• Band Course Expectations and Grading Procedures


              The band grade is comprised of several components. It includes the weekly instrumental lesson, the weekly band participation grade, concert performances and written work. Below describe each component.


    Instrumental Lessons: 100 points per lesson.

    The weekly lesson will is comparable to a unit test. It is the only time that the student receives an individualized critique and suggestions for improvement. See lesson attendance procedures for information on how to make up lessons. New this year, all band students are allowed 1 no show per marking period without it negatively impacting their grades.


    An "A" (90-100) will be earned for:
    1. being on time and prepared for seating auditions; or

    2. demonstrating excellent preparedness of lesson materials, and scales/rudiments. Students will demonstrate usage of correct pitches, rhythms, meter signature and musicality aspects. As a result, the director will accept the majority of the lesson and will assign new material; or

    3. demonstrating significant progress and/or improvement with the lesson material.

    A "B" (80-89) will be earned when the student has demonstrated some effort on the material. Some aspects of rhythm, pitch, musicality, meter signatures, scales or rudiments are incorrectly performed. The student, though capable of handling the material, performs in a deficient manner due to lack of practice/effort. At least half of the lesson will be reassigned by the director as a result.


    A "C" (70-79) will be earned for minimal effort/preparedness as demonstrated by the student. The majority of the lesson will be reassigned by the director.


    A "D" (65) will be earned if the student attends the lesson but cannot demonstrate any proficiency on the lesson material.


    An "F" (below 65) will be given for:

    1. continued patterns of no effort demonstrated.

    2. an unexcused lesson absence.

    Lesson attendance procedures

    • Student will have one week to make up a missed lesson due to school absence, forgetting a lesson or a classroom teacher not excusing the student from class.

    • Students are limited to 2 make up lessons per marking period. Additionally, students with perfect lesson attendance will have the lowest grade dropped prior to calculating the marking period grade.

    • Instructors will post assignments for absent students, and students are expected to come to the next lesson prepared to fully participate.

    • It is the student’s responsibility to sign up for a make up lesson immediately.

    • Under extenuating circumstances, a student may not be able to sign up for a make up lesson. A student will be allowed to record their lesson for teacher evaluation at the teacher’s discretion.


    Band Rehearsal Grade: 50 points per week

    The large ensemble director uses many performance criteria in determining the ensemble grade. Subtle evaluation differences would include:

    • Tone: blending with others in the individual section and ensemble

    • Intonation: playing in tune with others

    • Technique: articulation (tonguing) as a group, key signature observance in multi-keyed sections

    • Accuracy: with regard to notes and rhythms

    • Interpretation: dynamics, style, tempo and expression, all within the group concept.

    Since all members of a large group are dependent upon one another for

     successful performance, additional evaluation criteria include:

    • Individual preparation of band literature outside of rehearsal

    • Attitude, effort and cooperation with others exhibited in rehearsal

    • Class preparedness relative to having instrument, music and pencil


    Smart Music Assessments

    We are very lucky to have a computer assisted software program called Smart Music to help you learn some of your band pieces and lesson materials. This program lets you practice with it, records you and in some cases provides immediate feedback as to the accuracy of notes and rhythms. You will have assignments for certain band pieces and some of your lesson materials. If it is an assignment for a band piece, it will be averaged into the band rehearsal grade, if the assignment is on lesson material, it will be averaged into the lesson grade. We have many computers in the music suite that have the software available. Additionally, you may purchase a subscription so that you can use it at home.



    Full Band Performances: 100 points each

    Due to the nature of band, perfect attendance is expected at all performances. The whole ensemble relies on one another to be at the performances. The director provides performance dates at the beginning of the year. Additionally, the director will give a minimum of two weeks notice of all mandatory performances. Additionally, the performances will be posted on the website and are listed in the school calendar. Please provide employers with your concert dates.

    Although a performance can not be “made up” we have created an alternate assignment for a missed mandatory performance.

    Absence from a mandatory performance:

    • Any absence from a mandatory performance requires a note from a parent/guardian at least 2 weeks prior to the concert. In the case of student illness, a note the day upon the student’s return is expected.

    • The student will have one week from the date of the missed performance to complete the make up assignment.

    • The student will schedule a time with the band director to perform all selections from the performance.

    • The student is to perform as if it were an actual concert performance, utilizing proper posture, marching technique if applicable, etc.

    • The band director will tape this performance to assist in actual grading.

    • A rubric will be used to grade the actual performance.

    • The student will then write a critique of the performance that must be typed and 2 pages in length. 

    • If a student does not complete this requirement, they will receive a zero for the concert portion of their grade.

    Written work/Quizzes:  There will be 3-4 written assignments or quizzes that may be worth up to 30 points each.


    Additional Performance Opportunities:

    The following opportunities are other opportunities for performance that help you improve as a musician.

    • Jazz ensemble

    • Small ensemble including brass ensemble, flute choir, trash can band, etc. 

    • Pep band

    • NYSSMA Solo/Ensemble Festival

    • MCMEA All County band, orchestra or jazz band.

    • NYSSMA Area All-State band or orchestra

    • NYSSMA Conference All State/All Eastern/NYSBDA Honor Band  

    Practice:. The best statement is that you need to practice as long as it takes to perfect your weekly lesson assignment and your band music. A general guideline is you should practice a minimum of 30 minutes/5 days per week.