Hello Bridle Ridge Band Parents!
I wanted to let you know how excited I am for tomorrow. This is my 11th year teaching, and today was by far one of the best first days of school. Your kiddos listened and followed directions so well! Considering all of the first day "chaos" of helping students find the right class, learning our procedures, and putting our instruments together your kids made today an awesome day!
Today the trumpets and horns learned the proper way to place the mouthpiece on their lips to get the best sound. We also worked on the proper way to hold the instrument like a professional. We will continue this work tomorrow and start building some strength in our embouchures (the facial muscles used to play) while making some great sounds.
Today in the flute, clarinet, and saxophone class, students learned how to put their instruments together and place the reed on the instrument. This may sound like a small task, but it is so important to get right to protect the instruments from damage and allow students to create a beautiful tone. Tomorrow we will focus on how to hold the instrument and begin playing some notes.
Thursday night, I need you to have your child teach you to put their instrument together and make a sound. It is completely fine for you to learn the instrument from your child. What a fun way to be involved in your child's learning!! If you are worried about germs, just wash off the mouthpiece with warm soapy water. This is a great way to get your child started on a practice routine (more on that in a later email), PLUS this helps your child overcome the fear of playing their instrument in front of others. One of the most common reasons students don't practice enough is because they are embarrassed for family members to hear them. It's really important for your child to overcome this hurdle as soon as possible.
Seriously...today was a great day! Thank you for supporting your child's music education. If you haven't gone through the Parent Guide yet, make sure you visit our class page at www.rpbands.com/jarrett.
Welcome to the Ray-Pec Band program! You and your child are beginning an exciting journey of music and learning to play an instrument. Did you notice I said you and your child. As a parent or guardian, you will play an important role in your child's music education. Don't worry, this isn't as scary as it may sound. I will help guide you through the process so you know exactly how to help your child succeed.
About Mr. Jarrett
My name is Dillon Jarrett and I am one of the band directors at Bridle Ridge. I teach the high brass (trumpet and horn) and the woodwinds (flute, clarinet, and saxophone) students. Mr. Houston teaches the low brass (trombone, baritone, tuba) and percussion (snare drum, mallets, etc.) instruments. I also teach classes at the High School including Symphonic Band, Guitar, and Music Appreciation.
This is my 11th year teaching band at Ray-Pec. I received my bachelor's degree from University of Central Missouri, my master's degree from VanderCook College of Music, and I am currently working on my doctorate at Boston University. I have a deep respect for music education and it's value in the lives of our students.
I realize telling you about my educational background is a little stuffy, so you should know that I love having fun in class...even while we work hard. I want your child to love music as much as I do and to have a blast throughout the year. For many students, band becomes their favorite class and helps them love coming to school every day.
Along with music, I also love photography. You can see one of my favorite photographs from this summer at the top of this page. I visited some friends in Seattle and we found a nice sunset at a lake near Olympic National Park.
About Ray-Pec Bands
Ray-Pec has an excellent band program that all the band directors are proud to be a part of. We attribute our program's success to the hard work and dedication of our students. The band program spans grades 6 through 12 and includes over 500 students. This makes us one of the largest programs in the entire school district and one of the largest bands in the state.
The goal of beginning band in 6th grade is to develop a strong foundation of musical skills to prepare students for the awesome opportunities available to students in future grades. Along with 7th and 8th grade band, the middle school also has an auditioned Jazz Band. In high school, students can participate in one of our three concert bands, jazz band, and marching band. Middle School and High School band students also compete at music festivals and solo/small ensemble festivals.
Last year, our high school band travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii. It was the trip of a lifetime and will remain a special memory for our students. We all loved the beach, but most students were impacted by our performance to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We performed at the USS Missouri and raised a flag on the USS Arizona Memorial. It was an impressive sight to see how our students connected with an important aspect of American history.
What do we now?
I know that you probably have many questions. How does this band thing work? What should I expect? Does my child need to practice? What if they need help? When are the concerts?
To answer your questions, I have created a Parent Guide. The information will help you get started right away. As parents, I know how important you are in the band process. I want you to have all the information you need to help your child be successful in band.
Please review the information in the Parent Guide carefully. After you are finished, there is a short form to acknowledge you have completed and reviewed the information.
We still need an instrument...what do we do?
If you still need an instrument, you need to call Meyer Music as soon as possible at 816-228-5656. They can talk you through the process and give you details. After answering your questions, they may direct you to their website (meyermusic.com) to begin the rental process.
Don't forget you also need a band book and additional supplies. You can see a list of the supplies in the Parent Guide.
If a student does not have an instrument by Friday, August 19, they will be transferred to choir. This policy is in place to help ensure students are successful in whichever music class they are in. Students in band who do not have an instrument during the vital first days fall behind and struggle to catch up. Band lessons move at a very fast pace and it has proven to be difficult for students to recover from missing multiple days at the beginning of the year.
I look forward to working with you throughout the year and I can't wait to meet all the new band students. We will work hard and laugh and learn. Music is a lot of fun. I want your child to love music as much as I do.
Don't forget to review the Parent Guide and complete the short form at the end. If you have questions afterwards, please let me know. The best way to contact me is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.