Welcome to Rushton Elementary Bands

Band Updates


We are off and running in both 5th and 6th grade now! Here are a few updates to keep you in the loop on what we’re doing over the next few weeks:

Fifth Grade:

  • We are using instruments! If you are still working on getting yours, just contact me so I know where you are in that process. If you have any difficulties with this, contact me ASAP.
  • Students should have their instrument, book, and pencil at EVERY rehearsal. This is part of their grade!
  • For the next two band rehearsals at your respective schools, I will meet with smaller, like instrument groups, to teach kids the proper way to assemble, clean, maintain, and make a good tone on their instruments. The schedule below will indicate which kids will meet on which days:
    • East Antioch/Rushton:
      • Thursday, September 7—Woodwinds
      • Tuesday, September 12—Brass/Percussion
    • Santa Fe Trail:
      • Friday, September 8—Woodwinds
      • Tuesday, September 12—Brass/Percussion
    • Nieman/Merriam Park:
      • Monday, September 11—Woodwinds
      • Wednesday, September 13—Brass/Percussion
  • 5th grade students should practice 20 minutes a night, 4-5 days a week. This is VERY important, since our class time is very limited. Building endurance on the instrument and producing a consistent tone can only be achieved with practice–in manageable chunks–spread over several days a week. Please encourage your student to practice!
  • Students should be practicing on their mouthpieces this week! Try timing them to see how long they can hold a tone, and have your brass players play you a “siren”. Expect to hear some “interesting” noises . . . 🙂


Sixth Grade:

  • We are working to build our endurance back up, which means students MUST PRACTICE AT HOME! 6th graders should practice for 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.
  • Our goal is to be caught up to where we finished up in the book last year (somewhere between line #60-70) by the end of September. We should be starting new material first thing in October, if not before that!
  • Look for practice assignments on the band website (www.smnorthbands.org). Click on your school on the elementary drop down menu, and look for the “Sixth Grade Practice and Homework Assignments” button on the right side of your school’s page.

We are really off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to a fantastic year with these kids.




Welcome back! Summer has flown by, but that’s okay because that means it’s BAND TIME!

We will begin our normal rehearsal schedule next week, starting on Tuesday, August 22nd. Rehearsal schedules are as follows:


Merriam Park: M/W 2:00-2:30

Nieman: M/W 10:00-10:30

East Antioch: T/Th 12:00-12:30

Ruston: T/Th 1:45-2:15

Santa Fe Trail: T/F 10:00-10:30


Please remember to bring ALL necessary materials to class: Instrument, book, pencil, reeds, valve oil, cork grease, etc.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions ([email protected]). I’m looking forward to seeing you all again!


Don’t forget . . .

Our sixth grade band members are invited to play with the high school pep band at the basketball game this Friday, January 6th. Report time is 5:45 in the SMN band room. Check your email/skyward messages for more info.

See you there!

No Band This Week

I had an unfortunate incident involving a set of stairs and a poorly placed spray bottle which resulted in a broken foot. I am able to get around for the most part, but I will not be having band the first week back to school in order to give my foot a bit of time to heal and become less painful before I begin hauling equipment from school to school and setting up and tearing down classrooms. I plan to begin classes this coming Monday.
Hope you all had a great break! Or maybe I should say vacation. The word “break” bears a lot of negative feelings for me at present 🙂

Honor Band Starts Today!

I just wanted to post a reminder that 6th grade honor band starts today. I’m looking forward to seeing all your kids this afternoon for our first rehearsal. We will begin at 3:45, and conclude at 4:45. Students must be picked up from rehearsal no later than 5:00 PM.
Please drop your students off, and pick them up, at the band room door, which is door #6, off the west parking lot of the school. I will be there as students are arriving, so if they’re a little early, it’s fine.
Can’t wait to get these kids rolling!


Honor Band–Rides Needed!

Greetings 6th grade band family!
Hopefully, by now you have had the opportunity to discuss the possibility of your student playing in the sixth grade honor band. Unfortunately, for many students, the major obstacle in playing in this awesome group is just a matter of being able to get from the elementary school over to the high school for rehearsal. Honestly, if I could fit everyone into my Honda Fit and haul them over to North, I would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, this is not a practical solution.
I am asking parents and other willing adults who are planning to transport their kids on Mondays, to consider driving not only your student to rehearsal, but perhaps take on a few extra passengers as well.
Also, please note that rehearsals are on Mondays. They start at 3:45, and end at 4:45, but there will be an adult in the band room at north by around 3:00 on those days if you need to drop your kid off early. The band room will close at 5:00 after rehearsal is over. If your schedule necessitates dropping your student off a few minutes late, or picking them up a few minutes early, that is certainly workable.
If you are willing and able to provide transportation to rehearsal for multiple kids, could you email me with the following information:
1.) Your name, your student, and which school your child attends.
2.) How many ADDITIONAL kids you can transport (not including your child).
3.) If you are willing to possibly transport these kids to their homes after rehearsal (not a deal breaker).
4.) If there are other circumstances which would impact transportation arrangements.
Thank you all for considering this. Hopefully, we can get as many kids involved as possible!

Honor Band and Practice Records

Greetings all!

We have an exciting new opportunity coming up this month for our sixth grade band members. We will be starting our North Area Honor Band rehearsals on Monday, November 14th. This band is for all interested sixth graders in the north area (that’s 7 schools!) who would like the opportunity to play in a full band ensemble, and work on more challenging music. Please see the link below for a flyer with more information:

North Area Honor Band Information

Secondly, fifth grade band students will now be responsible for keeping a record of their practice minutes each month. The November practice records are now posted on this page (just click on the “Monthly Practice Record” button to the right) and I will also hand out a copy to students in class soon. Students are to write down how many minutes they practice each day, and what they worked on. I will check and initial their practice record every week to monitor their progress and practice habits, and I will collect the practice records–with a parent signature–at the end of the month. Sixth Grade Parents: please note that you no longer have to sign off on their student’s practice minutes every week. You only have to sign once at the end of the month before the practice log is due. However, I will continue to check and initial practice logs every week to monitor progress. Please continue to encourage your students to practice 3-4 days a week. It makes a huge difference in their musical development!

Thanks, as always, for your continued support, and great kids!

Grade Information and Festival Reminder

Greetings all,

First of all, as you are going over your students’ grades, please be sure to check your Skyward message center and/or for information pertaining to student grades this quarter. I have posted a detailed description of how to interpret your students’ grades this quarter, and what will be expected moving forward. Also, some schools may not actually include band grades in your student’s grade report, so be sure to check Skyward for those.

Second, I would HIGHLY encourage you all to attend the Shawnee Mission North Marching Invitational, this Saturday, October 22nd. We have 11 fantastic bands coming from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri to compete at the peak of their form. The event lasts all day, but you can come and go as you please once you have paid admission (band students are FREE!) Please consider attending. You will get to see what is in store for our students in less than 3-4 years, and it’s a major fundraising event for the North band program. Also, the Shawnee Mission North Band will perform at 8:45 PM as an exhibition. The link below will take you to a flyer with more information.

Marching Invitational Information Flyer

Hope to see you all there!