Hello Band Family,
As you know by now, we are starting this school year online with virtual learning. However, at OCS we learned at lot from this past spring and have made a much more organized and hands on model moving forward with the start of the year! Here is a brief overview:
ItsLearning: All band classes will have using this program as our focus point. You will be able to see weekly update videos, instructional videos for assignments, outlines of weekly tasks /assignments, and much more. Always check your ItsLearning page first for specific directions, instructional videos, and other information.
SmartMusic: Our 6B, 7th, and 8th grade band classes will start using SmartMusic (their first playing assignments in there will be due starting on August 28th). Starting on August 24, students will have to log at least one hour a week practicing on the program (that's less than 20 minutes a day). That will be a weekly classwork grade. Students will also have 1-2 specific playing assignments to complete as well (time spent on these will help build up that practice time on the platform). These are designed to help get students back into playing shape and help them continue to make progress on their instrument. These playing assignments will also have specific videos (in ItsLearning) to help guide students on how to practice and what to focus on. These will be located within the assignments tab in ItsLearning. Playing assignments will be labeled as either classwork or tests, and will be mandatory. The cool part about SmartMusic is that students can attempt assignments as many times as they want, so they can submit their best attempt! The program shows when things are correct (in green) or incorrect (in red). We are also offering individual tutorial sessions as well, see the Google Forms / Microsoft Teams section below.
We will also have some enrichment assignments/extra credit in SmartMusic as well. Enrichment assignments are optional and serve to help students with building up their weekly SmartMusic practice time. If enrichment assignments are submitted they will count as extra credit. These enrichment assignments are optional and there to provide additional focus to practice if needed.
***Please note that students in 6A beginning band (our true beginning band class) will not be using SmartMusic right away, but you will still have 2-3 assignments with instructional videos as the other band classes on ItsLearning***
Google Forms / Microsoft Teams: Students will have the ability to complete a google form (click here to see form) to request an individual private lesson session with Mr. Vogel. We will use Microsoft Teams video conferencing software for the lessons because it is built into students SCCPSS web accounts. If they are logged into their school email account, they could access the TEAMS meeting software without having to download anything. Don't worry, I made an instructional video for all of that in ItsLearning! Occassionally, some classes may complete specific assignments using Google Forms, much like a quiz or quick assignment; more details on that will be available in your student's ItsLearning platform when we get to that step.
Musictheory.net: This program will be used periodically to help students with various aspects of reading and understanding music. Music is like a language and this tool will help reinforce various musical skills and concepts.
All of the information above is just an overview, more specific information will be available in your ItsLearning class. We are very fortunate that OCS has made sure that this software is free for our band families!
While there is a lot of information here, please know that this is set up to be as streamlined as possible. Students will have no more than 2-3 assignments a week for band. All assignments will be due on Fridays. I worked really hard to set this up so students could access the instruction and assignments on a flexible schedule, as I know there is a lot to balance with this virtual model. Please note that we are offering a good balance of pre-recorded lessons (that include specific musical instruction and demonstration - just like band class) and live individual instruction through video streaming. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Mr. Vogel. While this is not the most ideal situation, we are all in this together. I am always happy to help, and am never more than an email or phone call away!
Google voice phone: 912-421-8821