Hello, and welcome to Mr. Barclay de Tolly's PMS Music Department website!

This is my 19th year (2014-15) teaching at PMS, and this year I am continuing in my role as the primary contact teacher of the Choruses and most of the Exploratory Music Classes.  I will also be co-directing the musical in the winter-spring ("Peter Pan"- auditions in November- details TBA).

At the bottom of this page is attached an overview of the Portsmouth Middle School Music Department's curriculum. Any questions concerning your child's involvement in our music program can be directed to me by e-mailing my school address (bdtm@portsmouthschoolsri.org) or leaving a message through the school's automated messaging center (849-3700; mailbox #3506 when you are prompted).  I will make every effort to get back to you by the next school day!


"Homework" in my classes

4th, 5th &6th Grade Exploratory Music- Students do not have regular homework, but they are encouraged to practice on their recorders to prepare for upcoming "IPQ's" (Individual Playing Tests) of pieces rehearsed in class. Students have copies of all music played in class available to them for home study.  For the occasional quiz or test, your student will have study guides, created during class, to help prepare them.

7th Grade Exploratory Music- Students focus on learning how to perform on the piano in our keyboard lab up until the holiday break in December; the 3rd and 4th quarters are dedicated to guitar performance played pick-style.  Students are not required to have an instrument at home for practice, so our time in the classroom is our practice time.  If a student has an instrument and wishes to work outside the class, I have lots of materials to give to students to challenge themselves and exceed the standard!

Occasional quizzes and tests reflect understanding of ongoing activities in our classes.  Individual playing quizzes ("IPQ's") occur about twice a month. 

8th Grade Exploratory Music-  In the first quarter students begin with an intoduction/refresher to keyboard playing. We then do a series of music-writing projects using the keyboard as an interface to "Finale," a state-of-the art music notation software; this work culminates in an original composition project. The 3rd and 4th quarters are dedicated to guitar performance played finger-style.  Students are not required to have an instrument at home for practice, so our time in the classroom is our practice time.  If a student has an instrument and wishes to work outside the class, I have lots of materials to give to students to challenge themselves and exceed the standard!

Occasional quizzes and tests reflect understanding of ongoing activities in our classes.  Individual playing quizzes ("IPQ's") occur about twice a month. 

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Choruses- Each year our choruses expand their capabilities with new challenges in the advancing repertoire for each grade.  Students in Chorus are encouraged to practice vocal technique on their own at home, whether using exercises, rounds and songs practiced during rehearsals, or individually preparing their parts of pieces to be performed in concert.  Vocal students can also "exceed the standard" by participating in the All-state Auditions in the fall or Solo & Ensemble in the Spring.