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The main emphasis of my instruction throughout the school year will be on helping the students to learn and to improve their skills on their instruments and to become better musicians. Each level of band--Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced--will work on learning the fundamentals of music, learning an appreciation for music, and developing a sense of responsibility and discipline.
One of the truths of life is that the better we are at something, the more we enjoy it. This is certainly true in music and this is why practice (homework) is so important. It is the only means by which we can improve both our skill and our enjoyment of music. Even though I expect a minimum of two hours per week of practice time (homework), I am more interested in how one practices. I would rather have 30 minutes of intense, focused practice than 2 hours of talking on the phone, eating food, doing homework, watching T.V., general goofing off, and practicing. Parents can do a great deal toward encouraging their student in this activity. As a teacher, I can merely make the tools available. It is up to each student to make the tools work for him or her.
Let me take this opportunity to encourage parent attendance at all concerts. Your children work hard to learn and grow in music, and they present what they have learned at these concerts. No matter what they may say, it is important to them when you are in the audience, and I know it is important to you to witness their progress.