Degrees and Certifications:
B.S Music Education k-12
My name is Hazel " Jane" Henry-Johnson. I originally hail from a little town called Scranton Kansas. I received my Bachelor of Science in Music Education- Vocal/Instrumental k-12 from Peru State College in December of 2011. Since then I have been the band director at Bartlett H.S in Anchorage Alaska from 2013-2018. Middle School Band and Choir Director in Augusta Ga. 2018-2019. I am now your Band and Choir Director and I could not be more excited to be here.
Music Classes this year in the age of Covid-19 are not going to resemble the music classes you are used to. However, there is still much to learn and ways to grow both as a musician and as a person. Thank you for letting me take you on this journey.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS SCHOOL YEAR.
- Coronavirus is an airborne disease and because of that singing/brass/woodwind instruments can spread it faster and over larger areas than just your normal sit down classroom. All the research I have seen says you need plenty of space, good cross ventilation and high ceiling to even make the room usable for music groups to work together. Masks can't be used for woodwinds and brass (they make a mask for this but I don't know how comfortable they are-link is down below). We will be making instrument covers with plastic bags for them to use in class. For singing, mask make it a little harder to breathe and to work on enunciations/pitch with it on (there is a resonator mask that is for choir which help-link is below). With choir, we are going be outside when we can to sing and we will use hand signs and small project stuff in the room when the weather is not good. No more than 10 students will be singing at any given time.
- Percussion are not as bad shape, but you still need space. Percussion have to share instruments/mallets a lot and they will need to wash their hands coming in the room and after using the sticks. As long as they keep their equipment clean and don't share music/music stands/rosin/etc.... they can wear masks and still play. Of all my groups, this one would have the lowest concern factor for safety.
- Concerts and performances are up in the air. I am giving out a calendar as if it is normal, but we may not be able to actually hold a concert (with families). If that is the case and we are working on material, I will record the students and the "concert day" in class and send that out for people to listen to. We may also have the opportunity to have concerts in the Gym so that social distancing or video equipment can be utilized.
So, here is what I am calling the COVID-19 MUSIC SYLLABUS. This is for Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, Strings, Choir groups. This syllabus will be used for this year. If you look at the other syllabus pages, they are for the normal situation. All music student (at HJSH and online students) (first and second semester) will get this at the start of the school year. The signature part is due back to me by Aug. 31, 2020 PLEASE.
One more thing-if the school moves to a mid-level Covid set-up, I may end up teaching the students their instrument safely is to do it on zoom (this is for singers/brass and woodwind players mostly). This in part of the school's plan for worst situation (but not to the point we are closing the school). I have to remind myself constantly that you are letting me work with your child. I cannot let them get hit or sick because of my personal feelings about how music should be taught. As much as I love teaching and working with students in an ensemble setting, there is no safe way at this point in time with this situation. Trust me when I say, I really am torn about this and I can understand students/families feeling the same way.
For more info here is some videos/documents to read and consider. Anything with singing also is the same for woodwind and brass instruments.
Kanas Voice Center document: Coronavirus 19-music document
Guidelines for Music Education for Fall 2020 (NAfME and NFHS): Guideline for Music Fall 2020 opening
Keeping instruments clean with Covid 19: https://nafme.org/covid-19-instrument-cleaning-guidelines/
Additional info about music with Covid concerns: https://nafme.org/nafme-joins-52-other-national-organizations-support-arts-education-as-essential/
Youtube videos on music and coronavirus:
Trips for keeping brass (WW/Strings/Percussion as well) for staying safe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsW8zjOADfQ
Seeing the big picture for ensembles: https://nafme.org/band-time-pandemic/
Is it safe for band: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/it-safe-strike-band-time-coronavirus (note: my opinion of the article is that it shows some studies are done but there are still a lot of unknowns).
Detail info for WW (including reed care/flute issues/cleaning), Brass (buzzing affect/cleaning) along with ties to Singing (it
notes that there are differences and similarities). https://medicine.uiowa.edu/iowaprotocols/wind-instrument-aerosol-covid-era-covid-19-and-horns-trumpets-trombones-euphoniums-tubas-recorders
Symphonic orchestra and Covid-19: https://www.wired.com/story/the-science-behind-orchestras-careful-covid-comeback/
Covid-19 distance measurement for breathing/types of masks quality/ways to protect yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ4Epf8i1uk
Simple video on Covid-19. Refereance to singing but also notes on flute playing and other instruments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVMGIvVt9VY
Very solid article over singing/winds/brass issues. Contains lots of links to get more info: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/covid-wwksf/2020/07/what-we-know-transmission-risks-singing-wind-instruments.pdf?la=en
Singing/Winds/brass issues covered. https://www.unibw.de/lrt7-en/making_music_during_the_sars-cov-2_pandemic.pdf
Video showing paticle transmittion with and without a mask: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2007800
This has info on Marching Band recommendation (it does apply to concert band as well): https://www.nfhs.org/media/3812337/2020-nfhs-guidance-for-returning-to-high-school-marching-band-activities.pdf
For WW and Brass this article show how wind works and the use of a "bell shield" and "WW bag" can help: https://www.nfhs.org/media/4029952/preliminary-testing-report-7-13-20.pdf
I am trying to see if a garbage bag can be put over a brass bell or the body of a woodwind instrument (to catch particles). My thought is that if we use a bag and even spray the inside of the bag with VIREX cleaner before starting, it will try to catch and kill Covid-19 particles. After starting this, I got these 2 link to companies with the same idea. You can buy this to help cover the instrument and they are machine washable.
Director's assitant company: https://www.directorsassistant.com/ppe (they sell brass bell covers, musician's blow masks (a face mask with a point to buzz or blow into an instrument) and flute shields as well).
McCormicks supplies: https://www.mccormicksnet.com/Instrument-Bell-Cover-p/3070015.htm (they have machine washable WW bag covers).
Singing COVID-19 Masks These are designed for singing to allow singers to move their jaws better and easier to talk in, If parents want one, look it up.: https://www.mymusicfolders.com/product/resonance-singers-mask-with-disposable-biofilters/
How to CARE for your InstrumentTo help you maintain your instrument as the year goes on and to save money on repairs, here are some tips:Brass Instruments:Give your instrument a bath at least once every 2 months. Here is how to do it:1. Make a bucket of warm, soapy water.2. Take out your valves first (make sure you don't mix up parts and you knowwhich valve is which).3. Take out your slides. Set them in the water to soak.4. With a cleaning "snake", clean out the insides of each slide tube (lots of soapywater). Use a cotton cloth to wash the outside of the slide. Then rinse offwith warm water and set it on a towel to dry.5. Clean out each valve at a time (cotton cloth on the outside, "snake" throughthe holes).6. Remember to clean your mouthpiece.7. After it is dry, put proper slide grease on the slides and then valve oil on thevalves.NOTE: Clean your mouthpiece out at least once a week. Also check for cracks or bends in the tube or weld joints.Woodwinds:1. Never put water on a woodwind. It will damage the pads.2. You can wash out Clarinet mouthpieces and barrels or Sax mouthpiecein soapy water.3. Flute mouthpieces and connecting points can be wiped with rubbing alcohol.4. You can not do much cleaning to an Oboe (alcohol can be used to clean reed).5. All Woodwinds should go to the shop for regulation every 6-8 months. Thestore will simply adjust pads, rods, springs, and cork to make sure thingsare running correctly. This is preventive maintains. If you don't do thisregularly, your instrument will eventually break down from wear. The onlything that can be done at that point is a complete overhaul and that can bemore expensive.6. Once a month, you should tighten loose connector screws with a smallscrew driver.7. For all reeds, students should have 2-3 reeds in use all the time. They should playreed 1 for a day, then reed 2 for the next day, reed 3 for the third day, back to reed 1.This allows the student to have good working reeds and break in new reeds (takes 2weeks to break in a reed) as they need them.Percussion:1. Protect your heads of the drums by storing the drum in a case.2. If you need to adjust the tension on a drum head, the lug nuts need to betighten in a cross direction on the drum head (or you will split the head).If you need help, contact your music store or me.3. Don't set the bell on their side. This bends connector pins and then the bellwill not play properly.4. Clean your sticks off at least once a week. Rubbing alcohol will work.General issues:1. Don't set your instrument on slides, keys, rods or pins. Place them on aninstrument stand or in the case if you need to set them down.2. Never pull on something that you don't know what it will do.3. If something breaks, take it to the shop or bring it to me. Sometimes, it maylook easy to fix, but if it is not fixed correctly or in a certain way, it can damagesomething else.4. Parents: Make sure you have the instrument serial number and make/modelnumbers for the instrument. That should be give to your insurance companyin case it is stolen or damaged in an event (like house fires).Basically, take care of what you own. It is an investment. If you have questions, please contact your music store or me. Thank you.
Tips for Practicing
Tips for Practicing: This page is to help you with your practicing.
- Don’t play through a piece. Find 8-16 measures in a piece and work on it.
- Practice in groups can be more fun.
- Break your work down. If the problem is:
- Rhythms: write out the counts (numbers), say it with a beat, play on one note, play it as written.
- Dynamics (loud, soft): on one note, that dynamics to hear it.
- Articulation (tonguing accents, slurs, etc…): practice slow (with beat)
- Fingerings: find fingerings, write them out, play them one note at a time, play them a couple notes at a time, play it slow in time (with beat), speed up.
- Pitch (finding a high or low note): check out the fingerings, play a scale up to the note, play the note a couple of times in a row (make sure you can hit it), play it in the measure, play it in the piece.
- Find a good time to practice (just like homework time) and keep it there.
- Use your resources to figure things out (finger charts, glossary in Red Book, exercises from Red and Blue Books, Simply strings, rhythm charts).
- Tools to help practicing:
- Metronome (beepy thing that keeps a beat): remember to tap your foot to the beat as well.
- Tuner to check note against to help stay in tune.
- Sit up and breathe with a big stomach.
- Mirror to look at your face, hands and instrument
- Your books to look up things you don’t know.
- Good exercises for each instrument to warm-up on are:
- Woodwinds: scales in different keys (check your fingerings), then a piece from Red or Blue book.
- Brass: long tones (green pages at the beginning of Red book), then scales, then pieces from the Red or Blue book.
- Percussion: Snare warm-up of rhythms in back of Red and Blue book, then scales for Snare Drum followed by a piece. For Mallets: scales from Red and Blue book and then a piece.
- Choir: Mi, Me, Mah, Mo, Moo, and then solfedge exercises. Then pieces (work on words)
Remember that practice is time for you to work on what you need to fix. If you have something that you play correctly, then spend your time on material that you are having problems on. NOTE: If you don’t understand something, ask me or someone else who does.
Always end your practice with singing or playing something that you enjoy