Band Announcements

I am pleased to announce that selected Prairie Wind band students will take part in the Band Mentor Program over the course of the next few months. This program is designed to keep your child engaged in band and looking forward to playing their instrument in middle and high school. CLICK HERE to read all about this mentor program. Please note that this mentor program is for selected students only- letters have been sent home with those students who have been invited to participate. This mentor program will be a part of the elementary band lesson and will not require extra time outside the school day. 

It is common during this time of year that students lose motivation. The "newness" has worn off at this point and band students often lose focus in January and February. However, there are many tricks you can use to motivate your student to practice. Below are just a few of my favorite ideas:

--M & M Game: start with 10 M & Ms on your kitchen counter (you can substitute any candy or food that your child enjoys). Every time your child plays the agreed upon line, song or small part of a song correctly, you move one M & M to a bowl for them to eat after they are done practicing. Every time they do NOT play it correctly, you move one M & M to your bowl. This will start out rough with you eating a lot of M & Ms! But it will get better quickly, to the point that you will hardly be eating any M & Ms within just a few practice sessions.

--Great Race Game: decide before hand on the line, song or small part of a song that your child will focus on for this game. Next, roll a dice- whatever the dice says is the number of points your child is playing for. If your child plays the agreed upon music perfectly, they get the points. If your child makes any mistakes, you get the points. Then, roll the dice again. The first person who gets to 30 is the winner!

--Staff Wars Game: Want to make practicing playing accurate notes more fun for your child? Use some technology with the Staff Wars performance app! It is easy to use- just set the instrument that is appropriate for your child, set the key to Bb and adjust the speed to make it challenging for your child. Then hit start and away they go! I guarantee that your child will spend at least 10 minutes attempting to "win" the game... and that is 10 minutes more of practice that they would NOT have done before! My suggestion is to use the Staff Wars game as a reward: once your child has completed their 15-20 minutes of practice they can play the Staff Wars game. Note that you must allow this app to use your microphone so it can "hear" your child play the notes. This app can be downloaded for iOS or android devices at:  

Band students should focus their practice on pages 12-14 in their Sound Innovations book. These pages enforce the new notes we learned right before winter break, as well as introduce new musical vocabulary. Most students find the songs on these pages more challenging but also fun to play! Student should begin each practice session with the Band Warm up, Version 2.0. This warm up page contains all of the skills they will use to play the music in the Sound Innovations book. 

With all of the above things to learn, band student should be practicing at home at least 15 minutes each day. The next practice check day is scheduled for Friday, January 25th. This means the instrument needs to go home after band lesson days and come back to school again on the next band lesson day. Prairie Wind band students should check with their teacher to determine where the best place in their classroom is to store the instrument while it is at school on band lesson days.  Band students should also make sure to bring their book (Sound Innovations), a pencil, and their band folder every day. 

Feel free to contact me at any time with any questions you have about band lessons- my contact information is in the box directly to the right of these announcements.

~Mr. Cosby

Prairie Wind Band Schedule

Practice Check Today!
Start Date/Time:
Friday, February 16, 2018
End Date/Time:
Friday, February 16, 2018
Recurring Event:
One time event
Normal Priority
Owned by Tom Cosby On Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Prairie Wind Band Documents

 Title Description
Band Registration FormDownloadThis is the form all students must complete if they want to be in band this year. Please return the form to Mr. Cosby as soon as possible.
Overview of Band LessonsDownloadThis document describes the basic concepts that are taught in the elementary band lesson at Prairie Wind.
Band Schedule/CalendarDownloadThis calendar will help band students remember when to bring their instruments to school. Students also keep track of their practice time on this calendar.
REMIND InvitationDownloadThis letter explains how to receive text and/or email reminders to help you and your student remember when to bring their instrument to school. This is the best way to never forget your instrument at home!
1st Quarter Band NotesDownloadThis letter gives details about everything we have been doing in band during the 1st quarter as well as details about upcoming events. Parents/guardians should sign the 2nd page and return with their student asap!
2nd Quarter Band NotesDownloadThis letter outlines what we are working on in band and lists ways to help your child stay motivated while practicing at home.

What to Practice at Home


Woodwinds & Brass

  1. Breathing/Sizzle Exercises (use metronome)- 1 minute.
  2. Assemble Instrument/quality sound on entire instrument (use metronome)- 1-2 minutes.
  3. WARM-UP: Band Warm-up Version 2.0 - 2-4 minutes.
  4. REVIEW: Sound Innovations book, pg.11 & 12 (use metronome)- 5-7 minutes.
  5. FOCUS: Sound Innovations book, pg. 13-14 (use metronome)- 5-7 minutes. Pay attention: how long does an eighth note get? What does divisi and unison mean? What is a key signature? Use your flash cards if you are struggling reading the notes!
  6. RANK ADVANCEMENT: Where are you at for rank advancement? Find your chart and make sure to practice whatever song you need to move forward in rank. 2-4 minutes.
  7. WRITTEN ACTIVITIES: No written activities as of 1-15-2019.
  8. QUIZ: all students will play for a grade #43 on pg. 12. This quiz will be a formative assessment (it can be re-taken to improve your score). This quiz will take place on Thursday, January 17th.
  9. Clean instrument/put instrument safely away in case- 1 minute

          TOTAL PRACTICE TIME = 17-25 minutes.


     1. Stretching (prepare to play) - 1 minute.

    2.  Assemble Instrument - 1 minute.

    3.  Basic Bell Practice (see pg. 12 in packet- use metronome) - 6 minutes.

  1. 4.    Snare Drum Stroke Practice on pad (see pg. 4-5 of packet- use metronome) -2 minutes.

    5.    Snare Drum Rudiment Practice on pad (Band Warm-up Version 2.0- use metronome) -4 minutes.

    6.    Bell Note Reading Practice: (Band Warm-up Version 2.0 for mallets)  4 minutes.

    7.    REVIEW: Sound Innovations book, pg. 11 & 12- (use metronome) for bells and percussion - 5 minutes.

    8.    FOCUS- Sound Innovations pg. 13 & 14  (use metronome) for bells and percussion -5 minutes. Pay attention: what is a flam accent? what is a paradiddle? Did you remember to dampen your sound during the rests on bells? Can you play the new notes on pg. 13-14? Use your flashcards if you are struggling with reading the new notes on bells!

    9. RANK ADVANCEMENT: Where are you at for rank advancement? Find your chart and make sure to practice whatever song you need to move forward in rank. 2-4 minutes.

    10. WRITTEN ACTIVITIES: No written activities at this time.

    11. QUIZ: all students will play for a grade #43 on pg. 12. This quiz will be over SNARE DRUM for percussion. This quiz will take place on Thursday, January 17th

    11. Stretching (relaxation of muscles) - 1 minute.

    12. Put instrument safely away in case - 1 minute.


How to Contact Mr. Cosby

Phone #: 402-659-2618

School #: 402-491-0859


Band Lessons at Prairie Wind

Welcome to the Prairie Wind Band webpage! I am excited you have chosen to visit and learn more about band lessons at Prairie Wind... please feel free to explore this webpage to find out more about band lessons. The overview of band lessons document at the bottom of the page explains in detail the concepts that are taught at Prairie Wind in elementary band lessons. The calendar to the left shows the days there are band lessons. Please refer back to it often as I typically update the calendar at the beginning of each month. 

If you have any questions, concerns or you are just curious about your child's musical experience in band lessons, feel free to contact me at any time! My contact information is just above this box...

Happy Practicing!

Mr. Cosby