Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we navigate these uncharted waters together, there are so many questions that are unanswered. We appreciate your patience with us as we continue planning what is best for our district and your children. We understand the closure of schools puts many of you in hardship, and we ask for your understanding and ability to give grace to all during this unprecedented time.

In accordance with the Iowa Department of Education guidance, online learning options cannot be required. Therefore, we do not plan to provide online educational services (as this would continue to widen the learning gap for those unable to participate) but instead will provide some online resources. While we will not be listing online resources your child may have already had access to during the regular school year, students are not prohibited from using those at home.  We will not be sending home any type of “packet/worksheets” as a substitute for our quality learning environment.

We will be providing some suggestions or resource ideas if your children are able to continue learning in this temporary new normal at home. These are ONLY suggestions; it’s okay to just survive and cope together without adding the stress of recreating a school environment at home. With that being said, establishing some sort of daily routine/schedule can be very helpful to children in this uncertain time.  Fullest consideration should be given to your family’s health and well-being, so please do not feel pressured to utilize these resources or suggestions if they do not assist your family’s needs.

 

Subject Area:  Music Education at WBHS

Here are a few, high-quality free online resources you may enjoy visiting over the next couple of weeks:

Music Composition Resources
https://www.noteflight.com/

Vocal Music students already have a Noteflight account through the school.  Please use this site below if you would like to use your personal WB school account:  https://westbranchmusic.gc.noteflight.com/
https://www.incredibox.com/

Music Theory Resources
https://www.musictheory.net/
https://musicards.net/

Music Performance Resources

SmartMusic
For a way to play your instrument, or sing, during this extended school closure, I strongly recommend everyone check out the following tool SmartMusic, which has kindly opened up its service to be free for all schools during the next few months.

Go to https://admin.smartmusic.com/join. Fill in a valid email address and use the following for the Class Code: GMM26-YHT7R. Once you get into this section, fill out the information requested.

Inside the program, you have access to a huge amount of music and resources. Feel free to explore! One of our band pieces, The Witch and the Saint, is on there. Other pieces worth looking at are: First Suite in Eb by Gustav Holst, Gathering at The Ranks of Hebron, Ammerland, Gaelic Rhapsody and many, many more.

There is a very large choral repertoire as well so have fun exploring!

If you are exploring the hundreds of pieces available on this site, the band normally plays roughly Medium difficulty pieces so that would be a good filter for your searches. Medium Easy would be like Skyfall at our Pops concert, and Star Wars would be considered at the Medium Advanced difficulty.

Feel free to explore the website for solos as well. Everything comes with accompaniments and recordings that you can manipulate tempo so you can play at the tempo that works best for you!

If you are looking for a way to thin down the amount of music, jwpepper.com is also a great site for finding quality music. Anything on JW Pepper in the medium easy to medium advanced is good and all Basic Library and most of the Editor’s Choice filters are available on SmartMusic for you to play along with.

We will continue to communicate as we get additional information and we look forward to seeing students in school on April 13th. Continue to practice patience and resiliency for each other during this time.

Thank you,
Spencer Kruse
Christopher Reed

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the West Branch Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have any questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the Dave Hlas, Elementary Principal, 148 North Oliphant St., West Branch, IA 52358, 319-643-7211, dhlas@west-branch.k12.ia.us

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