All About your grades

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Communication About Upcoming Events

With so many concerts and other special activities, it’s essential that STUDENTS take responsibility for keeping track of upcoming events. Dates are discussed regularly in class, with reminders on the Music website: www.reynoldsmusic.ca.

Communication with parents happens primarily through email, so please make sure that you provide the music directors and the RMPA with a current email address if you have one. You can submit your email address on the Reynolds Music website www.reynoldsmusic.ca.

Additionally, we have established Band and Choir Facebook groups to get info out to students and families. If you are interested in joining, please go to the “Contacts & Info” page for the links.

For families that don’t use a computer, please let us know so that we can make paper copies of newsletters to go home with students.

Permission forms for trips will be distributed in class and also posted on the website; it is the students’ responsibility to get these home and returned to the school in a timely fashion. Additional copies will be available on the website

Concert Performances

Each year, students are expected to perform at a number of concerts, including daytime and evening concerts at the school as well as public concerts. These concerts are an integral part of our Music Program.

There are sometimes opportunities to participate in district-wide concerts, featuring music students from across the Victoria School District.

Students are required to be at all performances and to remain until the end of the event, unless suddenly taken ill or excused in advance. The experience gained through performing and observing performances are invaluable parts of becoming a musician and attendance at concerts is part of the student’s grade.

Home Practice

Learning music is like learning to speak. At first, we listened closely to the sounds around us and tried our best to imitate what we heard. Our first attempts may not have sounded much like speech, but with repeated practice we slowly improved and before long were able to communicate with confidence.
The same is true with learning an instrument. The first sounds that students make may not sound much like what we hear at concerts or on CDs, but through consistent practice, the skills learned in class will become natural. The most important thing is to have confidence that with patience and consistent effort, things will get better, and the results will be worth the effort.

All Reynolds Music students are expected to spend time practicing their instrument (including the voice for choir members!) as part of their development as musicians, and teachers will review daily the warm ups, exercises and repertoire for home practice.

Some tips:
● Set aside a particular time for practicing, making space for it in your daily schedule. Let the rest of your
family know that you are not to be disturbed during this time.
● Practice in a place where you can be on your own, somewhere where you can be free from distractions
like TVs, computers, etc.
● Have everything you need with you, including your instrument, music folder and a watch or clock to time
your practicing. A glass of water is nice, too.
● Always begin your practice session with a warm up – long tones and other exercises given by the teacher.

Sessions should be organized

a) Warmup

b) Technique

c) Repertoire (pieces)

d) Just for fun (Your favourite piece, play along with recordings, whatever…)

Music Stand

It is important to use a music stand while practicing at home. It holds music and prevent strained muscles. Music stands are also useful for performances away from the school. Inexpensive folding stands can be bought at most music stores.

Practice Cards

Student in grade 9 and 10 ensembles are expected to keep track of their home practice on practice cards, which are to be signed by a parent and are marked and initialled by the teacher weekly. A mark for home practice is included in each term report and is assigned as follows:

Excellent: 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week
Good: 30 minutes/day, 4 days/week
Satisfactory: 30 minutes/day, 3 days/week
N: Fewer than 90 minutes/week

The practice card grade accounts for 20% of a student’s grade in Grade 9 and 10

Grading

A progress report is included with each term’s report card and provides an update of student achievement in relation to program goals and provincial Music curriculum objectives prescribed by the Ministry of Education. Student progress is assessed by teachers through informal observation as well as playing tests (“Requirements”) and practice cards. Students are encouraged to repeat playing tests to increase their marks once they have spent time improving through home practice.

Term reports for junior grades include a grade for home practice (based on practice cards), a grade for tests completed in class and an overall grade, as well as comments on student progress and suggestions for improvement. Attitude and effort in class is an integral part of the grade as well.
Students and parents are invited to contact the Music Directors at any time for more specific feedback pertaining to student progress.