- What should I be doing to ensure my student is as successful in their ensemble as possible? Parents are an important part of what we do. You’re our eyes and ears at home–if your student never brings their instrument home to practice, ask them why, and try to reinforce our expectation that they should be practicing at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, regardless of their instrument or grade level. It can help to build a schedule for this–many students find that practicing over the weekend, when it’s easiest to bring home an instrument, can allow them to knock out three of their five expected days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Help your student stick to it–they’ll be amazed at the payoff. Also, learn more about your student’s instrument! We have a host of resources available here on proper technique, practice tips and more.
- What should my student be practicing? In addition to working on concert repertoire, every student should be working on fundamentals (scales, flexibility, fingering exercises, percussion rudiments, etudes, etc.), any jury materials for which they’re responsible, and anything they’re studying in private lessons, if applicable. If you or your student feel that they could stand to have more to work on, let us know–we’re always eager to see students go above and beyond! Students should also be listening to as much high quality music for their instrument or ensemble as possible! Few things educate us as musicians as much as listening to great music.
- Is my student required to perform a jury? All students in Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble (as of Fall 2017) are required to record and submit an annual jury, consisting of seven scales (3 major, 3 minor, 1 chromatic) and a prepared piece. These become progressively more challenging from year to year and are meant to measure each student’s growth as a musician over the course of their four years at NHS.
- I’d like to be more involved in supporting music and the arts at NHS. What can I do? First and foremost, support your student. Make sure that they’re practicing, keeping up with scheduled obligations, able to attend all rehearsals and performances and (this is often overlooked) getting enough sleep! Communicate with them, and make sure that both you and they understand their responsibilities. Second, come to performances, and encourage others to do the same! Nothing gets our students more excited than to know that they’re performing high quality music and reaching a wide audience. Third, consider volunteering or contributing to the Norwell Scholastic Arts Society, our arts boosters group here in Norwell. They do wonderful work in helping the arts get the support, exposure and resources we need to give our students the finest arts education possible.
As always, if you have any more questions and don’t find answers on the website, feel free to contact either Mr. O’Briant or Mrs. Cortright!