Instrumental Music/Band

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Mrs. Plautz

What do we need for band?
You will need an instrument in good working condition, necessary supplies for that instrument (reeds, valve oil, etc.) an "Essential Elements 2000" Book One lesson book, a notebook, and a pencil (please do not use pens in band). You may order supply packets from us– we have forms. These items are needed at all classes, rehearsals, and lessons.

When do we meet?
We meet as a class every other day for the first semester. Most of you will continue to meet every other day for the second quarter, while some of you will go to computer keyboarding.

We meet for full band rehearsal every Tuesday during plus period. This is a required part of band. If you miss a rehearsal, you will lose points off your grade; but every student will receive one "ticket" for a free absence from plus period band.

We also meet in small groups once a week for a 20-minute lesson. This does come out of academic team time, but we work with the team teachers to help make sure the missed class is not affected. It is the student's responsibility to make up missed class work when he or she comes to a lesson. Missed lessons need to be made up after school or during available make-up time. If a student takes private lessons from a teacher in the community, the school lessons are not required. Please let your band teacher know, in writing, if you take private lessons.

How are we graded?
During the first and third quarters, your grades will be figured like this: practice charts 15%, plus period band 5%, band lessons 15%, written work (worksheets, quizzes, and projects) 15%, and classroom/rehearsal evaluations 50%.

During the second and fourth quarters, the grades will be the same, except that the concerts will count as 10% and the classroom rehearsal evaluations will be 40%.

When do we perform?
Our winter concert is in December and our spring concert is in May. Both concerts are at 7:00 p.m. in the evening held in the school auditorium. These concerts are a very important part of your musical growth and are part of your grade, so attendance is mandatory. If students have a family emergency and miss the concert, alternate plans for the concert grade can be made with the teacher. For concert dress, students are expected to be dressed nicely (no jeans, t-shirts, or tennis shoes). Ladies' dresses and skirts should be below the knee to help with proper concert posture.

Do I have to practice?
In a word, YES. Practicing is the way to guarantee progress on your instrument. Just as athletes need to practice to develop skills, so do musicians. Our weekly practice charts are based on quality of practice, not just quantity. They need to be signed by a parent to be counted towards your grade. it is very important to have a good practice area so that you can concentrate. If you would like to practice in the band room after school, you may! Ask people to listen to you (or record and listen to yourself) every once in a while. It works best to practice the most difficult or your least favorite music first to get it out of the way. Then, end with something fun!

What if my instrument breaks?
Repairs need to be attended to whenever they arise. Students should first ask their band teacher for a quick diagnosis of the problem. Quite often the teacher is able to make repairs that do not cost the parents/students anything. If that is not possible, the instrument must be taken to a music store or a repair person (we do have a repair man that does pick-up and delivery to school). If the student is using a school instrument, the school will pay for "normal wear and tear" (for example, missing woodwind corks or pads). However, any unusual or excessive damage (such as a dropped mouthpiece) will need to be paid for by the student.

Is there anything else I need to know?
Students are welcome to use the band room and practice rooms after school for practicing or making up missed lessons. Either of the band teachers will usually be available until 4:00 p.m. if students need help or want to work in the band room.

Please put your name on your case, book, folder, and notebook! Many cases look similar and we do not want students to accidentally take someone else's instrument home. Also, having names on cases makes it easier to replace a misplaced instrument (if left on the bus, etc.) Along this same line, parents should keep track of the serial number of any student-owned or store-owned instruments just in case one would happen to be lost.

The storage room is available for students to leave their instruments during the school day. All students (except percussion and tuba) should be taking instruments home regularly for practice. Also, students should not be storing instruments in other teachers' classrooms overnight because it causes problems for cleaning crews and also leaves instruments out where they could be taken by someone other than the owner.

Many families have instruments in basements and closets that are no longer in use. There is a program sponsored by the Sheboygan Public Education Foundation that will accept donated instruments and put them in the hands of students who may not be financially able to participate in music opportunities. If you are interested in donating an instrument, let us know and we will get you contact information.

If parents have any questions, concerns, or comments, please feel feel to contact us at school at 459-3666. School district e-mail is also available if parents would like to use this method of communication.

Thank you in advance to all the parents and families who support the band students in their musical studies! Music is so important to the development of students' minds and without your help our program does not exist. We look forward to meeting you at conferences and concerts. Most of all, we look forward to a fantastic year with your children!