faster air. Flutes, smaller aperture if you are playing flat and blow faster air; larger aperture and stronger air if you are sharp.)

  • Remington 2 Up (80bpm) use a tuner to work to stay right in tune. If you are sharp, open up; if you are flat firm up and blow faster air. Flutes, smaller aperture if you are playing flat and blow faster air; larger aperture and stronger air if you are sharp.)

  • Articulation #2 - focus is to able to count and play all 4 lines as we have worked on in class last week (no slower than 90bpm)

EE2 (Essential Elements Book #2)

  • #19 - focus is on dynamics and articulation (no slower than 75bpm no faster than 115bpm)

  • #21 - focus is on super smooth transition in the slurs. (no faster than 80bpm)

  • #22 - focus in clear and consistent articulation. (no slower than 80bpm)

  • #24 - focus in on articulation between staccato and tenuto (play between 110bpm and 130bpm)

  • #27 - focus is legato articulation (play between 80bpm and 100bpm)


  • Concert F Major Scale 2nd Octave (Flutes= F Major; Saxophones = D Major; Trumpets = G Major; Horns = C Major)

  • French Horns, since this scale is 1 octave for you, you will focus on playing the first octave at 120bpm.

Note Values

  • Practice some note values/rhythm using this Blooket:

We ALL have the time to practice for 20 minutes, 4 days a week. You MUST schedule your time accordingly to find the time to do your part to make our ensemble the BEST it can be. Priority time is an option to get your time in during the school day. With no sectionals during priority this semester, it is an EXCELLENT time to get your time in.


Got it already and want to challenge yourself? Here are some additional items out of our EE2 book for you to push your self.

  • Pg. 34 #160-162 (major focus on articulation and clear articulation) Metronome should be set no faster than 80bpm to begin with and work it up as fast as you can but with a focus on clear articulation and awesome tone. Increase tempo by only 4bpm each time you go quicker.

  • Pg. 40 #197 - count rhythms, go SLOW, use youtube to lookup a recording of the solo. Practice no more than 2-4 measures at a time.

  • Go to or Create a free account. Find music you may wish to play for fun. Alternatively, you can use musescore or noteflight to listen to a favorite song and try to write out the melody for you to be able to play along OR create your OWN ORIGINAL song. :)

8th Grade Band (2nd Period)

7th Grade Low Brass (3rd Period)

7th Grade Clarinets (6th Period)

Jazz Band (7th Period)

7th Grade Percussion (8th Period)


We will be using a program called "Band" app to communicate important reminders and updates. This is similar to Remind 101 but better suited for groups such as band. This also allows us to share photos and videos that we may not want public on our social media channels. Lastly, it is a one stop location for access to our calendar and other resources.

Grading Reminders (Click to expand)


It is important to review our calendar dates for the spring. The most updated calendar can be found linked here.


PRIVATE LESSONS ARE AWESOME! They are designed to be fun, engaging, supportive and focused on the individual student.

We have an awesome partnership with Arkansas Music Conservatory where your student can take a lesson or two on US to see what private lessons can do for your band student! We have set aside $1000 for lessons this year. We can also help pay for additional lessons and offset the cost of lessons for families who need financial assistance in this area.

Who should take private lessons:

  • Advanced students who need to be pushed and challenged

  • Students who need some 1-on-1 assistance to learn and master concepts covered in class

  • Students who were not in class the last year and a half due to covid.

  • Students who just began playing this year

  • Students who want to get better


To sign up for a free lesson:

  • Contact Mr. Jones so he can track who is taking the exploratory lessons

  • Contact Arkansas Music Conservatory to setup a lesson 479-268-3307 call or 479-430-2226 text


Support the WJHS Band AND make your life easier! It's a win-win for everyone. Fundshine is an online service that allows you to purchase paper and plastic goods that will shipped directly to your home. Spot checking prices come in a little cheaper than from local stores plus a portion of sales comes back to the band twice a year. Even better, you can sign up to have recurring shipments so you get set it up and forget about it. Also, family and friends can use this service anywhere in the US! :)

Check it out by going to,support the band and make sure your pantry is always stocked!


To stay in the know be sure to follow us on your social media platform of choice: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - @wjhswildcatband and/or at

If you have any questions or concerns, please never hesitate to reach out. We are partners in your student's growth and need to work together for them to be as successful as possible.

Have a band-tastic week everyone!

Musically Yours,

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