Check Out our Showcase Video from 2022 for more answers to your questions!
Q: As a parent, how can I support my musician and the music program?
A: As a parent, you've already done a wonderful thing by empowering your student to participate in music! Now that we're beginning the school year, you can be of particular help by reading the newsletters that I send out from time to time, and by volunteering for events when I need them. Also, during these uncertain times and with some of our funding being structured differently, if you are able to help by donating to our organization, you can help us pay for things like instrument repairs and maintenance, new instruments, sheet music, transportation and fieldtrips, and coaching.
Q: How do I know what academic classes to sign up for?
A: This varies from student to student based upon the interests, academic goals, and grade level of the student. The best way to be sure is to look at the courses offered, the A-G course list, and Academic Planning guide provided by our Counselors. Please check out their webside LINKED HERE.
Q: How do I know which music class to sign up for?
A: There is often confusion about which class to sign up for, so here's the DL on each of our classes:
Chamber Orchestra: (Traditional Instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, possibility of Harp, or Guitar) Students in this advanced orchestra should be very committed and familiar with their instrument (throughout its range). To be eligible to be in this ensemble, students MUST audition and be enrolled for all three trimesters. For other eligibility requirements, see Audition Information & Requirements at https://www.sagecreekmusic.org/chamber-orchestra.html. The literature performed in this ensemble ranges from traditional orchestral classics to arrangements, and modern compositions. Due to its challenging nature, students are expected to commit to a minimum of 7 hours of personal practice time per week (one hour per day). While it is not a requirement, students are encouraged to receive private instruction on their instrument.
***On a case by case basis: if select students do not make the ensemble, but are close to the skill and dedication level, they may be allowed to enroll in the class as a "substitute". They would rehearse with the ensemble and perform if and when a substitute player is needed and possibly on some other occasions. Students who opt for this position are NOT Guaranteed the opportunity to perform with Chamber Orchestra, but may do so when combined String Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra Pieces. Note: This is a good option for students who are hoping to join the ensemble in full during the next audition cycle. For this option, students would be required to be enrolled for 2nd and 3rd trimesters and minimum.
Orchestra: (Traditional Instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, possibility of Harp, or Guitar) As a member of the Orchestra, students will continue to develop their musicianship and technique by daily rehearsal and sight-reading. Students will learn the fundamentals of music theory. They will attend festivals, perform in 3-4 concerts per year and attend the symphony. Students are required to practice daily and perform in concerts. Students will also explore a variety of careers in music.
Wind Ensemble: (Traditional Instruments: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophones, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion, possibility of Piano and String Bass).Wind Ensemble is the performing ensemble for band students. Due to the challenging nature of wind band literature, outside personal practice and learning of parts is required. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition and refinement of more advanced instrumental techniques. The type of literature performed is designed for a small ensemble and focuses primarily on contemporary music. Student involvement in concert and performance activities will be part of the grading process for this course. Periodically there are special events, rehearsals or concerts during non-school hours. Participation in such activities is an essential extension of the requirements
Instrumental Music: Students in this course may be at any level of musical experience (beginning to advanced). This is not a performance-based class, but students will perform for each other to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have developed. During the course of this class, students will learn the basics of reading, writing, and interpreting music notation and theory, as well as building proficiency on Guitar, Ukulele, Piano, Percussion, and Voice. In addition to the physical aspect of playing an instrument, students will also examine diverse music from a historical and contextual perspective and learn about the careers that can be pursued in the field of music.
Q: How can I ensure year-long (3 trimester enrollment) in music?
A: While the academic rigor of SCHS's trimester system can make it challenging to participate in music (and other interests) year round, being enrolled is definitely possible when it's important to the student and parents. Important things to help students achieve this are:
Frequent and Clear communication with counselors and teachers. Self-advocacy is essential.
Taking some classes (foreign languages, history, etc.) at local community colleges.
After School Athletics in lieu of PE classes.
Limit AP and Honors classes to those you are genuinely interested in (not just as many as possible for GPA).
When there are schedule conflicts with music committments, communicate with Ms. Q proactively and work to find solutions when possible.
Q: How does it work if my child is unable to be in music all three trimesters?
A: While it is best for all members of the ensembles if students are able to stay in all three trimesters, I do know and understand that many of our students are highly intelligent and take a course load that is academically rigorous. If they really wish to participate in a concert (when they are not currently enrolled), they must communicate with me in advance and commit to a certain number of rehearsals (potentially after-school). In addition, if they are needed more on a part that they typically don't play, they may be asked to fill in where most needed. Drawbacks of missing a trimester (or two):
Cannot participate in leadership
Cannot be a section leader or concert master
Cannot be a member of Chamber Orchestra
Missed Rehearsal time and time with music family
Your absence is felt by the entire ensemble (especially when many students miss the third trimester) -- ensembles suffer a loss of instrumentation.
You may miss out on field trips, festivals, workshops, & Disneyland
I / we will miss you : (
Q: Can a student be involved in the music program if they are unable to fit music classes in their class schedule?
A: If they are enrolled for at least part of the year, please see the above section. If the student could not fit music into their schedule at all and still want to be a part of the music program, they may be permitted to perform in concerts if they show intrinsic motivation to fully learn the music on their own and commit to after school rehearsals (for full orchestra performances). Additional opportunities to play music outside of classes exists in Bobcat Beat (pep band), Jazz Combo, chamber groups like Cello Choir, and in teaching with YLME. For information on local honor groups in San Diego County and throughout So Cal, reach out to me directly.
Q: If I don't own an instrument, can the school provide me with one?
A: Yes. While our instruments are in limited supply, we do have a number of them for loaning. If we do not have enough of a given instrument, students may be asked to learn a new or comparable instrument that is available for loan. There is no charge for borrowing instruments, however students are responsible with any costs associated with damage, theft, or loss of the instrument while in their care.
Q: How do you plan to keep music engaging and safe during the pandemic
A: While we are still not back to our old "normal", having students rehearsing in person together is a huge step towards that feeling of normalcy and connectivity. Now that we are back in person, students can once again engage in real-time rehearsals where they must interact and feed off of the energy of their peers in the ensemble.
Because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, I am taking every precaution to keep my students, their families, and myself safe. This means that rehearsal seatings may not be as traditional as they have been in past years, and for band, as often as is possible, we will be rehearsing outside where the sun is shining and breeze is blowing. In addition, band students who play wind instruments will be using specialized PPE (modified masks and bell covers). Although we learned a lot of new things about music and technology during our year and a half of remote and hybrid learning, I think it's safe to say that most students (and I) wish to remain in-person for the foreseeable future. That means taking precautions to mitigate exposure, and possibly even limiting fieldtrip events (like Disneyland) to which the students look forward every year. The situation is fluid and I will be doing everything I can to both keep students engaged and safe. In closing, I will constantly reassess the effectiveness of my teaching and if something is not working, I will work to change it so that as many students can benefit as possible. All I ask in return is that students (and parents) remain open to discovering and trying new things, and constructively communicative when things aren't working for them. I'm excited for this adventure together and think that there is a great deal to be learned and discovered together. Thank You for giving me a chance and becoming a part of this beautiful family : )