Beginning Band Jam Tracks

Important Band News!

We’re closing in on Spring Break, which means that or Spring Concert is right around the corner!  There’s a lot going on in Band, so please read the following carefully:

  1. The Spring Assemblies and Concert will be May 14th and 15th.  The evening concert will be May 15th at 6:15pm.  That’s SOON!  Please encourage your child to come to open sessions, and to practice at home as much as possible.  If he/she is really struggling, we can schedule a lesson to help get up to speed.
  2. Band and Chorus photos will take place on Wednesday, April 23rd.  That’s the day we come back for Spring Break.  There’s no dress code, but we will pose WITH INSTRUMENTS.  If your child has taken his/her instrument hoe for Spring Break, please remember to bring it back on Wednesday for the picture. 
  3. Tests – The ELA and Math Exams are stressful!  Students may come to rehearsals but they may also choose to play outside at recess during the testing weeks.  Absences during the testing week will NOT count.  We will have regular open sessions though.
  4. We will have a new student teacher, Scott Anderson, from Brooklyn College working with upper grade Music classes and Band students starting in early April.  Stop by and say hi!

No Open Session 3/21/14

New Jam Tracks for the Advanced Band

Here are the jam tracks for the first 20 measures of “The Marches of John Williams.”  Check back soon for the rest of song!

Recorder Ensemble – Simple Gifts

Assembly – This Friday!

The Beginning and Advanced Bands will be performing “12 Bar/B-flat Jam Blues” at the Black History Month Assembly this Friday, February 28th.  The assembly is during the school day, and there is no specific dress code.  The song “B-flat Jam Blues” is based on “C Jam Blues,” which was written by Duke Ellington in 1942.


Olympic Ear Training Exercise

Olympic Ear Training Exercise

If your child is looking for something to practice over the Mid-winter Recess, download mp3 via the link above.  “Bugler’s Dream” is familiar to most of us as NBC’s theme for the Winter Olympics, and is a wonderful song for elementary players! 

The notes for Flutes, Violins & Trombones are: E-flat, F, G & B-flat (starting on G)
The notes for Clarinets & Trumpets are: F, G, A & C (starting on A)
The notes for Saxophones are: C, D, E & G (starting on E)


B-Flat Jam Blues

B-Flat Jam Blues

Here’s a taste of what we’re working on in Band this Winter!  Some of the kids in Open Session were having so much fun that we decided to record ourselves.  If you’d like to hear more, check out the Black History Month Assembly on February 28th!

Post-Concert Band info

Here’s our schedule between now and the end of December:

  • There WILL be regular open sessions Monday – Thursday, but NOT on Fridays
  • NO Beginning Band rehearsal on Wed. December 11th (I have to go to a workshop)
  • There WILL be Advanced Band on December 12th and both bands will rehearse the following week
  • Friday open sessions will begin again in January
  • If your child’s instrument isn’t working and/or needs repairs, please let me know ASAP.  I will be sending instruments out for repairs next week
  • There will be a pizza part on Wed, December 18th for Beginning Band Violins and Trombones, and the following students with excellent attendance at open sessions: Alden, Caleb, Luk, Nina, Rex and Tara
  • There will be a pizza party on Thurs, December 19th for Advanced Band Clarinets and the following students with excellent attendance at open sessions: Aisling, Emma, Koby, Luca, Manoc, Nathan, Pearl, Rosie, Sekou, Tyler and Yanai.
  • Please email me at if your child is coming to a party and needs an alternative to pizza


Winter Concert

Congratulations to everyone on a wonderful series of Winter Concerts and Assemblies this week!  142 students performed in 8 different groups, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the P.S. 261 administration, staff, PTA, Arts Committee and parents!  It’s incredible how many people in our school community help support the arts at our school – from the school aides who put a rush on photocopying (and proofing!) the program, to parents like Yvette Torres-Schwartz who made sure there was water and snacks for the performers on Wednesday night, Ellen Levine who helped recruit volunteers and Nate Shaw who carried band gear, accompanied the chorus and handled everything we threw at him (at the last minute) – not to mention the administration who made sure that the teacher specialists had everything we needed… the list goes on and on.  We are so lucky to have a school community that comes together to celebrate the arts, despite budget cuts and busy schedules.  During this holiday season, we have much to be thankful for at P.S. 261! 

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the arts here at P.S. 261, there are lots of opportunities to help out!  Do you have a special skill (for example: sewing, running sound, playing an instrument, graphic design)? Do you have time during the school day to help during assemblies?  Check out the Arts at P.S. 261 –