Monday Morning Mustang Memo

Beginning Band Edition!

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View this memo live anytime at

Week 27: March 16-22, 2020

COVID-19 Extended Spring Break Edition

Please read all information thoughtfully and carefully

Why STAY in Music?

This newsletter is lengthy but has important details regarding band activities for the next week. Please try to bear with us until the end of the newsletter.

We will do our best with the fluidness of the current situation to keep all of our stakeholders up to date on all things Cain Band. In the meantime, please make sure to sign up for your child's Remind group for quick information and keep an eye on email for additional newsletters and updates.

Rockwall ISD is currently working on a distance/online learning curriculum which will be released on Wednesday. Depending on what information is released on that day, we will send out additional information and resources as necessary.

Who to Contact

If you have questions, concerns, or need additional information, please contact your child's band director:

Woodwind Students for Pullen, Rochell, and Springer Elementary Schools

Brass Students for Pullen, Rochell, Linda Lyon, and Springer Elementary Schools

Woodwinds Students for Linda Lyon Elementary School

All Students for Amy-Parks Elementary School

Percussion Students

If you need to reach your child's private lesson teacher, please visit to locate their email or phone number.

Remind Text Alerts - Class Code Reminder

Still need to sign up for the Remind?

  • Amy Parks: @cmsband6sz
  • Linda Lyon: @cmsband6sz
  • Pullen: @cmsband6sz
  • Rochell: @cmsband6nz
  • Springer: @cmsband6nz

Text your group's remind code to the phone number 81010 to sign up. You may also use the Remind app. Use the code above to search and join the class.

Social Media Accounts

Please consider following our official Cain Band social media accounts:

If you are not receiving Charms emails, please contact Mr. Ousey.

Private Lessons

We HIGHLY ENCOURAGE families who take private lessons to communicate with their teachers and work to the best of their ability to continue lessons remotely through Skype, Facetime, or work at home lessons.

If you feel that you are uncomfortable in this situation, then we suggest "donating" your normal lesson fees and working with your teacher to reschedule as necessary. This suggestion is for your discretion.

We want to make sure that you are aware that teaching privately in many cases is the only source of income for many of our teachers. Any week/day that school is canceled directly impacts their livelihood. Our teachers also have families, mortgages, rent, bills, and groceries to purchase. Please keep this in mind when making your decisions.

Upcoming Events

At this time, all beginning band events will proceed as normal. However, this may change as the district and our community continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. We will communicate any event changes via email as those decisions are made.

The best way to stay up-to-date on all event changes is by subscribing to our Cain Band calendar!

Click here to view/subscribe to the Cain Band calendar

Make sure to select only the "Beginning Band" calendar

Instruments/Music Left at School

If your child has left their instrument, band binder, or other materials needed for home practice at school, please email your child's band director. While all Rockwall ISD campuses are locked down for cleaning, we may be able to help by retrieving the instrument for you or sending you any music that your child might need

It is safe to assume that if the break is extended further, online/distance learning will become a priority. Your child will need their instrument in order to do this!

Instrument Cleaning and Health

Continue to monitor your child and reinforce proper instrument cleaning and maintenance. A well-maintained instrument will collect fewer germs and keep your child from getting sick.

Upon returning to school, the band will be in need of new reeds and instrument-safe sanitizing spray. If you are able, we would greatly appreciate your donation of some of these items.

We have updated our band Amazon Wish List to include these items:

We also sent out a detailed newsletter on how to properly clean your child's instrument back in the early winter. Here is the link to that newsletter:

If you have any questions, concerns, or need clarification, please contact your child's band director.

Instrument Supplies / Instrument Cleaning Supplies

Now is a great time to re-stock supplies for your child's instrument, especially those supplies they use every day (reeds, valve oil, etc.) Also, if your child does not have the proper cleaning supplies, this is the perfect time to order those as well!

Extended Break Additional Cleaning Suggestions

This extended break is the perfect time to make sure your child's instrument is in great condition!

Woodwind Students

  • Run your woodwind student's swab through the washing machine on a delicate cycle. Line dry.
  • Check your reed player's case for reeds - are they broken and moldy or are they clean? If your child has fewer than 3 reeds in the case, use the links above to purchase a new box of reeds.
  • Saxophones & Clarinets: Take a soft, damp washcloth (preferably microfiber if handy) and wipe out the tip of the mouthpiece. Avoid getting any moisture on the cork - you really want to only focus on the part that goes in the mouth. Wipe off any colorful "gunk"
  • Flutes: Take an alcohol wipe (lens cleaning wipes are also fine) - wipe off the lip plate and wipe out the hole on the lip plate. If any crust has formed, lightly take your fingernail on top of the alcohol wipe and gently scrape it off. Wipe down afterward.

Brass Students

  • Use your mouthpiece brush, dish soap, and water to lightly scrub the inside of your mouthpiece. Rinse thoroughly. Allow drying completely.
  • Ask your child to oil all valves, then clean off all tuning slides with a wet washcloth (microfiber preferred) and re-grease with the red slide grease that came in your child's kit.
  • Trombones - Have your child clean and grease the inner slide like we do in class

Percussion Students

  • Wipe down all sticks and mallets with a wipe - AVOID touching/wiping the fabric ends of the mallets

Woodwind Reeds - What to Look For


Over this extended break, it is imperative that every student spend time practicing their instrument. Playing an instrument requires focus on very small muscles that need to be exercised daily as well as muscle memory that will diminish if not practiced over time. The success of the entire band program depends on every student focusing at least 15-30 minutes each day on playing their instrument.

What should my child have at home?

  • Instrument
  • Band Binder and any concert music
  • Pencil
  • Tuner/Metronome
  • Music stand
  • Sturdy chair

What should my child practice?

Every child has lots of resources and materials in their binder to practice.

Nelson Warmups

We have practiced multiple warm-up lines from Nelson Warm-Ups. Encourage your child to play through those lines every day, focusing on even, steady sounds without blasting to get higher notes out. If ready, they can even move on and learn additional warm-up lines! All warmup lines are worth 1 point on Band Olympics.

Nelson Level 1 Technique

Encourage your child to practice all of Bb, Eb, and F concert technique pages. The Scale in Scale Rhythm is worth 2 points in Band Olympics and the Arpeggio, Thirds, Intervals, and Finger Pattern are worth 3 points each.

Essential Elements

We have played through multiples pages and lines out of the book. Encourage your child to practice ahead and turn in lines for Band Olympics!

Infinity Concert March

Infinity March was given to your child the week before Spring Break. This will be one of the 3 pieces we play for Rockwall Music Fest! It features everything we have learned so far this year and is easily learned at home in small, slow chunks.

Band Olympics

Now is a great time to earn Band Olympics points! Encourage your child to go for gold and turn in videos over break!

Want some note-reading practice? Visit for lots of note reading exercises!

Band Olympics via Google Classroom

With an extended break, now is a tremendous time to submit Band Olympics pass-offs for points on Google Classroom.

Signing up on Google Classroom is easy!

  1. Have your child log in to their Rockwall ISD Google Classroom account (username and password info below)
  2. Tap/click the plus button
  3. Type in the class code: hgqd7ew
  4. Once enrolled, find the assignment titled "Band Olympics Submissions"
  5. Watch the how-to video listed in the instructions and follow those instructions to submit a video

Your child should know their Rockwall ISD login information. This is the same login info they use whenever they access technology on their campus. If your child is having difficulty accessing the Band Olympics class on Google Classroom, please email Mr. Ousey

Note: Most issues with enrolling in Google Classroom start with the Google account. Please make sure your child is logged in under their Rockwall ISD account, NOT a personal or parent Google account.

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Gold Medalists

Congratulations to the following students who have passed off 300 points or more and have earned a GOLD medal!

Previous medalists: Isaac A., Landen W., Bradley E.

Silver Medalists

Congratulations to the following students who have passed off 200 points or more and have earned a Silver Medal!

Previous medalists: Isaac A., Bradley E., Landen W.

Bronze Medalists

Congratulations to the following students who have passed off 100 points or more and have earned a Bronze Medal!

Previous medalists: Karalyn V., Isaac A., Landen W., Evelyn M., Bradley E., Ethan A., Sophie P., Gavhyn C., Rory M., Beau P., Delaney W., Noah W., Teagen H., Matthew M., Allison V., Elijah P., Angelo R., Austen B., Brady D., Amber F., Anna H., Mason P., Austen H.

Bravo to all band Olympians! So far, you have earned a total of 7422 points!! Bravo!

Band Olympics - Extended Break Incentives!

To encourage students to practice over the extended break, AND to encourage turning in Band Olympics pass-offs, we are offering the following incentives during the extended break!

  • Bonus Points: If your child submits and receives credit for any pass-off, they will also receive an additional 10 points! This counts only once per week of extended break (if the break is extended past this week.) Example: If your child passes off Essential Elements line 10, they will receive the 1 points for the line PLUS an additional 10 points for passing off over the extended break for a total of 11 points!
  • Nelson Warm-Ups Addition: Starting today, all Nelson Warm-Up lines are worth 1 point each!

We will let you know of additional incentives if the break continues past this week.

Why stay in Band?

A mini-series!

For the next few weeks, we will feature a different video each week explaining the power, value, and importance of your child staying in band and in music.

All videos are courtesy of TMEA.

Music Brings People Together

Help us Grow the Band!

If you know of parents of a 5th grade student, then talk to them about band!

We are the largest middle school band in the district, and we want to continue growing our program. A bigger, better 6th grade band means a bigger, better Cain band AND RHHS band as well!

Also, if your child is on the fence about staying in band, please have them talk to a band director. We want to make sure we exhaust every opportunity for your child to continue in the band program.

Want to hear from ACTUAL Cain Band students? Check out the video below! It is geared more for 5th grade students, but there are a lot of great responses about middle school band, too!

Be A Part of the Band!

Checkpoint Camp #4 - MANDATORY for Rockwall MusicFest Participation

Wednesday, April 22nd, 6-7:30pm

801 Laurence Drive

Rockwall, TX

This checkpoint camp is also our one and only Rockwall MusicFest dress rehearsal!

After Spring Break, 6th grade band students will learn more about the Rockwall MusicFest and the requirements to attend.

One of the requirements is attendance at Checkpoint Camp #4!

Please mark this on your calendar today. If you have a legitimate conflict, please email your child's band director.

More information coming soon!

Thank you so much for reading the entire newsletter!

Please be safe and healthy! We look forward to returning to normal as soon as possible. In the meantime, enjoy the extra break and go wash your hands!

Visit the band website!

The latest news, calendar, and information about the Mighty Mustang Band.

Want a peek at the CMS Band Memo? Click here!

This memo is for all 7th and 8th grade band parents and suporters!

Contact the Mustang Band

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us! We will make every effort to return your call or email within 24 hours.