Dear Prospective Band Parent,
Today your child attended a band assembly. Its main purpose was to introduce students to instruments that will be taught in next year’s Middle School Band program. As a parent, you will play a very important role in the future success of your child’s music-making, should they decide to join the program.
With this in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you and your family to Logansport Middle School’s annual Band Open House, on Monday, May 20th, at 7:30 PM.
Studying music through learning an instrument is a uniquely rewarding experience. Many of its benefits are well celebrated: the discipline it develops through practicing; the skills of teamwork it develops through rehearsing and performing with others; the sense of pride it engenders after a performance of great music; and the opportunity to discover one’s own culture and those of others through a creative medium shared by nearly every culture, religion, and country.
Music is one of society’s greatest inventions. It is a form of artistry that is both scientific and aesthetic. It can simultaneously be studied like a science and enjoyed as an entertainment. Listening to music is an important part of its appreciation, but PERFORMING it is even more meaningful, and we’re proud that Logansport Middle School supports this program.
In fact, you and your child may have already decided, “Yes, I want to study an instrument!” But I realize you may have questions: Which instrument should my child play? How much of a financial commitment will I have to make? Where can I rent or purchase an instrument? How and when are the lessons and rehearsals scheduled?
Before the end of the school year, we will test or “audition” each student who has returned the attached sign-up form by May 8. Our goal is to match each student with the instrument that gives him/her the greatest chance for success. In addition, we need to develop a balanced instrumentation, which is essential to create a superior ensemble and a positive experience for everyone. The band instruments available to study are:
● Clarinet, Trumpet, and Trombone (we will need many of these instruments)
● Flute, Alto Saxophone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba, and Percussion (a limited number of these instruments will be selected).
I hope you will join us in the band room at 7:30 PM on May 20th. Refreshments will be served, and you’ll have the opportunity to hear performances by some of our current students in the 6th, 8th, and 12th grades!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me either by email or phone.
Ms. Brianna Rude
Middle School Band Director
Logansport Middle School
Brianna Rude, Director of Bands
School Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A note from the Director:
Welcome to the band program here at Logansport Middle School! The purpose of this syllabus is to help you better understand the expectations and activities involved with our middle school band program. Please take a moment to go over all of the information in the syllabus and fill out the the sheet at the end of this syllabus to confirm you have gone over all of the expectations as well as help me better serve you and your child. Please return this form, signed, by 8/21/2019.
I am extremely proud of the students and band program here and realize that it takes an intentional effort on the part of the students and families to maintain the pride and dedication needed for a truly outstanding band program. I look forward to an exciting year, and with your students’ dedication and your continued support, this year can be great! Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you ever have any questions or concerns!
● 6th Grade Beginning Band (Year long)
○ The 6th Grade Beginning Band performs three concerts a year. It is also the introductory ensemble for the program. Students will be focusing on learning the skills and techniques it takes to successfully play their instruments in an ensemble. The band will work on concert band literature as well as learn accompanying skills such as music theory, music history, etc.
● 7th & 8th Grade Band (Year long)
○ The 7th & 8th Grade Band performs four concerts a year. This band is an automatic placement after Beginning Band. This band plays concert band literature throughout the year, focusing on more advanced techniques and building upon skills learned in Beginning Band.
In the Logansport Middle School Band Program, all students will:
● Develop fundamental skills of playing an instrument.
● Become familiar of basic music theory and terminology.
● Develop team-building and leadership skills by playing in an ensemble.
All members will:
● Be on time for all rehearsals
● Quickly and efficiently get their instruments and music ready.
● Place music and warm up material in order for all rehearsals by looking at the board before each rehearsal
● WARM UP! Just like in sports, a musician needs to physically warm up their instruments as well as their mind. Talking before rehearsal is a waste of our time.
● Always have a pencil ready. Like any other class, there are notes to be taken.
● HAVE FUN!!!
Band Room Policies
● Treat everyone with respect.
● Talking is not permitted during rehearsal.
● No food or beverages are allowed in the band room at any time.
● No gum is allowed in the band room at any time.
● No hats are allowed in the band room at any time.
● All equipment, instruments and music are to be kept in the proper storage facilities when not being used for rehearsal.
When a student breaks a rule or disrupts the class, my policy is as follows:
Verbal warning: I will ask the student to refrain from the undesirable behavior (i.e. playing/talking out of turn during rehearsal, getting out of one’s seat without permission from the director, eating in the band room, etc.)
Time out: If the student still misbehaves I will have the student take a time out in a designated area for a specified amount of time. (Usually 5 to 10 minutes, but sometimes shorter or longer depending on the situation). If after that amount time the student is ready to return to rehearsal, he or she may do so.
Parent Notified: The parents will be called and notified that there is a behavior problem. I will simply ask the parent to talk to their student about the problem.
Student sent to Administrator/School Service/Parent Teacher Conference: If the undesirable behavior continues, the student will be sent to an administrator and will likely be given some sort of duty during lunch or break time. In the meeting, which is sometimes by phone, sometimes in person, we will try to solve the problem keeping the best interest of both the student and the rest of the class in mind.
Broken contract/student’s removal from the class is recommended as the best option for all parties concerned.
● 6th Grade: Standard of Excellence, Book I (Red)
● 7th & 8th Grade: Standard of Excellence, Book II (Blue)
● Instrument and any other accessories
These books can be found locally at Rush’s Music, Lunsford’s Music, and Lane’s Music.
All other music played will be selected from the Cass County district-wide approved list and will be provided by the Logansport Middle School Band Department.
The Middle School Band will be graded based on four different categories:
● Pass-Off Cards:
○ Sheets of cardstock that have the musical skills we will be working on throughout the school-year.
● Homework Assignments:
○ There will be homework assignments assigned periodically throughout the school-year that will cover topics such as music theory, music history, culture, etc.
● Rehearsal Attitude:
○ Class participation and behavior
○ Concert attendance (required)
Pass-Off Cards are sheets printed on cardstock that consist of four different categories: Practicing, Passing Off, Theory, and Techniques to Work On. The practicing category consists of a weekly practice log where I will assign what they should be practicing, the amount of time they practiced it, and a place for a parent/guardian signature. The Passing Off section consists of all of the techniques and skills that we will be learning throughout the school year. Once the students show that they can achieve each particular skill, it gets checked off, or “passed off”. The Theory section works the same as the Pass-Off section where they get checked off once they are achieved. The content just consists of musical theory concepts rather than technical skills. Finally, the Techniques to Work On section is left open for me to give my feedback for the students.
Grading for practice time on Pass-Off Cards will be as follows (we use a weighted grading system):
A+ Over 120 mins. A week - no less than 5 practice sessions a week.
A 120 mins. a week - no less than 4 practice sessions a week.
B 100 mins. a week - no less than 4 practice sessions a week.
C 60 mins. a week - no less than 3 practice sessions a week.
D 45 mins. a week
F 0-30 mins. a week
Any and all scheduled band events and performances on the calendar are mandatory. Each and every student is extremely important to the success of this group and even if just one student is missing, the dynamic of the group is off.
Excused absences will be granted by Ms. Rude for legitimate and appropriate reasons. All excused absence requests from performances must be written, signed by students’ parents and given to Ms. Rude two weeks prior to the performance date. In the case of emergency or illness, a signed letter from a parent must be brought to the next rehearsal. If at all possible, Ms. Rude should be notified prior to the absence so that adjustments can be made. If a student is to miss a concert for whatever reason, they will assigned an alternative assignment that will need to be completed in order to obtain credit for the missed event.
Uniforms, Equipment and Facilities
Middle School Band Concert Dress:
Students are required to wear all black (no jeans) clothes and shoes for performances. If a student wishes to wear a dress or skirt, be sure to wear black tights. Be sure what you are wearing is also appropriate and follows the school’s dress code as well.
*If there is a problem with obtaining concert dress items for whatever reason, please feel free to contact me and I will provide as much assistance as I can.
Pep Band Uniform:
Please wear red, white, or black street clothes.
● Privately owned instruments should be taken to an instrumental repair specialist on a regular basis to avoid wear and tear that can occur after everyday use. Regularly scheduled maintenance on your instruments will far outweigh the cost and inconvenience of any major problems that occur by playing every day.
● School owned instruments are taken care of every year by Ms. Rude. DO NOT take any school instruments to a repair specialist. School instruments are on a routine repair schedule and are also under contract with our own repair specialists. If there are any problems with your school instrument, make sure to contact Ms. Rude immediately and notify her of the problem. These instrument repairs will be covered by the school, but only for “routine” repairs. Any damage done to the instrument that is not routine such as dents, damage from neglect or abuse will be the student’s financial responsibility.
● All instruments will be checked periodically by the director to make sure that everything is in proper working condition. Please check with Ms. Rude before bringing any privately owned instruments to a repair specialist.
Music is the responsibility of the student. Each member of the band will be given a folder and individual pieces of music that will be rehearsed. Ms. Rude will keep track of all music assigned and will assess fees if not returned. The cost of lost music or folder will be $30.00.
There is a great deal of expensive and sensitive equipment in the band room and on the stage; please treat it with the same respect that you would want with all of your won private belongings. All percussion equipment is off limits to non-percussionists. This also means storing anything on the equipment is not allowed. Any damage caused to any equipment will be the financial responsibility of the student responsible for the damage.
Solo & Ensemble
The participation in Solo & Ensemble is mandatory only for the 7th & 8th grade students. However, if a 6th grade student wishes to participate, they are more than welcome to. All students in the band program are encouraged to participate, due to the development in a full band and solo setting. If interested, there is a solo fee of $15 and an ensemble fee of $7.00. Repertoire options will be provided by Ms. Rude in September.
*Some solos require an accompanist. If that is the case for you, please contact me and I will put you in contact with a trusted local piano accompanist.
Private instruction is extremely valuable, and highly encouraged. I cannot give students the individual attention they need and deserve. You can contact a local music store, or see names posted on our classroom bulletin board. We have also worked out a special program with music students at Logansport High School who have had private instructors. Some high school students have agreed to tutor Logansport Middle School students at a rate of between$10-15 for a 30-minute lesson, once a week. See Ms. Rude for names and phone numbers of these students. Professional private teachers charge between $30.00-$60.00 per 30 minute lesson.
*If a student wishes to take private lessons but there are financial barriers in place, please contact me and I will attempt to provide accommodations.
Save the Date(s)!
Please remember that these events are mandatory!
Friday, October 18th
7th & 8th Grade Fall Concert
Logansport Middle School Auditorium
Wednesday, December 18th
Combined Bands Christmas Concert
Logansport Middle School Auditorium
Friday, March 20th
Combined Bands Spring Concert
Logansport Middle School Auditorium
Wednesday, May 20th
Combined Bands End of the Year Concert & Celebration!
Logansport Middle School Auditorium
Logansport Middle School Band Syllabus
After reading the entire document, please print out ONLY this page, sign it and bring it back to school for the first practice log grade.
I have read and understand all policies covered in this handbook and am prepared to participate fully in the Logansport Middle School Band Program.
Student Name: ___________________________________________
Student Signature: _________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: _____________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________________