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FAQ of the 7th and 8th Grade Band in the Shiloh Cluster of Gwinnett County Public Schools



JUST HOW DOES BAND WORK IN 7TH and 8th GRADE?

       The seventh and eighth grade curriculum for instrumental music is different than sixth. Students in band receive instruction on an alternating day basis and have full band and not separated in separate instrument groups. All instruction must now be done during full band classes.



ARE BAND STUDENTS GRADED IN 7TH and 8th GRADE?   IF SO, HOW?

        Seventh grade students do earn letter grades. Similarly to their sixth grade year, grading is based mainly upon responsibility, not ability! Each Quarter's grade is based upon the following:

* Each weekend students have a practice assignment to be returned at the beginning of each week. They may choose the number of points they receive by the number of minutes they opt to practice over the weekend.

* Passoff evaluations will be given at random times each quarter. All students will be given plenty of notification of what the passoff will be. Many times the evaluations are recorded at home. If there is no recorder at home, students may record their evaluation at school. The students may also play it live during our before school practice allotments.

* A concert/full band performance will be presented each quarter. This is considered a "final exam or project," and is required. More detailed information is explained in the student contract/handbook, sent home the first week of school.



ARE THERE AFTER SCHOOL OBLIGATIONS?

       The only required activities outside of the school day are the evening concerts, mentioned above. All rehearsals are held during the regular school day. Students may choose to audition for the Shiloh Middle School Spartan Honor Band, which meets on Tuesdays mornings from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. at Shiloh Middle School in the band room. Obviously, we encourage students to involve themselves in as many band activities as they can. Participation fosters interest, enthusiasm, and bandmanship as well as improvement on his or her instrument.



HOW DO WE FIND OUT WHEN THE CONCERTS OR OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE?

       Band students were each given a list of every activity scheduled for the entire year. We feel it is extremely important to communicate consistently with our students and their families. Rarely, we may be asked to participate in an event that was unscheduled. Other than that rare circumstance, you have hopefully received the list of activities for SMS bands. We also consistently send home written notices and reminders, generally two weeks prior to the event and the week of the event. Students are kept abreast of all activities in which they are involved. We feel very strongly about that!



WHAT ABOUT PRIVATE LESSONS FOR MY CHILD?

        While legally,we cannot recommend lessons for our students, we can suggest that they will provide more opportunity for an instrumentalist to advance on his or her instrument. We also have a list of area instructors that give instruction.



WHAT ABOUT BAND IN HIGH SCHOOL?

       While we are concerned about this year, and the progress of each of our students, we try to stress that band is sequential. These three years are probably the toughest and most insipid for our students. It only gets to be more and more fun. Trying to motivate, inspire, and maintain interest is one of our biggest challenges. We highly recommend students continue from one building level to the next. As they grow musically, many new and exciting avenues are opened to them. We are constantly working to excite them in their endeavor to become musicians. This is something they can do their entire lives!



FYI


       IT IS OUR MISSION TO OFFER THE FINEST MUSIC EDUCATION POSSIBLE TO THE STUDENTS THAT PASS THROUGH OUR DOORS. WE CULTIVATE PRIDE IN ONE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THROUGH HIGH EXPECTATIONS. AS LONG AS A STUDENT DOES HIS OR HER BEST, THAT STUDENT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL, NO EXCEPTIONS.



       OUR STUDENTS ARE VERY SPECIAL TO US. THEY ARE BAND STUDENTS; THEY ARE OURS!

       SHOULD YOU EVER HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ONE OF US. WE WELCOME YOUR CALLS OR E-MAILS, AND APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.

Jacob Sevier|James Hemphill