Pride of Madawaska Band

Syllabus

Pride of Madawaska

Semester 2, 2016-2017 School Year


Instructor: Mr. Benjamin Meiklejohn


Class Times: Tuesday to Friday, 7:30-8:15 a.m.


School phone: (207) 728-3371 ext. 417

E-mail: benjamin.meiklejohn@madawaskaschools.org

Office hours: By appointment.


Objective 


To develop skills and habits to realize success as a performing musician.


Expectation


Student will work to improve their abilities, skills and knowledge of music and performance, both in class and outside of class.


Grade


The grade for each quarter will be determined as follows, with performances making up 50% of the total grade:


20% Concert Band performances

20% Pep Band performances

10% Coronation (Q1) / Graduation (Q2)

20% Weekly Practicing Sessions

20% Weekly Mentoring Sessions

10% Class Exercises/Rehearsal Participation


Requirements and Rules


Students must be seated with their instruments and ready to play at 7:30 a.m. (or the appropriate designated start time of other rehearsals). Students not ready at that time are tardy.


All unexcused tardies and absences are subject to detention requirements as outlined on p. 26 of the student handbook.



Under no circumstances will a pen, marker, or anything other than a pencil be used to make notes or marks on sheet music. If no pencil is present, borrow a seat neighbor’s pencil as needed. 


No food or drinks, except bottled water are allowed in the band room. All bottles, papers, trash and miscellaneous debris must be cleaned up after rehearsal and not left on the floor or stands.


Reed are available in a yellow box, but must be bought. Students may pay the total of their purchases at the end of the quarter. 


Performances


Performances are the ultimate objective of this class and represent the final product of our work.


Pep Band — Students must report to all pep band performances at least 30 minutes prior to the game, with their instrument, music, pep band shirt (which can be purchased for $20), jeans and shoes. The band will warm up to one song, at the 30-minute mark on the dot, before the game, and then proceed to the gym. Students must bring all pep band music the band has been working on to the performance.


Concert Band - Concert dress for the winter concert will be white band shirts that will be provided, black dress shoes (not sneakers), and for gentlemen, black dress pants with a black belt and black socks, and for ladies, either a black skirt with nylons or black dress pants, with black socks.


Practicing


Practicing one’s music is the most important habit of a successful performer. Discipline, time management and routine are required to keep a musician progressing. It is expected that musicians will spend time outside of rehearsals practicing — to keep their minds sharp, embouchures in shape and visual response times accurate.


The more routinely a musician practices, the quicker they excel and the easier it becomes to play music. Taking a break from practicing for a week, or even just days, causes musicians to lose ground.


Students must log in 60 minutes of supervised individual practice time each week. Students may practice in the morning before band, or after school in the music/band room by appointment. Students wishing to practice in the band room prior to 7:15 a.m. must notify the instructor in advance to ensure access to the room. 


Mentoring time (see below) will also double as practice time. 


Mentoring


Each high school student will be assigned to directly mentor and coach a 7th/8th grader in their section for at least a half hour each week. Each 7th/8th grader will end up with multiple mentors to help them improve. 


The half hour of mentoring can be done in smaller, 10, 15, 20 minute or other increments, as long as a cumulative 30 minutes for the week is achieved. Multiple mentors may coach a student at the same time. 


Class time may occasionally be provided for mentoring sessions, but students should not count on all the required mentoring time being provided for during scheduled class rehearsals.


Before band, or during Monday homerooms are good times to mentor. The sessions must be done in the band or music room and may be scheduled in advance with the band director for after school hours.


With the band director’s approval, regular class rehearsals may also count as 10 minutes of mentoring time if the mentor sits directly next to the student they are mentoring, and if the mentor actively engages with the students quietly and in a way that does not disrupt the rehearsal. 

 

While mentoring, high school students should ask their student what questions they have about their instrument or music or difficulties they are facing, and then assist them, using creative problem-solving skills. Focus specifically on what that student needs and how to help them.


If the student does not present any questions, be prepared to have your own ideas about the music or playing techniques, to coach them into becoming a better player.


All mentoring sessions must be logged on a form indicating specifically what was worked on.


Middle school students will participate in a dress rehearsal and mentoring session with Madawaska Elementary School students prior to the spring concert, and will perform supporting parts with the Pride of the Owlets (MES students will play most solos and first parts).


Making Up Performances


Performance absences can only be made up by taking on an additional performance project as assigned by the band director. The student will be graded on the quality of the performance and the grade will take the place of the missed performance. 


As pep band performances are often at conflict with other extra-curricular activities, the band director will work with students to make sure they can participate in all activities they are interested in.


Sports games, important competitions (such as math meets or spelling/geography bees), and other performances (dance/theater) will be excused if the director is notified in advance by email.


Routine practices, rehearsals or meetings however, will not be excused except as permitted by the band director on a case-by-case basis, and not to exceed 50% of the performances within a quarter.


Any remaining unexcused performances must be made up by taking on a performance project assigned by the director.


Additional Roles


Section leaders are responsible for distributing parts and solos, as guided by the band director, and insuring that all parts will be covered in the event of an absence by any member.


A drum major and drum major understudy will work with the band director to organize marching drills and performances. 


A marching band choreographer will work with the band director and drum majors to organize choreographies for stage or field marches.


A band assistant will work with the band director to organize distribution, collection and organization of music parts.


All students assuming additional roles must check in with the band director regularly.


LET'S MAKE MUSIC!


PRACTICE, PLAY, PERFORM -- PRIDE