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					Walsh Middle School Orchestra                                                      ’09-‘10



                             Orchestra Handbook


      Welcome to the Walsh Middle School Orchestra Program! Many of you have
      been in orchestra before, and there are many that are new to orchestra. It is
      going to be a year of excellence for the orchestra program. Please file this
      handbook away for future reference as it will be useful throughout the entire
      school year.



      About the Director – Mrs. Elizabeth Bryson:

             I have been playing the cello for over fifteen years, and have been teaching
      strings for almost ten. I graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education
      from Brigham Young University in 2007 and moved to Round Rock shortly
      thereafter. This will be my third year teaching for Round Rock ISD.

             Walsh MS will only have two orchestra classes this year: advanced
      (symphony) orchestra and beginning orchestra. I will be teaching both of these
      classes, as well as the orchestra classes at C.D. Fulkes MS. Because of the need to
      be at two schools, the best time to contact me at WMS will be in the mornings.

             I am thrilled to be at Walsh MS this year! The facilities are wonderful, the
      students are talented, and the community is excited. Everything points to an
      awesome year in orchestra. Please feel free to contact me anytime via phone
      (704-0833, Walsh and 428-3193, C.D.) or email
      (elizabeth_bryson@roundrockisd.com) with any concerns or questions.
Walsh Middle School Orchestra                                                           ’09-‘10

      Orchestra Website

      http://teacherweb.com/TX/WalshMS/Orchestra/

      One of the easiest ways to access the website is through the Walsh website. Go to the
      school website (http://schools.roundrockisd.org/walsh/), and under “Quick Links” click
      on “Fine Arts”. Then click on “Orchestra” and you will be taken to the Orchestra
      website.

      This website will be used in addition to the Charms website (information below).
      Calendar events, recent news, handouts and other information will mostly be at this
      teacherweb website. Most contact, inventory, and financial records will be made
      through Charms.

      The Orchestra Calendar with concert dates and other important dates is located on
      the website. Please visit the website today and mark your calendars so there are no
      surprises later in the school year.

      CharmsOffice.com

      This is a web based program that will be my best way to stay connected with you.
      There is a place for you to update your personal contact information that I will use to
      contact you when needed. I promise never to give this information out without your
      permission. I will use it only for orchestra purposes.

      To Access the Walsh Orchestra Information:

                1. Go to charmsoffice.com
                2. In the right hand column, you will see “Parent/Student Login” in a pink
                   box. Enter the school code: WalshMSOrch
                3. To the right of the screen, you will see “Enter Student ID / Password”
                   followed by an empty box. Enter your student ID in that box and click
                   “Enter”.
                4. Welcome to Charms! Your name should appear at the top of several
                   colored boxes. There is an orange box labeled “personal info”. Click on
                   this and update your personal info now. Once you have filled in the
                   correct information, click “Update” and print that page. Turn this in by
                   September 2, 2009.
Walsh Middle School Orchestra                                                                       ’09-‘10

      Grading:
       Playing Tests – 35%
         Playing Tests will be given approximately every third Friday. Students will know ahead of time
            what the playing test is on. Unless told otherwise, these tests will not be used to seat students.
       Practice Records, Supply Checks, and Daily Participation – 35% (Due: Every Wednesday)
         Practice Records will be due every Wednesday. Each student will have a Semester Long Practice
            Record that they keep in their orchestra binders. There is a place for them to record the
            number of minutes they practice each day and a place for a parent/guardian initial. Please
            initial every week! Records will be checked Wednesday at the beginning of class. If a student
            does not get his/her practice record checked on Wednesday, it is his/her responsibility to show
            Mrs. Bryson the practice record on Thursday or Friday of the same week. No late credit will be
            given after Friday of the same week.
         Coming prepared for class is essential. Students should come prepared with their supplies each
            day. A supply check will happen one random day each week. Four supplies will be checked:
            instrument, orchestra binder, String Explorer book, and pencil. Each item is worth 25% of the
            supply grade.
         Daily Participation is essential in an orchestra class. For symphony students, sectionals count as
            daily participation. Students should come prepared with their instrument, binder (including
            music, practice sheet, and notebook paper for opening assignments), and pencil each day.
            Occasionally, worksheets or homework will be given. Tardiness, unexcused absences, and class
            disruption will result in lost points.
       Concert Attendance – 30% (See Concert Schedule)
         Each Student is required to participate in the scheduled concerts. Students receive full credit in
            this area by coming to each concert they are participating in on time and prepared to play their
            best. Points will be subtracted for tardiness, improper attire, or being unprepared.
         If a student knows beforehand of a need to miss a concert, it is his/her responsibility to notify
            Mrs. Bryson of this need no later than 2 weeks before the concert. A make-up assignment will
            be given and full credit can still be received. If the student does not give the proper 2 weeks
            notice, or fails to show up for a concert, the student may receive a 0% for concert attendance.
            Exceptions may be made for extreme emergency or illness. Contact Mrs. Bryson ASAP.

      Classroom Rules and Expectations:
          1. No gum, food, or drink. You don’t want it in your hair or on your clothes. I don’t want it on
             these instruments.
          2. Respect the space and belongings of others and keep your hands, arms, feet and stuff to
             yourself.
          3. Be prepared for each day with a pencil, instrument, instrument accessories (bow, rosin, cleaning
             cloth, etc.), and music binder every day.
          4. The orchestra room is a safe place. Always speak kindly about others and to others so we can all
             feel comfortable and safe inside the orchestra room.
Walsh Middle School Orchestra                                                                             ’09-‘10

      Sectionals – Advanced Orchestra:

      Sectionals are scheduled times when all members of only one section meet with Mrs. Bryson to work on
      section specific musical or technical issues. No sectionals are required for members of the beginning
      orchestra. Sectionals for the Symphony (7/8 Orchestra) are mandatory and part of the class grade.
      Sectionals will be held weekly during UIL prep time, January through the first week of March. Please see
      the schedule below:

             Violins: The following Tuesday mornings, 7:30am-8:10am: Jan. 12, 19, 26; Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23;
              March 2.
             Violas: The following Thursday mornings, 7:30am-8:10am: Jan. 14, 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25;
              March 4.
             Cellos/Basses: The following Friday mornings, 7:30am-8:10am: Jan. 15, 22, 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19,
              26; March 5.

      Honors Quartet:
              The Honors Quartet is made up of 2 violinists, 1 violist, and 1 cellist, all 7th or 8th grade students.
      Auditions will be held on Thursday, September 3, 2009, 7:30am in the orchestra room. All interested in
      auditioning need to prepare C, G, and D Major Scales and a musical piece of their choice.
              The Honors Quartet will rehearse mornings from 7:20-8:10am every Tuesday and Thursday fall
      semester, and again every Tuesday and Thursday in April and May. January, February, and March are
      reserved for UIL sectionals (see above). The quartet will prepare music to perform for the Walsh NJHS
      ceremony, Walsh awards ceremony, at local elementary schools and nursing homes, and any other
      needs that may arise as the school year goes on.

      Practice and Extra Help: Mrs. Bryson will be available to all students Friday mornings from 7:30-8:10am
      for extra help. Students are free to come in any morning to practice in the practice rooms individually,
      but students will be kicked out of the fine arts wing if they are not in a rehearsal or actively practicing.

      Concert Attire:

      All orchestra students will need to acquire the following concert attire and bring it into school to show
      Mrs. Bryson by Wednesday, September 30, 2009

             Ladies:
                  o Solid black skirt that covers the knees when sitting (dress slacks are okay for cellists)
                  o Solid white collared shirt with sleeves
                  o Black nylons or tights
                  o Close-toed, black dress shoes
             Gentlemen:
                  o Solid black dress slacks (no denim)
                  o Solid white collared dress shirt
                  o Black socks
                  o Black dress shoes
Walsh Middle School Orchestra                                                                        ’09-‘10


      Orchestra T-shirts:
      Orchestra T-shirts are a fun way to mark the year. There will be times when students will be allowed to
      wear their orchestra t-shirts to concerts. T-shirts this year are mandatory so at events we all have
      casual wear. If there is a cost issue, please talk to Mrs. Bryson ASAP.

                                                     Cost: $11
                                            When: By September 30, 2009

      T-shirts are already in! When your student brings me the form and payment for t-shirts, I will hand
      him/her the number of t-shirts ordered. The t-shirts are the same design as last year, but without the
      date.

      Private Lessons:

      As students grow as musicians, it is important to get as much personalized attention as possible. Private
      instrument lessons are designed especially to help your student target areas of improvement and gain a
      deeper understanding of the music they play. Below is a list of private instructors, the instrument(s)
      they teach, and their contact information. If you are interested in private lessons outside of the school
      day, please feel free to contact these instructors. Also, Blackerby Violin Shop has private teachers come
      and teach at their music store.

      Violin/Viola:                                           Cello:
      Alexander Serafimov - 577-6367                          Feng Zhao - 401-6235
      Paul Robertson - 257-8932                               Betsy Sanders - 918-0805
      Linda Day - 219-9165                                    Valerie Fisher - 626-4912
      Karen Lin - 796-3316 or 899-8348 or                     Shu Yi Scott - 249-5526/914-7993
      misskarenlin@gmail.com                                  Paul Gromquist - 299-6335
      Diane Dickson - 458-1495
      Karen Palmer - 834-1573                                 Double Bass:
      William Dick - 474-8196                                 Matt Lacour - 496-7200
      Hikari VanDam - 258-0750                                David Dawson - 416-1548
      Ames Asbell - 441-2127                                  Mr. Scott - 249-5526/914-7993

      IMIP:

      Another option for private lessons is the Individualized Music Instruction Program (IMIP) offered
      through RRISD. This program brings private teachers into the school and allows students 22 or 30
      minute lessons during the school day (during orchestra class). Lessons cost $12.00-$15.00 per 22-
      minute lesson and $17.00 - $20.00 per 30-minute lesson and lessons are expected to occur once a week.
      Parents/Guardians are responsible for paying the private teacher at the beginning of each month. If you
      are interested in IMIP at Walsh MS, please fill out and return the IMIP Interest Form to Mrs. Bryson by
      Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Based on the level of interest for each instrument, private instructors
      will be arranged to come to Walsh.

				
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