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Trenton Music Department family -
What are some of your best ideas for things to do, projects to accomplish, and ideas on how to best handle our Shelter-In-Place situation! Students, parents, anyone is welcome to comment/reply to this blog post. There's nobody more resourceful and creative than our music community - let's hear your ideas! I'll start with two of my own personal ones:
I find that I am more productive if I start my day every day like I'm going to work. Normal wake up (give or take 30 minutes...lol), shower, breakfast and coffee then face the day as if it were any other day. Keeps me focused and 'normal'.
Practice guitar and trumpet improvisation. I use youtube jazz backing track videos with chord changes. There's literally thousands of videos and songs to use. Keeps me learning and musical.
As I mentioned earlier, I am going to try to put together some ways that may keep students performing for each other. This first way is a Virtual Talent Show. Here's the details:
1. Practice a song or an act. Sing, play instrument, dance, comedy, drama, anything.
2. When it's ready, video record it.
3. Send video or video link to Mr. Kurilko by Thursday night, March 26.
4. I will watch it and make sure everything is ok to post.
5. I will put them together on a page that I will create on this website and post on Friday
734 778 3418
Either one is a good way to send me your performances. If this one works out, I will plan for more as time goes by. Break a leg!
Hey everyone - I got a couple of good ideas the other day but might need some time and help to make it happen. These ideas are intended to keep you practicing and performing in ways that you are already familiar with while at the same time, giving you some interaction with other students.
First idea is to have a virtual talent show. This could be pretty simple to accomplish. Follow me on this - students make videos of your own performances. Singing, guitar, dance, whatever you want. You email the video to me either as a file or email me a link to youtube. I will then upload them to a page on this website that I'll name Virtual Talent Show and date it (it could be the first of several). On a specified date, I will post it. I can allow comments or not. Up to you. If you have any other thoughts on this, let me know at my email address or cell number:
734 778 3418
Another thought is to have a LIVE coffeehouse. Much like we've done at lunch in the Trojan Cafe, in chorus class, or for video project bands in guitar class, I could set up videoconferencing for a specified time and date - for example, say Wednesday December 25 at 5pm (it won't be on Christmas day lol) and give the link for the teleconference. Everyone would be up live to watch and to take turns performing with me as the moderator. Sign up for the event would be by contacting me first and I'd set each act up with a specific time which I will list ahead of time. This way, if you want to watch a specific act, you can join the conference at that time.
There's a lot to think about with the planning of such a thing and I could use any tips and help anyone might have. I first have to find out if either one of these two ideas is even allowed by Trenton Public Schools (I can't imagine why not unless there's a FERPA law involved.)
Any help and ideas to make one or both of these ideas happen, contact me. I'm down for anything. Like you, I've got a lot of time on my hands and I'd sure like to keep my students practicing and performing.
As it turns out, I just found out that while the building will be open tomorrow at the times that I stated, I CANNOT be in the buildings or rooms when the students are there after all. Mandated by the district. No matter - all the rooms will be open for instruments and music stands. 5th grade band - take a folding stand with you and bring it back when you come back. High school - sign out a black stand - there will be a sign out sheet on the white board and you can write a number on the stand that matches the one on the sheet where you put your name.
Received this afternoon from the MSBOA state office:
Good Afternoon Members:
This past Saturday, March 14th, the MSBOA Executive Cabinet met via video conferencing and addressed several issues and made the following decisions:
1.) State Jazz Festival is cancelled and will not be rescheduled
*This includes the Sat April 18 jazz festival our jazz band and combo were to participate in - MK, Trenton
2.) State Band and Orchestra Festival is cancelled and will not be rescheduled
3.) MYAF--MSBOA will not participate in the 2020 Michigan Youth Arts Festival
4.) All S & E, Jazz and B & O registration fees will be refunded to members/schools at the rate of 100% refund
Later, you will receive an email which will provide the process that we will use to refund your State S & E registration fees, your State Jazz registration fees and your State Band & Orchestra registration fees.
When I receive the email regarding refunds, I will communicate to all. MK
I'm exploring ways to get music education content out to as many students as want to have it during your month long spring break (!) While none of this can be or will be figured into your grades, there's a system called UTheory that looks interesting with some possibilities for feedback from me as your teacher and not just online "right"/"wrong" results. The link to my classroom is:
There seems to be lessons built into this online system as well as setting up levels (i.e. elementary vs high school) but I need to look over it. However, in order to make it happen, I'll need some students to enroll using the link above. There shouldn't be any cost to the student. I'll wait a couple of days to see what happens and I'll let you know from there what's what with UTheory.
UPDATE TWO HOURS LATER AFTER EXPERIMENTING:
There's some legit skills and lessons in this online program. The beginning stuff is good for those who are just starting to read music for the first time (some chorus and guitar students plus 5th grade band) while the skills toward the end are MUCH more high school and even college level. There's something for everyone. Much like E2020, it's set up with a video lesson followed by a hands on skills test which will work with an ipad (what I used), smartphones, and laptops/mouse. It's free to enroll - just a name (please use your own name so that I can contact you if you want help) and an email address and you're off! Something musical to do while at home.
For those who don't know it, my cell number is 734-778-3418 if you have any questions about anything music or otherwise. MK
This message is to our students and parents of Trenton Public Schools.
Due to anticipated increases in travel restrictions, Trenton Public Schools is altering their building access plan. Our student timetable has been moved up to Tuesday afternoon, MARCH 17 (tomorrow). All four educational buildings will be open from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Below are the doors to be used by students at each building.
Anderson Elementary School – Main lobby doors
Hedke Elementary School – Main lobby doors or the loading dock door
Arthurs Middle School – Main lobby doors
Trenton High School – Main lobby doors, loading dock doors, and student lot entrance
We apologize for any inconvenience related to this change. We will continue to use a variety of communication paths to keep you informed. Thank you and be safe.
From Mr. Kurilko: I will now be at THS from 2-3:30 pm, Anderson 3:45-4:15 pm, Hedke 4:30-5pm, and then back at THS until 6pm. ALL MUSIC AND BAND ROOMS WILL STAY OPEN 2-6pm.
I have added pages to this website where I will put class content including sound files, videos, instruction by me, sheet music, etc. You can scroll to the "More" tab at the upper right or access using one of these page links:
The spring musical page is actually on the top of the website since there is already a lot of content that I put there from previous musicals. However, I'm going to add current home rehearsal tools such as sound files, music, etc. soon. Stay tuned.
Until then, enjoy this PSA from the cast of "Mama Mia!" (video/editing by director Cheyla Wagner):
Hello alI -
I am busy developing plans on how I might be able to best help all of my students continue to learn and practice their music at home during our time off. Concert band, jazz band, chorus, guitar, spring musical, and 5th grade plans are being worked out. Video lessons made by me by class posted here plus emails with links is one of my schemes. Scanned pages of concert, jazz, chorus, and spring musical music along with mp3s is another possibility. Once we get back to school in four weeks, I want each student to have had the opportunity to at least maintain their instrumental and vocal skill level so that we can hit the ground running in rehearsal upon return.
One thing that I will encourage is that if a student doesn't have a music stand at home that he/she borrow one from the band room during Wednesday's building access time. Practicing music without a stand is difficult.
I'm going to have a sign out sheet so that I can keep track of who has which stand which I will number. I am hoping that you will help me out with this as I will not be at only Trenton HS that day. My Wednesday March 18 schedule is as follows:
8-9:45 am I'm at THS in the band room and chorus room
10-11 am I'm at Anderson Elementary music room
3-4pm I'm at Hedke Elementary music room
4:15-6 pm I'm back at THS
The band room WILL BE OPEN even when I'm at the elementary schools that day so when I'm not there and you want to take a music stand, I'll have the sign out list for you on the white board. I'm not going to number each stand myself but I'll ask you to take a special highlighter and write the corresponding number that you signed out one on on the stand that you take with you (I'll write instructions on the white board). That way I'll know when all stands are back.
At this time, all post-April 13 music department events are still a go. We are trying to reschedule the spring musical to the weekend of April 23-25 but the other dates - Jazz Cafe April 27, THS 3rd tri concert May 11, 5th/6th gr band concert May 12 - are all still a go as planned until further notice.
**I am waiting on decisions about the April 25 DMG All Star Bands event and the April 18 MSBOA Jazz Festival.
This is the Grosse Ile Middle School bands website where their band director, Nate Bearinger, put a nice set of links for instrument care and cleaning/sanitizing just in case that is something students are interested in: