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The New Band Plan for the next few weeks

posted Apr 12, 2020, 12:16 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 12, 2020, 12:17 PM ]
April 11, 2020

Dear Athens Drive band families,

         Hello everyone!  I hope and pray that all of you are doing “as well as you can” in these incredibly odd times.  The purpose of this letter is to let you know how I am going to “teach” the band classes for the next several weeks.  Please know that I have given this quite a bit of thought and wanted to devise a system that was easy to understand, that made “common sense,” that added no unnecessary stress, and that was rewarding/enjoyable.  WCPSS has been flexible in allowing us to create what would work best in our classes.  My approach may be different from your other classes, but isn’t that the nature of band?

         Let me begin by stating that this “social distancing” platform is the ANTITHESIS OF WHAT WE DO IN OUR MUSIC REHEARSALS!  In our rehearsals we are constantly interacting with each other (mainly through our sounds) and working together to build something magnificent.  It requires focus, physical stamina, mental energy, persistence, and an open heart.  It requires real-time instruction/conducting and evaluation.  We cannot come close to achieving this while distanced from each other, and the following system is not meant to replace our daily music-making.  Rather, it is more of a supplemental approach to learning more about the art of music.

1) Every weekday, beginning Monday, April 13th, I will have a VIDEO LESSON posted to our website (www.athensdriveband.com) that will be for ALL BAND CLASSES.  I will also include a written summary for your convenience.  You do not need to follow the WCPSS schedule as to when to watch each day’s video, provided that you watch it in a timely fashion.  I am very grateful to our “webmaster” parents who are going to help me post this information on our website. 

2) Every weekday, beginning Monday, April 13th, YOU MAY CONTACT ME FROM 9AM-1PM via email (jmarkoch@wcpss.net) or text (919-608-7092) if you would like to share anything with me or have any questions.  We can also arrange a facetime conversation.  During these hours, I will try to get back to you as quickly as possible (please be patient as I may be communicating with others).


For every 30 min. of “music activity” that you are engaged in, you get 1 point.  For example, if you log 7.5 hours of music activity during the week—the same length as the total of our regular weekly class--you get 15 points!  Because I’ve already set the “limits” on the scale as 0-15 per week, I cannot reward you more than 15 points per week; however, you can “bank” some time to use during another week when you need it! 

4) What types of “music activities” count toward your weekly grade?

                  a) Practicing your instrument! 

                  b) Taking a video lesson from an instructor

                  c) Watching Doc’s daily video (1 point for each video; 5 total points)

d) Doing the optional assignment given in each video (1 point for every 30 minutes devoted to doing the assignment)

e) Doing research/learning about another facet of music: history, theory, watching concerts, masterclasses, etc.

5) I realize that some of you do not have an instrument at home or cannot practice due to “sound restrictions” in your living space.  I will give you enough ideas to explore to satisfy the 15-point requirement even if you cannot physically play an instrument.

Cool?  Well, it’s going to have to be for a while…  Please spread this message to everyone and I look forward to talking with you (via video message) on MondayJ.