2011-2012 Pine Island Schools Orchestra Policy
- Orchestra Grade Policy
- Project List
- Concert and Event Attendance Policy
- Solo and Ensemble Contest
- Rehearsal Procedures
- Symphony Auditions
- Sinfonia Auditions
- Concert Etiquette
- Performance (Concert) Attire
- Music Policy
- Other Equipment
Orchestra Grade Policy
There are five components to determining student grades in orchestra:
Attendance, Participation, Lessons, Tests, and Homework. Each is generally
worth 20% of the grade. This may vary each quarter depending on the activities
Class attendance is critical to the success of individual students and our
orchestra as a whole. Individual practice is also important, but it alone can
not account for ensemble success. In accordance with the Pine Island High
School and Middle Level Attendance Policy, 20% of orchestra grades will be
based on class attendance. Students are also expected to report to class on
time and not leave class early, if they do, their attendance grade will be
affected by these factors. Students may make-up absences by documenting
individual practice time outside of class. 45 minutes of practice will make up
a missed class period, however students will still be responsible for any
tests, quizzes or other materials covered in class when they were absent. In
the case of tardiness and unexcused absences, the student's final orchestra
grade will be determined as per the Pine Island High School and Middle Level
Participation is expected of all orchestra students. There are three aspects
that determine the participation grade for orchestra: participation in
rehearsals, concerts and other orchestra related events (i.e. contests or
festivals). Students will earn daily participation points based on how well
they follow our established Rehearsal Procedures.
Individual instruction is crucial to students success in orchestra. Orchestra
students are required to attend small group (1-6 students) lessons at school.
Lessons are approximately 20 minutes. High School (grades 9-12) students must
sign-up and attend two lessons/quarter. Middle School students will be
scheduled for 3-4 lessons/quarter. Students will always have some sort of
playing test as a part of each lesson. The online grade book will be updated
after each cycle of lessons. Any lesson missed must be made-up. If the
instructor misses a lesson, it will be rescheduled by the instructor.
A variety of assessments will be used in orchestra: auditions, playing tests,
written tests and quizzes. All work is graded on an A, B, C or I (incomplete)
basis. Corrections may be made and grades raised by the end of a quarter.
When corrections are made to written work, the student's grade will be raised
one letter grade if it is returned in a timely manner. Uncorrected incomplete
will receive a D until they are completed or corrected. Students will earn an
F only if they do not make an attempt.
There is an expectation that students will practice outside of class time. The
minimum expectation is 30 minutes/week or 4-5 hours/quarter. Philharmonia and Sinfonia
Orchestra students must document this practice time on a Quarterly Practice
Chart. Students who are a member of one of the jazz orchestras (they must
attend a majority of the weekly rehearsals) will be exempt from this
requirement. If students expect to earn a A or B they must complete orchestra
projects. These (and all lessons) should be recorded on the project form.
Symphony students must complete (at least) two projects to be eligible for a B
or four projects to be eligible for an A. Sinfonia students must complete (at
least) one project to be eligible for a B or three projects to be eligible for
an A. For additional projects, students will receive extra credit.
1. Extra private lesson inside or outside of school.
2. Document two hours of individual practice in one week (must submit
documentation the following week).
3. Rehearsal/performance in an orchestra outside of school .
4. Rehearsal/performance of Jazz Strings or Jazz Junior.
5. Rehearsal/performance in a small group.
6. Audition for an honors program.
7. Attend an honors program, clinic or camp.
8. Perform in a solo role at a concert.
9. Perform as a principal at a concert.
10. Join and attend Music Listening Contest (grades 9-12).
11. Perform in an additional ensemble (or solo) for contest.
12. Perform on your instrument outside of school.
13. Assist with a younger orchestra class.
14. Teach a lesson to another student.
15. Act as a leader for a sectional or orchestra rehearsal.
16. Be a librarian for your orchestra (help sort music after a concert).
17. Be a stage hand for your orchestra (before or after concert).
18. Write or arrange a composition for your instrument.
19. Write a short original report (on a topic approved by the instructor).
20. Attend a concert and bring in a program (must be a concert you are not
21. Read a music related book (fiction or non-fiction) and write a short
report or give a short oral report. The book should be pre-approved by the
Concert and Event Attendance Policy
All orchestra students received a Orchestra Events schedule the first day of
class. Concert and orchestra related event attendance is mandatory. Failure to
do so will result in the student’s grade being lowered by two letter grades
(example: an A would become a C). In the event a member has a legitimate
reason for missing a performance the director must be notified in advance by
the student and receive a written or verbal explanation from their parent of
why they will be gone. The director will use his or her discretion in
determining whether the absence is to be excused. If a member is ill and has
been absent from school the day of a performance it will be considered an
excused absence. If a member has to work and misses a performance it will be
considered an unexcused absence. Members are also required to wear designated
apparel for each performance (if this is a problem please inform the director
as soon as possible). Any exceptions to this policy will be reviewed on an
Solo and Ensemble Contest
All students will be required to participate in Solo and Ensemble Contest.
Symphony students will be assigned to an ensemble for the MSHSL Small Group
Contest. Freshman will perform a solo for that contest. 7th and 8th grade
students will perform a solo for the Pine Island Middle School Orchestra
Contest. Students are encouraged, but not required, to prepare and perform in
a solo or additional ensemble for contest. The selection(s) performed must be
approved by the director.
These expectations are not unique to our orchestra. They are common to all
performing groups. They are also common courtesy. If you cannot follow these
procedures your grade will be lowered and you could be dismissed from orchestra.
• Attendance and arrival on time to all rehearsals.
• Have instrument, music and pencil at all rehearsals.
• Solve problems (equipment, music, etc.) on your own.
• Be attentive during tuning and rehearsals.
• Be prepared to start after the director has given instructions.
• Proper position and posture are expected while playing.
• Practice orchestra music.Practice tough spots outside of class.
• Be a musician. Everyone is responsible for a successful performance.
• If you have concerns or you need help see the director before or after
• If needed, please us the restroom at the beginning of class. Use of the
restroom in the middle of class should be limited to emergencies.
Symphony students will audition outside of class for the instructor during the
first two full weeks of the first quarter. The audition will consist of
selected scales and arpeggios, a prepared piece and sight-reading. After the
first audition, students will record an audition once per quarter during
class. These auditions will be supervised by members of the orchestra
committee and will be judged by the instructor. Music for these auditions will
include a selected scale and arpeggio and excerpts from the current repertoire
of the orchestra. Students will be given the audition assignment at least
three weeks prior to the concert and the auditions will be completed at least
a week before the concert. Auditions will be graded on an A, B, C or D basis.
An “F” will be reserved for students who fail to follow these procedures and
Sinfonia students will audition during the first three weeks of the second
quarter. The audition will consist of selected scales and arpeggios, a
prepared piece and sight-reading. After seating is established, students may
challenge the person ahead of them once per quarter. Music will be assigned
for the challenge by the instructor and the challenge will take place on a
mutually agreeable day (outside of class time) at least one week after the
assignment and at least one week prior to any performance. The challenge maybe
recorded or in person with the instructor in either instance acting as judge.
Students and their parents are encouraged to attend orchestra concerts. During
concerts audience members should be respectful and display proper concert
behavior. As a general rule, applause comes at the end of full works (not
between movements). Recording or taking pictures is usually not allowed at
professional concerts. Silence during performances is expected. The audience
should remain seated, entering and exiting the hall only between works or
Performance (Concert) Attire
Students in the Sinfonia and Symphony orchestras should where the same
clothing for concerts and other public performances: black shirt or sweater,
black dress slacks or skirt, black socks or nylons and black dress shoes.
Students in grades 5-7 will wear dressy, concert appropriate clothing.
Short skirts or other revealing clothing is not permitted. Performance attire
needs to conform to the schools' dress code policy.
All students will be issued a folder and orchestra music at the beginning of
the year. Throughout the year more music will be issued and all of it will
eventually be collected. Each student will receive a part, even though they
may share a stand. It is the students responsibility to keep all folders and
parts in reasonably good condition. Fines maybe charged for lost or damaged
folders and music.
Students will be required to purchase the instruction book. The Symphony will
use Advanced Techniques for Strings. The cost of this book is $5.50. The
Sinfonia will use Learn to Play! Book 3. The cost of this book is $12.
Freshman will be required to purchase solo music for contest. The Philharmonia
will use Learn to Play! Book 2. The cost of this book is $12. The Fifth Grade
Orchestra will use Learn to Play! Book 1. The cost of this book is $10. All
books are available for purchase at school.
Other materials will also be provided by the instructor. Orchestral, small
ensemble and solo works are available at school. They will be provided as
needed by the instructor. Students are also encouraged to purchase etude and
solo materials for themselves through a music retailer.
The school provides violoncellos and double basses, but not violins and
violas. All users of school instrument are charged a user fee of $100. The fee
must be paid before the end of September. For this fee, each student will be
entitled to have an instrument at home and another one at school (as
availability permits). The instrument used at school will probably be shared
with others. If two siblings play the same instrument, the older student’s fee
will be lowered to $50. All students will be given a designated storage spot
in the music area. If a student’s violin or viola are unavailable there are a
limited number of school instruments for student use on a short term basis.
Use of other student’s instruments without permission is not acceptable. For
security reasons, the music area will be locked at approximately 4:30 PM each
weekday and remain locked through the weekend. Students needing instruments
after school hours need to make arrangements to store their instrument
somewhere else. All privately owned instruments should have a name tag on the
outside and inside of the case. It is expected that privately owned
instruments will go home over the weekend.
Besides an instrument and bow, students should have with them at all times a
cleaning cloth, pencil, rosin, shoulder rest (violin and viola), rock stop
(violoncello and double bass) and music folder. Students should also own a
metronome and a wire folding music stand. It is recommended that students
owning their instrument have an extra set of strings in their case.