MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Middle School Home Why Participate in Band? Classroom Expectations Grading Checkoffs Practice Accessories Needed LMS Band Calendar Performance Groups/Dates Summer Band Our Band Directors

Grading

Each student’s grade will be made up of three different categories: Check-offs, Practice Time and Concert Attendance. Each category will be weighted differently. The majority of their grade will come from the student’s ability to complete all of the required check-offs for each quarter. Students will receive the entire year’s check-off assignments during the first week of class. Students are encouraged to work ahead in their check-offs if they feel ready to move on. The other portions of their grade will come from Practice Logs and Concert Attendance (see below for more details).

Check-offs

Check-offs consist of exercises from the Standard of Excellence books, scales, and additional materials provided by the director. When students attempt a check-off with a director we are looking for an overall understanding of the concepts required to successfully perform the exercise. We are not looking for perfection. If a student demonstrates understanding of these concepts they will pass the check-off and move on to the next one. If corrections and additional practice are required, the student simply performs the check-off at a later time.
Check-offs are pass only. A letter grade is not assigned to a check-off. Students are not allowed to move to the next check-off until they pass the one they are on. The majority of check-offs are completed within our class time on check-off days. If a student is practicing and keeping up with the class pace they will be able to complete all of their check-offs in class. If a student falls behind it might be necessary to schedule additional time with a director before or after school. Students may also work ahead of the class pace and potentially pass all of the check-offs before the school year is over. In this case, we have advanced check-offs and other supplemental materials that will challenge students and allow them to continue progressing on their instrument. Any time a check-off opportunity presents itself a student may play as many check-offs as they have prepared!

• 6th Grade Check-offs and Grading Scale
• 7th Grade Check-offs and Grading Scale
• 8th Grade Check-offs and Grading Scale

  

Practice! Practice! Practice! [ Practice Logs]

You have often heard that anything worthwhile takes time and effort. That is especially true when it comes to mastering a musical instrument. There is no substitute for practice! We will spend a great deal of time teaching
our students correct practice habits. The truth is that your support and guidance will be the key factor in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals. We require 120 minutes a week of dedicated quality practice time. We suggest that you and your young musician agree on a practice time and a special area of your home designated for their area of musical study. A final five-minute recital is extremely effective in building performance responsibility and a great opportunity to show your support. Your positive reinforcement and encouragement is the most effective communication you can share with your child’s journey towards musical excellence. Although many new concepts are taught during band rehearsals, the limited time does not afford the personal attention that is vital to developing the technical facility required for the upcoming years of musical exploration. Grading criteria for practice time is explained at the bottom of each student’s practice sheet. Every Friday PRACTICE LOGS will be checked in class for total practice time and a parent’s signature.   

Practice sheets will not be accepted without a parent’s signature.

Rehearsal Etiquette

Band students are among the best students in the school. Given this, we set extremely high standards in the classroom. To utilize rehearsal time to the utmost and to provide the students with the most effective atmosphere conducive to learning in our large class sizes, we require 100% attention. Simply put, we have adopted the policy of silent rehearsals. Students who are continuously distracting from the task at hand will be dealt with quickly.
Band is a team effort, however, unlike many sports teams, no one sits the bench in band. It is simply impossible to progress as a band unless everyone is focused on the goal that is trying to be achieved. It is also imperative that our students come to class prepared. This includes having instruments, books, binders, music, pencils, and all of the accessories required to play their particular instrument. Coming to class with all of these items will result in efficient and effective rehearsals.

Concert Attendance

It is pretty unbelievable to think of how many hours our young musicians spend practicing and rehearsing
between concerts. There is no greater feeling as a director than seeing the students walk off the stage knowing that all the hard work in previous months just paid off with an outstanding performance. As parents, we hope you will be part of that experience too. Our bands’ performance schedule and concert dates are listed below and included on the LMS Band Calendar. Barring a school cancellation or inclement weather conditions, these performance dates will not change. More information will be sent home about Jazz Band performance dates as well as any other important dates that might come up as soon as they are determined.

Please make every effort to clear these dates on your calendar immediately. Any conflicts that may arise with these dates will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If there is a conflict with a performance, Mr. Brian Wyss needs to know at least two weeks in advance. He would prefer to know immediately. An unexcused absence will result in a reduction of one full letter grade for the quarter. The only excused absences will be an illness requiring
a doctor’s note, a family emergency with a note from parent or guardian, or an arrangement previously made with the director. Please plan to attend these special events with your young musician.

6th Grade Concerts
December 4, 2018
May 1, 2019

7th  and 8th Grade Concerts
December 12, 2018
May 8, 2019