A visitor in the classroom

We were so fortunate to have had the very talenteLuis performs for the 5th grade students at Becker. Luis Marquez visit our buildings on Wednesday and Thursday. Our students were in awe and very inspired by his demonstration of the bassoon.

Luis has won the concerto competition at the Interlochen Academy (twice) and summer Camp (once) and has passed the pre-screening auditions at Juilliard, Curtis, Cleveland Institute and Manhattan School of Music.  He was featured on NPR with FROM THE TOP twice, has won several scholarships and played Carnegie Hall twice in the last year.  Luis is an amazing young talent that will be graduating this year from Interlochen.

Luis is performing bassoon for the 5th grade violin class.

Luis plays the “grandfather theme” from Peter and the Wolf for a first grade class.

Luis performs for the 5th grade students at Becker.

Howard School Has Talent!

Congratulations to our 3 band students who did a great job performing for as a trio at the school Talent Show!  Bravo – you three are ‘going places’!  We can’t wait to hear how much you’ve improved when you perform for the Spring Instrumental Music Concert.

Three very talended band students perform for their school talent show.

Three very talended band students perform for their school talent show.

Mrs. Reed performs with Redford Symphony

Come on out to Redford, MI, Sunday afternoon at 3:00, to hear the Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra in concert.  Mrs. Reed plays in the flute section.  We have a special guest pianist from Texas joining us for this concert for the Mozart Piano Concerto.  If you can join us for this free concert please make sure to come say hello to me after the concert.  I would love to see you and meet your parents.

Band and Violin Students Visiting Preschool Classroom

Our band and violin students were invited into the Preschool Classroom to demonstrate our instruments.  The children listened for the Bowing (arco) sound and walked with large sliding steps.  When we heard the pizzicato sound we tiptoed around the room.  The brass students taught the preschoolers to ‘buzz the lips’ which is the foundation to our brass sound.  Then we listened for high and low sounds and reached up high and down low for the appropriate sounds.  Our 5th grade students did a great job teaching the oreschoolers.  We also helped the little ones find the similarities and differences between the guitar and violin and between the trumpet and trombone.

Instrumental Music Students Making Progress

We have had quite a few students earning pins this week.  Congratulations to these students for their continued persistence and dedication. (One pin was earned this morning through posting videos to our Google Classroom so that child will have a photo posted next week.)

Here is a recap:

Cadet Pins

Erik, Hadi G, Adam E, Arman, Zenaida, Trent, Fatima A

Intermediate Pins

Lilly, Jason, Zahraa

1st Class Pin


Remind Texting

For my parents who are currently using Remind Texting to keep in touch with me:

We will be switching to Google Classroom for our communications.  Please send me your email address and the first and last name of your child and the school he/she attends and I will forward an invitation for you to join our Google Classroom.  I can be emailed at:


Send me:

  • Your email address
  • Your child’s first and last name
  • The school your child attends

Google Classroom for 5th grade Instrumental Music Classes

Please take a moment to remind your child to go to our Google Classroom site tonight.  They can post videos of their practice sessions to improve their grades.  All students should have a Cadet Pin by the end of this card marking period.  They can pass the songs by posting videos in the Cadet pin assignment area of our google classroom.

A reminder that daily practice is so important in developing the fine muscle skill set necessary for success on a musical instrument.  This is very ‘do-able’ if children break it down into small sets:

  1. Practice daily for 5 minutes sets 2 or 3 times a day
  2. Practice daily for 10 minute sets once or twice a day
  3. Build up to practicing 20-30 minutes each day
  4. Be a Master and practice for 30+ minutes more than once each day

For Band students a great resource is the Basic Band website with some great training videos students can watch and play along with.  For violin students there are many resources posted in our Google Classroom site to help them with bow hold and playing with proper posture.  Violin students also have resources made available to them through Essential Elements Interactive.

One last important step for great progress is consistent encouragement from the family.  Encourage and remind your child to develop the habit of daily practice will ensure greater success.  Ask your child to perform for you and the family.  Have them perform a mini concert for guests.  This will help build their confidence when they see that you are also pleased with the progress they are making.

Let’s encourage our young musicians to be the best they can be!



So many happy faces!

All of these Maples students worked hard during vacation so that they could pass on all of the required Cadet Pin songs.  Now they can begin practicing songs in the Intermediate, First Class and Master categories.  When you see them in the halls or in your classroom please congratulation their efforts.

All of the band/violin students have a progress chart listing the required songs to pass each level.  Please be encouraging to them.  This is the time of year where those who have not regularly practiced begin to lose confidence.  Everyone can do it – it just takes time to practice at home. Students can add their assignments to their daily planners.  Parents and guardians can set aside a time and space each day for their child to practice.  It would also be fun for the family to have the student perform for everyone.  condiser it an ‘after dinner concert’ in your own living room.  😀

Five Maples Elementary School violin students proudly wearing their Cadet Pins.