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WAYLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL BANDS

Grading

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Grades:

Ick… we all hate grades; teachers hate doing them, parents and students hate worrying about them.

As I enter my 38th (and last) year in the middle school classroom, I am coming more and more aware that my students are under increasing stress.  My own “Junior High” years weren’t like this - on the other hand, I didn’t have this kind of quality education, either.  I did, though, have lots of time to do my homework, do the many chores that were expected of me as a member of my family, wander the countryside on my horse or my bicycle, hang out with friends, read, and do my music practicing.  I never felt this kind of crunch for time.

Anyway, I want band to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Starting this year, we will be going to a “Pass/Fail/A” system. 

Some students like the learning extensions in band and like to push themselves and do things like go for Scale Hall of Fame, or do the Beginning Thoughts so that they learn to be more thoughtful musicians, or list their music enrichment activities, or do extra enrichment activities. These students can go for an A (or A-).

Other students like to just be laid back and learn enough to have fun with music and leave it at that.  As of this moment, that’s acknowledged as OK, and these students will receive a “P” (pass) on their report card.  (There are other classes at the middle school that are P/F.)

There will still be requirements that all band students must complete, such as the skill licks, scales and, for percussionists, the rudiments, but these are pretty minimal.  Twice a year, I will also listen to each young musician, alone, perform an assignment that he/she has prepared to play for me.  Musicians cannot improve and keep up if they don’t do some new exercises and learn some new things!  As with anything else, the better you are, the more fun it is; but let’s keep in mind that it is still fun to just hack around with a basketball or camera or a saxophone.

So, students, it’s your choice!  Do you want to go for the “A”, or just be able to come to band and be relaxed and earn a “P” for your grade?  Whichever you decide, I promise I will give you the same quality attention and you will be a valued member of our band.  And for all students, I hope band rehearsals can be an enjoyable, refreshing moment in your day.

As always, let me know if you are having trouble, feeling discouraged, feeling under-challenged or if in some other way band isn’t working for you.  Remember, I am a teacher because I enjoy helping people and watching them learn and get better.  I will NEVER ridicule you or put down your efforts and I will always be happy to help you succeed!

MsM

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Most students earn an A or A- each term.

Last year, in all four terms in both bands, there were only about 15 grades lower than A-

bullet A student's grade is made up of five parts:

Attendance & Responsibility

35%

In-class performance, requirements & exams

25%

Concert attendance & proper concert dress

20%

Attitude, Respect & Improvement

10%

Musical Enrichment Activities

10%

pointer Please note!!!

So... Pass or A? Which do you want?

bullet How do I get a pass ?

  • Complete the scales (and rudiments for percussionists), skill lick, individual playing test, or other requirements (see current assignments)
  • Come to most flex rehearsals and workshops 
  • Attend all concerts we have, or if the student has an excused absence (sick, death in the family, double commitment - note turned in) complete the make up assignment
  • Enough practice to keep up

bullet How do I get an A- or A ??

  • Complete the scales (and rudiments for percussionists), skill lick, individual plalying test, or other requirements (see current assignments)
  • Come to the flex rehearsals and workshops  *(2 free misses for academic emergencies - not to do homework)
  • Attend all concerts we have, or if the student has an excused absence (sick, death in the family, double commitment - note turned in) complete the make up assignment
  • Practice! You can't improve without practicing. (Practicing for lessons counts as practice; your practice does not have to be practice on the band music to count toward practice! Advanced players will practice muchmore on lesson material than band music.)
  • Turn in all written work and do revisions as necessary
  • Turn in some enrichment points

     

    Helping you keep track...

    bullet Near the end of each term, the student receives update sheets which includes what has been done and what still needs to be finished to earn the best grade possible for that term. At the close of each term, the student receives a breakdown of the grade points and suggestions for improvement if needed. Generally, these two reports are not sent home, so parents, you will need to ask for them if you want to see them.

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