5th and 6th Grade Band Syllabus

Linn Elementary School
Marilyn Pachta, Band Director
Email mpachta@usd223.org
Phone 785 348-5531  Fax 785 348-5534

5th grade beginning band is a course where students can learn the basics of music through performance of a band instrument. Students will learn basic individual and group performance skills, music theory and history as well as critical listening and music analysis skills.  The 6th grade band will continue to improve on the same skills as in the 5th grade class with more emphasis on expanding the students playing abilities by increasing the students range on their instrument and increasing their knowledge of more complex rhythms and types and styles of music.

These courses are designed to meet Kansas state standards for music.  These standards can be found at: www.ksde.org

The student will perform at a basic proficiency on one of several band instruments; Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Percussion- all subject to director discretion. Students will: review basic music reading skills learned in elementary school, learn to assemble, care, and play their instrument; learn to play with an ensemble and alone, play basic major scales; Bb, Eb, F, Ab, and learn many new music terms describing dynamics, form, tempo, rhythm, etc.
In the 6th grade band these skills will be expanded upon. By the end of 6th grade band each student will have completed both the 5th and 6th grade beginning band books and also have been successful in playing a variety of elementary level full band concert pieces. At the end of 6th grade band, students will also be exposed to high school pep band material to prepare them for participation in the 7-12 band in high school.

Regular attendance and active, positive participation in class is a necessity. Individual practice of assigned music at home- at least 20 minutes 5 times a week is also required in order to successfully learn to play an instrument. This practice time is to be recorded and turned in with a parent signature on each practice card on Monday of each week. I will also have individual playing tests and sectional playing tests during each nine weeks. All students need to work up to their individual ability levels. Behavior that impedes the learning for other students will not be tolerated. Students should behave in a respectful manner towards the director, other classmates and towards school equipment.

Letter grades will be given in 5th and 6th grade band. Their grades will be based on behavior in class, effort and practice cards turned in on a weekly basis.  If students do not turn in weekly practice cards this will effect their grade.  

The school has a limited number of school instruments available for students to use, a rental fee may be charged for using a school horn. Students are encouraged if possible to purchase their own instrument at the end of 6th grade band if they are going to continue in band in high school. Students using school horns will be responsible for damage to instruments because of abuse or neglect.  The band director and or the instrument repair professional will determine if they feel the damage to an instrument was because of abuse or neglect.
Students are responsible to supply their own valve oil, cork grease, reeds etc. Students are responsible to purchase the method book from the school (about $10) once instrument assignments have been made.
Students may not be assigned their first choice of instrument due to a variety of factors including but not limited to: what instruments are available to be used, what is needed to make the best band sound for that group or director discretion on what instrument they feel will be the best option for each student to find success on.   
There will be one formal midwinter concert. This concert is required!  There maybe other, more informal performance opportunities as the year progresses.  

Success in any venture comes from 95% drive and effort and 5% talent and inspiration. It also comes from knowing what to do, how to do it and the willingness to work over a long period of time to get the job done well.
With this in mind, I hope you will consider the following suggestions that will guide you in helping your child be a successful instrumental student.
1. When getting an instrument for your child, please make sure it is in good working order. I can check it or you can take it to a qualified technician. I have phone numbers available.
2. Encourage daily practice at home (20 minutes or more daily) 100 minutes per week.
   A. Start practice with long sustained notes, 4 counts at first then 6, next 8, etc.
   Students can use new notes or notes they already know. Strive for clear, straight,
   easy blowing sound.
   B. Repeated notes can be played next. Play all the notes or use scales.
   C. Practice exercises in the book for the next class, especially problem measures and
   test exercises.
   D. If possible, practice at the same time daily, without distractions (TV, radio, etc.)
   E. Write the number of minutes practiced on the weekly practice card your child will
   have each week. Turn this card in on Monday of each week.
3. I will teach your child how to care for his or her instrument properly.
4. If your child is playing an instrument that needs reeds, they will need at least 3 good reeds at all times, and cork grease.
5. If your child plays a brass instrument they will need valve oil.
6. Please keep the following in mind: Progress comes with consistent effort. Words of praise always help. A firm hand can sometimes do wonders; show your child you care. Don’t give up on your child and they won’t give up. The harder your child works the greater sense of accomplishment they will feel.
7. I will have reeds, oil etc here for the students to purchase as needed. It is your responsibility to have all bills paid by the end of each quarter. If there are circumstances that make it impossible to pay please contact me
If you have any questions about band, how I grade, my expectations or anything else, please contact me. I look forward to a successful learning adventure in band with your student!                                                     Marilyn Pachta

Click here for the Band Syllabus Policy Form for parents