Good Morning All,
I know the restart of school has been difficult. I also know that music and other pursuits have been altered because of the pandemic. But music is still music, and we are still here. In that spirit, I thought I would share an interesting article and spread a little musical cheer.
In a recent and beautifully illustrated article on the impact of the arts on our brains, the Washington Post eloquently and evocatively explained the effect that movement and music have on our cerebral cortex. Using the ballet Swan Lake as their course of study, the Post explored the impact on performer and audience members when music and movement are combined to create a symbiotic and unified message.
The article explains, “When you go to the ballet — or any other show — you’re entering into a highly controlled experience. If everything works as planned, all the elements contribute to a kind of shared consciousness. In effect, your billions of brain cells interact with billions of other brain cells, busily making the microscopic connections that join together the brains of those present with an almost inescapable force.”
The combination of pairing emotion-filled movement with emotion-filled music changes the body’s responses — not just for the performer, but for the audience member as well. In short, the two actions (music and movement) combined were more powerful together than when separate.
“As an audience, we’re watching a story unfold that connects us with the performers, vicariously feeling and making meaning out of their actions on stage, responding to the magnetism of specific visual cues, experiencing heightened emotions as music and movement entwine and even bonding with those around us. It’s just as the artists — choreographers, directors, playwrights, composers, performers — intended. And this magical transformation starts within the architecture of one brain.”
It turns out that the audience is not just connecting with the performers but also with other audience members.
For the brain and the heart, music and movement are the perfect partners, making me wonder if there is something more to this thing called music.
Perhaps the draw to this activity for performers and audience members is not just the music and the pageantry or the precision and pride. Perhaps its appeal is something far more neural and biological. Perhaps we do this for the sense of connection we feel with one another when we share it — it’s kids connecting with their peers, performers connecting with audience members, and parents connecting with other parents.
Perhaps, this activity is singular and transformative because it makes us feel less alone. Perhaps we are drawn to music as much for the HEART form as we are to the ART form.
Just something to consider. Hang in there. If there is anything I can do to be of service, please know I stand ready, willing, and able.
NEWSLETTER FOR 4 – 11 SEP 2020
ASSIGNMENTS FOR 31 AUG – 4 SEP: All assignments for students are posted in Canvas. At this point, I don’t believe I have any students who are having a hard time logging in to Canvas, but if you are, please let me know ASAP. We began to get in to some playing tasks and some music theory tasks. All directions for the tasks are can be found when you click into the assignment, and hopefully they are easy to follow. If you are having issues with any task, let me know ASAP so that I may help you. I can’t help you if you don’t communicate that you need the help.
This week, students have a variety of items that they have to work on and turn in. Students have 6 techniques exercises and 4 sightreading exercises that they have to complete in Smartmusic. These items must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. on 7 September 2020.
With our concert literature, we did a part analysis of Earthdawn. Students have been asked to do their own part analysis where they must be able to discuss, in detail, the items that make up what is on their parts. Students have been asked to work on the first 20 measures of this piece of music. They must submit a video recording of themselves playing this by 11:59 p.m. on 10 September.
For our theory components, students have a series of short quizzes that they must complete by 11:59 on 7 September 2020.
Students need to get in a habit of making sure items are turned in on time. Unlike the spring, all assigned tasks count. You will be held accountable for completion/non-completion of a task. If you have an issue completing a task, please contact me ASAP. Communication is key…….
STUDENT FEES: All students in the band class have a $10 semester fee that the county charges to help offset the cost of materials used in band class. We also have a $25 per semester fee for those who utilize a school owned instrument. These fees can be paid through the K12 Payment Portal (https://www.k12paymentcenter.com/) or you can write a check to Cabarrus County Schools and deliver it to me for those fees (we can work out a plan to meet). These fees need to be paid by 4 September 2020.
SCHOOL OWNED INSTRUMENTS/MATERIALS: There are still a few of you that need to get access to a school owned instrument. I need you to link up with me ASAP about a date and time you can come by to pick these up. You have playing assignments that you need to be working on and that is impossible to do without an instrument. These assignments will eventually turn into assessments that will have a major effect on your grade.
I have done the work to ensure we have things for you. I need you to do the next part…….communicate when you can pick these things up. It is that easy.
PERCUSSIONIST: I have materials still coming in for you. As soon as these things get here, we will figure out a day and time that works to get this stuff passed out to you. For now, use the materials you have at your disposal right now to practice. Do the best you can.
REMIND APP: For those that are in the band classes, I will be pushing out information via the Remind App. This system will be used to send you quick text messages about important info for each one of my classes. Please sign up for the appropriate class:
PLACES TO GET INFORMATION: There are several places to get information concerning the band. The main places find things are in this order:
- Cut Time (www.cuttime.net) – This is an administrative management system we use in the band program for calendar management, communication, inventory control, etc. Veteran parents should have accounts. New parents will get set up with accounts soon. All students should have accounts at this point. If you do not remember your CutTime logins, please e-mail me to help you get that back up and running with that.
- MP Band Website (www.mpband.org) – Newsletters, calendars, etc. can be found here. This website is updated regularly.
- Mr. Lee’s Webpage (https://www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us/Domain/11356) – This website will be updated, but best bet would be to check the MP Band website first.
- Canvas Page – This will primarily be utilized for assignment management. All other items (newsletters, etc.), will be found in these other places.
MARCHING BAND/COLORGUARD INFORMATION: Late on Friday, 21 August 2020, an update to the start of athletics and fine art activities was announced. See announcement below:
CCS Announces Plans for Phased Return to
High School Athletic and Performing Arts Workouts
Cabarrus County Schools today (Friday, 21 Aug 2020) announced a phased return to high school skill development workouts for both Athletics and Fine Arts beginning Sept. 14, 2020.
The decision to begin a phased approach is the result of ongoing collaboration among CCS administration, high school athletic directors and high school principals. The re-entry timelines mirror the order of the seasons recently announced in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s (NCHSAA) revised sports calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Planning for a revised Middle School Sports Calendar is under way and will be announced soon.
CCS’ implementation plan will comply with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) and NCHSAA guidelines for enhanced safety measures and procedures to protect the health of our students and staff.
“We are pleased that the NCHSAA has now provided a revised sports calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bryan Tyson, director of athletics for Cabarrus County Schools. “We can now plan for a safe and phased in re-entry to skill development workouts based upon the order in which seasons will now occur.”
Students’ return to workouts will be staggered, and not all coaches will choose to start on the first day of their re-entry timeline since many seasons have now been moved to the second semester. Specific and up-to-date information will be released closer to the September 14th start date for volleyball, cross country and swimming (land workouts).
Currently, all N.C. public schools are operating under the NCHSAA Phase 2 restrictions and guidelines. It is important to note that this is a tentative re-entry plan that could be adjusted should the Governor, NCHSAA or state and/or local health agencies announce changes.
Two-Week Staggered Re-entry to Skill Development Workouts
|Sept. 14||Volleyball, Cross Country, Swim (land workouts), Theatre Ensembles|
|Sept. 28||Basketball, (m) Soccer, Cheer|
|Oct. 12||Football, Band, Chorus|
|Oct. 26||(m/w) Golf, (w) Soccer, Softball, (m) Tennis|
|Nov. 9||Baseball, (w) Tennis, Wrestling|
“Although this pandemic has caused a major disruption to many aspects of our lives, including athletics and fine arts, Cabarrus County Schools is fully committed to doing all that we can to safely provide the opportunities that our students deserve,” Tyson added.
We are still in a holding pattern for the time period when it comes to trying to do any sort of rehearsals or activities. This does not mean you, the students, can’t get together to rehearse. This just means we (the staff and I) cannot hold any official rehearsals. The staff and I will begin to work out plans to have safe and effective rehearsals when we can actual have them. As stated before, the MP Band will thrive and evolve its offerings to serve our students and community. We will get creative in our offerings and explore new avenues.
With the start of school, I have had to put marching band related items to the side. As you can imagine, it has been extremely busy around here just to get school started. I am hoping that in the coming days we will begin to share much more detail to the adjustments made to the season and share exciting new opportunities for our students and our parents. These adjustments will include:
- What will those rehearsals look like?
- Marching band fees (refunds, etc.) – WATCH FOR INFORMATION TO COME OUT EARLY NEXT WEEK ON THIS!
- Performance opportunities (football games (during the new timeframe designated by the NCHSAA), winterguard, WGI winds / winter percussion (?), community performances, etc.)
- Continued student leadership training
TO CLOSE: We are starting to get into a routine, which is nice. With that being said, the Cabarrus County School Board meets next Tuesday (8 September 2020). There has been rumblings that discussions and a possible vote for us to go in to Plan B may occur. If a vote occurs and it is voted to go in to Plan B, that is going to cause another transition period. With that being said, understand that with transitions of this magnitude will have some hiccups and headaches. Please be exercise patience. Easier said than done, but it is what we must do…..
If you have any issues, questions, etc., feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Keith J. Lee
Director of Bands
Mount Pleasant High School
Office Phone: 704.260.6690 ext. 76707
Cell Phone: 704.224.4695
Address: 700 Walker Road, Mount Pleasant, NC 28124-9596