CMS 6th Grade Band

After School Rehearsals Still On

Good morning,

As mentioned last week, our after school rehearsals are still on as usual. On Mondays we have after school practice sessions for kids who want some extra practice. Wednesdays we have our Instrument Club. This is when high school students come over and play/teach with your students. PLEASE encourage your students to stay after for this. Our numbers have been low lately and I do not want to have to cancel it!

Remember that we have our Spring Concert on May the 16th at 7:00 pm. 6th graders will report at 6:30 to the stage in full uniform. Make sure that your student has black pants, socks, and shoes that fit! There is still time to buy or borrow things if needed.

I have some fun adventures planned for your students coming up. They are all during the school day. You will be notified as soon as they are finalized.



Milestones Pep Rally/Summer Music Band Camp

Good afternoon,

On Monday the 18th we will have a pep rally for the upcoming Milestones next week. Our band will play at it for the first time in school history to pump up our students! This will occur during the school day and will not require any extra rehearsals or preparation for it. The students will wear their band polos. They may wear any shoes or pants that they would like to. If your student would like to bring their band polo this week for me to hold on to until Monday, I can do that. I will keep them and label them. I would hate for a student to forget their polos on Monday and miss out on the chance to perform.

The Sounds of Summer Band Camp is a great opportunity for those of you who would like for your student to attend some sort of music camp to enhance their skills. I highly recommend this camp for my students as a past staff member. This is a camp that is hosted at Midway Church and is cheap and worth the money. The students are taught about music from professionals and will meet students from different schools around our area, will be fed daily delicious food, and will have a daily recreational time. Carrollton consistently has the highest number of students who attend this camp. I told the students in class that I wish that there was a camp for me when I was younger that was this fun, affordable, and close!

Sounds of Summer Band Camp Website

Please look at their website and speak with your students. If you have any questions or would like to have your student attend but have some limitations, please contact me directly.


-M. Menendez


Good morning,

I am so excited to be back from Spring Break so that we can dig in towards our Spring Concert. You are going to be very impressed with what you hear at our last performance. The Spring Concert was set for May the 9th at 7pm at the Mabry Art Center. Due to the Spring Musical at the high school, the concert has been pushed back to May 16th (the following Monday). Please in form any family members and friends of this date change.

The students will still report in their black pants (long skirt) with black socks, shoes, and their band polo. Please make sure NOW that they have all of those items. We are a month away roughly so now is the time to shop for anything that they may need. Students who are not in uniform will not perform at the concert.

Your students are awesome and are exceeding my expectations! I’m one lucky teacher.

-Ms. Menendez

Long Weekend

Dear all,

Please make sure that your student brings their horn home today if they have not already. It is vital that they practice over this long weekend since we have only played one day this week. Their practice logs are due on Monday as usual and we will have our normal after school practices next week. Both end at 4:15.

We are doing a tremendous job on the AYP Card fundraiser. Use this long weekend to sell to people who have not been reached out to yet.  They are $15 and they are a fantastic deal (I even have my own!)

Have a fantastic weekend!



AYP Cards Fundraiser

American Youth Projects (AYP) Fundraiser Roll-Out

Good afternoon,

As of today we will begin our annual AYP Fundraiser. We will use the money to purchase and repair equipment, bring in extra instructors, and purchase new music and supplies.

Students are welcome to bring an extra order form to give to you to put in your break room or at church. 

Instructions for the fundraiser:

  1. Go out and show people all the deals the card gives them by using your order taker. Each card is $15 (a change from the past) and has unlimited uses up to a year at participating locations.
  2. Bring the $15 to Ms. Menendez  in a sealed envelope, and you will receive an AYP card the very next day to distribute to your buyers.  Cash is accepted, Checks made payable to CJHS Bands NOT CMS BAND. 
  3. Distribute cards to your buyers.


  1. We will award $50 to the top seller of each grade level, 6th 7th and 8th
  2. For every 5 cards sold you will receive 1 free. (so try and sell 5 before you buy one yourself).

We will continue to sell AYP cards for the next few months as we have them, if we sell out we can always order more.  As always if you have any questions you can email me with any concerns or questions.

Time to get started and sell away!!

-Ms. Menendez

Weekly reminders

Good morning,

Tuesday: practice logs will be checked, make up William Tell tests.

Wednesday: Concert Ab scale test, Instrument Club after school until 4:15pm.

Every student will be tested on Wednesday on their scale unless they have already passed it off on their star chart. Make sure that you hear your student practicing before Wednesday! This is a test grade. 

Happy practicing to the students and enjoy the rest of your time off! See you tomorrow.


-M. Menendez

February Updates

Good afternoon,

I am just touching base with you all to give you any updates and reminders that I have.

Playing Tests: I am STILL grading these. I am giving each student individual feedback and watching their videos multiple times to make sure that I am catching anything that I can. I plan to have these finished and in the grade book by Wednesday evening. Your students were very flexible and patient through this trial process. We all learned a lot and can plan for our next playing test.

AYP Fundraiser Cards: I have received multiple questions about these AYP Cards and when we will begin selling them this year. We are waiting on the company to finish putting them together for this year. Once we receive them, you all will know and we can begin that fundraiser. It is my favorite fundraiser each year because it is an easy sale! More info soon!

Monday After School Practice Sessions: Tons of kids are making the extra effort to stay after on Mondays to play with their friends, pass off things, and get extra help. I love spending extra time with them and making music. Thank you for supporting that.

Wednesday Instrument Club: This week we will begin an instrument club on Wednesdays. This will run exactly like Mondays do (until 4:15pm) but we will split off into sections and have high school leadership down here teaching your students. This will give them info that pertains to their instrument, and a fun time with their section mates. It begins after school and ends at 4:15 pm as stated above. This is a new tradition so I cannot wait to begin!

Star Chart: We now have a star chart posted in front of the class. When a student learns a scale and is ready to pass it off, they can stay after school at one of our practice sessions, or come before school between 7:50-8:05am to pass it off for me. To pass it off they must Finger and Name the scale and then play it. A scale is when the students play up and down 8 notes of the scale with an arpeggio. Your students understand how to read these scales. Students who pass off all 12 scales will receive an award at the end of the year at our Spring Concert. Please encourage your students to become Scale Masters!

Remember that each Monday we check our practice logs from the previous week. Take a second tonight and sign your student’s practice log for last week so that they can get full credit please.

Have a fantastic rest of your Sunday and Happy Super Bowl!

(I’m not sure if that is a phrase or not… oh well)

Ms. Menendez*


Playing Test Due 1/26/2016

Good morning,

As I have mentioned to the students, we are planning on doing some of our testing online and through Google classroom this semester.

Benefits of online testing with video include:

  • The ability for me to visually see the embouchure, grips and keys that the students are playing.
  • The ability for me to re watch the video to get a good read of what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • The ability for me to give a more detailed report back to the students so that they can know exactly how they are doing and how to improve.
  • The ability for me to watch the video with the students to point things out so they can hear themselves play from an audience members perspective.
  • Students have a large window to complete the test on and do not need to submit their video until they get their best repetition of the line. Students can submit it when they are ready as long as it is by the due date.
  • Especially in my large class of 80, the students do not have to sit and wait as I test EACH STUDENT INDIVIDUALLY.

There are many benefits that I see with this form of testing. We will not use online testing for every test, but we will when needed.

Ways to submit the test:

  • Students must take a video where I can see their face and entire instrument (specifically the hands).
  • Students will either email the video to me directly  OR submit it through GoogleClassroom. (Make sure to put your first and last name please).
    • Class 6.1 (10:15-11:05) class key= 8e52j9
    • Class 6.2 (12:00-12:50) class key= 89xry6d
  • Students without a cell phone or recording device will use a Chromebook at school to turn in their test. Every student has the opportunity to submit this assignment. Any students who do not turn in the test by the due date will quickly be tested in class with a late penalty. 

I WANT to hear each student and I am thrilled that I will get recordings so that I can really diagnose anything that I see. This will make our band immensely better especially moving on to 7th grade band because I am now able to give each student the individual attention that they need.

Once again, I accept using Google Classroom or an email sent to me with the video. If students do not have a cell phone/ipad/ipod/recording/GoPro/recording device they may use yours or our equipment here at school. 

The beauty is that your student can practice and take multiple takes and only send me their best one! I want to see them at their best.

The info for this playing test is below:

Essential Elements book page 10 line 45 “William Tell”.

The due date is Tuesday January the 26th at midnight.

I would like for you all to review what I have written above and email me with any concerns. This is our first time ever at Carrollton using GoogleClassroom for online testing so I would like to get over any hurdles that we run into now. This is going to be a fantastic thing!

-Ms. Menendez

Class Equipment Order

Hello all,


I have submitted the equipment order for the students and I am hoping that they will be in early next week.

Mallets/Reeds/Reed Guards/Cork Grease are set to be delivered on Monday the 14th.

The Valve Oil/Trombone Slide Oil Kit are set to be delivered the 17th-22nd. (If it is a date after school releases then I will arrange a time where you all can stop by and pick up your products). 

I wanted to show you all the equipment that I recommend for the students and where I found them at the cheapest price. The things that I am recommending are not things that are meant to break your wallet, they are meant to be durable, yet reasonable for a 6th grade student while ensuring that their instruments will play in the best way that they possibly can. Teaching our students to maintain their instruments at a high level is something that all of us will appreciate as it saves time and grief in the long run!

Below is a shopping cart that I made on Amazon that shows the exact product and price for you. If your student missed out on this equipment order, they may either order it with you online or wait until January for that equipment order. I plan on doing one each month and setting up an CMS band account for it soon.

Amazon Shopping List

*Buying the reeds by the box instead of individually and a reed guard will save you money in ways that you would never imagine. Having multiple reeds allows for the students to rotate them which gives them a longer life. Having a reed guard helps even more by keeping the wood sturdy and in place as it sits in the instrument case. They also help to dry the wood evenly. *

Have a fantastic weekend and I will see you Monday the 14th, at 6:30 pm in our uniform.


-M. Menendez


Chocolate Candy Order

Good afternoon,

  • Our chocolate candy order is set to be delivered Monday morning. The boxes are much smaller than the cookie dough boxes were. Students will receive their chocolate and their order form so that they can deliver their orders to their customers.
  • The chocolate is set to be here at CMS around 9:30am. I will need help at that point and in the afternoon during dismissal as well. Your support and help is very much appreciated!
  • If there are any parents who would like to volunteer you may fill out the form below:
  • The coat orders have been placed but are not ready yet. They will be ready before we get out for break.
  • I sent home a letter today to remind you of the concert attire and report times for the students (6:30pm at the Mabry Arts Center).
  • As we prepare for the concert please ask your students to perform the pieces for you so that we can monitor that they are practicing and preparing to do their best on Monday the 14th.

I hope to see some familiar faces at the Christmas Parade this evening here in Carrollton! Have a great day!


-M. Menendez