August 26, 2008 Dear Students and Parents/Guardians; Welcome to a new year at Francis Scott Key Middle School! I’m looking forward to a great year working with all of you. This is your 2008-2009 Instrumental Music Handbook. It contains important information that you will need to have a successful year. Students are expected to review the handbook with their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians and students must sign and date the contract and return the contract to me no later that Friday, September 12, 2008. Keep the handbook at home so you can refer to it throughout the school year. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 301-7708015 or email. Thank you in advance for a great year. Sincerely, Deborah Layton Instrumental Music Director email@example.com Francis Scott Key Middle School Instrumental Music Handbook 2008-2009 Ms. Deborah Layton Director GOALS/OBJECTIVES The student should be able to1 1. Demonstrate classroom rehearsal procedures. 2. Meet individual responsibilities for care and preventative maintenance of a musical instrument. 3. Demonstrate concert performance procedures, and meet performance obligations as indicated on the school’s comprehensive instrumental music calendar. 4. Demonstrate basic competencies of instrumental music performance in the areas of tone production, intonation, articulation, range, and memorized scales. 5. Read and perform appropriate Music Educators National Conference (MENC) grade-level music. 6. Sight-read appropriate MENC grade-level music. PERFORMANCES 1. Concert Attendance Policy: Concerts are the culmination of many hours of hard work, and enhance the learning process. They are a vital part of the course objectives and the grading policy. Because performances are part of the course objectives, attendance is a requirement. 2. Students will be expected to perform in appropriate concert dress: Gentlemen • Solid white shirt, preferably white long-sleeve button-up shirt with collar, black (or dark colored) tie • Black dress pants or slacks, black socks, black dress shoes Ladies • White blouse, sleeves preferably quarter-length or longer • Black skirt (knee length or lower) w/ black shoes or • Black dress pants and black dress shoes 1 MCPS Program of Studies. Instrumental Music, Grades 6-8, P.2 3. Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to concert time. In order to perform successfully, students must have their necessary equipment in concert-ready condition. This includes gathering music, stands, chairs, soaking reeds, and lubricating valves as well as warming up instrument and tuning with the group. Arriving 30 minutes prior to the concert time allows for this necessary preparation. 4. Classroom rehearsal procedures are to be demonstrated. Whenever you are in your concert attire you represent your ensemble so you should demonstrate appropriate procedures for a successful performance. 2. PLAYING TECHNIQUE Students will be graded on quality and improvement in the following technical areas: posture, hand position, tone production, pitch control, knowledge of fingerings, range, endurance, hand coordination, ensemble playing (making adjustments and corrections; knowing what others in the ensemble are playing), and dynamics. Students will also be graded on demonstration of advanced skills in the reading of music notation on prepared as well as sight-reading materials. Grades will be determined through various assessments during daily rehearsals. 3. REHERSAL TECHNIQUE Students will need to demonstrate an understanding of proper rehearsal guidelines on a daily basis. These guidelines help to keep rehearsals flowing smoothly and will be frequently reviewed with students. All objectives must be met consistently. AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSALS In addition to regularly scheduled rehearsals (classes), it is sometimes necessary to hold after school rehearsals for individual sections. For example, while we are preparing for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) festivals, the concert groups will often have section rehearsals after school. The rehearsals of these small groups (i.e. Clarinets, Violins, or Low Brass) will help fine-tune each student’s performance and make the overall performance much better. Section rehearsals will begin in November and will be scheduled only on days that the after-school activity bus is available. INSTRUMENT MAINTENANCE AND STORAGE MAINTENANCE In order for any musical ensemble to be successful, all instruments must be in proper working condition. Periodic instrument checks will be conducted on all instruments (borrowed, rented, or owned) to ensure that all instruments are working optimally. During these inspections, any damages or necessary repairs will be noted and parents will be informed. Here are some tips to help you properly maintain your instrument: • Keep the instrument case free of objects. • Always assemble your instrument gently. • When not playing, the instrument should be either in the student’s lap or in the case. • Keep the instrument clean both inside and out for sanitary reasons and good playing response. Do not run water through any woodwind instrument. • Reed should be stored in a ventilated case (not on the mouthpiece) or they will mold. • The student’s name, home address, phone number, and school name should be on the case both inside and out. It is the student’s responsibility to properly maintain the instrument and to get any necessary repairs completed as soon as any type of damage is noticed on the instrument. If using an MCPS owned instrument, repairs that are not due to normal wear will be charged to the student in accordance with the MCPS Receipt and Bond Agreement. STORAGE Instruments and music are to be stored in their designated spaces in the band room or stored elsewhere at the student’s risk. Hall lockers are not designed for securing valuable instruments and students will not be permitted to return to their lockers during class for forgotten items. Though the storage facility is locked when a teacher is not in the classroom, the instruments are accessible to students between periods. It is recommended that privately owned instruments be insured through the family’s home insurance. MCPS is not responsible for any instruments that are damaged or stolen while on school property. An insurance policy can be purchased through MCPS. Mrs. Layton usually receives a few applications in late September. Please ask for one if you are interested REQUIRED SUPPLIES String Students ONLY: • • • Book: o Spotlight on Strings Level 1 (Grade 6) o Spotlight on Strings Level 2 (Grades 7 and 8) Supplies: Rosin, Shoulder Rest, Cleaning Cloth, Mute Good Quality Strings: Preferred string brands: Thomastik “Dominant” D’Addario “Helicore” Pirastro “Gold” Label You may be able to find these and other strings at some of the listed music stores on the next page. You can also get discounted strings (brands listed above) from Southwest Strings (swstrings.com) or similar string websites. Optional (but very helpful) supplies: • Chromatic tuner • “Dampit” humidifier (for cold weather protection) Band Students ONLY: • Book: o Accent on Achievement, Book 1 (Grade 6 or Beginning Band) o Foundations for Superior Performance (Grades 7 and 8 Intermediate Band) Supplies: see below for your instrument-specific supplies. o Flute: cleaning cloth (to swab inside instrument), Tuning rod (if not already provided with flute), and polishing cloth. o Clarinet: drop swab, reeds (Vandoren 2 ½), reed guard, cork grease o Oboe or Bassoon: silk drop swab, reeds (Jones medium soft), reed case, cork grease. o Saxophone: drop swab, reeds (Vandoren 2 ½), reed guard, cork grease o Cornet or Trumpet: mouthpiece brush, cleaning cloth, slide grease, Al Cass valve oil, and cleaning snake. o French Horn: mouthpiece brush, cleaning cloth, slide grease, rotor oil, and cleaning snake. o Trombone: mouthpiece brush, cleaning cloth, water bottle, slide cream, tuning slide grease, and cleaning snake. o Tuba: mouthpiece brush, cleaning cloth, slide grease, Al Cass valve oil, and cleaning snake (optional – mouthpiece case). • MCPS PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES Key Middle School students are eligible for several activities run by MCPS and the State of Maryland throughout the school year: • • • • • • Montgomery County Honors Jazz Ensemble (Grades 7 and 8) Montgomery County 6th Grade Honors Groups (Grade 6) MCPS Jr. High Honors Groups (Grades 7 and 8) Maryland State Jr. High Honors Groups (Grades 7 and 8) MCPS Solo and Ensemble Festival (Grades 6, 7, and 8) Maryland State Solo and Ensemble Festival (Grades 6, 7, and 8) Students are either nominated to participate in auditioning for these events by the director, based on interest, ability, and instrumentation requirements, if any. Further information will be sent home with eligible students as each event approaches. See the Instrumental Music Calendar for dates. Most of these activities have a small cost associated with them. CALENDAR Below is the calendar of musical events for the 2008-2009 school year. All events with required attendance are in Bold Print. As each required event nears, a reminder will be sent home with students. Please mark these dates on your calendars. Date September 12 19 November 11 15 December TBA February 10 5 March 6 7 Students All Students Selected students from Grades 7 and 8 Event Contract and Lab Fee Due Honors Jazz Auditions Selected students from Grades 7 and 8 Selected students from Grades 7 and 8 MCPS Honors Band/Orch Auditions All-State Honors Band/ Orch Auditions 7 P.M. Winter Concert @ Springbrook HS All Students Members Members MCPS Honors Band/Orch Gala Concert 7:00 P.M. Grade 6 Honors Band/Orch Concert Dist. II Ensemble Festival Dist. II Solo Festival Selected Students Selected Students April 1 2 2 May 4 or 5 5 or 6 9 16 TBA TBA Orchestra Int. Band All Students Orchestra (if eligible) Int. Band (if eligible) Selected Students Selected Students All Students All students Dist. II Orchestra Festival Dist. II Band Festival Festival Concert @ Key MS State Orchestra Festival State Band Festival State Orch Solo/Ens State Band Solo/Ens 7 P.M. Spring Concert @ Springbrook HS Spring Festival Trip If you have any questions or concerns, please call Mrs. Layton at 301-770-8015. Francis Scott Key Middle School Instrumental Music Department Contract Name:__________________________________________________________________ Grade:_________________________________________________________________ Instrument:_____________________________________________________________ Student: I have read the Music Department Handbook and understand all the rules, procedures and guidelines. All dates that apply to me have been marked on my calendar. I will try to live up to the expectations outlined for me in this handbook. __________________________________________________Date:_________________ Student’s Signature Parent/Guardian: I have read the Music Department Handbook and understand all the rules, procedures and guidelines. All dates that apply to me have been marked on my calendar. I will do my best to help my son/daughter live up to the expectations outlined for us in this handbook. __________________________________________________Date:______________ Parent/Guardian Signature RETURN NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008!!