Monday, June 1, 2020

Disney Refund Update

Dear 8th Grade Parents,

We have been notified that the travel agency has sent out the refund check to Durham. When we receive the check, it will take a couple of days to process, then we can begin processing refund checks to you. Our school bookkeeper, Robyn Cathey, and Dr. Bristow will have to process, print, and sign over 160 refund checks, so this may take another week or two for everything to be ready. You will be refunded the amount that you paid us. 

Once the refund process has begun, we will notify everyone of a date in which you can pick up the check from Durham. If you are not able to pick up the checks on that designated pickup date, we will mail out your refund check the next day. Again, we will notify everyone once that date has been determined.

We greatly appreciate your patience throughout this process and will give more information as soon as we can. 


The Durham Music Department
Jennifer Aikey, Orchestra
Susan Campbell, Chorus
Bobby Crosby, Orchestra
Matt Segars, Band
Selena Sanchez, Band

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Learning Opportunities - May 18-20

Hello Students,

To continue your learning the last 3 days of school:

1. Learning new techniques or reinforcing already learned techniques through Violin Masterclass:

Click on one of the video links and learn a new technique or keep working on a technique you've learned this year. Practice it with your instrument.

2. Compare and Contrast: Video 1 Link versus Video 2 Link

Going purely based off of sound, which performance is better? Why?

(Also based on the first video, it is not true that playing something slowly means you will play it quickly...practicing slowly is a great way to practice but nothing guarantees success except CORRECT slow practice. :) )

3. Go to and write out a 8 measure/bar melody and send me a screenshot of what you write!

It was SO wonderful to see many of you last week! We miss you all and hope you have a good summer.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 11 - 15

Hello Students,

This week, your main assignment is to participate in the Durham Virtual Olympics. The Durham Olympics are what we would be doing this week in Connections if we were in normal circumstances!

If you would like an extra practice challenge as a part of your Olympics journey (Vi-Olympics, if you will), feel free to do this assignment daily: Practice Challenge

I will be in the Orchestra room with cleaning materials should you need them, along with the locker list if you forgot your locker combo. I just emailed out the Advanced Orchestra results if you are wondering about those.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Aikey

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May 4 - 7

Hello Durham Orchestra Students,

In celebration of Star Wars Day (May 4th), your assignment for Monday is Star Wars themed! (Don't worry, you can still complete the assignment without a problem if you know nothing about Star Wars.)

For Tuesday - Thursday, we would like you to practice every day. At the end of the week, try to find a piece of music online of a melody, song, or piece you want to try to play and let us know what it was! Only fill out the assignment ONCE on Thursday!

Monday's AssignmentStar Wars Assignment - Monday

Tuesday - Thursday Assignment: Practice daily, then click on the link and fill out the form Thursday! Assignment Due Thursday, May 7

Alternate Assignment for Tuesday - Thursday: Go to and do a different game each day. One day, do Note Names, one day do Music Terms, and one day do Fingerings. At the end of the week. email us and tell us how far you went in each category.

We are taking a week off from Zoom this week.

Have a great week! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 27-30

Dear Students,

This week, we are changing it up a little bit and giving you all an assignment that will hopefully allow share some of your favorite music with us while also learning tempo vocabulary! Tempo, by definition, means the speed of the beat/pulse used in a piece of music. There are a myriad of tempi used in music. The video link examples in the form link below will help you complete the assignment.

Assignment: Give examples of songs or piece of music (Popular or Classical style) that fits into each tempo category. *No explicit song lyrics, please. Share your songs/pieces in the answer spaces in the form and have this completed by Thursday, April 30. We suggest keeping links in a Microsoft Word/Notes document so you can pace your work and find two per day and only submit the form ONCE. (Thank you, Mr. Crosby, for creating the awesome video content!!)

Tempo Form -Complete April 30

As always, you can also practice your instrument or practice note reading on if you would like additional practice! :)

We will also do the Zoom lessons I emailed your parents about at the end of last week.

6th Grade - Tuesday at 2pm
Please have your instrument, Sound Innovations book, and binder (Jamboree Music)
We will introduce dotted quarter notes in the book

7th Grade - Wednesday at 2pm
Please have your instrument, Essential Elements book, and binder (Jamboree Music, Storm, etc)
We will introduce/review shifting

8th Grade - Thursday at 2pm
Please have your instrument and binder (Night Shift, Jamboree and other older music)
We will introduce 5th position and review vibrato

I will be introducing a new concept with each grade level and will play through some "throwback" pieces for fun! I will also give some time at the end with either a topic of conversation or a game (music related) so that they can be social and end on a fun note. I will email out the Zoom links tomorrow. 

We hope to see you all soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

This week - April 20-24

Hello Students!

This week, please complete 4-5 Bingo exercises (one per day) from this link/sheet, due Thursday (or Friday):
Bingo - April 20-24

When you complete the bingo at the end of the week, log in to your Office365, please complete this form. You do NOT need to email us videos of any of the bingo exercises, just complete this form at the end.

Bingo Completion Form

Complete the 4-5 of the following activities (one per day) this week and go on the Bingo Completion Form above at the end of the week to tell us what you conpleted:
1. Watch this video:
2. Make a meme to encourage friends who are not in Orchestra to join. Email us your meme!
3. Visit and create a beat! Send me a recording or a pic of you making a cool beat.
4. Complete 100 exercises. Complete 10 rounds.
5. the link above and practice rhythm Lesson 1 along with the audio playalong track. Let us know which level you master.
6.Pick a lesson from to learn about. Tell us in the form what you learned!

If you are auditioning for Advanced Orchestra, that audition is due by the end of this week. Be sure to submit your video(s) on Cut Time.

We will do Zoom sessions this week as well.

6th Grade- Tuesday at 2pm

7th Grade - Wednesday at 2pm

8th Grade - Thursday at 2pm

I will email those links out on the day of the Zoom. Thank you all and have a great week! Let us know if you need any help with the auditions or bingo assignments.

Mrs. Aikey

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Play Along/Practice Videos for Advanced Orchestra Auditions

Dear Students,

I have created videos with practice tempos and performance tempos for each excerpt for each instrument.

Click on the link below for your grade level, then click on the video with your instrument. Happy Practicing! :)

Rising 7th (Current 6th) Practice Videos

Rising 8th (Current 7th Grade) Practice Videos

Disney Refund Update

Dear 8th Grade Parents, We have been notified that the travel agency has sent out the refund check to Durham. When we receive the che...