Middle School (Beginning) Band Syllabus
Welcome to the Redington Middle School Band Program. We are at the start of a great new program dedicated to giving students the opportunity to grow musically, socially, and academically. My goal is to teach you all I can about music and help you become the finest and most knowledgeable performer possible. Through musical performance, students will learn how to perform and appreciate music of a variety of styles and levels of difficulty. Through group involvement, students learn how to work together to achieve common goals, develop group discipline and respect for fellow students. Students learn to focus on goals and achievements that are more than personal as well as develop self-discipline. Through the study of harmony, scales, rhythms, etc.., students develop skills that will allow them to truly understand and appreciate the foundation of music as well as the aesthetics. The purpose of this syllabus is to explain how I am going to help you find the rewards and discover the joy of music.
At Redington Jr./Sr. High School, there is a Beginning band, Advanced Band for middle school and a Symphonic Band for High School. Students will play a variety of music from classical to jazz and popular literature. Emphasis is placed on the development of fundamental skills related to posture, breathing, embouchure, fingerings, counting, music reading, and overall tone production. Through scales, rhythm exercises, and etudes, students will develop the skills needed to perform band literature designed for the middle school band. Daily practice is a must and private instruction is strongly encouraged.
Everything you see here is important. However, those sections that appear in the Table of Contents in Boldface Type are especially important for you to know at the beginning of the school year—please read with special care!
I hope that you will enjoy your musical studies here...if you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
Beginning Band class will use book One (Red) of the Tradition of Excellence series in addition to the theory books and regular band sheet music. This book is available at Matanuska Music in Wasilla. You will be responsible to care for it and have it with you at all times. If you have trouble getting this book please see the Band Teacher for help getting a copy.
It is highly recommended that you consider taking PRIVATE LESSONS. Nothing can take the place of this kind of individual, expert attention and guidance. PRIVATE LESSONS greatly increase your development as a musician.
Band Room Rules
- No food, drink, or gum is allowed in the band room at any time.
- Leaning on equipment (especially music stands and percussion instruments) is not permitted.
- When seated in a chair, keep all four legs touching the ground at all times
- When you choose to leave your music at school, it must be kept in your band locker.
- Walking only is permitted in any part of the band room at any times.
- Students may be allowed in the music office only with permission of the band teacher.
- You may touch and play only your own instrument.
- Only percussionists may touch percussion equipment.
- As a band student, I am expected to respect others by the speech I use, and the way I treat their property.
- Students will follow these rules for the purpose of having a more productive band class this year.
Our primary responsibility in band is to learn music. Any behavior which distracts from or interferes with this learning process will not be permitted.
The BAND ROOM RULES are provided as a special guideline for your BEHAVIOR while you are in the band room. Quiet attention to the teacher, remaining in your seat during the class period, and following directions are naturally expected of you in the band just as they are in your other classes. All Redington School rules and policies, as outlined in the Student Handbook will be strictly enforced.
Normal Rehearsal Routine
It is important to establish a NORMAL REHERSHAL ROUTINE so that daily rehearsal time can be used efficiently. The routine begins as you enter the room.
Immediately upon entering the room, you should unpack and set up your instrument, get your music from the music folder rack, pick up your music stand and return to your seat. You may then warm up, practice that week’s assigned scale or rhythm, practice out of your Band Expression book or Rhythm Sheets, practice band music or socialize with your immediate neighbor.
Two minutes after the tardy bell has rung, or when everyone appears to be in their seats and ready (whichever comes first), the conductor will stand on his riser. At this time you should stop all activity and quietly listen to the director for instructions. Students who are not in their assigned seats by this time will be marked tardy. The director will then take daily participation points. To receive all points you must show your music, book, pencil, planner and instrument.
With 5 minutes remaining in the period, the rehearsal will end. You will, with no further playing, quickly put your instruments and music stand away and return to your seat with your planners out for points
The class will be dismissed by the director (NOT THE BELL) when:
- The room has been returned to its original state of order.
- All students are sitting quietly in their assigned seats.
- The director has made all necessary reminders and announcements.
Each Student will need the following items in class every day:
- Sharpened pencil (NO PENS)
- Instrument (sticks and mallets for percussionists)
- Music and Music Folder
- Supplementary TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE
- At least 2 playable reeds (clarinet and saxophone)
You will be responsible for all items. If you cannot afford any of these items, let the director know so that assistance can be arranged.
You are expected to provide your own INSTRUMENT. Redington has a limited number of the larger INSTRUMENTS that will be checked out on a “first come first-first served” basis. You are expected to have your INSTRUMENT by the end of the first week of school. The first day of class you will inform the director of your “first” and “second” choice INSTRUMENT that you would be willing to play. This is so we do not have too many of the same INSTRUMENTS.
Percussionists will need their own pair of the following:
- Snare Sticks (5A or 5B)
- Medium timpani mallets
- Hard plastic xylophone mallets
*All can be purchased at Matanuska Music*
All band members must have performance attire.
Black slacks, Black button up shirt, Black shoes, Black socks and provided tie. NO JEANS
Black skirt (knee length) or a Slack Pant, Black blouse or shirt. Black shoes, Natural or black stockings/socks and provided scarf.
When you receive the performance schedule please review this with your parents and put the dates on your family calendar so that no conflicts will arise. If an unavoidable conflict does come up, you must let the director know at least one week before the performance date with a written note from a parent. Such a note must describe the specific reason for your absence so that the director can determine if you may be excused. This will give the band time to redistribute parts before the performance. A note asking to excuse you from a performance less than one week prior to a performance, or after the fact, cannot be accepted.
Below are the criteria for PERFORMANCE GRADES:
A - You arrive on time for the warm-up, are dressed appropriately (see PERFORMANCE ATTIRE), behave appropriately in the warm-up, on stage and in the audience, and stay with the band for the entire performance.
C - You fulfill all but one of the requirements for an "A"
D - You fulfill all but two of the requirements for an "A"
F - You fulfill all but three of the requirements for an "A"
During the first week of school, an instrument locker will be assigned to you. These lockers are only for the storage of musical instruments and must be kept clean and organized at all times.
Your locker is not to be shared with anyone unless those arrangements were made when it was assigned to you. It is school property and will be inspected periodically to make certain that it is being used appropriately. If it is determined that your locker is being used improperly, you will forfeit the use of any locker. You will carry your instrument from class to class.
If you are having difficulty with any of the music we are working in class, you should come in before or after school for individual EXTRA HELP. However, you should always make an appointment with the director before coming in for help. They will also be glad to help you with any special music or audition material on which you may be working on.
You will occasionally be made aware of concerts and recitals that you may attend for EXTRA CREDIT. To get credit, you must bring a program to band class the next school day. You must have your name clearly printed on it and it must be signed by one of your parents. Many of these concerts are free of charge. Performances by Houston Middle or Houston High will also qualify for EXTRA CREDIT.
Check with the director ahead of time if you will be attending any musical performance for which you would like to receive EXTRA CREDIT.