Sunday, April 26, 2020, 8:45 PM
The Tennyson Band Program maintains an extensive collection of musical instruments for rental and use by members of the music faculty and students enrolled in our courses and performing ensembles. The health and safety of everyone using school instruments is our priority. The possible transmission of communicable diseases is an ongoing concern. To insure that this possibility is as low as possible, each instrument in the school's collection receives a thorough inspection at the conclusion of the academic year. Thousands of dollars are spent annually to clean, adjust, and return instruments to full playing condition.
Sharing of instruments is routine in music schools, where students practice and perform on borrowed instruments throughout the year. In our discussion with our consultants, certain basic considerations and recommendations for standard operating procedures regarding shared instruments were recommended as follows:
1. All musicians or students should have their own instrument if possible.
2. All musicians or students should have their own mouthpiece if possible.
3. All students and faculty sharing reed instruments MUST have their own individual reeds. Reeds should NEVER be shared.
4. If instruments must be shared in class, alcohol wipes or Sterisol germicide solution (both available from the Tennyson band department) should be available for use between different people.
When renting or using a school -owned musical instrument, each user must understand that regular cleaning of these musical instruments is required in order to practice proper hygiene. The student must initial and date the following statement upon checkout of the institutionally owned wind instrument:
"Before using the above-mentioned instrument for the first time, I understand and agree that I am responsible for cleaning the instrument. I agree to use alcohol wipes and/or alcohol treated swabs to thoroughly clean both the outside and the inside of the mouthpiece (i.e., flute head joint and blow hole, clarinet and saxophone hard rubber/plastic mouthpiece, bassoon bocal, and brass mouthpiece). I further agree to maintain the cleaning, by means of cleaning rods, swabs, mouthpiece brushes, etc., to the extent necessary to prevent buildup of residue within the instrument."
Similarly, The student must initial and date the following statement upon return of the institutionally owned wind instrument:
"Upon returning the above-mentioned musical instrument, I acknowledge that, after my final usage of this instrument, I have used alcohol wipes and/or alcohol treated swabs to thoroughly clean the outside and the inside of the mouthpiece (i.e., flute head joint and blow hole, clarinet and saxophone hard rubber/plastic mouthpiece, bassoon bocal, and brass mouthpiece)."
The mouthpiece (including flute head joint, bassoon bocal and saxophone neck crook) are essential parts of wind instruments. As the only parts of these instruments placed either in or close to the musician's mouth, research has concluded that these parts (and reeds) harbor the greatest quantities of bacteria.
Adhering to the following procedures will ensure that these instrumental parts will remain antiseptically clean for the healthy and safe use of our students and faculty.
Cleaning the Flute Head Joint:
1. Using a cotton swab saturated with denatured, isopropyl alcohol, carefully clean around the embouchure hole.
2. Alcohol wipes can be used on the flute's lip plate to kill germs if the flute shared by several players.
3. Using a soft, lint-free silk cloth inserted into the cleaning rod, clean the inside of the head joint.
4. Do not run the headjoint under water as it may saturate and eventually shrink the headjoint cork.
1. Bocals should be cleaned every month with a bocal brush, mild soap solution, and running water.
Cleaning Hard Rubber (Ebony) Mouthpieces:
1. Mouthpieces should be cleaned weekly.
2. Select a small (to use less liquid) container that will accommodate the mouthpiece and place the mouthpiece tip down in the container.
3. Fill the container to where the ligature would begin with a solution of half water and half white vinegar (50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide works too). Protect clarinet mouthpiece corked tenons from moisture. *NOTE: Do NOT use HOT water!!
4. After a short time, use an appropriately sized mouthpiece brush to remove any calcium deposits or other residue from inside and outside surfaces. This step may need to be repeated if the mouthpiece is excessively dirty. Liquid dish soap may be used to aid in removing dirt.
5. Rinse the mouthpiece thoroughly (in Lukewarm water) and then saturate with Sterisol germicide solution. Place on paper towel and wait one minute.
6. Gently wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Saxophone Necks (Crooks):
1. Swabs are available to clean the inside of the saxophone neck and should be used after each playing session.
2. If the instrument is played daily, the saxophone neck should be cleaned weekly with a bottlebrush and mild, soapy water. Note: be careful not to soak the cork or get the octave key pad wet.
3. Rinse inside with running water.
4. Place on paper towel for one minute.
5. Dry with a soft cloth and place in the case.
Cleaning Brass Mouthpieces:
1. Mouthpieces should be cleaned weekly (or more often).
2. Using a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water, clean the outside of the mouthpiece.
3. Use a mouthpiece brush and warm, soapy water to clean the inside.
4. Rinse the mouthpiece and dry thoroughly.
5. Sterisol germicide solution may be used on the mouthpiece at this time.
1. Percussion, and keyboard instruments present few hygienic issues that cannot be solved simply by the musician washing their hands before and after use. However, a simple wipe down of the touched surfaces such as sticks and mallets with a disinfectant can help curb the spread of viruses.
keep up the great work
With the clarification regarding grades, we are emailing students to let them know which assignments they are still missing. If you are missing any assignments, please get those completed when you can. Many of you have been doing okay with your band Google Classroom assignments. Some of you have done ZERO assignments (we gotta fix that ASAP). And some have completed ALL of their assignments through Friday, May 1st. Shoutout to those students who are being so responsible and hardworking!! More shoutouts to come as more work is turned in. :)
Friday, April 24, 2020, 6:45 PM
The Waco ISD School Board met last night and made some decisions regarding Phase III of online learning, grades and managing instrument pick-ups and drop-offs. First, Phase III of online learning begins on Monday with core subjects going through a program called Edmentum. It seems to be very user-friendly. Please continue to work on your band assignments in your Google Classrooms though. You will need to complete assignments for your core classes and Spanish classes in Edmentum and your band and PE/athletic classes in Google Classroom. Second - grades. Your teachers will be taking your highest six grades from February 26-May 28th. Us band directors will send out emails to all our band students soon to let our students know what assignments still need to be turned in. We will continue to upload assignments each week through the end of the school year. SmartMusic will be considered as enrichment (not included in the grades). As far as instrument pick-up for students who left their instruments in the band hall over Spring Break (and were never able to make an appointment to pick it up once the stay-at-home order went into effect) as well as instrument drop off at the end of May/beginning of June - I will create a plan this weekend that will be shared with the other Tennyson band directors to review. We will then submit that plan to Mr. Rambo and then Mr. Carpenter. Once approved by the administration, we will share that plan with you. We have to make sure we are being very careful and that we follow CDC guidelines - health and safety come first. I anticipate being able to send you a survey to choose a day/time to pick up your instrument if it is in the band hall.
Lastly, I've had some questions regarding the Dragonfire Virtual Ensemble videos that are due on Thursday. I recorded a video showing the process step-by-step and have uploaded it here (see below). I hope this helps.
As always, if you have any questions, please let me know! Take care! ~ Mrs. Tucker
Virtual Learning for the rest of the school year
What to expect
Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday that all Texas schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year. What does that mean for you?
Virtual learning will continue. We will all continue using Google Classroom through April 24th. At that point, you will transition to Edmentum (another online program) for your core classes, but will continue using Google Classroom for your Electives (including band). We will continue to upload assignments for each week (due on Fridays). Please stay on top of these assignments and complete them by the due dates. You will receive one assignment per week for four topics (Playing, Listening, Theory and History). We will ensure that these lessons are relevant and are not just busy work.
For those of you who left instruments in the band hall over Spring Break and did not arrange a time to pick them up, we will have arranged pick up days and times in the near future (stay tuned for more information). For those of you with school-owned instruments, we will also have days and times in late May/early June for you to drop off your instruments at the school so we can take inventory and clean them in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year.
We are doing our best to arrange ways for us to come together virtually during this time when it so important for us all to stay at home. We believe it is very important to stay connected. One of those ways is through Google Hangout Meets. We are setting up weekly sectionals to continue working on our instrument fundamentals and allowing face time with one another. If you are able, please stop in (even to just observe if you do not have your instrument). We are also going forward with our virtual ensemble. A tutorial video was just uploaded under the Practice Tab of the website.
We feel terrible that we won't have all of the end of the year activities in which we have fun together and get an opportunity to say goodbye. We feel especially bad for our eighth graders. In an effort to honor these special students who have at minimum given a two-year commitment (most students have given a three-year commitment), we will post pictures of our eighth grade students each day on our Facebook page and Instagram. We love all of you and thank you for your talent and dedication.
And lastly, continue to give grace - to your family, to those who are working on the front lines and to yourself. We are all learning to navigate this new way of life. We wish you health and happiness. Stay home and stay safe.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Music heals. Watch One World: Together at Home today. Many musicians, actors, health workers and more are coming together to support everyone during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch live right now at https://www.facebook.com/GLBLCTZN/videos/685126272287562/ or at 7 PM on ABC, CBS or NBC. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 3:45 PM
No real updates at this time. Here is a link to the At-Home Learning section of the Waco ISD website though: https://www.wacoisd.org/domain/7406. There is information on logging into Clever and Google Classroom in both English and Spanish. Most students have joined their Google Classrooms and have completed assignments. However, there are still some students who have not. We are currently in Phase II of At-Home Learning. Phase II utilizes Google Classrooms. Phase II should last though this month. As always, if you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks!