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Late Beginning Piano Syllabus 11-12


									                   NWSA PIANO CLASS – LATE-BEGINNING PIANO
               Course Numbers 52752801 (High School) and 5275C802 (Middle School)
                                     Mrs. Stonnell

                                   (980) 343-5500 ext. 254
                    Class Web Page:

Welcome to piano class at Northwest School of the Arts! We hope that piano class will help
students develop a useful skill that will enrich their lives long after they leave our school. Please
carefully read the expectations listed below and return the bottom portion of the sheet to the

In piano class, students will:
 Demonstrate an understanding of musical notation. Units to be covered include dotted
    rhythms, writing counts including syncopated rhythms, basic musical terms and symbols,
    intervals, simple rhythmic dictation, and identifying major key signatures.
 Continue development of correct piano technique, including posture, hand position, fingering,
    articulation styles, and non-legato pedaling
 Continue applying knowledge of notation by constructing simple original compositions given
    specific parameters
 Perform individually, in a group setting, and partnering with the teacher
Please note that playing around on the keyboards is NOT the focus of this course and will
not be tolerated!

In order to make the issue of materials easier to deal with for parents and students, I have
arranged a special deal with Music and Arts Center, which will add up to considerable savings for
everyone involved. Instead of purchasing materials on your own, students are required to go
through the piano department for books and headphones. Students will need to have the
following supplies for this course:
 Michael Aaron lesson book, performance book, and technique book (purchased through
    *Please note: Some students may be using the Alfred Premier Piano Course. More
    specific information will be sent home with these students if needed.
 A pair of headphones (rented through school)
 Pencils (Enough to last the entire year!)
 3-Ring notebook (for keeping handouts)
 A box of tissues to share with the class

All three Michael Aaron and/or Alfred Premier books are available through the school for $15
(20% off the retail price). Having a copy of the books will enable your student to practice at
home, have more individualized instruction, and progress more quickly. Additionally, each
student will have access to a high quality pair of headphones which must be rented for $10 for the
year. Bringing in outside headphones causes problems with the equipment and is not allowed.
Purchasing and renting these materials through the school assures that your student will have the
necessary materials to work with in class each and every day. This procedure will greatly reduce
the problem of students forgetting to bring their materials to class.
Should you need to contact the music store yourself, I have included the information below for
your convenience:

Music and Arts Center - University - (704) 547-1616

Below is the total cost breakdown for books and headphones. Families who are brand new to
the program should send $25 (cash or check made out to NWSA Piano Booster Club) to
school in an envelope labeled with your student’s full name and class period. If your
student already has the necessary books from previous years, please send only $10 instead
of $25. All money is due no later than Wednesday, August 31st (A-Day) or Thursday,
September 1st (B-Day) so that the order can be placed. Students who send in money late
with no note or phone call from a parent will be responsible for purchasing the books on
their own.

   Michael Aaron Books: $15
   Headphone Rental Fee: $10
   Total Cost: $25

Please note that some students advance more quickly than others and it may be necessary to buy
the next level of books. Parents will receive a letter stating that their student has completed one
level and will need to purchase the next level of books.

If you are unable to provide your student with the necessary materials for the class at this
time, please call the school or e-mail me as soon as possible. I will be glad to work out a
plan to help you in whatever way I can!

To help students keep track of their books, a locking file cabinet is available at the back of the
classroom for those who wish to leave their materials in the lab between classes. Students must
label their books with full name and class period in order to use the filing cabinet.

The piano department was fortunate to have the funds to purchase seventeen brand new Yamaha
digital pianos this summer. Combined with the four digital pianos we received from the CMS
Performing Arts Department in 2010, we have a brand new lab of twenty-one instruments. It is
imperative that all students treat lab equipment with respect and report any problems or possible
damage to the instructor immediately. All students will be given an assigned piano to work on
that they are responsible for. Students who repeatedly play around on lab equipment will lose
their playing privilege and be given alternate written assignments. PLEASE NOTE THAT

Individual student progress will be monitored on check-off sheets kept by the instructor. Students
are expected to work to their maximum potential and will play for the teacher at least one or twice
a week!

50% daily practice and progression (includes having all materials every day)
20% recital participation, performances, and playing tests
30% written work and written tests
** Students earn a maximum of three practice points per day for participating correctly in class.
Students lose one practice point for each offense of talking during practice, forgetting materials,
sleeping during practice time, causing disruption during a lesson, or goofing around on the
keyboards. Furthermore, students lose practice points if they do not have any songs ready to play
for the teacher when it is their turn. Excellent behavior and preparation for class are expected at
all times!
** Students will participate in a formal recital during their regular class period at the end
of each quarter for an invited audience.
** Please note that students are allowed one excused time per quarter to come to class without
books. Students who exceed this limit will receive a zero for the day and will not be allowed
to participate in playing activities. Students who repeatedly come unprepared to class
interrupt the learning process for other students and WILL RECEIVE a failing grade!


93-100 – “A”
85-92 – “B”
77-84 – “C”
70-76 – “D”
Below 70 – “F”

At Northwest, it is critical that all students maintain a minimum un-weighted quarterly grade
point average (GPA) of 2.0 in their core academic and arts classes. In addition, students must be
present for at least 85% of any and all classes to remain in good academic standing. Students
who do not maintain these minimum requirements will be placed on academic probation.

Students placed on academic probation are ineligible to participate in any activity outside the
regular school day or any activity during the school day that removes them from academic
classes. Examples of these activities include play rehearsals, chorus concerts, recitals, and field
trips. Each student’s academic standing is evaluated by the guidance counselors at the time of
each report card distribution. A letter is generated by the student’s counselor informing the
student and his/her parents that the student in on academic probation. A list of all students on
academic probation is compiled each quarter and conveyed to teachers in a confidential manner.

Students with less than a 2.0 GPA are placed on academic probation and remain on
probation until the next report card date. If a student’s grades have improved, their name will
be removed from the list. If a student’s grades are still less than a 2.0 GPA, they continue to
remain on probation until the next reporting period.

Parents and students are highly encouraged to check grades and assignments on weekly basis
through Parent Assistant. Parent Assistant may be accessed by visiting In addition to this tool, progress reports
and report cards will be sent home on the following dates. Parent involvement is critical to
student success, and I am always willing to discuss your child’s progress with you!

Progress Reports Given (In Class):
    September 21st (A-Day) and September 22nd (B-Day)
    December 7th (A-Day) and December 8th (B-Day)
    February 27th (A-Day) and February 28th (B-Day)
       May 7th (A-Day) and May 8th (B-Day)

Reports Cards Given (Through Homeroom):
    November 10th
    February 2nd
    April 17th

Northwest School of the Arts expects nothing less than the best effort from all of our students.
All Visual and Performing Arts magnet students in grades 6-12 are expected to fulfill minimum
course requirements related to the magnet theme in order to maintain active status and to continue
to the next grade level in the magnet program. Each year, students in grades 6-10 must be
enrolled in and pass two (2) arts major year-long elective courses and students in grades 11-12
must be enrolled in and pass three (3) arts magnet theme-related courses. High school students
who fail academic classes are still required to take the minimum number of arts classes.

All parents of students that are in danger of failing or failing an arts course at Northwest
will be contacted by the instructor in a timely manner to establish a Personalized Education
Plan (PEP). The plan is designed to help the student become more successful in the arts path
that he or she has chosen. To facilitate this process, the teacher and parent(s) set up a conference
to develop a plan with the student for increased support and continued monitoring of student

Students who continue to fail arts courses jeopardize their future enrollment at Northwest. Any
student who receives a failing grade in an arts course at the end of the academic year will
lose their seat at Northwest for not meeting the minimum magnet requirements.

Given the fact that piano is primarily a participation-based class, attendance plays a critical role in
the success level of each student. Poor attendance is often the primary reason for a student’s poor
progress and grades in piano class.

All students will be required to complete one of the three assignments below to earn participation
credit for any days they miss. Per CMS Policy, all students have five school days following an
absence to submit make-up work for credit. All make-up work must be submitted by 4:15 pm on
the fifth school day following the absence to be accepted for credit. Failure to complete a
make-up assignment by the specified deadline for an absence will result in the student
earning a “0” participation grade for the day(s) missed. This policy applies to all absences,
including excused absences, unexcused absences, field trips, and suspensions.

Below are the choices of assignments students must choose from in order to earn make-up credit.
Students must choose one assignment from the list for each day that is missed. If a student
misses multiple consecutive days, they may mix and match the assignments as they choose.
However, the total number of assignments completed must equal the total number of days missed.

Assignment Choice #1
Beginning/Late Beginning Students: Pick 3 songs out of your lesson book, performance book, or
technique book to play for the teacher upon your return to school. These songs must be in
addition to what you’re already doing in class!

Assignment Choice #2
Pick a piano composer that interests you and write a 300 word essay about the life of the
composer. Include information about where they were born, what instruments they played,
important compositions they wrote, personal facts, and other information that interests you. You
must include the source of your information to earn credit! Write your name on the
assignment and turn it in to the teacher.

Assignment Choice #3
Beginning/Late Beginning Students: Log onto and click on the "Exercises"
link in the middle of the page. Select either “Note Identification”, “Generic Interval
Identification”, or "Keyboard Identification". Answer 20 questions in a row correctly for a
score of "100". Print a progress report by clicking the “*” in the upper right corner and
"Show Progress Report". Finally, click on “Print Report” and write your name on the
assignment to turn in to the teacher.

1. Students should be at assigned pianos with materials when the bell rings.
2. Gum, food, and drinks (except bottled water) are not allowed in the lab.
3. Students should play with headphones ON unless otherwise told by the teacher.
4. All piano bench legs must remain on the floor.
5. Students should refrain from talking during individual practice time.

Please note that any personal belongings such as combs, brushes, lotion, perfumes, make-
up, toys, cards, video games, cell phones, etc. will not be allowed at the student’s seat and
will be taken away if seen during class!

Excellent behavior and character is expected of ALL students in this course. In addition to the
consequences outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, the following set of
consequences will be enforced in this class:
 1st Infraction - Warning
 2nd Infraction - Phone Call
 3rd Infraction - Bounced to Another Class
 4th Infraction - Referral/Parent Conference

21st (A-Day) – 22nd (B-Day) – Cheesecake Fundraiser Presentations during

5th (A-Day) – 6th (B-Day) – Cheesecake Money and Forms Due Back
26th (B-Day) – 27th (A-Day) – Quarter One Recitals During the School Day
*Recitals take place during individual class periods – specific times TBD!

TBD – Cheesecake Delivery Day (4:15-6:00 pm in Room E-201/E-207)
*Students who normally ride the bus will need to arrange for alternate
transportation on this day!
*More specific information will be sent once date is finalized

15th (A-Day) – 16th (B-Day) – Holiday Recitals During the School Day
*Recitals take place during individual class periods – specific times TBD!

25th – Piano Benefit Concert at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 3pm
       **Advanced Piano students perform, but ALL are required to attend!
26 (A-Day) -27th (B-Day) – Quarter Three Recitals During the School Day
*Recitals take place during individual class periods – specific times TBD!

TBD – Pops Recitals During the School Day (subject to final exam schedule)
*Recitals take place during individual class periods – specific times TBD!
                      PIANO DEPARTMENT WEBSITE

  There's a new way to communicate with Mrs. Stonnell and to find
  out what’s going on in the piano department.

                                            CMS Wiki
                Find out all the latest news and assignments with
                           the simple click of a button!
               Surf over to
                     Locate due dates for assignments
                     View the piano department calendar
                     Access websites to drill music reading skills,
                      research composers, and find a private
                     All this and so much more!

Homework Assignment:

             1) Go to the website with your parent
             2) Read all the information
             3) Have your parent sign the bottom of this form
             4) Return by 8/31 (A-day) or 9/1 (B-day)
Please place an “X” by the appropriate statement and sign, detach and return:

_____ My child, ________________________, and I viewed the website together and read
      over the information.
_____ We are unable to view the website because we do not have the internet at home.

                                                               Student Signature
                                                               Parent Signature
          NWSA Piano Booster Club Membership Form
The Piano Booster Club is an organization whose purpose is to aid in the advancement of the
Northwest School of the Arts piano department. The club helps raise funds that are used to repair
equipment, purchase new equipment, go on field trips, purchase music, allow students to
participate in piano festivals, pay for students’ materials whose families cannot afford them, and
many other worthwhile causes. In addition, the Booster Club provides an avenue for parents to
communicate with one another and with the instructor to create a successful program where their
students can learn effectively. The fee for membership in this organization is $10 per family.
This fee is tax deductible, thanks to our acquisition of tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Please fill out the bottom portion of this form and return it to school with your payment. Please
send cash or a check made payable to NWSA Piano Booster Club. Thank you for your interest
and your membership in the Booster Club. Should you have questions, please call (980) 343-
5500 ext. 254.


Kristin Stonnell
Piano Department Chair

                           Please sign, detach, and return with your payment

Parent Name: ___________________________________ Phone: ___________________

Student Name(s): _________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

E-Mail: _____________________________ Cell: _______________________________

I am enclosing: CASH or             CHECK #____________

Please check here if you would like a receipt ______________

      Parent Signature                                      Date

Please note: The $10 membership fee to join the booster club is in addition to the materials fee
stated earlier in this handbook. For example, a family who owed $25 for materials and wished
to join the booster club would owe a total of $35.
       Once again, the piano department needs volunteers to help with a
variety of jobs and activities. Being a volunteer does not necessarily have to
involve a large time commitment. Any help you can offer will be greatly
appreciated! Please help us to make this school year a tremendous success
for your pianist!

        If you are able to volunteer in any way, please fill out the bottom
portion of this form and have your pianist return it to Mrs. Stonnell as soon
as possible. Please note that our greatest area of need is for classroom
teaching volunteers with piano experience who can help students on an
individual basis. If you or anyone you know might be interested,
PLEASE have them call or e-mail me directly at (980) 343-5500 ext. 254
or Thanks so much for supporting the
piano program at Northwest School of the Arts!
Volunteer Information

Student’s Name:________________________________________________
Volunteer’s Name:______________________________________________
Home Address:_________________________________________________
Home Number:__________________ Work Number:__________________
Cell Number:__________________________________________________
Best Time To Call:______________________________________________
Please check all that apply. I am interested in:
______ Fundraising Help                   ________ Making Programs
______ Chaperoning field trips            ________ Helping with recitals
______ Phone calling                      ________ Designing the monthly newsletter
______ Serving as a piano tutor           ________ Copying, typing documents
Please note any special talents or other ways you would like to help:
Please sign and return this portion to the piano class instructor.
“I understand and agree to the policies for the NWSA piano lab class. I understand that I must
pay the required fees stated above by August 31st (A-day) or September 1st (B-Day) in order for
my student to have the necessary materials to work with in class. If I cannot provide these
materials, I realize that I must contact the teacher to work out a solution. I understand that it is
not the responsibility of Northwest School of the Arts or the teacher to provide materials for my
child to use in this class. I understand that participation in quarterly daytime recitals is a required
part of my child’s grade.”

___________________________________                _________________________________
parent/guardian            date                    student                     date

Please note: I keep in touch with parents through frequent e-mail. It is critical for me to
have your e-mail address so that I can add you to my database and you can stay updated
with your child’s progress!

Please complete and return!


Full Name:_____________________________________________________________________

Home Address:__________________________________________________________________

Home #:_______________________________ Cell #:_________________________________



Primary Guardian/Relationship:____________________________________________________
Home Address:_________________________________________________________________

Home #:_______________________________ Work #:________________________________
Cell #:_________________________________ E-mail:_________________________________

Secondary Guardian/Relationship:__________________________________________________
Home Address:__________________________________________________________________

Home #:_______________________________ Work #:________________________________

Cell #:_________________________________ E-mail:_________________________________

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