• Welcome to Mrs. Linville's webpage! Here you will find helpful information for band classes at Southwest Middle School.

    If you are a rising Sixth Grade band student or parent, please fill out the following Google Form so that I can get your child scheduled into the correct band class for this fall.  And yes, we ARE having band class!! Even virtually!! 


    And please click the link to this document for more information regarding Sixth Grade Band this year

    6th Grade Band Information Letter

  • Band Update all classes 3/16

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 3/18/2020
    I've updated my Canvas page and put some assignments on there for students.  Basically, it's just for them to submit their practice time via Canvas.  They should be able to see my class on their dashboard just like any of their other classes.  There is not a special code for my class, and it should show up now that I've published it.  I have no idea if this submission process for practice time is going to work or how, so I'll keep you updated either way.  I've also put some playing assignments up there for sixth and seventh-grade students to submit an audio/video recording for feedback.  Again, I have no way to tell if this will work, but we shall see.  Please ask your child to look on Canvas for my stuff and let me know if they cannot see it or if the links to the recordings I've put there don't work.  I tried to scan some sheet music and put it on there, but the scanner here is being weird, so it wouldn't email it to me.  I'm going to try it from home soon and see if I can get it to work that way.  If not, I'll be back at school tomorrow trying again.

    Thanks for your patience as we work through this.  If Canvas doesn't work for you, please don't stress.  We will get things taken care of one way or another.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  Wash your hands, and stay safe! 🙂
    Comments (-1)
  • Band update all classes 3/6/2020

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 3/6/2020
    See below for specific updates
    Jazz Band
    Jazz Band will not meet next week. Jazz Ensemble will meet on Wednesday AND Thursday morning.  We are having a guest clinician come to our rehearsal Thursday morning to give us some critiques and suggestions as we prepare for Jazz Ensemble Festival in April.  Therefore, I am calling an extra Ensemble only rehearsal on Wednesday so that we can be better prepared for Thursday.  Both rehearsals will be at 7:45 am.  And as a reminder, Jazz Ensemble Festival is on April 24 at Middle Creek High School in Cary.  I have also signed both groups up to participate in the GCS Middle School Jazz Festival on April 17 at Smith High School.  More info on these as we get closer.
    Festival students
    We are getting down to the wire with our Festival preparations.  We will be having rehearsal on Monday and Thursday afternoon next week, and I need any and all eighth-graders who can attend to come to these rehearsals.  I know we are getting into the spring sports season, and I'm working with coaches to keep kids a little while on these days without it interfering in their sports practices, and I'm very pleased that the coaches are working with us on this.  Festival is on March 24 and Northwest Guilford High School.  I'll be sending out a detailed letter and itinerary next week.
    Jazz Drum Set
    Attention all current Jazz Band/Jazz Ensemble and any sixth-grade percussionist who might be interested in doing Jazz Band next year:  I have secured a drum set instructor who will be able to come out to school every Thursday afternoon in March and April starting next Thursday to work with our students on how to play drum set.  I will be here in the afternoons with them and learning some things myself!  If you are interested, please let me know.  This is basically a chance for free drum set lessons, so please don't pass up this opportunity if you're interested.  Pickup on those days will be at 5 pm.  This is only for current percussionists, not for just anyone who would like to learn drums.  Again, please let me know if you're interested.
    Seventh Grade Band
    We will be starting to work on Book Three (Essential Technique for Band) on MONDAY next week.  Several students have already gotten this book, and I really appreciate that!  PLEASE make every effort to get this book for your child before Monday.  You can call Music and Arts on Lawndale or Moore Music on Market Street to see if they have them in stock, or you can use the link below.  Just make sure you order the book that is appropriate to your child's instruments since the link is to the clarinet book only.  Once we begin that book, they will be expected to be practicing out of it each night and will be having playing tests out of it soon.  I have only a handful of extras of this book on hand and may not be able to loan books to students, so please try to get this book for your child by Monday.  Here's a link to the clarinet book so you can see what it looks like.  Make sure to get the one that is appropriate for your child.
    Sixth Grade Band
    We are having a playing test today on #132 in the book.  We will finish this test on Monday, so if your child did not take his or her test today, they should be ready for it on Monday.  We are making excellent progress in the book and I am very pleased with how well our students are playing, especially our clarinets.  Please, if your child is a clarinet player, encourage them at home to work on the high notes we are learning in class.  This can be a very frustrating time for them, as playing high notes is VERY challenging.  Some students get to this point and just throw in the towel because of the frustration.  I have told them that it will get better with more and more practice.  Please encourage them and keep them working at home.  Also, our brass students are working on higher notes as well, and that can get extremely frustrating for them as well.  Again, listen to them, encourage them, and keep them focused on practicing at home.  They will get better, but the next few weeks are an uphill battle.  It is super important that they work through these challenges and keep trying.  I ALWAYS appreciate the effort more than talent, because talent is a lot of simple luck, effort and hard work always pay off in the end.
    Band Pictures for the Yearbook
    We are shooting for next Wednesday to do band group pictures for the yearbook, so students will need to wear polos to school that day.  They can wear jeans/tennis shoes with them, but they need to have on band polos/black polos/black shirt for the picture.  They can change afterward because the picture will be done during the first core.  If this changes again, I'll let you know.  Thanks for your patience!
    Comments (-1)
  • Band update all classes 2/28

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 2/28/2020
    See below for specific updates
    Jazz Band
    I have received information about participating in the District Jazz Band MPA Festival.  This is the same type of Festival that the eighth grade and some of the seventh graders are participating in March, but this is specifically for Jazz Bands across the district.  This festival is on April 24.  I've spoken with the students in Jazz Ensemble about participating in this event, and they are very interested in going.  I told them I've never done this event before, and I was hesitant to go and risk not doing well because of my own inexperience with it, but they are still interested, so I am checking with administration to see if we can make it happen financially.  I will get back with you on this as soon as I know something.  This would only be for Jazz Ensemble, since this event is geared towards traditional Jazz Bands, and I don't think bringing the entire Jazz Band would be appropriate.  As far as rehearsals go, we are on regular rehearsal next week with Jazz Band on Wednesday morning (ensemble is not required to come) and Jazz Ensemble on Thursday.  If I hear that we can go to Jazz Band MPA, I'll have to add an extra rehearsal each week for Jazz Ensemble in order to make sure we are prepared.  This may also impact Jazz Band rehearsals, too.  Again,  I'll let you know when I have more details. 
    Festival students
    We will be having a guest clinician coming into eighth-grade class on Monday and we will be having a combined rehearsal for both encore periods.  Seventh-grade students will be attending this rehearsal as well as long as they have permission from their core teachers to do so.  This will be in preparation for Festival and to help us better prepare.  Because of this, there will be NO FESTIVAL REHEARSAL MONDAY AFTERNOON.  I'm sure the students will be tired enough without having another rehearsal later.  We WILL have rehearsal on Thursday afternoon as usual, and again need to have as many eighth-graders as possible attend.  It is extremely helpful for our seventh graders and I appreciate all of the ones that have been coming and getting picked up on time so well.  Thanks!!
    Seventh grade
    Seventh grade will be having their final playing test from book two on #137 next Tuesday and Wednesday.  We are working on this exercise in class and students should be prepared to play on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We have had several students in first seventh encore class show a severe decline in participation lately, ranging from not bringing instruments every day, not participating in class activities, even to refusing to play their playing test because they did not feel they were prepared.  I'm very concerned about these students and will be emailing parents individually today.  We had a long discussion yesterday about effort, and the fact that I realize the exercises can be really challenging for some of our brass students because the notes are getting higher.  But I reminded them that even if all the high notes don't come out, students can still demonstrate that they know fingerings, and rhythm, and the vast majority of the notes are notes that they can play.  Please listen to your child and make sure they are making the effort at home necessary to improve.  I don't expect anyone to sound like a professional musician by any means, but I do expect effort.  And most of the students can play most everything we are doing in class if they are putting forth the effort.  We will also begin in book three soon, so if you have not gotten your child's copy of Essential Technique for Band, please try to have it by the end of next week.  Finally, we will be having Theory Day next Friday and students will not be needing instruments in class that day.
    Sixth grade
    We are making great progress in the sixth-grade book.  The portion of the book we are in right now is mainly geared towards our clarinet players learning how to play high notes.  Our next playing test for sixth-grade will be on #132, but that won't be for a while.  Students can look ahead to that exercise if they wish in order to be prepared for it when we get there.  And sixth grade will also be having a Theory Day next Friday so students will not need their instruments that day, either.
    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great weekend!
    Comments (-1)
  • Band Update 2/14

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 2/14/2020
    See below for specific updates
    Jazz band
    The Honor Roll assembly has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, so we will have rehearsal for full Jazz Band on Tuesday at 7:45 am before we set up for that performance. We also have the elementary school recruitment trip on Wednesday, and I will need students here again that day at 7:45 so we can do a run through and load the bus in time to leave.  Students should wear polos for those performances, but can change afterwards if they want. I'm attaching the itinerary for that day as well as the permission form that came home yesterday to this email.  We also will be walking over to Southwest Elementary next Friday to perform for them between 1:30 and 2:30.  We will wear polos for that performance as well.  There will be no jazz band on Thursday because of all the performances next week.
    Festival students
    Because Monday has now become a student day, we will have after school Festival rehearsal on Monday.  We had a great rehearsal yesterday, and I SOOOOO appreciate how promptly everyone was picked up and how many eighth graders we had present.  These rehearsals will be very helpful in our efforts for the district MPA (Music Performance Adjudication) festival in March.  I'm attaching the itinerary for that day to this email as well as the permission form that is coming home today.  Festival rehearsals will be each Monday and Thursday from now until March 23.  Recordings of the pieces are on my website, so students should be listening to them at home to help with their practice.
    Seventh Grade
    We will have a playing test on Monday and Tuesday on #128 from the book.  We've been working on this in class and students should do well as long as they are continuing to work at home on this exercise.  Students will also need their copy of book three, Essential Technique for Band, by February 24.  Here's a link to the clarinet book so you can see what the book looks like.  Please make sure to order the correct book for your child if they do not play clarinet.
    Sixth Grade
    We will be having a playing test on Monday and Tuesday on #106 from the book.  We have made great progress on this exercise this week and students should practice on it at home to make sure they're prepared for the test next week.  We will also have a notebook check on Tuesday, so please remind your child to have his or her notebook in class every day and to ask for any missing handouts if they do not have everything they need.
    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and visit the website to keep up on things happening in band.
    Comments (-1)
  • Band update all classes 1/30

    Posted by Stephanie Linville on 1/30/2020
    I will be at the All-District Band clinic tomorrow with our students who made All-District Band, so I will  have a sub in class.  Please remind your children about the expectations for a sub when I am gone.  Also, because of that, students will not need instruments in class tomorrow. There were also SEVERAL students who did not turn in practice sheets this week.  The email to parents will be coming out later today, so, if you don't get one, that's a good thing.  Please help your child to get off to a good start this quarter by making sure to turn in their sheets each week. Also see below for specific updates.
    Jazz Band
    We will have Jazz Band on TUESDAY next week at 7:45 am for everyone.  They will be playing for the 8th Grade Honor Roll Assembly that morning and we need to do a run through and move equipment to the gym.  Students should wear polos to school but can bring something to change into if they don't want to wear it all day. After that, we will have Jazz Ensemble on Thursday morning at 7:45.
    Festival students
    Deposits for Carowinds are due by February 7 (next Friday.)  The deposit is $30, total cost is $80.  Permission forms will be coming home soon.  Rehearsals after school begin on February 13.  Students should be picked up each Monday and Thursday at 5 pm.  Any eighth grade students who can attend are strongly encouraged to do so, and I'm offering extra practice time to eighth graders as an incentive.
    6th/7th Grade
    We are continuing to work in our book and take notes for the notebook.  Students should have notebooks each day in class, and the first check for the quarter will be coming up soon.  Also, 6th and 7th grade will be having Theory Day next Friday, February 7.  They will not need instruments that day, but will need paper, pencil and notebooks.
    Also, don't forget to check my website for the calendar, recordings of concert pieces, and other info as needed.  https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/30363
    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
    Comments (-1)
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