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Welcome to Ms. Jamieson's page!
It is going to be a great year! I spend a good summer enjoying family, planning for this year, taking classes,
enjoying the outdoors and playing music and I look forward to meeting all of you in the next few weeks.
FOR ALL INFORMATION ABOUT SOUTH ANCHORAGE HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA CLASSES, PLEASE
She is the new orchestra teacher there - please welcome her and have a great year!
6th Grade Orchestra and Band demonstrations begin on Monday, August 25th.
Please come to the Music and Fine Arts Department Parent Nights to find out more about orchestra and band in
the 6th grade:
TUESDAY, AUG 26th, 6:30-8:30 at GREUENING MIDDLE SCHOOL
THURSDAY, AUG 28th 6:30-8:30 at WEST HIGH SCHOOL
HONOR ORCHESTRA auditions are in December, date and time TBA
INFO ABOUT TUNING:
Here are web addresses for a few sites that describe how to tune - copy and paste into your browser:
You may find a method that you like better. Just type "Tuning (your instrument)" and try one of the other websites
or youtube videos that pop up.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Should my student be practicing/playing their instrument at home?
A: Practicing/playing instruments at home is the homework for Band and Orchestra. A well-respected teacher
once said “children only need to practice on the days that they eat!”
Q: What should they be practicing?
A: The students will have a packet that has all of the songs they will be learning this semester. Start slowly first,
then if it seems to be going well, they can try it a little faster. Playing each song more than once will help them to
learn it better.
Q: How long should they be practicing?
A. The more that they play their instruments, the easier they will find band/orchestra class. Here is a good
-Play a scale slowly to warm up
-play a few pieces that are easy.
-choose a piece or two that need extra work to work on slowly.
-play a few more easy pieces or improvise (make things up).
Q: What if my student is really busy with other activities?
A: Sometimes students find it hard to find the time to play their instruments. Practicing can be used as a break
from homework or chores. Students can get a lot done in a short amount of time if they play carefully and
correctly. Even if they are only able to manage three days a week, they will be advancing their abilities.
Q: What if my student does not practice even if I remind them?
A: Your teacher will be asking about practicing in class, as well as reminding them how important it is to do in
order to have more fun and feel comfortable.
Ideas for motivation include:
- Saying: “You may practice now, or at _________o clock (give them an option about time).
-Look up the songs on "youtube" or www.turtlepuddle.com and listen to them. Use the book with the CD as an
extra practice activity.
- Ask them to give you a “Concert” – usually students are eager to show what they know! Be positive about
whatever they did well (even if it is only that they were able to share their music with
-Make a chart or put marbles in a jar to tally up practice sessions. The reward? Time spent with you doing an
activity that they enjoy! Students value 1:1 time with a parent tremendously!
HERE ARE SOME GENERAL PRACTICING SUGGESTIONS:
1. Fingers are curved and relaxed on both hands.
2. Left wrist is relaxed and straight.
3. Put your bow between the bridge and fingerboard for the best sound.
4. Violinists/Violists hold your instrument parallel to the floor.
5. Sit on the front half of the chair, feet flat on the floor.
6. Relax your shoulders.
7. Play each song slowly first to make sure you are playing the correct notes, then try it a little faster. If you play a
song several times, you will know it better.
8. Do something creative and or relaxing in your practice, like making up a song, playing songs that are easy as
well as harder songs, and/or trying to figure out a song that you have heard on the
9. Have fun!!