Welcome back to school!

    Those four words have taken on a whole new meaning this past year.  To say that I am looking forward to seeing everyone and getting back into the classroom cannot be emphasized enough.  During the past few months we have seen concerts come to a halt around the world. Without live music performances, we have found out what music means to our society, something that binds us together.  And now we finally have the chance to start playing together once again! 

    While we are in our current mode, we will be having in person classes and online instruction and my plan is to offer students as many chances to get playing as possible.  In person instruction will be focused on rehearsing and fine-tuning technical skills and online instruction and assignments will reinforce concepts in theory, history and practicing.  We will be using Musico this year and all of the materials in Musico will reinforce classroom instruction.  Although not fully replacing being in class and rehearsing, Musico is the closest thing to replicating the experience of an actual rehearsal.   Minutes spent practicing will be part of the grade and we will be moving to a system of unit-based learning, checking off skills that have been mastered.  We naturally have some catching up to do, but I am confident that everyone will be moving forward rapidly.

    Concerts for the year are in a holding pattern and as things begin to open up I will begin to plan for them and will notify everyone at the earliest possible date.

     Please contact me if you have any questions at ewenstrom@mcpsmt.org.  Again, I am excited to get the year started, it will be great to start making music again.

    I grew up in Oregon and went to the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) where I earned a degree in Music Education.  I began my teaching career in Albany, Oregon and completed my Master's Degree in Music Education and Conducting.  I moved to Idaho to teach in Idaho Falls, Idaho and during that time I founded the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony and co-founded the Idaho Falls Youth Youth Arts Centre. I entered the PhD. program at the University of Oreon in Music History and Conducting and achieved ABD status.  I have been active as a conductor, performing musician and arranger for the past 30 years and have been very fortunate to have been able to work with some amazing talent over hte years.  My father grew up in Helana, and in a way this feels like coming back home.

    All of your lessons can be found on our Google Classroom page, which can be found here: 

    6th Grade Orchestra:
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    7th Grade Orchestra:

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    8th Grade Orchestra:

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    The lessons are made to help you in theory, history, and other parts of music that you need to be a complete musician.  Have fun with them.  Hit Musico each day for a few minutes.  Remember that skils are lost easier than they are gained.

    Musico!  Musico, a music practicing platform is located at Musico.io.  All of your music will be here to practice.  I will be posting videos to help you use Musico to its full extent. You will all have an account setup for you using your email and the password pass1234.  You may change the password later, but it is up to you to remember it!  You will need to spend 90 minutes per week practicing outside of class.  Musico automatically keeps track of the time spent practicing and there is no need to turn in written confirmation but if you are taking lessons, you may write down your practice time and turn it in each Monday.