ABOUT MS. ANDERSON-KAHL
Ms. Anderson-Kahl is in her sixth year teaching at Rock Valley Community Schools. Having grown up in rural southeastern Minnesota, she loves being a part of a smaller school district where teachers have the opportunity to make strong interpersonal connections with families, and where students are allowed the flexibility to be a part of many different activities.
As of 2018, Ms. Anderson-Kahl completed her Masters Degree in Music Education through the American Band College with Central Washington University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Luther College in 2012. With flute as her primary instrument and voice as her secondary, she is certified to teach both K-12 Instrumental and K-12 Vocal Music in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.
At Luther, Anderson-Kahl participated in a wide range of ensembles including Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, Vocal Jazz, Collegiate Chorale, Tango, and even started a whistling ensemble. She was also a member of the Luther College Women's Basketball Team. Her affiliations include Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
Ms. Anderson-Kahl completed her student teaching in the Twin Cities area. She taught 6-8 Band and Choir at Falcon Ridge Middle School in Eagan, Minnesota as well as PreK-5 General Music and Elementary Band at Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following her placements she served as the Long-Term Substitute for the 5-12 Band Program at Southland Public Schools in Adams, Minnesota. She completed her first year of teaching as 5-8 Band Director at Eagle Grove Community School District.
Other interests for Ms. Anderson-Kahl include running, lifting, being outside, and watching comedies. She also loves learning about music from other cultures and traveling. She has toured abroad with music ensembles to Brazil, Japan, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Italy.
ABOUT MS. SCHMELING
Ms. Schmeling is in her first year as a teacher in the Rock Valley Community Schools. She grew up in Boyden, IA and eventually ended up in Brandon, SD where she remains today. After graduating from Brandon Valley High School, Ms. Schmeling knew she wanted to pursue music education and eventually ended up at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
While at Luther, Ms. Schmeling participated in a variety of musical and nonmusical activities. For 4 years, Ms. Schmeling was an active member in the Luther College Jazz Orchestra which gave her the opportunity to travel to Brazil and Colorado along with professionally record an album entitled Sketches of Sound: from Swing to Frevo. The National Trumpet Competition Ensemble, made up of select trumpet players from Luther, was selected to participate in the National Trumpet Competition for three years in a row which gave Ms. Schmeling the opportunity to travel to Georgia, Colorado, and Texas. Other ensembles that Ms. Schmeling enjoyed playing in were the Luther College Concert Band, Luther College Chamber Orchestra, Golden Tones Brass Quintet and other various ensembles. Ms. Schmeling was also an active member in the Future Music Educators Association while at Luther.
Ms. Schmeling completed her student teaching in the Spencer, Iowa school district. She taught high school band at Spencer High School along with middle school band in the Spencer Middle School. Along with teaching high school and middle school band, Ms. Schmeling also spent time teaching K-5 general music at Johnson, Lincoln, and Fairview Elementary Schools in Spencer, Iowa.
In the Spring of 2019, Ms. Schmeling graduated from Luther College with her Bachelors degree in K-12 Music Education.
Besides music and teaching band, Ms. Schmeling enjoys spending time outside in nature, hiking and hammocking. Things that bring her joy are coffee shops and a good cup of coffee. Outside of school, you can find Ms. Schmeling enjoying a good book, traveling, or spending time with her fiancé.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
At the beginning of 5th grade, all students come to the band room in pairs to try out all instruments. We take notes on their natural aptitude for each instrument and their top three choices. After compiling information from all students, invitations are given to students to participate in band on their recommended instrument.
Using Measures of Success as their lesson book, students focus on building the foundational skills of playing their instrument, reading music, instrument care, and playing in a group setting.
The last of five years at Rock Valley almost 90% of the 5th graders have joined band. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minutes and perform two official concerts at night and two unofficial concerts during the school day.
All 9th-12th graders are in high school band together. In the fall, the primary focus is reviewing fundamentals and Pep Band music. The group performs at a variety of home athletic events including football, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling. In October, the group transitions to more formal Concert Band material.
The band performs four concerts at home, including Graduation, and competes at the State Large Group and Small Group Contests in the spring. Students also have the opportunity to audition for All-State Band and Jazz Band and District Honor Bands.
Jazz Band is a select group that meets two-three times per week outside the normal band class. The primary focus is learning to play in a swing style, but the group also explores other styles. The middle school jazz band has taken first place at the District Festival the last 3 years. The high school band competes there as well as several other festivals and each performs in at least one of our home band concerts.
Standard jazz band instruments include saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, bass guitar, and drumset. Often times students will learn a secondary instrument to participate in Jazz Band. Talk to your lesson teacher if that is something that interests you.
Each student receives an individual or small group lesson during the school day once a week. These lessons are extremely important for individual progress, as it is here we are able to teach instrument-specific concepts and provide consistent individual feedback.
Come play with us!
Community Pep Band: Thursday, December 19, 2019 against Boyden-Hull
Community Memorial Day Band: Monday, May 25, 2020 Memorial Day Service at the cemetery
If finished with Measures of Success, these students will continue on to a more advanced lesson book and/or prepare a solo to be played with piano accompaniment. Students at this level are refining the skills they have learned on their instrument, playing more independent music, and developing a greater sense of ensemble skills, such as playing with balance and blend.
7th-8th Grade Band meets Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday for 42 minutes. They perform at three concerts and every student performs at our local solo contest in the spring. Last year there were 66 members (58% of the 7th-8th graders).
These students continue to use their Measures of Success lesson book and focus on reviewing and further developing their foundational skills. These students will become more independent as a musician through a deeper understanding of rhythms, playing music that is written with more parts, and performing a solo with piano accompaniment and/or participating in a small group ensemble.
6th Grade Band meets Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday for 42 minutes. They perform at three concerts and every student performs at our local solo contest in the spring. Last year there were 57 members (71% of the grade).
It is the intent of the Rock Valley Band Department to have all students develop their learning skills in the following areas:
1. Kinesthetic Learning – This is the physical aspect of learning to play a musical instrument. Kinesthetic involves such things as breathing, blowing air, manipulating valves or fingers, moving sticks or mallets, reading music, tapping your foot, watching the conductor, tone production, and listening.
2. Cognitive Learning – This is the “thinking” part of learning music and how to play an instrument. Cognitive skills that students will utilize include how to read music notes, staffs, clefs, music terminology, retention of note fingerings, and mental recognition of higher order concepts such as intonation, embouchure, and balance/blend.
3. Affective Learning – This is the emotional side of learning. Students will create certain moods and feelings through their playing of a musical instrument. They will also be asked to convey historical events and social ideas through the sounds that they create. Students will also be able to identify aesthetics in music.
It is also the intent that through their participation in instrumental music, students will improve their organizational skills, self-discipline, responsibility, perseverance, and citizenship by caring for an instrument, regular practice, lesson attendance, working towards goals even when they become difficult, and practicing polite band etiquette during a large group rehearsal.
Through these types of learning and skill development, our band students will become better overall students and citizens for our society!