Joseph A. Saenz

Room G204 (Band room)

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. 

For a Full-Year outline of the band classes, please see the COURSE OUTLINE page.



  • Remind 101 App sign-on (codes on following page) - due Friday Aug 21

  • Beginners only - Instrument Selection Forms (google doc) - due Friday Aug 21 

  • Instrument (See Band ProceduresBand Instrument Supplies)

    • Instrument Rental Contracts and Fees are due on Monday, Aug 24

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

      • Instruments are due in class by Monday Aug 31/32 for all Band Classes

  • NEWAll Percussionists in all band classes must purchase either a Bell set or a Snare drum

    • No more $40 Classroom Percussion Use fee per semester. See bottom of Band Instrument Supplies page for item recommendations.

  • NEWMethod Book (Advanced Band only. Books are around $8.00) GRADED - due Monday Aug 31

    • Standard of Excellence Book 3 (green book) Available on Amazon (fast delivery)

  • Headphones or Earbuds to hear the instructor during independent practice.

  • 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 orchestra 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 HS Beginning Band Remind101: text @g3kgh84 to 81010

Join HS Intermediate Band Remind101: text @8bckf4 to 81010

Join HS Advanced Band Remind101: text @kh343f7 to 81010


IV. STUDENT EXPECTATIONS (Modified for Virtual Instruction)

  1. Your full name must be shown when you log in.

  2. Your face must be seen in your video at all times.

  3. You must have your uniform shirt worn during instruction.

  4. You many not leave instruction at any time. You must use the restroom during the breaks between classes.

  5. If you are not on screen and ready to play when attendance is taken, you will be marked absent.

  6. You will be marked late if you join the class after the start of class. Sign into the class a minute early.

  7. Your microphone must be off during instruction. All questions are to be written in the chat

  8. The chat box is only for important questions to the teacher. Inappropriate use of the chat box will warrant a deduction of participation grades and/or a demerit.

  9. Always have the band website open in another window for quick access during instruction.

  10. There will be NO eating, drinking, or gum-chewing during instruction

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

  12. During Independent Practice you are graded by what I am able to SEE on the screen. Instrument must be seen and I should see you playing throughout the entire Independent Practice. 

  13. Use your entire class time productively! If I am working with another student or group, you are practicing as much as possible on your instrument during that time. 

  14. If you have technical issues during class and you get logged off, it is your responsibility to record a video of the classwork for that day and email me a link to the uploaded video. 

  15. Admin does not want students using their phones for Google Meet. Phones should be used separately for other instructional needs and should be free to use in the case of an emergency. However, if you are temporarily unable to use your computer or laptop for Google Meet, you must at least log in on you phone in order to be marked present, but this should be temporary as your goal will be solve the computer problem.


The 4 "Franklin from Afar" policies must be followed. Demerits will be given to students who don't follow these four school-wide policies:

1. Proper Dress Code during instruction

2. Don't be late

3. No cell phone use in class 

4. No food/gum in class


Class Binder Requirements For Virtual Learning a Class Binder is not necessary, but please keep all your digital materials organized on your computer in a folder. You can also use Adobe Digital Editions to organize your PDF and EPUB files. 

Students are expected to maintain a black binder for band or orchestra class. This binder 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 Binder must be BLACK with no writing or stickers on the front since we perform with these binders and they must look uniform

 - All items in the binder must be hole-punched and inside the prongs. Anything in the sides of the folder will not be graded for Binder Check grades.

 - The Binder Order has 5 sections that do not necessarily have to be separated by a divider or labeled, but the items within must follow this order:

Section 1 - Class Documents (Course Outline, IB Reflection instructions, Rubrics)

Section 2 - Reference Documents (Fingering Chart, Scale Sheet/Rudiments, Proficiency Packet

Section 3 - Warm-ups (Chord Progressions, Lips Slur Packet, Ultimate MB Warm-ups)

Section 4 - Performance Repertoire (Songs learned in class, Concert Songs, Districts music)

Section 5 - Process Journal: Notes (video notes, board notes, notes sent on Remind101, reflection reports)


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!

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) 



​Below are the category percentages for grade types. It is the student’s and the parent’s responsibility to keep track of grades on PowerSchool. For more information on PowerSchool, please visit the Franklin Academy Website.

For Virtual Learning, all assignment submissions will be by video. The goal is to demonstrate knowledge and skills that the students research and practice through presentation. Reading and writing skills will be developed through the research, organizational, and planning processes for the performance videos and video reports. 


        High School Fine Arts Grading Scale:

           Projects (Performances) – 30%

           Classwork (Participation) - 25%

           Tests - 20%

           Quizzes – 15%

           Homework – 10%

PROJECTS will consist of:

       - Song video recordings (1-2 Project grades each)

       - Solo First Half video recording (1 Project grade)

       - Solo Second Half video recording (1 Project grade)

Song Music is available in the Digital Music Library to the left (Secret Files). The specific songs and order are listed in the Course Outline

Solos – All students in a band or orchestra class receives Honors Credit for the class as they are IB classes. This means that an A is a 5.0, a B is a 4.0 etc. The only "extra" work we do for this Honors Credit, is learn a solo for their instrument at their level. The solos will be chosen for the students. The students will have to complete two videos, their First Half video and their Second Half video. For Beginner Students, these will be due at the end of the second and third quarters. For Intermediate and Advanced students, these will be due at the end of the first and second quarters. Each video is worth 1 Project Grade.

All solos will be chosen from the list on the Course Outline. 

Beginners will not perform for districts. Intermediate students may perform for districts if approved, but they don't have to. Advanced students who are approved to perform for districts are required to perform for districts. 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. Districts is still TBD due to COVID19. I will notify everyone of updates.

CLASSWORK will consist of the following:


       - Participation (one grade per week)

       - Method Book exercises ("MB")

       - Warm-ups

       - Song Sections


Method Book exercises, Warm-ups and Song sections will be video recorded and submitted by GD/YT links emailed to my email. These CW are assignments will be graded based on EFFORT and COMPLETTION instead of accuracy. 

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

Graded components for Participation include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

Damaged Instrument Policy - Any student with an instrument in the repair shop may request up to a week excused of Participation 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. 

TESTS will include:

       - Scale Tests

       - Proficiency Tests

All tests will be recorded by video and submitted on Canvas by the due date. The orders of tests are available in the Course Outline document. Scales sheets and Proficiency Tests are available in the Digital Music Library. Please see Rubrics page for more grading details.

QUIZZES will include


       - Rhythm Quizzes

       - Sightreading Quizzes

       - Chromatic Scale 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 document. Rhythm sheets and Chromatic scales sheets are available in the Digital Music Library. Please see Rubrics page for more grading details.

Quiz/Test Makeups: Students who are absent on the day of a quiz or test will make up that quiz or test by either submitting a video that same night, or by performing in class the following day. If a video is not submitted the evening of the quiz or test, the student must perform in class the next day. If a student chooses not to perform on any quiz/test day, they forfeit their grade and are not allowed to do a makeup. 

- There are no REDOS allowed for any in-class performances or videos. Once the student has performed their quiz or test, the grade will be given for that performance.

- NEW: If you are in Advanced Band, and this is your 3rd or 4th year taking Advanced Band, you are EXEMPT from the Rhythm Quizzes.

Homework will include Video Reports that students will record at home. Video Reports are generally 5-10 minutes and there will be 3 video reports to submit online each quarter. See TAB3 on the Course Outline for details.

​Midterm Exams and Final Exams are separate from the Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 gradebook and worth 30% of the Semester Grade for Fall and Spring. Midterm Exams and Final Exams are comprised of scales already learned and tested on in class and are to be performed individually in class on the Midterm/Final exam assigned day. Midterm and Final Exam assignments are found on the second tab of the Course Outline document.

Midterm/​Final Exam Makeups: If a student is absent on the day of the Final Exam, they must makeup the final during the schedule Final Exam makeup day. If the student cannot makeup the midterm or final exam on the assigned makeup day, they will receive a 0% for the final. No other makeups may be scheduled other than on that assigned make up day. Any makeups for a Midterm or Final Exam must be performed in front of the teacher and can be planned for after school by appointment if the makeup time conflicts with another class. Video recordings are not permitted for Midterm or Final Exams.

Extra Credit does not exist for this class. Students must do their work when it is due and always give 100% effort.


**Half Credit Policy for Failing Students: At any time during the quarter if the student's class grade drops below a 70%, the student is allowed to submit any missing assignments for Half Credit (a maximum of 50%) on each one submitted until the grade gets to 70%. Once the grade is at 70%, no more missing assignments will be accepted.


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 5 recorded sightreading excerpts from the method book, chosen by the director according to class pacing.

- 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.



**No Uniforms needed for now. Any updates in concerts or events will be announced at a later time.


The concert attire for all beginning and intermediate band classes and orchestra 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 girls and boys, 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.


All black full-length dress or top/bottom combination with skirt or slacks.

Skirts must cover knees.

No shoulders or mid-drift may be seen. Nothing backless may be worn.

No straps, or strapless tops.

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

No accessories may be worn.


Black button-down dress shirt.

No bow-tie or long tie necessary, but if you want to wear a tie, it must be all black.

Black dress shoes and black socks. 


*Any student not wearing the correct uniform for a performance will received a deduction from their performance grade.



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

If you are a returning Advanced Band member and are unable to get the new Royal Blue Concert Dress, you may use your black one from last year.

Shoes must be all-black dress heels or dress flats.

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

No accessories may be worn.

Girls are permitted to wear the boys uniform, but must wear the Royal Blue tie.


Black button-down dress shirt.

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

Black dress shoes and black socks. 


For boys, the all black and blue tie attire from last year is fine.



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(on screen) and ready to play by the time I take attendance, they will be marked “Late.” ATTENDANCE AT ALL PERFORMANCES, AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSALS ARE MANDATORY! Students will be graded for ALL required events. All dates are set up in advance on the Calendar 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 upcoming performance or rehearsal. All students will have a minimum of 2 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



"IB" stands for "International Baccalaureate" and is the abbreviation for the non-profit educational foundation serving students aged 3 to 19. International Baccalaureate. IB programs aim to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. ​

In an IB instrumental music class:

- students will engage in discussions about musical concepts, techniques, theory, and music history.

- students will consider the role of music in local and global contexts.

- students will respond through a reflection process before, during, and after assignments, tests, performances and other projects. 

- students will analyze and decipher their own progress based on research-driven standards and rubrics.

- students will seek out multiple instructional perspectives to gain a broader appreciation for their art form.

- students will discuss and reflect on the I.B. aims, objectives and rubric criteria.



​Music USA Festival @ Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure, Orlando 

All students in a music class or music after school are eligible to attend the Universal Orlando trip. Information for this trip will be updated on the Universal Orlando Trip tab.

District MPA Evaluations – The Advanced Band will attend the District evaluations in February. Select members of the Intermediate band may be asked to assist in the performance by learning the music and attending the rehearsals. Members of the Intermediate band who assist at districts will receive community service hours for all rehearsals and event day. Those dates will be located on the Calendar tab. Parents will be notified of all the requirements ahead of time. These events will be field trips since they occur during school hours, so parent chaperones will be needed. Chaperones for these events will need to be cleared at the front office before the field trip date and will receive service volunteer hours for assisting.



All band/orchestra 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/orchestra 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/orchestra binder, and music. 


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

​       2. Please refrain from conversation during musical selections. 

       3. 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.

       4. 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