Qualters Middle School

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1 Qualters Middle School Performing Arts Handbook

2 Contents Expectations Concerts Important Dates In-School Lessons/Rehearsals At Home Practice After-School Ensembles Tri-M Field Trips Instrument Rental Private Lessons Add/Drop Procedure

3 Expectations The expectations of the QMS performing arts programs are simple. We want you to work hard, care about what you do, and show respect. Work Hard Do Your Best - 100% participation (lessons, rehearsals, concerts) - prepared for class has instrument, music, pencil - establishes a regular at-home practice routine Care About What You Do What We Do Matters - care about the quality of your performance - how well you play matters! - be proud of your achievements Respect We re All in this Together - respect yourself - respect your fellow musicians - respect what we work for together In order to succeed in band or orchestra, a student must simply work hard and show progress. Student grades reflect their commitment and work ethic towards the above expectations. Concerts Concerts are what musicians do. This is where we share what we ve learned and our accomplishments. The success of the ensemble depends on the participation of every student in the group. These concerts are mandatory for all students. In an effort to demonstrate respect for the accomplishments of all of our students, we ask that parents and students please remain for the entire concert. Every effort will be made to keep concerts under an hour. Concert Dress All performers in QMS performing arts are required to wear the proper dress to all concert performances. Concert dress is so all members look respectable and uniform. This is important so that the music and the ensemble is displayed, not individuals. Students need to wear black on bottom (dress pants, long skirts) and white on top (collared button-down shirt for boys, and school appropriate shirt for girls). Boys need to wear ties. No sweatpants, sneakers, t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops or skirts above the knee.

4 Important Performing Arts Dates (district-wide) September: 16 QMS Curriculum Night October: 31 Town Halloween Parade 8 th grade band November: 6-7 QMS Musical December: 5 Junior District Audition 9 QMS Band Concert 6:30 pm 17 MHS Holiday Concert 7pm January: 13 Orchestra Concert (at MHS) 6:30pm February: 6 SEMSBA auditions at QMS (parent volunteers needed!) March: 4-5 Junior District Festival 16 QMS Band Concert 6:30 pm April: May: June: 26 Boston Symphony Orchestra Grade 6 28 Boston Symphony Orchestra Grade Junior SEMSBA Festival 25 MHS Spring Concert 1 Orchestra Concert - 6:30 pm 2 QMS Band Concert 6:30 pm 3 Great East Festival

5 In-School Lessons & Rehearsals Lessons Each student will receive one group lesson per 6-day cycle scheduled during a specials class. For beginners, this lesson is the only time your student will have that will teach them how to assemble, take care of, and play their instrument. For experienced players, these lessons are necessary to further develop skill and technique on their instrument. It is essential that they attend every lesson, when scheduled. Rehearsals Full band and orchestra rehearsals take place during the Academic Support Block (ASB). The focus of these rehearsals is to apply newly learned and established lesson skills, and to prepare students for performance. These rehearsals are what get our students ready for high-level concerts. BAND STUDENTS: Sixth grade students will be promoted to the full band rehearsals based on their lesson attendance, work ethic, and skill set. Second and third year players will automatically be placed in the band rehearsals, based on the instructor s discretion. ORCHESTRA STUDENTS: All orchestra students, grades 6-8, will attend full orchestra rehearsals from the beginning of the year.

6 At Home Practice Daily practice is expected. In-school lessons and rehearsals do not count as practice. Ideally, students will practice 25 minutes a day. However, instead of timed practice, students should set daily musical goals for themselves. Some goals may take shorter, and some may take longer. As long as the student is meeting their goals, they should feel good about the work they are doing at home. If a student tells you that they have nothing to practice, it is simply not true. Every student has something to improve upon. Tips for Productive Practice: - designate a well-lit and quiet space where practicing will take place - create a weekly schedule and figure out when practicing can happen - set daily and weekly goals for practicing - start with a warm-up, typically similar to the one used in school (scales, lip slurs, buzzes, etc.) - work through lesson materials slowly, focusing on the hard stuff! - play for an audience even if a parent/friend doesn t know how to read/critique music they can hear the difference between something new and something that has been worked on - record yourself use a phone and listen back to the performance - ask your teacher if you have any questions! Don t wait until the next lesson if something is a real challenge, we are always around to help out. INSTRUMENT NEEDS: ALL 6 th Grade Band Students: Essential Elements Band Book All ^th Grade Orchestra Students: Essential Elements for Strings 2000 Clarinets/Saxophones reeds (preferably a Van Doren 2.5) All woodwinds cleaning cloth Brass valve oil Strings rosin, shoulder rest, cleaning cloth, extra set of strings

7 After-School Ensembles Festival Orchestra Festival orchestra meets Tuesdays from 2:00-3:00. This ensemble is for all 7 th and 8 th grade orchestra members plus select 6 th grade strings. Select band students will also be invited to join. This ensemble works together towards concerts and the Great East Music Festival at the end of the year where they compete for a medal. Mansfield Fiddle Band After school TBD. Grades 6-8 by invitation only. Wind Ensemble The wind ensembles meets Mondays from 2:00-2:45. This ensemble is for select 6 th and 7 th grade band members who wish to challenge themselves by playing with the 8 th grade band. This ensemble also works towards the Great East Music Festival. Jazz Band The jazz band meets Thursdays from 2:45-3:45. This ensemble is open to any 6 th, 7 th, and 8 th grade student interested in joining. The ensemble works on jazz literature, improvisation, and soloing. The jazz band performs at the band concert and at additional performance opportunities, such as the Council on Aging and the Hornet s Hive Coffee House. Percussion Ensemble The percussion ensemble meets Thursdays from 4:30-5:30. This ensemble is open to any 6 th, 7 th, and 8 th grade student interest in joining. Students DO NOT need to be percussionists. This ensemble works on basic percussion technique and prepares one or two pieces to be performed at the end of the year. Tri-M Music Honor Society Tri-M is an internationally recognized music honor society. 7 th and 8 th grade band and orchestra students can apply for membership in the beginning of the year. Students will be officially inducted into the honor society when they have met all of the criteria needed for membership. Criteria include good standing in their school ensemble, good standing in all of their academic classes, and participation in Tri-M events throughout the year. The QMS Chapter holds Open Mic Nights, QMS Idol, and other performance opportunities in the school. We have also raised money for many local, national, and international charitable organizations, including our participation in the St. Jude s Walk last year. Students will be eligible to join the High School Tri-M Chapter when they move up. Tri-M meets Wednesdays from 2:00-2:30. Some meetings may run longer due to upcoming events.

8 Field Trips Boston Symphony Orchestra - April 26 (Grade 6) April 28 (Grades 7-8) All band and orchestra students will head to Bosotn Symphony Hall to attend a concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The BSO is one of the premier orchestras in the world and all students and chaperones look forward to this annual field trip. Great East Music Festival June 3, 2016 This trip is the culmination of all of the hard work thoughout the year. Students in the Festival Orchestra, 8 th Grade Band and Wind Ensemble travel to West Springfield and perform for professional adjudicators. Each ensemble earns a medal based on their score. Typically our ensembles earn the highest awards. After our performance, students are treated to an afternoon of fun in the sun at Six Flags New England. Mockingbird Music 905 S. Main Street, Mansfield, MA Acoustic Strings of New England Rick s Musical Instruments 2352 Mendon Rd, Cumberland, RI Instrument Rental Add/Drop Procedure Band and Orchestra run the full year. If for any reason a student wishes to drop the course, parental permission and signature is required. Drop forms are available from Ms. Casale and Ms. Pepicelli. Course drops will only be honored at the end of each quarter.

9 Mansfield Band Parents Association The Manfield Band Parents Association is an organization comprised of middle school and high school parents whose primary purpose is to fundraise, support, and advocate for the town s band programs. Throughout the years the band parents have provided QMS students with instruments, transportation, and t-shirts. In order to fund these purchases, the band parents rely heavily on fundraising at Gillette Stadium. Volunteers are ALWAYS needed. Every band student has an account through the band parents where they can accrue money through volunteering. Every time you work an event, money is put aside for your student to use future expenses. If you are interested in getting involved with the MBPA, please visit their website or attend a meeting. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the high school teacher s room. New members are always welcome.

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