Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Band and Strings Handbook

Band and Strings Handbook 2015-2016
Mrs. Reynolds
Classroom Blog:

Table of Contents
       Introduction                                                                        3
         Concert Dates                                                                    4
         Classroom Expectations                                                      4
         Daily Procedure                                                                  5
         The 4-Step Consequences                                                  5
         Attendance at Performances                                      6
         Concert Dress for Performances                                         6
         Grading Policy                                                                    6
         SWIK                                                                                7
         What is a Practice Log?                                                      7
         Instrument Storage                                                              7
         Music Parking Violations                                                    7
Usage of School-Owned Instruments and Fees          7
Other Instrument Options                                                    8
         Taking Instruments Home                                                   8
         Method Books                                                                   9
         Sheet Music                                                                       9
         Other Instrumental Music Opportunities                     9
Dear Instrumental Music Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!!   I am very excited about this upcoming school year and look forward to the valuable opportunities and experiences this year will bring.  In our handbook, you will find policies, procedures, and other important information regarding the Northwest Middle School Instrumental Music Program. Please take the time to read this material. 

I’d like to share with you this quote:

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement.  The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” President Gerald Ford
In addition to our rigorous KCK instrumental music curriculum, I strive to incorporate the skills that students will need to live, learn, and thrive in a 21st century environment.  These skills your student will acquire in the Northwest Middle School Instrumental Music Program include: 

1.     Creativity and Innovation
2.     Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
3.     Communicating and Collaborating
4.     Flexibility and Adaptability
5.     Initiative and Self-Direction
6.     Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
7.     Productivity and Accountability
8.     Leadership and Responsibility

Feel free to contact Mrs. Reynolds with any questions or concerns regarding this handbook, or otherwise. 

Musically yours,

Mrs. Heather Reynolds
Northwest Middle School
Instrumental Music Teacher

Concert Dates for 2015 - 2016

Monday, November 9th            Fall Orchestra Concert, grades 6 – 8

Thursday, November 12th        Fall Band Concert, grades 6 - 8
Monday, February 1st              Orchestra Cluster Concert, grades 6 – 8 (and invited elementary schools)                                                  6:00pm

Monday, May 9th                     Spring Orchestra Concert, grades 6 – 8

Thursday, May 26th                 Spring Band Concert, grades 6 - 8
Classroom Expectations

Northwest Middle School “Non Negotiable” Classroom Rules
1.    Stay in your assigned, unless you have permission to move.
2.    Raise your hand and ask permission before speaking.
3.    Keep all belongings and body parts to yourself.
4.    Keep your head up and your eyes open at all times.
5.    Follow all adult instructions immediately and completely.

Five additional music room requirements:
1.     Make musical sound on your instrument when directed, without interrupting instruction.
2.     Be on time to class and to your seat. 
3.     Dispose of outside food or drink before entering the music room.
a.     This includes gum!
4.     Be prepared for class. 
a.     Have your instrument, instrument accessories, pencil, and other required text materials. 
5.     Be respectful to music materials. 
a.     If its not assigned to you, don’t touch it.  Harmful or neglectful treatment of your assigned instrument may result in a charge for its repair.
At a glance: 
1.     Its never okay to be hurtful.
2.     Its never okay to be disruptive. 

Other items:
            NWMS Policy will be enforced in the music room in all other areas.  Example:  tardies, cell phone use, allowance of passes, dress code, etc.

Daily Procedure
Beginning of class:  “First five”

1.     Enter the room in a calm manner (quietly and at a walking pace).
2.     Read any directions written on the board or projector.
3.     Set up music stand, music folder, instrument and sit in assigned seat.  (In this order, please!)
4.     Begin work on the posted bell work.
5.     Be ready to start class at the designated start time.

During rehearsal:  “Give me five”

1.      When I hold up the five fingers of my hand, you will immediately give me the five following behaviors:
a.     EYES on speaker.
b.     EARS listening in order to follow directions.
c.     MOUTH closed and no noise or talking.
d.     FEET still (freeze where you are).
e.     HANDS still (stop writing or shuffling papers, etc.)
**If you talk during or following a “give me five”, I will be implementing the 4-step discipline consequences.**

End of Class:  “Final five”. When I give the signal “Time to put up”, you will immediately do the following:

1.     Put away instruments and return it to its spot in the storage areas.  Leaving your instrument in the middle of the floor is not permitted. 
2.     Put away music folders, and stands to their designated spots.
3.     Check the floor area around your chair and pick up any paper or trash.  Hold it in your hand so you can drop it in the waste basket as you exit.
4.     Sit back down in your assigned seat and listen for my parting words. 
5.     Upon inspection of the room, I will call your row.  (The bell does not dismiss the class.  The bell is not for the students.  It is for the teacher.  Only the teacher dismisses class.)  You will stand carefully, making sure you have all belongings with you and that your chair is left neatly in its place.  Then walk to the exit.

The 4-Step Consequences
Most people will agree that no child should have to be spoken to about their behavior more than three times during any one class period.

            Step 1:  Warning or reminder (verbal or non-verbal)
Step 2:  Teacher calls home (to go over discipline steps with parent and to inform them of next steps – detention, office referral)
Step 3:  Detention today or tomorrow
Step 4:  Office referral
Attendance at Performances
Please keep in mind that performances are a culmination of many hours of hard work requiring participation and attendance by every member of the group.  The success of the music program depends on the group working together as a team. 

Excused absences for a scheduled performance:
-Sick (absent from school)
-Immediate death in the family
-Other conflicts explained by parent/guardians and cleared with Mrs. Reynolds with a signed note, email, phone call, or verbal confirmation.

In the event that a student fails to attend a concert, they may make-up the concert with one of the three following options:
1.  schedule two 30 minute sessions with Mrs. Reynolds after-school, before the end of the grading period.
2.  attend a classical or jazz music concert, and bring back proof of attending, (such as a program, admittance ticket, etc.), before the end of the grading period.
3.   write a 2-page paper (Typed and double spaced.  Size 12 font.) on a musically related topic that is approved by Mrs. Reynolds, before the end of the grading period.
                  Excused absences will be allowed to make up 100% of the grade.  Unexcused absences will be allowed to make up 70% of the grade
Concert Dress for Performances
In order for us to look sharp at our concerts, please be prepared to have the following items: 
-Black pants or skirts, dark socks, and dark shoes. 
-White shirt or blouse

School dress code applies.

Grading Policy
Grades will be determined using the following categories:
Bell Work (Practice 30%):
-10 points a day will be given to students who are visually observed to be working on their daily bell work.
Written Assignments (Practice 30%).
- In class writing assignments related to the daily content.  Points will vary.
Tests & Quizzes (Performance 70%):  Playing tests, written tests and quizzes.
-Playing tests are 100 points.  Points for written tests and quizzes vary.
Performances (Performance 70%):  Attendance at band performances. 
-Attendance at performances are worth 100 points. 

Show What I Know.  The SWIK Program provides students specific goals to achieve and it highlights student individual achievement based on musical skills.  There are musical assignments to complete in order to “medal” and move on to the levels of Bronze, Silver, and Gold. They are to be played off for the teacher with little to no mistakes.  Certain privileges accompany each of the different achieved levels and students who “medal” will be recognized at our final Spring Concert. 
What is a Practice Log?
Practice Logs are a form extra credit.  15 minutes worth of practice is the amount required for one practice log for 10 points.  These points will be applied to daily bell work assignments which are worth 30% of the grade.  They are required to be signed by a parent or guardian.  An appointment can be set up with Mrs. Reynolds to practice afterschool in the music room and Mrs. Reynold’s signature may substitute for a parent’s signature.

Instrument Storage
Each student will be assigned a storage space area.  Students are expected to put away their instruments correctly in its proper spot.  There should not be any personal items besides their instrument inside these storage areas.  Failure to abide by these expectations may also result in a “Music Parking Violation”.

Music Parking Violations
Students are expected to put things where they are supposed to go.  Failing to do this may result in receiving a “Music Parking Violation” on their instrument or other materials for ILLEGAL PARKING.
                        1st violation:  Warning.  No penalty
2nd violation:  They must take the parking violation home to be signed by a parent, and brought back to Mrs. Reynolds. 
3rd violation:  The student will serve a 30 minute detention with Mrs. Reynolds.
4th violation:  The instrument or belongings will be TOWED and you will need to see Mrs. Reynolds to have the items returned.

Usage of School-Owned Instruments and Fees
We are fortunate to have a district that provides instruments for our students.  The fee is $40.00 per year to use a school-owned instrument.  Students will also receive instrument supplies to get them started for the year, which is included in this price.  Checks can be made payable to Northwest Middle School.  The instrument user fee will be due in full by Friday, September 18th, the end of the first grading period. These fees may be given to Mrs. Reynolds, or paid to Mrs. Henderson in the office.  If you are unable to pay the instrument user fee, please see Mrs. Reynolds and arrangements will be made to accommodate your situation. 
Also, students will not be able to begin using their instrument until the user form has been returned and a down payment has been returned to Mrs. Reynolds. 


Other Instrument Options
Instruments can be rented for a monthly rate from one of the following music stores.  These stores generally do a rent-to-own policy.

Olathe Band Instruments                                            913-764-4159

R.E.W. Band                                                               913-894-4349
8443 Quivera Rd.
Lenexa, KS

The Toon Shop                                                           913-362-6800
70th and Mission
Praire Village Shopping Center

Hume Music                                                               816-474-1960
2010 Broadway (downtown)
Kansas City, MO

If you decide to purchase an instrument from another source, please contact Mrs. Reynolds so she can advise you on the validity of your investment. 

For privately owned/rented instruments, it is very important that you write down the serial number and brand name of your instrument and keep that information at home.  If the instrument should disappear, you will need that information.  Most homeowner’s policies will cover the replacement.  Please be sure to put a durable nametag on your instrument before bringing it to school (i.e. such as a luggage nametag).  Also, privately owned/rented instrument do not require the $40 user fee through the school district.

Taking Instruments Home
Students may enter the music room directly after school to pick up their instrument to take home.  (If the music room is locked, it is likely that Mrs. Reynolds has afternoon duty, and you will need to find her to unlock the door.)  However, students will not be allowed to take their school-owned instrument home until the user fee has been paid in full and the instrument care test has been completed and passed.  In the mornings, students will be required to wait in the gym.  After being released from the gym, they may drop off their instrument in the music room before going to their first class.  If an instrument is not placed in its assigned storage space, that student may receive a Music Parking Violation.

Method Books
Band and string students will be using at least one method book through out the year.  Each student will be loaned a book, and they will be expected to turn the book back in at the end of the school year.  However if the student loses or destroys the book, it will need to be replaced at your expense.  The cost to replace a method book is $8.

Sheet Music
Band and string students will also receive sheet music songs that will be performed on our concerts.  These pages are like a single page out of a textbook.  If it is not returned, the replacement fee is $3.  (Yes, $3 for a single piece of paper.  It is not a Xerox copy and cannot legally be replaced without contacting and paying the publishers.) 

Other Instrumental Music Opportunities
Tiger Jazz
This group is a select group of invited musicians.  This is also Mrs. Reynolds Family Advocacy (FA) class.  In addition to our other school responsibilities, we study popular music styles such as Jazz, Latin, Rock, and other popular styles of music when time permits for rehearsal. 

Pep Band
This group is open to all NWMS band members.  We will perform at various athletic events throughout the school year.  The Jazz Band will be the core sound for this group, but all musicians are invited to attend (upon signing up for the dates).  More information will be distributed at a later time.

Middle School Solo and Small Ensemble Festival
This is for interested 7th and 8th grade band and strings members.  The festival takes place in the spring.  Students spend months preparing a classical solo or small ensemble piece of music, perform for a panel of judges, and receive ratings and helpful comments.  This is a challenging and rewarding experience.  More information will be made available in January.

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