Hello SMS Band Families,
All students had assignment(s) to turn in last week. I am in the process of grading them now. These assignments are turned in through EEi (the online system that goes with our band book).
If you see that your child receives a zero on any assignment, it means the assignment is missing. I have emphasized strongly how damaging a zero is to grades to all band classes. Students can still submit assignments to correct the "zero" scores during the following week. So, students can submit last week's assignment this week and fix their grade.
Two types of assignments:
- Homework Practice Lines: Students are recording themselves running through the music. They involve newer skills and just a way to monitor practicing.
- Playing Quizzes: Students are recording themselves playing their best through these lines. They involve familiar music and/or familiar skills. These assignments have a high impact on grades.
Next Week's Assignments
I am holding off for now to see how well I can manage grading all of last week's assignments. We have about 1/3 of our school in band, which takes a lot of time to listen recordings.
7th & 8th Grade Band Concert
After a lot of discussion with administrators and students, we have decided to cancel the 7/8 grade band concert for October 16. The students are learning at a fast pace and doing great in class, however, we realized we need more time to put on a high quality performance. This will also allow us to perform additional music which is great for the students.
Step Up Instrument Night (7th & 8th Graders)
7th & 8th Grade Band families are invited to attend our Step Up Instrument Night at South Middle School on Thursday, September 27 in the band room. You can come anytime between 5:30-7:30pm.
Students currently renting through Meyer Music can trade their beginner instrument for an upgrade. Meyer Music applies your previous payments on the first instrument toward the upgrade, so you are not wasting money. The upgrade instruments are made of better quality materials and are built to last through high school and college.
8th Grade Night at Panther Stadium - October 19 (Handout attached below)
This year, 8th grade band students will perform with the High School Marching Band on October 19 at Panther Stadium. Students received a handout today with all the details. We have already been talking about this performance in class and working on the music for a couple weeks. This performance is a graded event and is required. We strongly encourage students to also attend a Thursday evening rehearsal on Oct. 18 for about 30 minutes. This will help students feel more comfortable entering the field with the marching band. Details for this are also on the handout.
7th and 8th Grade Band students are eligible to audition for Jazz Band. Audition packets were available for students today. We will start posting signups soon. Auditions are Oct. 11 after school. You can see a copy of the packet and music online at rpbands.com/smsjazz.
Students in band are graded in four categories:
Each student earns 2 points a day toward their daily participation. The small number of points makes each day a low impact so students can quickly recover from losing points. We created this grade to help parents get a picture of what class time looks like for their child. Are they behaving, bringing their instrument, participating in their learning, etc.
Practice Lines (Homework)
Instead of logging practice minutes, I prefer to hear students practice. This lets me check in how they are progressing learning new skills. Students are typically assigned 1 or 2 practice lines per week (each worth 5 points). The lines involve newer skills that need developed. While students are practicing the lines, they will record themselves in EEi and submit.
I am not grading how well they perform, however, if minimal effort is shown, I can have the student submit again.
This category is the most important of all. Students are assigned music to record and submit. The music involves skills that the student should be familiar with. Each playing test is worth 10 points, however this category is 50% of the student's overall grade.
Performances are an important part of being in band. There are several aspects of performing, including the rehearsals leading up to a performance, that count toward a student's grade in this category.
You can see the band grading rubric by clicking on "Grading" at rpbands.com/south. This is the location of the most current, up-to-date rubric.
The first day of school is coming soon and I am excited to get started! I have listed several items below for you to help your child get off to a great start.
News & Updates
The band website serves as a primary resource for parents to find band information. You may want to bookmark rpbands.com/south for easy access.
Information that is emailed out to groups of the band are also posted on the website. You can find these emails by going to the News & Updates section on the South website.
We also use the Remind app to send reminders and last minute updates. Remind is also used to communicate with students when we are at events, such as the 7th/8th grade trip to Worlds of Fun (more info on those trips will be available later).
Seventh & Eighth grade students and parents can sign up, but students must have parental permission. Students under the age of 13 will be asked to add a parent phone number (for texts) or an email address. This allows parents to receive all the same communications as their child. More details can be found in the News & Updates section. Due to school district policy, there is not a remind sign up for 6th graders.
The best way to contact me is by email. During the school day, I can respond to emails more quickly than a phone call. No matter how you contact me, I will respond as soon as possible. Please include your child's name when emailing.