Joseph A. Saenz

Room G204 (HS), G203 (MS)

Office Hours - Mondays and Wednesdays 3-3:30pm, by appointment



This course is designed to give the student an enriching and diverse instrumental music education. This class provides a number of performance opportunities for the student in a variety of settings. The daily objective of the course is to foster and promote musical growth through the playing of an instrument by the student. As a member of the instrumental music program, group effort and cooperation is necessary to a successful program. Learned an instrument is a skill-based effort in which each student is expected to show technical and musical growth throughout this course. Practice never has to be daily, but must be regular to allow the repetition needed to correctly progress with the curriculum. 

The Course Outline is located on the CURRICULUM page.


  • Remind 101 App sign-on (codes on following page) - due Friday Week 1

  • (Beginning Band only) - Instrument Selection Forms (google doc) - due Friday Week 1

  • Instrument (See Instrument ProceduresInstrument Supplies)

    • Instrument Rental Contracts and Fees are due on Friday of Week 2

    • Instrument Pickup days will be scheduled for later that week​

      • Instruments are due in class by Monday Week 3 for all Band Classes

  • Band Folder due Week 4

    • Band folder must be a black duotang folder with 3 prongs. Pockets are optional. 

    • See "IV. STUDENT EXPECTATIONS" below for Band Folder specifics.

    • Click here for an Amazon link

  • Concert Uniform: See "VI. CONCERT UNIFORMS" below

    • The Concert Uniform will be approved via photo (pass/fail grade) by Quarter 2 

  • Tuner: Bandmate Chromatic Tuner App - required for all Woodwind and Brass students to check and tune notes (available free for iPhone and Android). If you don't have an iPhone or Android, please download a free equivalent for your phone, or purchase a tuner device.

  • Recording Device or App (Any cell phone, tablet, laptop, computer microphone, or hand-held recording device will suffice. (Not graded)



Remind101 is the most often used mode of communication from the instructor in our band and drumline classes. It is a requirement that all students sign on and elect to receive text message reminders for anything important posted by the instructor. It is highly recommended that parents sign on as well, so that they can be updated too.


Please use the codes below to join your correct Remind101 group for notifications. 


Join MS Beginning Band Remind101: text        to 81010

​Join HS Beginning Band Remind101: text        to 81010

Join HS Intermediate Band Remind101: text       to 81010

Join HS Advanced Band Remind101: text           to 81010

Join HS Drumline Class Remind101: text           to 81010



CLASSROOM Expectations

  1. If you walk into the class after the late bell, you will be marked tardy

  2. When students walk in, they must get their instrument, and start individual warmups at their seat.

  3. All bookbags and personal items must be placed directly under your chair.

  4. Small cases that fit under your chair can be placed there, all other medium and large cases are to stay on the shelves.

  5. Students must always have their Band Folder and a pencil (preferably mechanical) on their stand.

  6. Instruments are to be respected as though they were human babies. Never bumped or dropped!

  7. Students will only play their instruments when instructed to do so.

  8. Questions are highly encouraged, but you must raise your hand to ask questions.

  9. There will be no eating, drinking, or gum-chewing during instruction.

  10. No cell phones are to be used during instruction.

If these expectations are not met, there will be disciplinary actions taken:

  1. Students will receive a verbal warning 

  2. Parent Contact and/or Demerit

  3. Referral (referred to administration) 


  1. You don't need to practice a lot if you practice smart!

  2. Practice on the evening that you had band class. (Recommended 30-45 min on evening of class)

  3. Always warm up!

  4. Review what was learned that day. Run through it 3 times for understanding.

  5. After a quick review, do some repetitions for the upcoming tests/projects.

  6. If you get tired of practicing school stuff, don't be afraid to play something fun you found online or play some new songs from the music library!

  7. Always pretend you are recording when you practice something that will soon be recorded. That will prepare you mentally for the recording and will make you more successful.

  8. Once you know your warmups well, match the warmups to your practice. Use specific warmups to improve either personal technique or assignments.


Band Folder Requirements 

Students are expected to maintain a black duo tang folder with clips for band class. This band folder must be brought to class every day and counts towards participation grades like instruments and pencils in the Preparedness category of the Participation Rubric.

 - The duo tang folder must be black with clips to hold the music.

 - The band folder must have the student's name written on the inside of the front flap.

 - The band folder must have one sheet-protector sleeve to hold at least one pencil, aka "Pencil Sleeve"

 - The band folder must have no writing or stickers on the front since we perform with these binders and they must look uniform

 - All items in the folder must be hole-punched and inside the clips so that students can quickly turn to different pages for instruction and performances. Anything located in the side pockets of the folder will not be graded for Folder Checks!

 - The Folder Order has 3 sections that do not necessarily have to be separated by a divider or labeled, but the items within must follow this order:

Section 1 - Reference Materials: Fingering Chart, Scale Sheets/Rudiments, Excellerator Tests

Section 2 - Warmup Packet

Section 3 - Songs & Solos


During Emergency Drills (fire drills, tornado drills, code black, etc) 

   1. Students may not talk at all

   2. Students must stay calm and wait for instructions from the teacher

   3. If instructions are given, students must follow them exactly as specified

                Drills are to be taken VERY seriously! Poor behavior during a drill may warrant a demerit and/or referral!



​Below are the category percentages for grade types. It is the student’s and the parent’s responsibility to keep track of grades and comments on PowerSchool. For more information on PowerSchool, please visit the Franklin Academy Website. In most cases, when low grades are given for assignments, there will be a comment in the gradebook describing the reason, so please always check the gradebook regularly.

All assignments are listed on the Course Outline for the year [on the Band HyperDoc].

All assignments are assigned at the beginning of each week and are available for submission starting on Friday of each week. The submission window closes on the Sunday of each week, but Friday and Saturday are the recommended submission times so that Sunday serves as an "emergency" submission opportunity. 

For all my classes, I round UP to the nearest 0 or 5.

    - For example, if your child gets a 62% on a Rubric, the grade I put in the gradebook is a 65%.

    - If your child gets a 78% on a Rubric, the grade I put in the gradebook is an 80%.

All assignments are submitted by video on Canvas. [See VIII. Video Procedures below]


        High School Fine Arts Grading Scale:

           Projects – 30%

           Classwork - 25%

           Tests - 20%

           Quizzes – 15%

           Homework – 10%

PROJECTS will consist of:

       - Songs

       - Traditional Solo

       - Popular Solo

Songs are learned in class, submitted by video, and performed at the concerts and other events. The Final Exam is a song that combines all the techniques and standards of music learned throughout the year.

Traditional solos are already assigned for each instrument depending on the year's of experience on the instrument. These are listed on the Course Outline. Traditional solos are submitted as the Midterm Exam and combine all the techniques and standards learned throughout the first half of the year. Students who do an outstanding job on their traditional solo may be selected to perform in the solo recital in April/May.

Popular solos are chosen by the student. We have a collection of popular solos with tracks in the music library, but the students are allowed to choose their own solos if they wish as long as they find their own music and backing track. Traditional solos are completed in Quarter 3. Students who do an outstanding job on their pop solo may be selected to perform in the solo recital in April/May.

[Please see Rubrics page for grading details]

Districts: Beginners and Intermediate students may perform for districts if approved, but it is not required. Advanced students who are approved to perform for districts are required to perform for districts as part of the Honors Credit requirement. Original solo music does not have to be purchased by the students. Solo music will be purchased by the school and provided for the judges at districts. Soloists going to districts must pay the $40 or $50 for the accompanist. This covers 1 rehearsal and the districts performance. An accompanist will be secured by the school, but a student may use their own accompanist if they prefer.

CLASSWORK will consist of the following:


       - Classroom Rehearsal (one grade per week, includes Pencil Checks)

       - Folder Checks (pass/fail)

       - IB Reflection Forms (pass/fail)

Rehearsal Grades will be given one grade for the week on Fridays, regardless the class schedule. 

Graded components for Class Rehearsal grades include, but are not limited to:

   1. Having your instrument in class (instrument is properly maintained and playable)

   2. Playing your instrument in class (seated and ready to play when required)

   3. Music preparedness (having music reviewed and prepared before the lesson)

   4. Material preparedness (having the student's folder, all music/materials and a pencil)

   5. Maintaining focus and productivity (not talking, showing respect, giving 100% effort throughout the lesson)

Pencil Checks: Pencils are extremely important in my class as the students are constantly told to write things down on their music so as not to forget important details. Pencil checks will occur regularly and the students will not be told when a Pencil Check will happen, so it's the student's responsibility to make sure they always have a pencil in their folder's first sleeve, aka "Pencil Sleeve". If a student fails a Pencil Check, 10% will be deducted from that week's Classroom Rehearsal Grade

Damaged Instrument Policy - Any student with an instrument in the repair shop may request up to a week excused of Rehearsal grade penalties. This request must come from a parent/guardian via EMAIL. Any extension for the duration of the repair will require an emailed copy of the repair invoice with dates. It is the family's responsibility to take the instrument to the repair shop immediately as soon as the damage is identified. 

[Please see Rubrics page for grading details]

Folder Checks will occur periodically. Folder checks are not scheduled on the course outline, neither do they have a rubric for grading. Students must have all the required folder materials in their folder in the correct order to get 100%. Any missing components will result in a 0%. Folder checks may require all components, or just a few. The students may or may not be warned ahead of time of a Folder Check, so it is the student's responsibility to make sure their folder always has all the required materials inside and they must be in the correct order. Nothing may be in the side pockets; only hole-punched materials in the folder will be graded.

IB Reflection Forms will occur periodically. These forms are completed and submitted through google forms, not on Canvas. In most cases, the students will have time to answer the questions and complete the forms during class, but will be given extra time to complete them at home if they don't have a working cell phone to complete this during class. The deadline in either case will be the following Sunday along with the rest of the week's assignments. These forms usually take no more than 30 minutes to complete when answered honestly. 

TESTS will include:

       - Scale/Rudiment Tests

       - Excellerator Tests

All tests will be submitted by video on Canvas by the due date. The orders of tests are available in the Course Outline (Band Hyperdoc). All students will receive a copy of their Scale or Rudiment sheets and Excellerator Tests for their instrument. Any lost materials must be printed at home. These are available in the Digital Music Library.


[Please see Rubrics page for grading details]

QUIZZES will include


       - Rhythm Quizzes

       - Method Book Quizzes

All quizzes will be recorded by video and submitted on Canvas by the due date. The order of quizzes are available in the Course Outline tab of the Band Hyperdoc. Rhythm Quizzes and Method Book Quizzes come from the method books which are available in the Digital Music Library. 

*Rhythm Quizzes for Drumline class will be Warmup Quizzes.

[Please see Rubrics page for grading details]

HOMEWORK will include


Warmup Videos that students will record at home and submit on Canvas. All warmups come from the Warmup Packet that each student receives at the beginning of the year. If lost, these must be printed at home and are available in the Digital Music Library

[Please see Rubrics page for grading details]

EXTRA CREDIT does not exist for this class. Students must do their work when it is due and always give 100% effort. Any late or missing assignments may be submitted according to the policies below

LATE ASSIGNMENTS will get a maximum of 80% if one day late, a maximum of 70% if two days late, and a maximum of 60% if three days late. Anything later than three days passed the due date defaults to the Half-Credit Policy.

HALF-CREDIT POLICY: At any time during the quarter, the student is allowed to submit any missing assignments for Half Credit (a maximum of 50%). This means that 50% is the highest grade given, but a lower grade can still be given if less than half of the assignment is learned.


NO REDOS: Once a grade is given for an assignment, it cannot be resubmitted for a better grade.


Please see Rubrics page for detailed grading specifics. 

- All graded after school rehearsals are mandatory.

- All missed graded rehearsals and performances will require an alternate assignment to make up the points regardless of the reason for missing.

- The alternate assignment for a graded rehearsal will be 3 recorded sightreading excerpts from the method book, chosen by the director according to class pacing.

- The alternate assignment for a graded performance will be a full song video of a song that isn't learned in class, but is at the level of the playing ability of the class. For example, if the class is playing at a GR1.5 level, then the student will submit a video of a GR1.5 song.

- Alternate Assignments will receive no higher than an 85% for missed Audience Presentation standards required for performances.

- The alternate assignments for the dress rehearsals and concerts are SEPARATE. If the student misses both the dress rehearsal(s) AND concert they will need to record and submit all alternate assignments required for the total of missing project/performance grades.



The concert attire for all beginning and intermediate band classes and drumline is all black, semi-formal dress attire. No color other than black, silver, or gold should be seen on your outfit. Long socks/leggings are required for all students, no part of your legs should ever be seen by the audience. If you cannot wear all black due to your religion, please wear a very dark blue bottom(pants/skirt) or shoes.

NO BLACK SNEAKERS OR BLACK JEANS! *Any student not wearing the correct uniform will receive a letter grade deduction for the performance


Dress Option: Black full-length dress with sleeves (Must be hemmed below ankles)

OR Top & Bottom Option: Black dress top with long sleeves and long black skirt/slacks (Hemmed below ankles)

Black dress heels or flats.

 - No shoulders or mid-drift may be seen. No straps, or strapless tops.

 - Nothing backless may be worn.

Hair, make-up, and jewelry must be MINIMAL and not visual distracting from off-stage.

Hair should not block the view of students seated behind you.


Black button-down dress shirt.

Black dress pants (must be hemmed right above toes)

Black dress shoes

Black dress socks.

No tie.



Girls must get the KOH KOH Women's Short Sleeve V-Neck Flowy Cocktail Gown in "ROYAL BLUE"

Black dress heels or flats. (The students will travel many stairs on concert night)

 - No shoulders or mid-drift may be seen. No straps, or strapless tops.

 - Nothing backless may be worn.

Hair, make-up, and jewelry must be MINIMAL and not visual distracting from off-stage.

Hair should not block the view of students seated behind you.


All black button-down dress shirt.

All black dress pants, dress shoes, and dress socks.

Boy's tie must be Jacob Alexander Men's Pre-tied Ready Made Solid Color Zipper Tie, 19.5-inch in "ROYAL BLUE"




Attendance for each class will be taken during the first 5 minutes of class. Each student will have exactly 5 minutes to set up their instrument, warm up and be ready to start playing immediately after attendance. If a student is NOT in their seat and ready to play by the time I take attendance, they will be marked “Late.”


ATTENDANCE AT ALL PERFORMANCES AND AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSALS ARE MANDATORY! Students will be graded for ALL required events. All dates are set up in advance on the Calendar on the Home page to allow family events, appointments, or vacations to be cleared or planned around the dates. Not having transportation is an unacceptable excuse to miss a rehearsal or a performance. You will, in most cases, have at least two weeks’ notice of any changes in upcoming performances or rehearsals. All students will have a minimum of 3 concerts for the year and 1-2 after school rehearsals for these concerts. All scheduling conflicts must be discussed with me and approved by me ahead of time.



Students will record videos to demonstrate their knowledge and skills for assignments.

Recording videos at home can be done easily, using a phone, laptop camera, or any other video device.

All performance videos must have an audible metronome or accompaniment track. Your ability to follow the metronome or track is a major part of the grade. I should be able to hear both you and your metronome/track equally. [If I can't hear it, I can't grade it.]

Your face and fingers must be seen in the video for identification and instrument performance evaluation. You must be fully dressed with no inappropriate designs on your clothes. School uniform is recommended.

The videos must be uploaded to a Google Drive or YouTube and submitted by link on Canvas or via email to the teacher.

No video files are to be emailed directly to the teacher.

Instructions to Record Video With Your Phone

  1. Practice and prepare before you make the video.

  2. Open up the camera app on your phone and switch the setting to "Video"

  3. Start the metronome by googling "metronome" for the google metronome. YT also has metronome videos

  4. Click the record button on your video phone app

  5. Then play your instrument assignment. (If doing a Video Report, skip steps 3 and 4.)

  6. Once you have finished click on that same button again to stop the recording

  7. You can do as many videos as you would like until you find the best video to submit. 

  8. Once you have made a video that you like, save it as your Full Name and the Assignment Title. If you recorded multiple videos for an assignment, please title each file separately with the line or scale you are playing in the video.

Google Drive Links

Videos are too large to email, so Google Drive links are one way to upload files online.

  1. Complete your video with your phone as described above.

  2. If you don't have a GMAIL account, create one for free. With the free account, you get a free Google Drive (online storage space). If you already have one, move on to number 3. 

  3. Upload your video file to the Google Drive directly from your phone, or email it to yourself so that you can open it on your computer. From you computer you can upload to the Google Drive by dragging the file into the drive folder.

  4. Right click on the file from the Google Drive and click "Get Shareable Link." This will automatically copy the link for you.

  5. Paste this link on the Canvas assignment or in an email to me if approved ( and make sure your email subject has the assignment name and your name in it. 

  6. Click submit or send

YouTube Links

YouTube links are another way to upload files online.

  1. Complete your video with your phone as described above.

  2. If you don't have a YouTube account, create one for free. With the free account, you get your own channel and YouTube studio, where you can edit your videos.

  3. Upload your video file by clicking on the Camera icon on the top right in your YT Studio. This can be done directly from your phone, or you can open it on your computer. 

  4. Click on the Videos tab on the left hand side menu, and find your video.

  5. Right click on the Options icon for your video (three dots) and click "Get Shareable Link." This will automatically copy the link for you.

  6. Paste this link on the Canvas assignment or in an email to me if approved ( and make sure your email subject has the assignment name and your name in it. 

  7. Click submit or send



All band/drumline students are required to perform in the school concerts. The students will have a minimum of 2 mandatory concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring along with rehearsals for the concerts beforehand.

Any rehearsal or performance assigned to a class or all classes on the band/drumline Calendar (see Calendar page) and are listed as "mandatory" must be attended in order to get the grade for it. Please see Rubrics page for grading policies for concerts and rehearsals. 

Students must be dressed and ready to perform an hour before the concert when we do Inspections. Inspections is when I grade for attendance, concert uniform, instrument condition, band/drumline binder, and music. 

X. CONCERT ETIQUETTE (for audience members)

Student concerts are the culmination of many weeks of demanding preparation. A portion of that preparation involves instruction in the appropriate types of behavior while in performance. In an effort to provide both performers and audience with an enjoyable concert experience, we offer these guidelines for audience behavior. By observing these, everyone contributes to the success of the concert. 

    1. It is important to attend the entire concert out of respect to the efforts and dedication of all those involved.

    2. If a guest must leave or enter while the concert is in progress, please do so only during the applause between selections.

​    3. Please refrain from conversation during musical selections. 

    4. Young children develop audience habits early. Please help them to understand and follow the "no noise during the performance" guideline. That may necessitate removing them from the concert hall for a time.

     5. Applause at the end of a jazz solo is appropriate to the style, but it is not commonly expected during a band solo. In the same manner it is usually appropriate to hold applause in a multi-movement selection until the whole piece has concluded.

The Franklin Academy musical community deeply appreciates your attendance at our concerts. We understand that many people attend in support of a specific person. Please remember that while your person may have completed his/her contribution, someone seated next to you could be listening intently for another special person's performance. Please help everyone enjoy all performances by respectfully adhering to these guidelines. 

We encourage you to revel in the efforts and achievements of all the performers. 

​​After reading this Syllabus, click on the correct link below for the correct class to submit the LINK: 

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 1

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 2

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 4

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 5

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 7

Syllabus Contract - PERIOD 8