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7th and 8th Grade Handbook

Welcome back returning band members, and a big welcome to any students new to the Wyandot Band program this year.  This is going to be a very special year for band students here.  We will be celebrating the “opening” year in our new band room, a project which was taken on and completed in just over 3 months time!  In a time frame where we were at once hoping to move in by Christmas, the room was completed far ahead of our wildest hopes!

Some of the main features of the new room include:  Space enough for well over 100 band members to perform at once, a new high tech. sound system, smart board, music staff board and additional bulletin board space.  We have new lockers for school owned instruments and our own “separate” locker room for kids to store “their” instruments in for the day.  Also, we now have 5 separate practice rooms that can be utilized for special practice during the band hour.  This will be a tremendous help to all musicians working with their “ensemble” groups this year.

As in the past, please keep this handbook with you AT home for future references of dates, events, and procedures throughout the school year.  All CONCERTS and FESTIVALS are required attendance (with the exception of 7th graders in the two events listed as “Band Festival and the concert on October 27).”  After reviewing this handbook, please fill out and send back the FINAL PAGE ONLY…….the ROSTER INFORMATION PAGE.  This page is due by the second Friday of classes, or September 17.

CALENDAR OF IMPORTANT CONCERTS and OTHER EVENTS THIS YEAR

(please mark down all of the following dates/concerts/events for the school year on your calendar at home.  These are not the ONLY events, just the typical events we hold each year.  Other events not listed  below will have a separate letter or informational sheet sent home following discussion at length in the class)

September 8, Wednesday -- OPEN HOUSE -- 7:00 pm (I will not be present this year)

October 6, Wednesday -- Cookie Dough fund raiser kick off date (letter/details will be sent home)

October 22, 23, and 24 -- TAG DAY WEEKEND (packet and details coming home 2 weeks prior)

October 27, Wednesday -- BAND CONCERT for GRADES 6 and 8 -- 7:00 pm

December 8, Wednesday -- BAND CONCERT Grades 7 and 8 -- 7:00 pm

December 9, Thursday -- BAND CONCERT for Grades 7 and 8 for Wyandot school audience…..8:30 am

January 29, Saturday -- Middle School Solo and Ensemble Festival (will take about 2 hour out of your day-we will try to schedule the best time for you between 8:00am-5:00 pm.

March 1, Tuesday -- Pre-Festival Band Concert at CHIPPEWA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL (6:30 pm)

March 4, Friday  OR  March 5, Saturday -- BAND FESTIVAL 2011 (exact time/site to be announced)

June 1,  Wednesday -- SPRING BAND CONCERT,  7:00 pm at Wyandot

June 2, Thursday -- BAND CONCERT for Wyandot school audience (8:30 am)

Other Events:  In addition to the events listed here, other events that are typically scheduled in as the year goes along are:  The late Spring JAZZ BAND ICE CREAM SOCIAL (for all regular Jazz Band members); an 8th Grade Band trip TO the elementary schools to perform around the holiday season; an 8th grade band appearance with the CHIPPEWA VALLEY MARCHING BAND to perform at a football half time show the last Friday in September (24th).  Then, of course, for ALL grades is the opportunity to go to CEDAR POINT Amusement Park the week following the last day of school.

BOOKS/other MATERIAL NEEDED FOR THE YEAR

Grade 8:   ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS BOOK 2  to start the year with.  ( purchased last year)

BELWIN INTERMEDIATE METHOD   (will be loaned out and later collected upon completion)

Grade 7:   ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS BOOK 1   to start the year with.  ( purchased last year)

FUN WITH FUNDAMENTALS   (this is the loaned out book that they will return upon completion)

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS BOOK 2   (students will be purchasing this book soon into the year)

As per last year, both grades will be handed out MUCH sheet music.  This music, as well as the above mentioned books, should be kept inside a music folder.  A pencil should also be kept inside the music folder.

GRADING in BAND CLASS

Performance -- 60 % of the entire grade per marking period

Daily/Weekly practice log -- 20 % of the entire grade per marking period

Rehearsal Conduct -- 20 % of the entire grade per marking period.

The performance  grade portion includes:  playing tests/challenges, written music pages, music history pages or exercises, ATTENDANCE at CONCERTS and FESTIVALS as well as wearing all of the appropriate ATTIRE for these events (see section on Dress Code for this year) ; outside school time rehearsals (such as band festival morning practices beginning in the month of January).  Jazz Band rehearsals will also be at 7:00 am, as in past years.  Although Jazz Band is not a part of the student’s grade directly, he/she may count ALL of the rehearsal time attended ON THE WEEKLY PRACTICE SHEET.

The practice log is due weekly with daily parent initials and a full signature at the END of the week as before.  Twenty minutes/night for 5 nights will again figure in as an “A” for the week.  Remember, all extra practices outside of school time AND all concerts performed in, count as full practice time.  Don’t forget to log that time in!!  Most commonly in the 7th and 8th grades this is Jazz Band, Band Festival, and/or Solo and Ensemble practices.

Rehearsal conduct is a running daily and weekly subjective grade I give each individual based largely on following class rules and procedures.  The MAIN 3 items (although not the only three) graded for a student’s rehearsal conduct are:  Starting in your correct seat ON TIME, stopping and starting right away on musical cues, refraining from talking without being called upon first.

INSTRUMENT CARE and MAINTENANCE
It is the responsibility of each band member to keep up good maintenance habits on their instrument.  The new band room has new lockers for all school owned instruments and should be utilized whenever band class is not going on.  All personally owned instruments will be kept in what will now be our new “locker room” NEXT to the band room (the old choir room).  Some “might”  be kept in our third practice room, where some of last year’s lockers have been set up.

Woodwind players (other than flutes) should have at least THREE GOOD REEDS in their possession at one time.  The top of the case should always be marked as such, WITH the student’s name as well.  Both brass AND woodwinds should be cleaned as per methods we’ve learned in the past.

SCHOOL OWNED INSTRUMENTS

Usage of our school owned instruments requires a signed contract by a parent, sent back in to me.

LOCKS and LOCKERS

Locks and lockers will be loaned out to all students in band.  The cost of a lost or damaged lock is $5.00  Please do NOT share the combination with ANY other students other than a possible locker partner.

PARENT-TEACHER COMMUNICATIONS

Please feel free to contact me anytime.  My office phone is (586) 723-4249.  My e-mail address is jdiskin@cvs.k12.mi.us   My planning time is 2nd hour (9-10).  I am “usually” free after 3:00 pm as well.

There are many band events in the years of 7th and 8th grade as opposed to grade 6.  Most, if not all, will have information sent home about each event well in advance.  Please help me to instill the importance upon ALL ITEMS OF INFORMATION GETTING HOME TO YOU.  This goes a long way in clearing up both confusion and sudden panic later on.  Once in a while, some of these letters will require a parent signature.  Such letters will become part of a student’s REHEARSAL GRADE for the class as well.

CONCERT UNIFORM for this YEAR
Wyandot band members will stick to a specific dress code for the year.  For students in grades 7 and 8, the following will represent our concert uniform:
White shirt, long sleeve;     long black or navy dress pants (no jeans, capris or skirts);    black dress shoes (no tennis shoes or flip flops);  BOW TIE and CUMMERBUND.  The bow tie and cummerbund will be handed out as numbered “sets.”  Each student will  have to return HIS/HER specific numbered set following each concert.

BAND ROOM RULES

  1. Sit in your assigned row and seat.  Be in place, WITH instrument before the designated “late” time.
  2. Play when DIRECTED TO, follow cut offs and return to rest position.  When a director raises two hands,the instrument should go to playing position in less than a three count.
  3. Raise your hand if you wish to speak.
  4. NO GUM CHEWING, food or open drink containers.
  5. Be respectful of other performers in the class (we are all team mates)
  6. Respect all property; school and your own. 
  7. Practice at home and prepare your lessons.

DRESS CODE:  SIGNED UNDERSTANDING  for 7th and 8th GRADE BAND MEMBERS/PARENTS

7th and 8th grade band members wear a white dress shirt, black dress pants, black dress shoes, and a bow tie/cummerbund.

The STUDENT supplies:  White shirt (long sleeve button up collar)

Long black or navy dress pants (no jean or jean material, skirts or capris)

Dress shoes, black :  no tennis shoes or flip flops

The bow tie and cummerbund will be supplied BY Wyandot.  At the beginning of the year, each student will be supplied with a numbered set.  Each student is responsible for handing in the same numbered set following each concert or performance event.  If the set is lost or damaged, a replacement fee of $15.00 will be charged.

Please make sure the dress shirt and pants are ironed before each performance.  Remember, the dress shirt is to be TUCKED In at all times!  Keep in mind, all proper attire, as well as all concert attendance is figured into a student’s final grade for the class (under the conduct category)