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Middle School & High School Band

SYLLABUS

2023-2024

Joseph A. Saenz

Room G204

Office Hours - Mondays and Wednesdays 2:30-3:00pm, by appointment

I. COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

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.

II. REQUIRED CLASS MATERIALS

  • Remind 101 App sign-on (codes below) - 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 plastic folder with 3 prongs. Pockets are optional. (75 cents at Office Depot!) 

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

  • 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)

III. REMIND 101

 

Remind101 is the most often used mode of communication from the instructor in our band 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. Any students without a phone should have their parents sign on.

 

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

Join Beginning Band Remind101: text @begband204 to 81010

Join Intermediate Band Remind101: text @intband204 to 81010

Join Advanced Band Remind101: text @advband204 to 81010

IV. STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

 

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) 

**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!

AT-HOME PRACTICE Expectations

Although music is a great hobby for many, it's considered school work while you are in a music class, and it needs to be treated as such. Treat your music tests the same as you do for your other classes, by "studying" for them regularly

  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 performed in class or recorded. That will prepare you mentally for the performance/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 4 sections that do not necessarily have to be separated by a divider or labeled, but the items within must follow this order:

1. REFERENCE MATERIALS
2. WARMUPS
3. SOLO MATERIALS
4. CONCERT MUSIC

        

V. GRADING

 

​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 login credentials, please contact the school administration.

 

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. Grades are not entered in Google Classroom or Canvas, only in PowerSchool.

All assignments are listed on the Course Outline for the year [See Curriculum page].

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 tests and quizzes are performed in class in groups of 2 or 3. 

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

​​      

Middle School Fine Arts Grading Scale:

           Classwork - 40%

           Tests – 35%

           Quizzes – 25%

 

High School Fine Arts Grading Scale:

           Tests – 50%

           Classwork - 30%

           Quizzes – 20%

        

VI. ASSIGNMENTS

All assignments for this class are completed by either recorded video or google form. Video assignments are submitted on Canvas (HS) or Google Classroom (MS). Links for Canvas and Google Classroom will be emailed to parents the first week of school. 

ASSIGNMENT CATEGORIES

CLASSWORK [in Classwork category

Classwork grades for this class are mainly weekly Participation Grades but also include folder checks, forms, and afterschool rehearsals.

 

Participation Grades will be given once a week on Fridays (regardless of A or B days)

(This includes Pencil Checks)

Graded components for Class Participation 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 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. 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.

***​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 allowance 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. 

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.

Forms & Concert Uniform Inspection Photo grades are small grades entered into the Classwork/Participation category of the gradebook. Forms include the Syllabus Contract, Instrument Selection Form, and Universal Trip Participant Agreement. The Uniform photo grade occurs just once before the first concert and is a pass/fail protocol grade. This means that if any component is incorrect, the grade will be a 0% until it is corrected. Once corrected, the grade goes to 100% regardless of late submission.

TESTS [in Test category

Tests are song tests and concerts.

Song tests and are performed in class in pairs. Song tests will either be a portion of a song, or an entire song depending on the evaluation needs.  

All tests need to be made-up regardless of excused absence. Any late submission for make-ups will calculate the extra time the student had to practice the material, regardless of the reason for not playing in class. If a student has their instrument in class and declines to perform a test, they will not be permitted a make-up.

District MPA performances are concert team grades. The overrall grade the band receives at districts is the grade that is put into the gradebook as a test grade.

 

MIDTERM & FINAL EXAMS [in Test category]

 - Midterms for HS and MS are the same and will be due on the same Sunday evening.

 - For MS, it will be entered in the gradebook as the last solo test 

Midterm Exams and Final Exams are solos and are already assigned for each instrument depending on the year's of experience on the instrument. These are listed on Tab 3 of the Course Outline. Midterm solos combine all the techniques and standards learned throughout the first half of the year while Finals solos encompass everything learned from the entire year. Students who do an outstanding job on their midterm solos may be selected to play their solos at the District Solo Festival where they can win awards for their achievement.

District Solo Festival: This event is not required or graded. 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.

Any students who get a Superior on their solo will get 100% on the next class quiz.

QUIZZES [in Quiz category]

Quizzes are either warmups, rhythm exercises, scales, intonation quiz, tone quality quiz, video journal assignments.

Quizzes take place in class in pairings of 2, but sometimes 1 depending on number of students and are played to a metronome or track, (not including video music journals).

Music Journal entries are completed via video. Each entry has either 5 questions, or 3 questions and a required task/demonstration. Video music journals satisfy technology skill standards, decrease plagiarism, and help to increase student confidence.

All quizzes need to be made-up regardless of excused absence. Any late submission for make-ups will calculate the extra time the student had to practice the material, regardless of the reason for not playing in class. If a student has their instrument in class and declines to perform a quiz, they will not be permitted a make-up.

GRADING POLICIES

Please see Rubrics page for detailed grading specifics. 

LATE POLICY:

One day late = maximum of 89%

Two days late = maximum of 79%

Three days late = maximum of 69%

Four days late = maximum of 59%

Five or more days late will get a maximum of 50%. (The 50% continues until the Quarter closes)

MAKEUPS for ALL assignments and assessments will be submitted by VIDEO ONLY. (See Video Procedures below).

Students must email their makeup video (or video link) to the teacher email, or upload to Canvas messenger (HS only).

Makeups are assigned when a student is absent from class on the day of a test/quiz, or doesn't have their instrument in class the day of a test/quiz. 

Makeups for all assignments/assessments will received no higher than an 89%. Due to the nature of the makeup video, any student who submits a makeup video has given themselves extra hours or days to work on the material, and then gets the opportunity to record multiple times and submit the best video they were able to record. This is an opportunity that other students didn't get who performed their assessment in class or submitted by the due date.

If an instrument was in a repair shop on the day of an assessment or submission deadline, a repair receipt will be accepted for full credit of the assignment if the date corresponds to when the student submitted the makeup assignment. (If a student submits a makeup video after the day they got their instrument back from the repair shop, the late policy will still apply)

Leaving an instrument at school, at a friend's house, a relative's house, or on the bus are not acceptable excuses for late work. Losing an instrument is not an acceptable excuse for late work. Stolen instruments are not an excuse for late work unless the thief is caught on security camera.

Makeups are not permitted for students who choose not to play for a test/quiz. If a student declines to play, their zero will remain in the gradebook without the option for a makeup.

There are no makeups for Participation grades, only assignments and assessments. 

There are no redos in band class. (Students who are documented for 1.5x or 2x

Half Credit-Policy: Students can submit any makeup or video until the end of each quarter for a maximum of 50%. This does not include tests/quizzes where the student was present in class and had a working instruments and declined to play for the test/quiz. It is highly encouraged that ALL assignments are submitted so that the 50% grades will improve the percentage in each category to increase the student's overall grade! Please look at the calendar for gradebook closings.

 

Extra Credit assignments will be given as donors choose projects where students will find 3 donors for the EC grade.

  **RULE OF THUMB:

       Always submit a VIDEO if you want a grade for it.

       You don't have to ask if it's allowed, just send the video and I'll grade it.

       But I can't grade what I don't have!

- All rehearsals and concerts in the calendar are mandatory for the groups specified in the calendar.

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

- The alternate assignment will be all the songs played at the rehearsal or concert and will need to be recorded with the track to make up that grade.

- Alternate Assignments will receive no higher than an 89% for missed ensemble rehearsal performance-practice and missed audience communication standards required for rehearsals and performances.

- The alternate assignments for the dress rehearsals and concerts are SEPARATE. If the student misses both a rehearsal AND a concert where the same songs were played, then a different alternate assignment will be given to that student individually. Contact the teacher ahead of time for that information.

 - Alternate Assignments are submitted by VIDEO only, and must be EMAILED to my teacher email. 

 - Students have ONE day to complete the Alternate Assignment or it will not be accepted. [Keep in mind that the material is never new material. It is material that has been practiced regularly for a long while]

 

VII. CONCERTS & REHEARSALS

Please visit the Calendar on the Home page.

Attendance at all scheduled school concerts and dress rehearsals is MANDATORY and GRADED.

Alternate assignments are only permitted by request of the parent with an acceptable reason for missing a concert.

The only acceptable reasons for missing a concert are:​

- A family member has died, or is suffering a medical emergency.

- You are seriously ill. 

- Religious conflicts (2 weeks advanced notice required).

- Family vacations/doctor's appointments scheduled BEFORE the school year begins. (2 weeks advaned notice required).

It is NOT acceptable to miss dress rehearsals or concerts due to 

- "I forgot"

- No ride. 

- Sports practices and games

- Work conflicts

- Couldn't get concert attire

- Outside gigs

- Family vacations/doctor's appointments scheduled AFTER the school year begins

The Universal trip is NOT mandatory. See Universal Trip page for details.

Concert uniforms are not required for Dress Rehearsals, only for Concerts. Regular student uniforms are used for Dress 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 folder, and concert music. 

Please see Rubrics page for grading policies for concerts and rehearsals. 

VIII. CONCERT UNIFORMS

CONCERT UNIFORM for BEGINNING BAND, and INTERMEDIATE BAND:

 

If you cannot wear all black due to your religion, please wear a very dark blue bottom(pants/skirt) or shoes.

Makeup and jewelry should be gold, silver, or black color. 

Accessories are not permitted unless listed below.

NO BLACK SNEAKERS OR BLACK JEANS! 

GIRLS

OPTION 1 - Black full-length formal dress with sleeves (Hemmed below ankles)

OPTION 2 - Black formal top/blouse with sleeves and long black formal skirt/slacks (Hemmed below ankles)

Black formal dress shoes: heels or flats. No open-toed or backless shoes permitted.

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

 - Nothing backless may be worn.

Hair, make-up, and jewelry must be MINIMAL and not visually distracting for the audience.

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

BOYS

Black button-down formal shirt, long sleeves, with collar. No jacket.

Black formal pants and belt (pants must be hemmed at ankles)

Black formal shoes, black dress socks

No tie

CLICK HERE FOR APPROVED STYLE OPTIONS ON AMAZON

CONCERT UNIFORM for ADVANCED BAND

GIRLS 

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

Black or Royal blue formal heels or flats. No open-toed shoes permitted.

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.

BOYS

Black button-down formal shirt, long sleeves, with collar. No jacket.

Black formal pants and belt (pants must be hemmed at ankles)

Black formal shoes, black dress socks

Boy's tie must be Vesuvio Napoli PreTied Solid Color Mens Adjustable Zipper Tie, 19.5-inch in "ROYAL BLUE"

​​

IX. ATTENDANCE & ABSENCES POLICY

 

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.

X. VIDEO PROCEDURES

 

Students will record videos for exams any makeups needed

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

Performance makeups require a metronome/track, so a second device may be needed.

Makeup videos are submitted via email attachment or Google Drive link. (see below).

If your video successfully sends via email attachment, you don't need to upload to GD.

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.]

 

For Academic Honesty purposes, your face and hands must be seen in the video for identification but also for instrument performance evaluation of your embouchure, fingerings, grip, posture, etc. 

                                           

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 on a seprate device (Google or YouTube the word "metronome")

  4. Click the record button on your video phone app

  5. Then perform or demonstrate/discuss your assignment.

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

  7. You can do as many videos as you would like until you achieve 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.

 

          ***CLICK to WATCH: How To Upload Videos To Google Drive and Share Them

          ***Also WATCH: How to Submit Assignments in Google Classroom

XI. 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. 

2023-2024 Band Syllabus Contract

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