Chamber Choir/Show Choir Syllabus

Standards, Learning Expectations, and Performance Indicators

Course Description:

The purpose of all music courses in the Memphis City Schools is to develop comprehensive musicianship with a focus of musical literacy. This 10th – 12th grade choir program allows students transfer prior knowledge and skills to explore and develop their musicianship through performances that are standard for an Advanced Chamber and Show choir group. For grading purposes, all music students are required to exhibit their musical knowledge through public performances and participation in district approved individual and large group assessment festivals.



1 plastic folder with pockets and brads for sheet music(these keep better than the paper folders), 3 dividers(for organization), Pencils (NO PENS FOR CLASS ASSIGNMENTS),


Text:   Experiencing Choral Music Proficient/Intermediate, Emily Crocker, et al.

Experiencing Choral Music Sight-Singing, Emily Crocker, et al.

McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, 2006.


National Standards:

1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.

5. Reading and notating music.

6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

7. Evaluating music and music performances.

8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.


Learning Expectations:

PERFORM: Play, Sing, Read & Move

  1. The student will demonstrate a command of proper vocal technique in moderate to advanced choral/vocal literature.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the singing mechanism in vocal production
    2. Demonstrate proper vocal technique in the control of dynamics and articulation
    3. Demonstrate proper breathing technique while singing
    4. Demonstrate control throughout the vocal range
  2. The student will consistently demonstrate accurate intonation in solo and ensemble singing.
    1. Apply listening skills to adjust individual intonation within the ensemble
    2. Use vocal development exercises to improve intonation
    3. Demonstrate the ability to transpose a cappella music into one or more keys
  3. The student will sing with purity of vowels and clarity of consonants.
    1. Demonstrate the difference between pure vowels and dipthongs
    2. Demonstrate the difference between voiced and un-voiced consonants
  4. The student will sing in a manner reflecting expressive qualities of music.
    1. Incorporate mood, tempo, dynamics, and tone color into performance
    2. Demonstrate blending vocal timbres and matching dynamic levels
    3. Demonstrate the ability to sing with expressive phrasing
  5. The student will perform music written in four or more parts with and without accompaniment.
    1. Sing in small ensembles with one voice on a part
    2. Perform music with complex harmonies and music with nontraditional harmonies
    3. Perform literature with a difficulty grade 4 (1 – 6 scale0 and sight-read literature with a difficulty of grade two or higher
  6. The student will perform a solo and sing a voice part in advanced choral literature.
    1. Demonstrate audition skills
    2. Demonstrate memorization skills


RESPOND: Listen/Evaluate

  1. Create movement for selected styles of music
  2. Perform movement for selected styles of music
  3. Respond to and perform conducting patterns for changing and mixed meter
  4. Demonstrate conducting patterns, including those for duple, triple, and compound meters
  5. Evaluate and offer constructive suggestions for the improvement of personal and group performances
  6. Articulate music preferences through the use of music terminology
  7. Examine professional music reviews, as found in available publications
  8. Identify opportunities to contribute to the music community
  9. Identify opportunities for attendance at professional and community concerts


CREATE: Arrange, Compose, Improvise, and Notate

  1. Begin creating a music library, or other portfolio of repertoire
  2. Sight-read melodic lines in major and minor keys
  3. Sight-read individual voice parts
  4. Improvise on a simple melody
  5. Choose selections from at least two languages other than English



  1. Students will analyze poetic text as it related to various forms of writing and historical context while demonstrating advanced reading and spelling skills.
  2. Students will demonstrate an intermediate understanding of mathematical fractions through a working knowledge of note values, rhythm, and meter.
  3. Students will apply knowledge of historical performance practice, audition/performance etiquette, proper intonation, and advanced tone production through the All-West audition process.


Classroom Procedures:

 For Entering & During:

  1. Enter the choir room and put homework in the appropriate class tray.
  2. Pick up your class folder.
  3. Go to your assigned seat and sit quietly.
  4. Listen for a rhythm pattern of 4 eighth notes (1&2&), your response is to clap on beats 3 & 4, count.
  5. During rehearsal we will use various techniques to learn the music including some written work. Please take all activities seriously.


 For Dismissal at the End of Rehearsal:

  1. Stay seated and silent.
  2. Make sure your area is free of trash.
  3. Collect your belongings only when told to do so.
  4. Leave quietly when dismissed by row and put class folders up.


For Leaving the Room During Rehearsal:

You are expected to remain in class unless you need to be excused for an emergency.  If you need to leave the room, you must ask for permission, sign out on the EXIT LOG, located in the classroom, providing the date, time, and destination as well as take the hall pass.

Classroom Rules:

  1. Be responsible: have your music notebook and a pencil, mark performance dates on your calendar, turn in your work on time, etc.
  2. Raise your hand before speaking.
  3. Respect all property. (School property, personal property, and other's property)
  4. There should be no talking during rehearsal. If your part is not rehearsing, you should still be paying attention. You could learn something from listening!
  5. Respect all ideas given in class and do not criticize anybody's ideas or thoughts.
  6.  Absolutely no food, drink, gum, or candy is permitted in class other than water.
  7. Have a good attitude and enjoy becoming professional singers!

Consequences and Repercussions:

  1. Warning
  2. Student-teacher conference
  3. Parent Phone Call
  4. Disciplinary Referral


  1. Public Recognition
  2. Positive Phone Call Home
  3. Field Trip Participation
  4. Grade/Assignment Posting
  5. Certificates of Achievement
  6. Extra Credit Points
  7. Student Helper Privileges


Being late to class or a meeting in the business world is a sign of disrespect. If you are late you must have a note from a teacher before entering class. The consequences for tardies will be dealt with as noted in the handbook


 Paper Heading:

Using a #2 pencil, write the following information on the top, right hand side of your paper:

Your first and last name, date, class, Assignment (include page number if assigned)       


Peter Pan

August 14, 2010

Music Appreciation

The Rise of Hip Hop, p. 28


Many types of assessment will be used to gauge the success of instruction and the progress of students. Data from the assessments will guide, support, enhance, and reinforce future instruction. All assessments are product driven.  They are designed to showcase, through performance, how learners can apply their musical knowledge and skills.  Assessment is embedded in the daily instruction of performance-based courses and allows teachers to evaluate students’ progress with as little disruption on instructional time as possible. Assessments hold students accountable for learning performance-based skills as outlined by Tennessee State Music Standards and may take place before or after normal schools hours, including Saturdays, as outlined in the course syllabus.


There are two types of assessments:

  • Formative assessments, which may include, but are not limited to, on-demand solo performances, chair placements, written tests, projects, interactive music assessment software, and teacher observations during class (including after-school rehearsals).
  • Summative assessments, which may include, but are not limited to, district and state adjudicated assessment events (individual, small group, and large group).


Daily participation grades and concert attendance/performance are embedded in the grading requirements for all Memphis City Schools performing arts courses.  Additional assessment data comes from rubrics used in the local, regional, and state ratings events, which include:


  • All-West Clinic Auditions (individual assessment)
  • Solo & Ensemble (individual/small group assessment)
  • Concert Festival (large group assessment)



 Class Grading System:

Homework assignments, projects, etc.  are due at the beginning of the class period. . All homework is to be turned in at the beginning of class in the appropriate tray. (Example, 11-3’s homework goes in the 11-3 tray on the bookshelf). Late homework is defined as homework that is turned in after I have collected it from your class’ tray.  Late assignments will receive a point deduction of 10 pts per day.  Make-up homework is only available to students with valid excused absences (See the MBA Handbook). IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK YOUR PERSONAL CLASS FOLDER FOR ANY MAKE-UP WORK AND TURN IT IN BEFORE THE END OF THE CURRENT NINE WEEKS!!!Students must do their own work.  If a student misses class, the student must return to class with all assignments prepared and ready to turn in for credit. Class participation includes having all materials needed for the as well as having all the homework needed.  If a student misses class, the student must return to class with all assignments prepared and ready to turn in for credit. Cheating will result in a zero.





A = 93-100  

B = 85-92                      

C = 75- 84                

F = 69 or below

D = 70-74       


Grading Scale:



Nine week grades will be determined by %

40%   Performance Assessments/Concert Participation

35%   Daily work/Class Participation

25%   Homework /Practice Rubric/Concert Critiques 


Progress Reports:

Students will receive a progress report each six-week grading period.  Progress reports that are signed and returned to Mrs. Wilson will receive 10pts of extra credit. Reports will be sent home on the following dates:

 September 15, November 17, February 9, and April 27.


Report Card:

Students will receive a report card at the end of each nine weeks grading period. Progress reports that are signed and returned to Mrs. Wilson will receive 10pts of extra credit. A Report will be sent home on the following dates:   October 20, January 12, and March 30. The last report card will be mailed to parents.



Participation in performance-based music and dance courses may require students to supply funding for items such as:

  • District supported assessments (All-West Honor choir  auditions, WTVMEA festivals, Clinic and/or Solo & Ensemble participation, transportation, etc)
  • Uniforms
    • The MBA HIGH MUSICMAKER Concert Choir will be fully uniformed. All uniform descriptions and fees will be clearly laid out in a uniform information handout to be distributed by the second week of school. This handout must be signed by student and parent and returned to ensure full student/parent understanding and compliance.  All uniform items are mandatory and may not be substituted with any personal clothing.
    • Every attempt will be made to keep uniform costs low while maintaining a high standard of excellence.
    • Uniforms will be the responsibility of the student, including transportation, storage and cleaning.  If an item is lost or damaged, the student is responsible for replacing the item through the original uniform vendor. The Vocal Music Director will oversee this process should re-order become necessary.
  • Instruments/Additional Supplies


Fundraising/Choir Accounts

Various fundraising efforts will be exhausted to help cover various department and student costs, including but not limited to:

· Choir Assessment fee

· Uniforms

· Travel Expenses

· Sheet Music

· General Department Needs


Each student will have a personal account set up in their name to track not only financial credits from fundraising efforts and direct payments to the department, but also debits for various individual expenses related to the department.

Please make every effort to meet financial deadlines, remembering that our commitment to excellence includes a commitment to financial transactions with integrity.

There is an assessment fee of $155 for a student to participate in the Memphis Business Academy High Music Department.  An itemized list of the fee is listed below:




2010-2011 Memphis Business Academy High Choir Dues Break-Down







ASW Entry/Music, & Practice CD



Heritage Festivals Entry



Polo Shirt



Solo/Ensemble Entry/Accompaniment



West Tennessee Choral Music Festival



Spring Concert(MBA MUSIC AWARDS)



Field Trips (Transportation)






Not included in the dues:



Uniform Costs



Heritage Festival Out of Town Trip Costs







  • The attendance of every member of the Choral program is essential to the success of the program as a whole.  When one person misses rehearsal, everyone suffers.  Please attend all scheduled rehearsals, or notify the director BEFOREHAND of your absence.
  • Please keep the choir calendar close at hand.  Ignorance of rehearsals in NOT an excuse!
  • Unexcused, unarranged absences from a rehearsal, performance, or concert will result in a failing grade.
  • Chronic absence from rehearsals may result in dismissal from the choral program.  Any student who misses the dress rehearsal (after school) may not be allowed to perform or may only perform in a limited manner.
  • I fully understand the importance of students who work, however you are expected to be at EVERY rehearsal. (whether during or after school)


 1st Nine Weeks

  • Establish classroom rules.
  • Pass out folders/Information Cards
  • Syllabus/Field Trip release forms/Choir Calendar/Assessment fee/Uniform Fees
  • Future Musical Me(Magazine Covers of themselves)
  • Pre-Assessment of Musical theory
  • Cooperative learning through sectional rehearsals
  • Establish prior knowledge with students (Music reading and notation)
  • Assessment of vocal placement
  • Introduce proper vocal technique (breathing/posture/etc)
  • Identify and perform quarter, half, and eighth note rhythm patterns
  • Sing/perform ascending and descending melodic patterns up to a fifth using solfege and numbers
  •  Begin working on the easiest All-West repertoire

2nd Nine Weeks

  • Continue to reinforce Vocal Tone and Vocal Production
  • Recognize/Count rhythmic patterns
  • Continue working on the All-West repertoire
  • Discuss the different styles/genres/historical significance/performance practice/composer information
  • Locate good recordings of the piece
  • Sight-sing exercises in major keys
  • Introduce melodic leaps, incorporating simple songs or melodies, while enforcing intervals
  • Refine pitch and rhythm
  • Introduce Holiday pieces
    • Recognize/Count/Clap rhythmic patterns
    • Terms and symbols in the holiday music
    • Discuss the different styles/genres/historical significance/performance practice/composer information


3rd Nine Weeks

  • Continue to reinforce Vocal Production with variety in vocal warm-ups/vocalizes
  • Establish dynamics and musical phrasing in already introduced pieces
  • Add text/language (continue to refine diction)
  • Start Preparing Additional WTMEA & Heritage Festival Pieces
  • Assess student learning through small groups
  • Prepare Spiritual Songs for the Black History Program
  • Continue performing rhythms and begin differentiating between step wise and intervallic motion
  • Assign Solo and ensemble Pieces for Student Assessment
  • Introduce 16th notes and while notes
  • Practice intervals melodically and harmonically


4th Nine Weeks

  • Refine Choral Festival Pieces
  • Small group practice in sectional rehearsals
  • Clean up any language, text, or articulation issues
  • Practice sight-singing various exercises
  • Perform to an advanced level on the following: diction, phrasing, articulation, pitches, intonation, etc
  • Mark and organize All-West excerpts
  • Choral Final Exam-Written/Vocal

*****All parents of MBA executives are asked to complete a minimum of 10 volunteer hours at the MBA. Please see Mrs. Wilson for details. Donations can be given in place of volunteer hours and relatives may also volunteer as a representative of your family. *****

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Detach and return this portion to Mrs. Wilson. Keep the other papers in your first divider.

I _____________________________________________ (please print)   the parent/guardian of my executive ______________________________ _____________have read the syllabus for this class and understand the procedures and assignments outlined in it. Upon signing this document, I show my agreement with its rules, guidelines and procedures, etc.

Parent Signature____________________________________________________________________

Student Signature___________________________________________________________________

Parent Phone Number: _____________________ Parent Work Number: ________________________

Do you have a working computer at home?   Yes or No              Do you have access to the internet? Yes or No

Parent volunteer availability:  Day(s) _________________ Time(s) __________________________

If you are unable to volunteer, you can donate items to the class as well. Call Mrs. Wilson for more information.