Orchestra Syllabus


Mission Statement:
This course maintains the highest musicianship in meeting local, state, and national standards through the use of section coaches, challenging orchestral repertoire, and an emphasis on overall music skills.

To maintain the integrity of the orchestral program, every student is expected to be in the program for all three trimesters. Each trimester focuses on different ensembles (string orchestra, chamber ensemble, full orchestra), and culminates in concert performances. During the third trimester, the orchestra will also attend two festivals.

Coaching sessions: Professional string musicians review with the students, every week, the fundamentals of music such as major/minor scales, rhythmic exercises, and techniques that are pertinent to each particular instrument. It is vital to the success of the orchestra that all attend the coaching.

Ensemble rehearsals will be devoted to rehearsing the full ensemble only. Every student is responsible for practicing his/her own music on his/her own time to prepare for class every day.

Auditions for chair placement will take place in the first few weeks of the trimester. Information will be handed out separately. This is a preliminary chair placement. Each student will have the opportunity to challenge another student for a higher chair placement later in the trimester.

Grade Criterion Grading Scale
Practice Logs 25% A 90%-100%
Scale Testing/Theory 15% B 80%-90%
Playing Tests on Music 20% C 70%-80%
Participation (Class and Performance) 35% D 60%-70%
Homework 5% F 59% and lower

Practice logs are due every Friday, by 3:00PM, in the orchestra bin. The first log will be due on Friday, the first full week of school. Each student is expected to practice 5 days per week, at a minimum of 40 minutes per session. Lessons count for a full session, as well as any sectional for your orchestra section (ie: violas). Download and/or print the Practice Log

Scale testing will take place every trimester. Specific dates for testing will be chosen at a later time. Scale testing can be both in performance and written assignments, including theory.

Playing tests, administered by the section coaches, are usually short notice and can test proficiency of any music that has been handed out.

Participation includes both class and performances. You are expected to be on time to class, and have your instrument, music and pencil every day. Tuesday evening rehearsals begin after the winter break 6:30PM-8:00 PM in the music building. Non compliance with these expectations will result in losing class participation points. **All performances are mandatory. Failure to make a performance will result in an F for the performance and will subsequently lower your grade.

Homework includes any letters or worksheets that are sent home and need completion or parent signature.

Important Performance Dates – Put in your calendar ASAP.
Updates coming soon, check the calendar!