Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Updates

Today in class, your child received a practice log that is due next Tuesday, December 13th. They should mostly be working on their music for their upcoming concert. Individual practice is critical to the success of the group, so encouragement of good practice habits is key. :) Please initial the practice log every time your child practices. (They will receive a 100 if they practice at least 4 days, 85 for 3 days, 75 for 2 days, 70 for one day or less) If your child plays cello or bass, does not have their own instrument at home, and does not have a ride/access to school instruments before school, please let me know so we can come up with an alternate assignment or way for them to practice.

I also wanted to go ahead and send out concert reminders.

Concert Date Reminders:

6th Grade, Fiddlers, and Cello Choir- Wednesday, December 14

7th and 8th Grade- Thursday, December 15

7th Grade Performance at the GA Aquarium- Friday, December 16

Both concerts start at 7pm, with students arriving at 6:30pm to be tuned. Make sure they are in uniform. (7th Grade girls dresses need to be hemmed if they have not been already!!)
Uniform 6th Grade- Durham white polo, black dress pants/long skirt, black shoes (black socks if socks are needed)
Uniform 7th and 8th Grade- Boys- Tuxedos, Girls- Uniform Black Dresses, black shoes


6th Grade Parents- The ASO forms and money is due on Friday, December 16. 
7th Grade Parents- Please don't forget that the $32 for the Aquarium trip is due tomorrow!
8th Grade Parents- We have a $150 Disney payment due on Friday (December 9). Your children are completing playing tests from their music in class this week. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

8th Grade Playing Test

This playing test will be done in class on Tuesday, December 6th:

1st Violins on Trepak- m. 57-end
1st Violins on Irish Yuletide- m. 67-74
Viola- Kindle m. 61-68
Cello- Irish Yuletide pickup 39-46
Bass- Trepak m. 17-32

Monday, November 14, 2016

Orchestra Updates- November

Hello Everyone,


We are busy working on a lot of music to prepare for our December concerts! Here is what is happening in each grade level:

8th Grade- Your child has 6 pieces to work on right now. We will have a playing test sometime after the Thanksgiving break, in which your child will play a short excerpt from one of their pieces and record it on the school iPads at school. Details TBA. They are doing a great job!

7th Grade- Your child has a playing test this Thursday, November 17th in class that will be recorded on school iPads. They are playing #47 (Rondeau) in the book. Your child now also has 5 concert pieces...hopefully, you are hearing a lot of practicing at home! Expect another practice log sometime in early December!

6th Grade- Your child has their first note quiz on the D String notes on Friday. They are completing a study guide in class today. This quiz should be fairly easy for them, since these are the notes most familiar to them. If your child is struggling with note reading, there are links on the right side of the blog and there are MANY apps out there.(my favorite is Staff Wars. It's $3 well spent, in my opinion!!!) In addition, your child should have their binders in class this week to receive new music and they have circled numbers in their book to practice for their upcoming December concert! YOu should be hearing things like Twinkle, Twinkle, Jingle Bells, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Good King Wenceslas, etc. :)

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fundraiser Delivery

Dear Parents, 
The fundraiser delivery is Tuesday, November 8th.  We will need several volunteers to assist in unloading the truck, sorting, and facilitating in the delivery of the items. Volunteers may bring middle school students to help, but we ask that any younger students remain at home. This is for safety purposes.  Due to Durham being a voting location, all volunteers must stay in the cafeteria and not go to the other parts of school.
We have not received any definitive times from the shipping company; therefore, all times are tentative.  At this time, we are going to guess that you may pick up your items between noon and 9:00 PM.  We will inform you of any changes to this time. 
Please go to the sign up genius below to volunteer. Thank you in advance for your help.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Concert Info

9th Annual TV and Movie Music Extravaganza!!!
Featuring the Durham and Allatoona Orchestras

When:  Thursday, 10/27/16.  Students report at 7:00 PM.  Concert starts at 7:30PM.
Where:  Allatoona High School Gym
Who:  All members of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade orchestras.  Plus AHS orchestras!
What:  Our first concert of the year! We will perform themes from TV and the Movies. 
Costume:  To fit the theme of the concert, orchestra members are invited to wear a costume (a favorite TV or movie character, or something just plain fun).  Otherwise, regular school outfits will be fine for this concert. 
*Please avoid costumes that might be considered offensive, unpatriotic, or otherwise scary for children in the audience!
Arrival:  Middle school students should be at Allatoona at 7:00 PM, in order to tune and be set up. 
Music Stand:  If you have your own portable music stand, please bring it to the concert.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October Orchestra Update

Hello Parents,

We have been busy working in Orchestra across all grade levels! Here's a look at what is coming up and what we've been doing:

ALL GRADE LEVELS: Thursday, October 27th- TV and Movie Concert at Allatoona High School
participate in this awesome concert!! Students will wear costumes (or school clothes if they don't have a costume) and will play music from TV shows or movies. The concert starts at 7:30 pm, and all students should arrive by 7. More details to come!

8th Grade Orchestra: All 8th Graders attending the Disney trip in the spring should have their Disney packets and $200 deposit turned in by this Friday, 10/14. We have been working hard on music for our October concert and lots of advanced techniques such as shifting and vibrato. You can ask your child how to do these techniques and they should be able to show you. :)

7th Grade Orchestra: The 7th Grade Orchestra students have been given a practice log that is due next Friday. They must have 5 twenty minute practice sessions, signed off by the parent, in order to earn a 100 on the practice log. They can also come in at 8:15 any day for early morning practice, in which case I would sign off on their log. I put on the bottom of the practice log a list of things for them to practice, with concert music being the top priority. Please email me if you have any questions.

6th Grade Orchestra:  The 6th Grade Orchestra is working on maintaining great posture and position, with good bow grips and good bow movement involved. Hopefully, you are hearing no squeaking or scratching if they are playing correctly. :) We are working on basic songs, scales, and skills from their Sound Innovations books and their concert pieces, Middle School Story and Jaws.

Fiddlers: The Fiddlers have a performance this Saturday at 2:15pm at the Taste of Acworth festival. They will meet me at 1:45pm at the stage near the Post Office on Main St. They will play until 3pm. Hope to see you all there!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at durhamorchestra@gmail.com or jennifer.aikey@cobbk12.org

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Encore Fundraiser

Hello Parents,

We are excited to kick off our Music Department Fundraiser through Encore! Your child should have brought home a packet yesterday. The products are great and the prizes available to your child are even better!! These funds are used for a multitude of things, but most importantly for us in Orchestra, we use these funds for string clinicians to help differentiate and individualize instruction for your child. These small group clinics/sectionals are crucial for their success in Orchestra. Here are the fundraiser details:

Dates: The fundraiser runs from now until September 14th!
Handling Money: All customers should write a check to you (the parent), and you will then write one check to Durham Middle School. (this helps immensely with bookkeeping!)
Delivery: Items from Encore will be delivered to Durham on the week of November 7th, when you will need to pick up the items to hand back to customers. 
(All of the items come frozen, so pickup on pickup day will be very important! The items stay good in the freezer for 6 months.)

Please email me if you have any questions! Thank you for your support of the Durham Music Department!

Jennifer Aikey


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Beginning of the Year Info

Hello Orchestra Parents,

Please fill out the form below this blog post if you have not done so already!

Here is important information for each grade level:

8th Grade: If your child is planning to perform and attend the Braves game, please make sure their Blanket Permission form, ticket order forms, and polo forms are turned in by August 25th. They should have the National Anthem mostly memorized by the next rehearsal, which is this coming Monday at 8am in the theater. Any student who missed this week's rehearsal should come to the make-up rehearsal tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 8:15am. The Braves game price for students and chaperones has been changed to $40 and will occur on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Parent and family tickets are $25. Students who attend the field trip must ride the bus to and from Durham and stay with the group through the duration of the trip. The 8th Grade also has a playing test that was assigned today that is due on August 19th. These tests will be done in class; it is a short, 8 measure test...between the National Anthem and the playing test, you should be hearing some practicing at home! :)

7th Grade: Everyone in 7th Grade should have their Essential Elements Book 2 by the end of this week. I have extended the deadline as some stores have ran out of books. Please call ahead before going to a store to obtain the books. We are working on note reading review and are getting started with the books in class! All students should have turned in a blanket permission form. We will be handing out information about Formal Uniforms tomorrow. Please be on the lookout for those forms, as they will be due soon. Boys uniforms will be a little different than in the past, with the students wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a black tie. Girls uniforms will be the same as previous years (a black dress), so if you have obtained an Orchestra dress through a neighbor or friend, then you are good to go. Boys uniforms will be $68 and Girls uniforms are $64. Students must order through us so they will have matching uniforms. Please keep their polo shirt as it may be needed for other events. 

6th Grade: Please come to the Music Night Open House on Thursday from 7-8:30; this is a drop-in event, so come anytime that is convenient for you in that period to meet the music teachers and for your child to try the instruments one more time! We will get everyone signed up for classes on Friday and students will have their first official day in Orchestra on Monday of next week.

Small Groups: Cello Choir will have its' first official rehearsal on next Tuesday and Fiddlers will have a rehearsal for new and returning members next Thursday. Returning members from Fiddlers have a meeting this Thursday at 8:15am.

Please email me if you have any questions! jennifer.aikey@cobbk12.org Thank you!

---Jennifer Aikey

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spring Concert Info

6th Grade Orchestra, Fiddlers, and Cello Choir
When: Monday, May 9th, 2016
Time: Students Report by 6:30 PM, Concert is at 7:00 PM
Where: Durham Theater
Uniform for 6th Grade: DMS White Polo shirt, Black Dress Pants/Floor Length Skirt, Black Dress Shoes
Fiddlers: Wear Green Fiddlers T-Shirt and Jeans
Cello Choir: Formalwear/Uniforms

7th Grade Orchestra and 8th Grade Orchestra
When: Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Tine: Students Report by 6:30 PM, Concert is at 7:00 PM
Where: Durham Theater
Uniform: Tuxedos and Black Gowns, Black Dress Shoes

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

7th Grade Playing Tests

7th Grade,

Make sure you can get into the Charms system using the following login, and let Mrs. Aikey know if you can't get into the system.

School Code: DurhamOrch

Id/Password: Your lunch code/Student ID

The Charms system will then prompt you to make a new password. You do not have to do this if you don't want to, though you definitely can if you would like to. On the right hand side of the app, you will see a menu dropdown. Tap on it to see the menu. Tap "Recording Studio." Then, click the second tab on the bottom that looks like a sheet of paper; this is the Assignments tab. You can then choose which playing test you want to record. It's that easy! You can choose to re-record as well if you don't like what you hear back. Once you submit the playing test though, it is locked and you cannot go back, so make sure your recording is the way you want it before you submit it. Here is what you are expected to play:


Zydeco Two Step Test (Due 3/22):

Violins- Measures 9-16
Violas- Measures 18-25 (no repeat)
Cellos and Basses- Measures 34-49

Cellos and Basses who do not have their own instrument or students who do not have a smartphone or tablet can record their playing tests before school on any morning before school (8:15) OR they can record their playing test during class this week.


Let Mrs. Aikey know if you have any issues or questions!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jamboree Details

Hello 6th Grade Parents,

I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of the itinerary and important information for the Jamboree concert this Thursday. Please make sure your child wears their polo shirt and jeans (khakis or black pants are fine if they do not have jeans) to school on Thursday. Students also need to bring their labeled folding music stand to school by Thursday if they have one. The itinerary is as follows:

Dismissal/After school- Students leave on school buses to Harrison
5:00-5:15 - Set-up/Schools begin arriving at Harrison
5:15-5:30 - Tuning
5:30-6:30 - Rehearsal (approx.7 minutes/piece)
6:30-7:20 - Pizza/Dinner break
7:20-7:25 - Students back in place
7:30-8:00 - Concert in Harrison Gym
8:00 - Concert ends/clean-up

We encourage you to support your child and attend the concert at 7:30pm. All students need to be picked up by 8pm. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Thank you!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

6th Grade Playing Tests

6th Grade,

Make sure you can get into the Charms system using the following login, and let Mrs. Aikey know if you can't get into the system.

School Code: DurhamOrch
Id/Password: Your lunch code/Student ID

The Charms system will then prompt you to make a new password. You do not have to do this if you don't want to, though you definitely can if you would like to. On the right hand side of the app, you will see a menu dropdown. Tap on it to see the menu. Tap "Recording Studio." Then, click the second tab on the bottom that looks like a sheet of paper; this is the Assignments tab. You can then choose which playing test you want to record. It's that easy! You can choose to re-record as well if you don't like what you hear back. Once you submit the playing test though, it is locked and you cannot go back, so make sure your recording is the way you want it before you submit it. Here is what you are expected to play:

Alpha Beta Alpha test: (Due 3/15)
Violins- letter C to letter D
Violas- letter A to letter B
Cellos AND Basses- letter C to letter D

Dragon Slayer test: (Due 3/18)
Violins AND Violas- mm. 11-18
Cellos AND Basses- mm. 19-26

Cellos and Basses who do not have their own instrument or students who do not have a smartphone or tablet can record their playing tests before school on any morning before school (8:15) OR they can record their playing test during class on 3/14 and 3/18.

Let Mrs. Aikey know if you have any issues or questions!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March Music Madness!

Hello everyone,

It's that busy, but fun-filled time of year again! Don't forget to check on the calendar on the right side of this blog and the list below!

Here is a list of upcoming events:
7th Grade LGPE: Tuesday March 8th
8th Grade LGPE: Thursday March 10th
Fiddlers play in the Hall for St. Patrick's Day: Thursday March 17th
Fiddlers and 6th Period Orchestra performs for 5th Grade Visit: Wednesday March 23rd
6th Grade Jamboree: Thursday March 24th at Harrison
Fiddlers Play @ Big Shanty Festival: Sunday April 17th at 3:30pm

Please email me at durhamorchestra@gmail.com or jennifer.aikey@cobbk12.org if you have any questions about these upcoming events!

Jennifer Aikey



Friday, February 26, 2016

We need volunteers!

We still need parent volunteers for LGPE on March 8th and March 10th. Please click the link below if you are able to help!

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050d49aaaa2ba57-volunteers

Jennifer Aikey

Monday, February 22, 2016

Pre- LGPE Concert

Our concert for 7th and 8th Grade is TOMORROW!

7th Grade and 8th Grade Orchestra Pre-LGPE Concert
When: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tine: Students Report by 6:30 PM, Concert is at 7:00 PM
Where: Durham Theater
What to Wear: School Clothes