Monday 6 April 2020

Supplemental Learning for Martin Area Band!

Hello Martin Area Band Families!

We wanted to wait a bit to contact you so that you hopefully have had ample time to make contact and communicate with your classroom teachers first. HOWEVER, we cannot describe how difficult it was to wait as we are so excited to reconnect with our band families! We genuinely hope each one of you is healthy, safe, and focusing on the positives that are coming out of this unexpected situation.

Here are some updates, information, and opportunities related to band class:

(1) **SURVEY** Please take 5 minutes to fill out this google form/survey. The information we gather here will serve as a basis of how we will provide learning opportunities to families for band class.
If we do not receive a response from you by April 8, we will be phoning home to ensure you have received communication from us!

(2) Instruments: we are currently working on options and solutions to get instruments and music left at school back into your hands (this hopefully includes school-owned instruments). IF we’re able to access these instruments soon, we will be contacting you directly IF you choose in the survey above that you are interested in picking up your child’s instrument.

(3) Google Classroom: this is the main platform we will be using so parents do not have a constant barrage of emails from us in their inbox.
If you would like to join our Google BANDrooms, please make sure you are signed into Google using your child’s school account ( Then go to – click on the plus sign – enter the code (below). If your child forgot their password please let us know and we will reset it for them.
Grade 6 code: 7q7cnin
Grade 7/8 code: qi733ez
If you need additional help joining the Google Classroom please let us know and we’d be happy to guide you further!

(4) Baby Swann update: As your students may have told you, Mrs. Swann is expecting her first child on May 2 – a boy! We’ve had many families emailing asking how she is doing (so kind!) so here is a quick update from her: “All is well in the Swann household! Baby Swann is growing away and his kicks are getting stronger and stronger (and I am getting less and less mobile!). I’ve spent some of my extra time working on painting the nursery - I'll make sure to send you all a picture via Google Classroom when it is finished, as well as a picture of Baby Swann when he is born!”
**Join our Google Classroom for more updates from ALL the band teachers in our area!

We are so looking forward to hearing from you all. Focus on and enjoy every positive moment!

Robin Swann, Vanessa Strykiwsky, Lindsay Stetner & Brady Frank
Martin Area Band Team

Friday 13 March 2020

Band Updates RE: Sanctions & COVID-19

UPDATED AS OF MARCH 18, 2020 - 1:45PM

Hello Martin Area Band Families,

As was announced earlier on March 9, the STF went into work-to-rule sanctions beginning Thursday, March 12. Regina Public Schools has also been taken steps to address the COVID-19 virus.

We know you and your students will also have many questions about how this will affect our upcoming band events. As we learn more, we will continue to communicate to you as timely and clearly as possible. Here is what we currently know:

ALL BAND CLASSES CANCELLED (FULL BAND & SECTIONALS): we received notice of this decision the morning of March 16, 2020. This is effective as of 12:45pm March 16, 2020.


  • Must stay at school for the time being.
  • FEES: we will be giving families a refund for instrument rental based on the percentage of time used. More information on this will come as procedures are confirmed.
JAZZ BAND: starting Thursday, March 12, jazz band must be discontinued/put on hold until STF sanctions come to an end.

SPRING TOURS/CONCERT: cancelled until further notice.

  • CURRENT STATUS: POSTPONED: On Thursday, March 12 we received the following message from the Optimist Festival committee: “The Band Festival currently slated for March 23 – 27, 2020 is hereby postponed indefinitely. The STF sanctions, a challenge themselves, are almost unsurmountable but with Covid-19 concerns now in the Province of Saskatchewan, we feel it’s prudent to postpone at this time. Cancellation at a future date is a distinct possibility. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
  • FEES: if you have already paid your optimist fee and/or picture order forms, we will be keeping them on hold until we hear if the Festival is postponed or cancelled.
  • PICTURE FORMS/PAYMENTS: if you sent in a picture order form with a cheque/cash/credit card information you should have already received a personal email from Mrs. Swann addressing the return of cash/shredding of cheques/credit card information. If you have not, please email her at

  • Continue working through red/blue method books. There are free recordings of every single piece online that students can listen to if they get stuck!
  • There is plenty of free music online! Look up your favourite pop songs, show tunes, video game themes!
  • Some instruments are in the same key and register as another instrument, meaning they can read off each other's music. For example, a bass clarinet player can play a piece labelled for trumpet. This can be useful as it could be easier to find 'Star Wars' for trumpet than 'Star Wars' for bass clarinet, but the bass clarinet player can play off a trumpet page!
    • Clarinet/bass clarinet/trumpet/tenor sax = have the same notes
    • Trombone/euphonium/baritone = have the same notes
    • Flute/bells = have the same notes
    • Alto sax/bari sax = have the same notes
    • French horn and tuba are in their own keys/registers and can't really share music with another instrument type unfortunately.
  • Play free music games online! Example link.
  • Find free music theory sheets online!
  • Learn a song by ear!
  • Research history about their instrument and how it came to be part of wind bands and orchestras.
  • Research famous musicians who specialize on their instrument - watch/listen to their performances online!
  • Videocall a friend or family member and perform a concert for them!
  • Compose your own piece - and for extra work try to notate it proper on staff paper! Staff paper templates can be found for free online.
  • Test your tempo skills - find a find metronome online and play a short piece with it. Try to work on getting it faster and faster - and for an extra challenge, try to play it really slow without rushing. Metronomes don't lie!
  • If students want teacher feedback, feel free to send us videos of them playing and we will respond with tips and tricks for them where needed!
Thank you for your patience as understanding as we navigate through these next few weeks and months!

UPDATED AS OF MARCH 18, 2020 - 1:45PM

Thursday 27 February 2020

Optimist Festival 2020!

Hello Fabulous Band Families!

Below are links to the notes given to students with week during full band rehearsals. They outline everything you need to know about this year's Optimist Festival performances running March 25-27, 2020! This includes bus pickup and drop off times, what your student needs to bring to school that day, an itinerary, and a request for chaperones.

**Grade 8 Band & Senior Jazz students have notes that needs to be returned to school because their performance times run outside of regular school hours**

All students, Grade 6-8, have been working very hard on their festival pieces are very excited for their next performance opportunity!

Please let us know if you have any questions at all,

Martin Area Band Team

Jazz Bands - Coffeehouse Performance on March 11

Hello Junior & Senior Jazz Band Families!
With Optimist Festival coming up at the end of March, we’re headed into the busiest time of year for our band students. In order to get ready and get used to performing our new tunes, we’re adding an additional performance on March 11, 2020 for both the junior and senior jazz bands! The performance is part of a Coffeehouse Fundraiser taking place at Seven Stones Community School which is one of the schools in our Martin Band Area.
The show will start around 7:00pm in the Seven Stones gym. Our jazz bands do not perform until 7:45-8:15pm so you do not need to arrive until 7:15pm to warm-up with their instrument, music, and wearing all black – however, feel free to arrive for the show’s start time at 7:00!
The band students at Seven Stones are raising money to help cover trip costs and other band expenses. They will be selling student art, refreshments, sundaes, and other treats. The situation is a win-win as it gives our jazz bands an extra performance and helps support students from our area who are in need. The Coffeehouse will also feature performances from professionals, alumni of the Martin Area program, and Seven Stones students. We encourage everyone to support the fundraiser, but also understand many families are busy this time of year.
Please notify us right away if you have any conflicts.
Thank you for your continued support of our Martin Area band program and for encouraging your students’ involvement in band!
Brady Frank, Lindsay Stetner & Robin SwannMartin Elementary Jazz Team

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Grade 6 - upcoming quiz!

Just an FYI that there will be a short written quiz for Grade 6 and beginner band students in the next week or so. The vast majority of students are well-prepared to write this, but in case you want to remind them to study, they can review the following three topics:
  1. Note naming AND filling in a fingering diagram
  2. Matching a musical symbol to its name
  3. Complete a rhythm chart (identify quarter/half/whole note, name is its value, and draw its equivalent rest)
Test dates:
  • McLurg - Thurs, Jan 16
  • Rosemont - Fri, Jan 17
  • Buck - Mon, Jan 20
  • Walker - Tues, Jan 21
  • If your child is absent from school this day, they will complete the quiz during the full band on Thurs, Jan 16 (Buck and Rosemont) or during the following band rehearsal.
Email Mrs. Swann if you have any questions!

New Fee - Optimist Festival

You will see a new fee posted on your SchoolCashOnline accounts shortly, between $6-9 depending on what grade your musician is in. This fee is for the Optimist Band Festival which occurs in March!

The Optimist Band Festival is a performance that occurs between March 24-27. Students have the amazing opportunity to perform on the big mainstage at the Conexus Arts Center! They will perform two pieces for three adjudicators and an audience.  This is followed by a clinic with one of the adjudicators, as well as a group photo (individual pictures can be ordered separately if desired).

More information including a detailed date, time, and itinerary and optional picture order forms will be send out in February.

  • Grade 6 - $6
  • Grade 7 - $6
  • Grade 8 - $9
  • Jazz – if your student is in jazz band, they will be participating in Optimist twice (or three times if they are in both jazz bands!). The fee for jazz band's Optimist Festival participation is $8.

The fee will be set up to pay at School Cash Online.  Our school division prefers online payment, but if you have to turn in cash or cheque, please label a sealed envelope.  Cheques should be made to your child’s school.