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JH/HS Music Department

USD 240 Music Department

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Mr. Bruce Mrs. Johnson Mrs. Schell
cbruce@usd240.org bjohnson@usd240.org bschell@usd240.org
785-488-3321 785-283-4774 785-488-3321
Bennington Schools Tescott Schools Bennington Schools

Mr. Bruce's GS Lesson Plans

Mr. Bruce's Jh/Sh Choirs' Lesson Plans

Mrs. Johnson's Lesson Plans Mrs. Schell's Lesson Plans

Get to know your teacher

Christopher Bruce received his Music Education degree from Grove City College in Grove City, PA.  Before moving to Kansas he worked at the Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp in Interlochen, MI as a Residence Life Counselor, Band Ensemble Manager, and Division Assistant Director.  In Salina, he gives piano lessons for all ages and voice lessons for ages 13 and up.  He also participates regularly as an actor at the Salina Community Theatre and a vocal teacher for the Center for Theatre Arts.  

 

 

 

Hi!  I received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia and a Master’s degree in Music Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  While in Virginia, I only taught high school choir:  I LOVE the fact that at Tescott, I have the opportunity to teach music to little ones in pre-school, and then watch them grow musically until they graduate as seniors!  

    I love being outdoors, which means that gardening in the summer is one of my favorite things to do:  vegetables, fruits, and flowers all receive tender, loving care (and an occasional brown thumb), at our house--some years are better than others!  I also love watching movies with my husband and visiting our son and his family in Paola.

Bailey Schell graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, KS with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. After graduation, she moved to the Salina area and delved into the world of teaching 4th-6th general music and 5th-12th instrumental music at Bennington and has loved every moment since. In her free time Bailey enjoys spending time with family and friends, spending time outdoors (especially fishing), and attending music events around the Salina area.

What students will learn in music and band

 

Kindergarten: Basic rhythmic concepts and solfege syllables (Do, Mi, Sol, La), we learn how to listen, how to be a good audience member, how to cross our midline, and lots of dancing!   Most of the songs we learn in Kindergarten are traditional American folk songs.

 

1st Grade: Basic rhythmic concepts and solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La), we learn how to listen, and how to be a good audience member.  We discover the instrument families, American folk songs, other culture’s folk songs, the difference between slow, fast, loud, and soft music.

 

2nd Grade: We advance our knowledge of rhythmic concepts and solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La), learn how to audiate music (look at a piece of music and know what it sounds like all inside their head), learn how to play and hold instruments with care, and dictate rhythm and pitch.

 

3rd Grade (Bennington Campus): We advance our knowledge of rhythmic concepts and solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La), learn how to better audiate music (look at a piece of music and know what it sounds like all inside their head), learn more advanced folk songs and other high quality songs.  We learn more about the instrument families and famous composers.

 

4th Grade: We build upon the solfege learned in the lower grades as well as music literacy. Students will go more in-depth into rhythm and note reading through the use of recorders in the classroom to prepare them for beginning band. Students sing a variety of songs throughout the year. In fourth grade, we spend time at the end of the year testing out beginning band instruments for the first year of band in fifth grade.

 

5th Grade: We continue to build upon solfege and music literacy. Students learn about famous composers more in-depth as well as a little about music history. Students continue to sing a variety of songs throughout the year (usually in 2-part harmony) and are exposed to playing music on boomwhackers.

 

6th Grade: We continue to build on solfege to the entire range of the scale as well as music literacy. Students learn about the different time periods of music and will spend time learning about current genres of music. Students sing a variety of songs throughout the year (2 to 3-part harmony) and are exposed to boomwhackers and non-traditional ways of making music.

 

5th Grade Band: This is the first year at both campuses students can participate in band. Students will learn the basics of their chosen instrument as well as build upon their music literacy skills by playing an instrument. Students will perform in two concerts per year.

 

6th Grade Band: This class builds upon what the students learned in beginning band. Students will continue to learn more about their instrument (new notes and rhythms) as well as improve their sound in preparation for junior high band. Students will perform in two concerts per year.

 

Junior High Band (Both Campuses): The junior high band class provides each student an opportunity to perform and expand his/her musical knowledge and appreciation for music. Instruction in the band classroom focuses around improving and building upon the musical foundation set forth in the elementary bands through scales, rhythm, technique, musicality, and other musical skills in a team setting. Students have the opportunity to participate in pep band and in music festivals.

 

7th and 8th Grade Music:  Tescott

Music for 7th and 8th graders at Tescott involves playing guitar.  7th graders learn guitar fundamentals, including basic chords, melodies in 1st position on 3 strings, and tuning.  

 

Junior High Choir: The most important concepts we learn in 7th and 8th grade choir is how to listen, think abstractly, and work as a team.  All 7th and 8th grade students take chorus where we work on breath control, resonance, tone, hitting correct notes, singing in head voice vs chest voice and learning how to transition between them, singing with efficient posture, and how to deal with the changing voice while singing.  We perform for the Winter and Spring concerts, HOA Junior High contest, and Spring POPS concert near the end of the year.  

 

High School Band (Both Campuses): The high school band class provides each student the opportunity to perform with a band instrument while teaching the art and history of music through performance. During the band period students will learn scales, rhythm, technique, musicality, and other musical necessities while working in a team setting. Students will also learn a wide variety of music while gaining knowledge of their own instrument through the performance process. In the fall, the band will participate in marching band activities and at all home football games. In the Spring the band will perform at home basketball games as well as at Regional and State Music Festivals.

 

Jazz Band (Bennington): Jazz band is a performing group for those students who seek to explore an advanced level of music other than what is offered in band. The jazz band plays for community events, the school, and performs throughout the fall and spring. The goal of this class is to achieve a high level of playing ability and understanding of a wide variety of jazz music. The class will cover jazz improvisational techniques and the structure, theory, and history of jazz. All students of all instrumentations are welcome to the class Though it is not required, it is highly encouraged that students enrolled in jazz band are also enrolled in band to help further their musical skills within the classroom.

 

High School Choir: The most important concepts we learn in high school choir is how to listen, think abstractly, and work as a team.  We work heavily on how to read music through solfege syllables; the ability to read, understand, audiate, and produce music is a complicated and focus-driven process.  It expands and synthesizes parts of our brain that would otherwise go unexercised.  High school choir performs for the Winter and Spring concerts as well as Small Ensemble contest, and POPS concert.  They also have the option to perform Solos for Regional and State contests.  


High School Music Appreciation (Bennington Campus): Music Appreciation focuses on how to read and play chords on the piano, learn music theory concepts, learn music history ranging from the prehistoric eras through contemporary music, learn the effects of music on the brain through the book This Is Your Brain On Music written by Daniel Levitin, discover the music of other cultures through a series of student-led ethnomusicology presentations, learn about composition techniques used in movie soundtracks such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and learn about stage musicals.

Strategies for success

 

Practice and a positive attitude go a long way towards ensuring success in music!  Whether it’s band, vocal, guitar, recorders, or any other form of music, constructive practice will help your son or daughter achieve their goals.  These tips will help:

*Practice some each day.  It’s better to practice a little each day than to have a marathon session once a week!

*Practice slowly, THEN gradually speed up.  

*”Chunk it”!  Work on a few measures of music, perfect them, then do the same with a few more and link them together.  

*Have your son or daughter play “mini-concerts” for you!  Lavish praise is good too!
 

Know the standards

 

Ensemble Standards


PreK-8, General Music Standards