All posts by Chase March

About Chase March

Chase March is an elementary school music teacher, a hip-hop historian, radio host, blogger, and writer.

We Celebrated Live-N-Direct 20 with Style

I had a lot of fun supplying the music for the 20th Anniversary of Live-N-Direct.

dj-chase-march-of-word-is-bond

I have fond memories of listening to this radio show on 93.3 CFMU every week. DJ Realistic and host, Eklipz, always put on a great program that highlighted the best in underground hip-hop. The mantle has been passed a few times over the past twenty years, but the time-slot and show have continued to rock the air waves every single week.

dj-chase-march-and-rap-group-1424

Hip-hop group 1424 was one of the acts to hit the stage to help celebrate this milestone anniversary.

dj-chase-march-set-up

The crowd was enthusiastic and I was very excited to be part of this seminal event.

ldn20

I love live hip-hop shows whether they are in a venue with rappers and deejays, or they are on the campus radio airwaves.

dr-disc

I don’t get to Hamilton much anymore these days, but it is my hometown and I will always rep for it. Of course, whenever I am back in town, it’s a must that I visit Dr. Disc.

the-mixedtape-at-dr-disc

It’s nice to have my music in the store now too. If you’d like to pick up a CD copy of The MIX(ed)TAPE, please go find it at Dr. Disc Hamilton on 20 Wilson Street.

LND20

LND20 was a huge success.

Here’s to the next twenty years, Live-N-Direct.

Moo, a Flute, and a Moo-ve to Maine

Sharon Creech - Moo

Moo by Sharon Creech

I absolutely love the way Sharon Creech writes verse novels. The sound and rhythm of her words, jumps right off the page. This particular novel is filled with all sorts of sounds such as a flute melody travelling through the air from an upstairs window, to the sounds of rain and water dripping, to a grizzly, misunderstood neighbour, and of course, to a stuborn cow named Zora.

The story revolves around a family who uproot for no other reason than to find what’s next. The idea comes out of the blue one day as they are all in the car. The twelve year-old daughter of the family suggests that they go to Maine when the topic comes up. She’s not even sure why she suggests it. It just popped into her head at that moment. Of course, she starts to regret it almost immediately when she finds Maine isn’t exactly how she had pictured it to be.

Both her and her brother are a little scared of their neighbour. But they end up working at her farm and taking care of a stubborn cow. That cow ends up changing everything. Just like their move did.

This is a fun read and it was nice to see at the library last week. I have read close to half of her books now. And my all-time favourite book is Heartbeat by her as well.

My List of 2017 Reads – with links to each title I read over the course of the year

Aamjiwnaang Skatepark (Sarnia, ON)

This is my new favourite skateboard park. It is located on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation at 1972 Virgil Avenue in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Aamjiwnaang Skatepark

The ramps are metal and offer a smooth ride. There are plenty of obstacles, some great ramps, and even a dual leveled half-pipe.

Mini-ramp Half-pipe

I wish every skatepark had one of these ramps. I love a small mini-ramp that lets me do some of my old school and vert tricks.

Great flow skatepark

The angle and size of this ramp is perfect too!

Launch Ramp with Mini-quarter pipe

This obstacle is a lot of fun. It has a short quarter-pipe at the end that lets me practice my stalls and grinds.

Pyramid

This is the typical ramp you find at most skateparks, but it has a gap to jump as well.

Skatepark Ramps

I like this pyramid-styles ramp. I was able to get a little bit of air on it too. I just need to work on my landings.

Tall Quarter Pipe

This is a tall quarter-pipe launch ramp.

Roll-in ramp

Here is a roll-in ramp, along with a steep quarter-pipe launch.

This is a gorgeous park. I am glad I found it. I will be going back here often this summer. You can count on that!

When you visit skateparks, remember to take good care of them. These are meant for everybody (just not bikes or scooters) I love that too!

Want to see more skateparks?

Virtual Skatepark Tour – dozens and dozens of great spots to skate

Moving Beyond Traditional Relationship Roles

Beyond Mars and Venus by John Gray

Beyond Mars and Venus by John Gray

John Gray has written some amazing books to help people understand and navigate their relationships better. Many of these books are based around the concept of differences. His brilliant metaphor, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, was meant to show that we have much to learn about the other gender.

I enjoyed his last book, Conscious Men. He, along with Arjuna Ardagh, gave us some words to live by. I think it is important to be conscious of our gender identity and how it does not have to be a static thing. We can grow and develop. We can be in touch with our feminine side, and we can strive to understand our partners better.

In this book, Gray talks about how the traditional roles have changed and how we need to be able to adapt to this change to have healthy and happy relationships. He talks of how marriage used to have us fulfilling roles. The men were traditionally the providers and the women the nurturers. This division hasn’t been as black and white for years, however.

Gray argues that we have moved away from Role Mates to Soul Mates. He writes about how women can support men, how men can support women, how we often have different approaches to situations, and how we can work together to build a great marriage.

His thoughts are as relevant as ever and provide us with the wisdom we need to carry on productive relationships. However, this book seemed to be a little repetitive for me. Maybe, it is because he is preaching to the choir. I have been aware of my gender identity for some time now and am working to combat some of the misogyny I see in everyday life.

I also did not like the way this book is formatted. It is off-putting to see the text broken up with large quotations in the middle of the pages. If you flip through the book, you can quickly pick up some tidbits of wisdom, but it is ultimately distracting when reading it. I did not like seeing the sentence I just read in larger type on the same page. It threw off the flow of the text and made it hard for me to continue reading.

I don’t often abandon a book, but I stopped reading this one. I might get back to it in the future. Gray still has good things to say and his message is important. I’m just not impressed with how it is presented or written this time around.

My List of 2017 Reads – an organic reading log (continually updated)

Bif Naked Bears All

Bif Naked - I Bificus

I, Bificus – A Memoir by Bif Naked

I am a huge Bif Naked fan. I have been for a while. She is an amazing performer and a great songwriter, so when I heard she had written a memoir, I knew that I had to read it.

I was hoping I could find out how she got her name. A few chapters in, I thought it had it figured out.

I felt it was my duty to torture Kenny, and it was never long before I took all my clothes off and ran naked, yelling “Chase me!” and waving my arms madly.

She was a young child at the time of that incident and apparently, it wasn’t the impetus for the name. She earned that because of a flyer promotion. At the time, she had already had the nickname of “Bif.”

Few punk bands had female vocalists then. The concern was that switching to a female vocalist would be looked down upon by the male punk rockers, especially in Winnipeg. The guys in Gorilla Gorilla decided to go out large, making gig posters to advertise the upcoming show that read”Come see Bif Naked.” It was a double entendre that basically  baited the naysayers-peers, friends, and fans still disappointed about the previous singer’s departure – to come to the show, even if only out of curiosity to see if I really would be naked. The band plastered the posters all over the city, putting them on practically every street lamp post and mailbox, even gluing them on store windows. It was a massive street-level postering campaign, and it worked. 

I mentioned Bif Naked in my Grade 3 classroom a few years back and my students laughed. I told Bif about this via Twitter.

Bif Naked tweet

I saved that tweet notice in my email for the past four years because it was a memorable exchange from one of my favourite musicians. We tweeted a few more times since then too. (I just wish the logos still loaded properly in my email for this first message)

Part of me didn’t want to know all of the things I learned about Bif Naked in this book. I had to cringe a few times. I didn’t want to see her go through some of what she had to do. I didn’t like to see that she made some stupid choices when she was young. I wanted her to just be a sweet girl who grew into a great poet, musician, and songwriter. I guess she had to go through all of that stuff to become who she was.

I maintain that everything happens for a reason. This theory drove my dad crazy-he believed it was just a way to frame stuff and justify it. He said I am a “great justifier” and a “shamelss predestinist,” and that holding this theory enable me to find a reason for anything.

Maybe it’s best not to meet your heroes. Maybe just listening to the music and tweeting is enough.

If you are a super-fan, and want to learn more, check it out. Or buy a copy to support her if you have never seen her live or own all her albums. And then keep it on the shelf. Either way, let’s celebrate Bif Naked.

My List of 2017 Reads – continually updated all year long

With Confidence Steal the Show

St. Andrews Hall in Detroit was certainly rocking last night with the diverse styles of four power-punk-pop bands. It was the second stop of the Around the World and Back Tour for State Champs.

Don Broco

Don Broco set off the night with an energetic live show. At one point, they asked us to take a knee and get as low to the floor as we could. They then counted us in, and the entire club was jumping up and down.  It was intense. The floor had a bit of a give to it. It was literally bowing and bending beneath our feet.  The club must have invested money in this floor. I wasn’t worried for a moment that we would fall through it.

With Confidence

Next up was, With Confidence. They absolutely stole the show. As soon as they got on stage, the entire crowd pushed up about ten feet. And we were already jammed packed in the club. Now, with barely any personal space to move or breathe, we collectively responded to the energy the band put out. It was an amazing set and by far, the hypest one of the night.

Against the Current

Against the Current took the stage next with an amazing light show and powerful vocals. Even the bass drum was even illuminated and changing colours throughout the set. The lead singer brought some much-welcomed feminine energy to the night.

Headlining Act

The headling act, State Champs had the crowd singing along to every single song.

State Champs

One of the members is even from Detroit and was able to celebrate with the capacity crowd.

With Confidence (Detroit show)

This fabulous shot of the audience was taken by Brandon Lung. If you look closely, you can see in the middle wearing a fitted baseball cap.

I had a blast at this show. If you were there, please add a comment with any memories you have of the night too.

My Radio Show is 5 Now!

My radio show, Word is Bond celebrated its 5th Anniversary with special in-studio guests, live performances, a freestyle cypher, hip-hop trivia, and prizes last week.

I had a lot of fun spinning songs that featured 5 emcees on the tracks. I tested my listener’s knowledge of hip-hop by asking trivia questions about the fifth album releases from artists. And I gave away packs of 5 gum as prizes.

Labeled Minority, Tempomental, Sankdafied, The Mighty Speak EZ, and DJ Hullewud were all in the house to celebrate live on the radio. If you missed it live, you can celebrate with us now through the magic of podcasts.

Thank you for five years! It’s been a blast!

Here’s to the next 5!

Jurassic 5 – Golden
Rascalz ft Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair – Northern Touch
LL Cool J ft Method Man, Redman, Canibus, and DMX – 4, 3, 2, 1
Run-DMC ft Pete Rock and CL Smooth – Down with the King
Labeled Minority – Freestyle
Labeled Minority – Pigment
Kayne West ft Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver– Monster
Tempomental – Another One
Heltah Skeltah ft OGC – Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka
A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School – Scenario
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Crossroads
Sankdafied – On My Own
Craig Mack ft Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and Rampage – Flavor in Ya Ear (Remix)
Swamp Thing ft Wordburglar, Def3, Birdapres, Relic, Ambition – Meat Lump
Funky 4 + 1 – The Joint
Speak EZ – Just Another Night
Word is Bond – 5th Anniversary Cypher
Mission 5 – Nameless
LL Cool J ft Prodigy, Keith Murray, Foxy Brown, and Fat Joe – I Shot Ya
Mad Hattr ft Cee, Notion, and Exit Only – Eya

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

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If you liked this show make sure to check our previous Anniversary Specials

Chasing Content – April 2016

Chasing ContentIt’s time for another edition of Chasing Content, that monthly feature that has us looking back at the best content featured on this blog from this month one year ago.

Read all of the posts from last April

or just these highlights

Scott Pilgrim’s London, Ontario Connection

The famous comic book series that spanned a movie featuring Michael Cera has a pretty cool local connection.

James Kirkpatrick – Circuit-Bending Toys

James Kirkpatrick aka Thesis Sahib performed last year for Record Store Day. If you have never seen him live, click through to see the cool instruments he creates out of toys.

A Secret Stash of Medicine Music

The secret is out. Here are my picks. What are yours?

Wolverine is Dead

Our favourite Canadian super-hero gets a fitting end in a great comic book story arc.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Let’s not let great posts like these get buried in the archives, never to be seen again. Keep them alive with a click of your mouse and a share via social media. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Teaching is Very Rewarding

A student surprised me today with these very thoughtful gifts.

Teacher Gift

I was overwhelmed to see the time and effort he put in to them. He 3D printed my logo and my favourite picture from my wedding.

Wedding 3D Print

When you hold it up to the light, the picture reveals itself.

Fairy Tale Wedding

I still can’t believe that this is actually me. It’s a photograph that looks like in belongs in a magazine. It’s absolutely perfect, as are these presents from a student. The computer disk contains even more pictures.  I just need to hook up my Commodore 64 to access them. I can’t wait.

I have gotten gifts from students before and appreciate every single one. I don’t normally share them online, but felt I had to today. It’s a part of teaching that is worth sharing. It shows that I make strong connections with my students and that I make a difference in this profession.

What are some of the best gifts you have gotten from your students?

Please share below in the comments.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration and ideas from my classroom to yours

Word is Bond Rap Radio Celebrates 5 Years

WIBayblon 5 Rap Radio

I started Word is Bond Rap Radio five years ago. The tagline of the show has always been “real hip-hop music and talk” and I have been happy to share some of my favourite music with you week in and week out for the past 250 episodes.

I have had in-depth and exclusive interviews with some hip-hop legends including Atmosphere, AZ, Brother Ali, Classified, Del the Funky Homosapien, Masta Ace, Michie Mee, Ras Kass, Sadat X, and Shad.

I’ve have also had these amazing artists on the program; Apollo Brown, Bishop Nehru, Cesar Comanche, Constant Deviants, Dessa, Dilated Peoples, DJ BNutz, DJ Format, D-sisive, Eternia, Fresh Kils, Ghettosocks, Homeboy Sandman, J Rawls, John Robinson, Lightning Rod (Last Poets), Moka Only, More or Les, M-Rock, Nilla, Rapper Big Pooh, Relic aka Rel McCoy, Skyzoo, Substantial, Termanology, and The Left.

And of course, I have had countless local artists, upcoming talent, and independent artists on the show. I’ve produced dozens of documentaries on hip-hop music and culture, celebrated the Women in Hip-Hop every year for International Women’s Day, and had guest deejays providing mixsets.

It’s been an absolute blast bringing you this show every week. I’m looking forward to the show tomorrow night. We have big things planned to mark this anniversary. We will have live guests, a cypher, some trivia, and of course, great music mixed live by yours truly.

Tune in tomorrow night to 94.9 CHRW to catch it all live. It starts at midnight and goes straight through to 2:00 a.m.

Word is Bond Rap Radio 5th Anniversary Special

What: 5th Anniversary of Word is Bond Rap Radio
When: Monday March 27, 2017 – Tuesday March 28, 2017
Time: 12:00 midnight to 2:00 a.m.
Radio Frequency: 94.9 FM (CHRW)
Online Streaming: CHRW stream

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online

FacebookThe Word is Bond, Word is Bond Rap Radio, Chase March
Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
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Follow CHRW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

UGK – London’s Rap Battle League (Volume 1)

UGK London Vol 1

UnderGround Kings Battle League London

makes its debut this Friday.

It’s a brand new, premiere rap battle league. There will be live performances, several battles, special guests, a main event match, and live deejays. The event will be professionally filmed as well. It is sure to be an amazing night and I hope to see you there.

Hosted By:

Tyler Hetherington of CHRW’s Consignment Show
and LondonBoiWatts

Main Event:

Chilly Palmz vs. Ender One

Also on the Card

Brewza vs. That Guy
G Langs vs. Chronic Clepto
Craze vs. Adam McNope

DJs for the Night

Dj Wiskaz and Chase March

Special Appearance By:

Kehmak

Performances By:

Young Prince Beats
Big Mouth Records
SirReal

Special Guest:

Del Reze

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: March 24th, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: Free Admission

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (Book Review)

Close-Your-Eyes-Hold-Hands-novel

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

Emily Shepard used to be a regular teenage girl. She had to deal with her parents who often drank too much, but her life was fairly average. At least, I gather it was from reading this story written in her own words. The problem is that she isn’t the most reliable of a narrator, and she isn’t even that great of a storyteller. In fact, she is rather troubled.

When we first meet Emily, she is homeless and living in an igloo made of trash bags. We soon find out that she has recently become an orphan due to a disaster at the nuclear power-plant. The tragedy has forced the whole town to evacuate and so, not only has she lost her parents, but she has also lost her home.

Even worse than that, her parents served as the scapegoats for the entire tragedy. The news blamed the meltdown on operator error and made reference to the fact that they were both alcoholics and had been drunk that day.

Emily learns that her name isn’t an asset. People angrily lash out and accuse her parents of ruining their lives. So, she adopts the pseudonym of Abby Bliss, after a friend of her favourite poet, Emily Dickinson, and tries to survive on her own.

She is a likable character so it is a little hard to see her go through all of the hardships she does. She is a troubled teenager, and might very well have been one had this tragedy never occurred. But she would, most definitely, had more ssupport and probably not had such a terrible year.

I haven’t read a book like this one in a while. It is told completely from Emily’s point of view and bounces around a lot. It feels like it was written by a teenage girl and is a first hand account of her troubled life.

Here’s an interesting fact about this book. The audio book is read and performed by the author’s daughter. In the afterword of the CD, we hear an interview with Chris Bohjalian and Grace Blewer. It was a really great way to end the story and learn more about how both the text and audio were created.

My List of 2017 Reads – a detailed reading log (made to share)

March to the Past (Chasing Content)

vLet’s March into a new month by looking back at what was going on last year at this time right here on Silent Cacophony.

Read all of the posts from last March

or just these highlights . . .

How I Feel Doing Midnight Radio

This comic by Ehud Lavski and Yael Nathan is absolutely brilliant and it’s exactly how I feel about doing my radio show.

The Gift Must Always Move

The First Nations’ people have a great concept of gift-giving. This story clears up the misconception of an “Indian Giver” too.

Look At Me – Making Our Students Visible

Our students need to see themselves reflected in the texts that we have available in the classroom. It might take a little bit of work to build a diverse classroom library, but it is worth it.

A Novel of Scribbled Notes 

This novel takes place entirely on the refrigerator door with notes that family members leave for each other. The concept pulled me in and the story kept me engaged.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me! 

Click the links above to explore theses great posts that otherwise might get lost in the archive. Thanks for being on this journey with me.

My Wedding Mixtape

I am getting married tomorrow. I am so happy, excited, and anxious.

I just had to make a mixtape to celebrate this special day and share it with all of my loved ones.

I printed off CDs for all of the guests at the wedding, but also wanted to provide a digital download for anyone who wants it.

I hope you enjoy the mixtape.

Wedding Mixtape (Front)

The first song on the mix will be the first song I get to dance to with my wife (that sounds amazing just to say).

That is followed up by the father-daughter dance on track 2, and then with a slow dance for everyone at the reception to take part in. And then the party starts!

I wanted to DJ the wedding myself, but Diana was not keen on it. So, I hired a good DJ who will be running the show. He probably won’t play these exact songs, but I hope the feeling of the night is as good as this mix.

Wedding Mixtape (Back)

Download The Wedding Mixtape for free!

Enjoy the music, the next time you see me, I will be a married man!

Second Adulthood Makeover

Blue Satin Nightgown by Karin Crilly

The Blue Satin Nightgown: My French Makeover at Age 78! by Karin Crilly

I have been doing some reading about how women need to reinvent themselves in second adulthood. It’s a very interesting concept that has adults trying to figure out what to do now that they find themselves with a significant amount of time after retiring. Their children are grown and self-sufficient too. A new world of possibilities open up and it is like starting all over again in a new phase of life.

So, when I was approached to review this book for my blog, I thought it would be a nice companion piece to the other material I had been reading for a school project I had been working on.

Karin Crilly had once wished to live in France. She had her honeymoon there so many years ago. Now at the age of 78, and widowed, she decided to return there to live for a year. She didn’t know the language or anyone there, but still set out alone on this new adventure. This memoir tells her story.

The first chapter won a writing contest in 2014 and motivated her to continue the story and complete this book.

Crilly starts off every chapter with a recipe and then fills us in on her adventures in a foreign land. It is interesting to see the cultural differences as well. We see that she navigates this new world quite effectively, even though she still doesn’t have much figured out. It’s a journey of discovery that will help her define who she is in this new age of adulthood.

It’s Karin Crilly’s French Makeover at Age 78. Perhaps she will even find love and get to use the blue satin nightgown referred to in the title. But I won’t give away any spoilers. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

My List of 2017 Reads – with links to every title I read this year

14 Songs for February 14th

DJ Chase March - 14 Songs for February 14th

14 Songs for February 14th (A DJ Chase March Mixtape)

I made this one as a Valentine’s Day present for my beloved Diana. I can’t believe that in just a few short weeks she will become my wife. I am truly a blessed man.

I hope that you will enjoy this mixtape as well. Please feel free to download it, share it, and get in the mood for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Songs (Back Cover)

14 Songs for February 14th – zip album download

The Smart One – Is She Though?

Jenniger Close - The Smart One

The Smart One by Jennifer Close

The title character of this novel was labelled by her parents as “the smart one.” However, she is not feeling very smart at the moment. Her three adult children don’t quite have it together the way she had expected them to. Her oldest, has left the profession of nursing and is working in retail. She knows that she doesn’t have things together, but doesn’t know where to turn. She runs out of money and is forced to move back home to figure things out and catch up financially. The middle child has just called off her engagement and dumped her fiance. And the baby of the family is in college and getting into a pretty heavy relationship.

This is family drama much like you would see in prime-time television. It would actually make a good series. It’s interesting to see how the labels we put on children can ultimately put limits on their potential. The title character rebelled against her label and “married well” whereas her sister, the so-called “pretty one,” wasn’t able to do that.

The situations of each of the characters bring them back to their childhood home and the mother is left to cope with a very busy household once again. She reflects on her life as we get to explore each of the characters lives in detail through the prose.

The Smart One is a well-written novel that I enjoyed right up to the end. I say that because the end seemed to come up out of nowhere. The book ended in midstream. Maybe that is another reason this would make a good television series. It surely could have continued on. That being said, the novel could have had a better ending too. I much prefer to have closure at the end of a story, even though this is the kind of ending  a lot of stories have these days.

My List of 2017 Reads – my not-so-personal reading log for the year

Student Choice in Instrumental Music

It’s difficult to manage student choice in an instrumental music class. There are so many things to consider. The first of which is assigning instruments to your students. It is important to have a good variety of brass and woodwind instruments so that your class can sound like a full concert band.

This is a good set up for a class of 25 students (it is only meant as a guide and you need to be flexible)

  • 4 flute
  • 5 clarinet
  • 5 trumpet
  • 2 French Horn
  • 3 saxophone
  • 2 trombone
  • 2 euphonium
  • 2 Tuba

I normally don’t assign a student to percussion in beginning band classes. At least not right away. I have found that some students don’t have a good sense of timing and if they play poorly on a drum, it can throw the entire band off. It even throws off my timing when I conduct.

Starting everyone off with a brass or woodwind instrument is a good idea. You can always move a student to percussion later.

I used this form to let my students choose the instrument they would play this year. It worked out pretty well. I was able to give most of my students their first choice. Just make sure everyone picks three different instruments.

Some students will mark “saxophone” number one, two, and three. It always seems to be the most popular instrument choice. So by requiring your students to rank their choices in numerical order, you can have flexibility with how you assign them.

Instrument Choice Form

I hope you are finding my series on Teaching Beginning Band Class useful. If you have missed the previous posts, please check click these links and explore what has been working well for me for a few years now.

AMU3O: Instrumental Music – Semester Plan

First Week of a Beginning Instrumental Music Class (Part 1)

First Week of a Beginning Instrumental Music Class (Part 2)

Teaching Tip Tuesday – weekly inspiration from my class to yours

Spider-Woman – Revamped and Styling!

Spider Woman - New Duds

Spider-Woman: New Duds

Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman has quit The Avengers in order to live a normal life, something she has never really known. Her plan to just be an everyday investigator is turned upside down when Ben Ulrich helps her out of a tough spot and motivates the reluctant hero to take on a missing persons case.

I try not to give away much in my written reviews but if you don’t want to know anything more about this book, skip the next paragraph.

Spoiler Alert ahead

I really enjoyed the premise of the first story.  It revolves around a group of women who have come up with a very creative solution to leave behind their husbands, ex-boyfriends, and lovers of the super-villain variety. Even with good intentions though, they might be going about things the wrong way.

Spoiler Free Section below

Spider-Woman gets a new costume and new sidekicks in this collected edition of the on-going series. We all knew that she wouldn’t have been content with a normal life. It’s not in her. She is Spider-Woman after all.

My List of 2017 Reads – a continually updated reading log for the entire year

First Week of a Beginning Instrumental Music Class (Part 2)

Instrumental Music Teachers First Week (Part 2)This is part 2 of an on-going series for new instrumental music teachers who are leading a class of beginning music students.

Last week, I shared the first two lessons I taught my classes this year. This week, we will look at the next two lessons that you can use to kick off your semester.

Trying Out Mouthpieces 

Before the students pick the instruments they will be playing for the semester, it is a good idea to give them a chance to try out different mouthpieces. This gives them the chance to see how the the brass and woodwind instruments create sounds differently.

Small Group Instruction

One of the best ways to get your students playing quickly is to coach them individually or in small groups. I worked with four students at a time for a few lessons so that each student could get a chance to play both the flute and trumpet mouthpieces.

Small Group Ensembles (Orff Instruments)

  • Divide the class into groups of four. They can choose their own groups if they wish.
  • Demonstrate how to make a four piece band using the instruments we have (shakers, rhythms sticks, triangles, hand drums, etc.)
  • Ask them to create a piece together. (The teacher will work with one group of students to learn the flute and trumpet individually at this time)
  • Once they are done, a group that is ready to present a routine will present and trade spots.

Instrument Demonstration

  • Show the students how to get an instrument ready to play.
  • Set the case on the floor in front of you. Stress that it’s important to make sure the correct side is up.
  • Show them all three parts of the flute but that today, we will all get a chance to make a sound using just the head joint. This practice will help to ensure that the muscles in their lips develop so they can obtain a good sound on the flute.
  • Repeat this with the trumpet, show the students how to properly insert the mouthpiece by gently pushing it in until it stops. Do not push, shove, twist, or force it. If you push it in too hard, it will get stuck and we wont be able to get it out without a special tool that we don’t have. This will cost you or your parent’s money.
  • Never make the popping sound on a trumpet. If the mouthpiece gets stuck, you will have to pay to have it removed. Demonstrate this noise by by holding the mouthpiece slightly out of the instrument. Stress that this is something that is strictly not allowed. Ever! If the mouthpiece gets stuck, the case won’t even close. This is an easy repair to avoid.

Sterisol Procedure

  • Spray the mouthpiece. Wait two minutes, wipe it with a paper towel.

Flute Instruction (Small Group)

  • The student should put his/her lips together. Tell him to close his mouth completely but not tightly. Blow the air out through the lips. Do not pucker the lips and do not smile. The opening of the lips is a result of blowing the air and not making any special shape.
  • The student should use the syllable “pu” to blow the air out. You are holding the flute for them at this point so you can adjust it as need be. Praise any sound produced at this point.
  • When the student gets a few good sounds in a row, remove the mouthpiece from his mouth and quickly replace it and have him play again. He should get a sound easily. If not, move it for him. Then have him place his hand at the end of the head joint but not covering the open end.
  • Once they make a sound, remove your hand and have him play again. Once he gets a few good sounds, ask him to place the headjoint on his lap, reposition the mouthpiece, and play it again. The student should remember the best place to place the flute now.
  • If time allows, have them place their hand against the opening to produce a tugboat sound. Then challenge the student to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by using his index finger at different depths in the opening. Then ask them to play a high and a low sound simply by blowing.

Trumpet Instruction (Small Group)

  • First, wet your lips and try to buzz them. Now try it with a mouthpiece only. Make a siren sound. Gently, place the mouthpiece into the trumpet. Do not push, shove, twist, or force it. If you push it in too hard, it will get stuck and we won’t be able to get it out without a special tool that we don’t have. Never slap or tap the mouthpiece when it is inserted. Never pop the mouthpiece.
  • Left hand holds the trumpet. The thumb goes to the side of the cylinders. The ring finger may go into the third valve ring. The thumb of the right hand is placed under the tubing leading from the mouthpiece. The first three fingers go over each valve with an arch in and the ends of the fingers over each valve.
  • Try to make a sound. If they are having difficulties, ask them to make a sour lemon face and buzz with that shape of lips. Have them play an open note (either G or C, don’t worry which one they make) Praise the note and then ask them to play a lower / higher one. Have them practice with whole notes and quarter notes.

Listening Activity 

Introduce STILL time (Silent Time for Individual Listening Logs) and complete a listening log. Play Viennese Musical Clock by Zoltan Kodaly. Ask the students what instruments they hear in the piece – tubular bells, trumpets, celesta, piccolo, triangle and what it makes them think of.

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