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Symphonic Band Course Guide, Syllabus, Expectations and Assessment

Course Description The Symphonic Band at Cairo American College is a performance-based course for high intermediate and advanced musicians in 9th through 12th grades who have at least two years of experience on a band instrument. Students with less than two years of experience must have permission from the band director. This course is designed to help students interested in instrumental music to enhance their skills in the areas of aural development, musical literacy, interpretation and appreciation of differing styles and genres with an emphasis on development of advanced instrumental technique. Music selections will explore a variety of musical styles to include classical, jazz to pop. Students are expected to practice and prepare music outside of class time. Co-curricular participation in performances throughout the school year is an expectation and is an integral part of the band program. Members are eligible to audition for the AMIS International Honor Band. If a student does not own an instrument, instruments are rented from school for a yearly fee of $200. Some musical instruments (flutes, clarinets, trombones, trumpets) may be leased from the school on a year lease-tobuy plan. Prices of instruments vary depending upon the type and condition of the instrument. Students are also encouraged to purchase new instruments, some that are available at school. Course Aims and Outcomes Aural skills Each performer will attempt to demonstrate aural perception of the expressive and structural elements at work within a musical composition. Details addressed will include centering of pitch, duration, metric interpretation (duple, triple, and compound meters, syncopation, etc.) and other rhythmic elements, melodic line, harmonic tension and resolution, formal design, recognition/interpretation of a particular musical style, and ability to formulate the expressive intent of the composer. Students will attempt to activate inner hearing to recognize a written musical line, and facilitate creating and expressing musical ideas. Students will recognize quality in music, artistry in performance, and be sensitive to musical expression. Musical Literacy Students will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of music theory and their application to structural elements of music. They will play major, minor, and blues scales and arpeggio structures in an increasing number of keys, including scales in thirds to develop an understanding of intervals. Understanding and using musical notation to interpret musical ideas is essential to sight reading development. Topics covered will include note names, values, key signatures, time signatures, rhythmic notation, and notation pertaining to structure and form (e.g. repeat signs, Codas, Del Segno). They will learn a variety of tonguing techniques appropriate to their instruments, and will be taught the proper equipment necessary (step-up level instruments, better mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, etc.) to achieve characteristic tone quality as per instrument. They will learn to use appropriate musical terminology when discussing repertoire. Interpretation and Appreciation Students will learn to understand and appreciate musical expression from a wide variety of cultural and historical contexts. They will demonstrate receptiveness to new musical experiences, and develop an awareness of the contributions of significant musicians, composers, and musicals works from various historical periods and cultures studied, including significant works in the Wind Band repertoire. They will make interpretive decisions that display an attempt to reflect the expressive intent of the composer, based on knowledge of the musical period within the framework of its cultural and historical contexts. One major objective of the class is to help students understand the role of music in daily life, develop musical independence and a sense of satisfaction in their own musicianship, which will encourage continued interest in music as an individual performer, in an ensemble, or as an appreciative and knowledgeable consumer. Instrumental Technique Students will use correct playing posture, technique, and control to develop a resonant, exemplary, characteristic tone within on their instrument. Each will work toward technical accuracy and fluency by

developing proper breath control, and by gaining an understanding of advanced techniques such as proper chromatic/alternate fingerings, multiple tonguing, and vibrato. This will help a student to develop and extend range. Students will also demonstrate an increasing sophistication in warm-up procedures, scale and technical exercises, and an increasing knowledge of characteristic tone. Students will be taught to understand the psychological and physical factors affecting intonation, and refine the ability to play the instrument accurately and in tune throughout all registers and dynamic levels. They will use these factors as a means to increase technique and musical expression. Attitudes and Values Students will demonstrate a commitment to their own musical education and growth by participating in class activities in a positive manner, with appropriate concentration and attention to the activity. They will attend all classes, rehearsals, and performances, as well as learn to respond to constructive criticism by taking steps to improve. An important aspect of the class is recognition of the value to music as a lifelong source of enjoyment. By seeking opportunities to participate in a variety of musical activities (e.g. Arts festivals, International AMIS Honor Band, school ensembles, musical pit and CAC Jazz band), students will develop an interest in improving musical abilities and personal artistic qualities. Instructional Materials A variety of printed wind band literature, both published and unpublished, will be presented to students for performance. The chosen literature will reflect the history of Western wind band tradition, American and European military band traditions, classic orchestral transcriptions, current dynamic World Music interpretations, and modern compositions. Technical materials such as the Circle of 5ths, appropriate fingering and trill charts will be distributed as needed. Handouts, worksheets and method books will be used to supplement instruction. Interactive music theory software programs will be integrated to engage music students in developing their music fundamentals. Major Concepts Covered Unit 1 Development of Fundamental Skills (mid August to mid September) Development of tone, technique, and independent reading are stressed during this time. Review of fundamentals to include rhythms, scales, counting, articulation and dynamics is achieved using concert band literature and studies. Sight-reading and ensemble blend and balance will be emphasized to build and find ensemble sound. Unit 2 Concert Preparation (mid September to November) Students are expected to further develop skills in basic technique, tone, reading music, and rhythmic understanding as they prepare for concerts. Ensemble skills like intonation, melodic interpretation, harmony, balance, and concert etiquette are also stressed. Selected music for concert performance is expected to be individually prepared. Concert: November 20th, 2012 Skills/Musicality Development (Nov. to March) The focus is to further develop skills in basic technique, tone, reading music, and further develop the art of playing with expression, feeling and sensitivity. Additionally, students will be encouraged to participate in small ensembles and solos, which may result in additional performances. Selected music for concert performance is expected to be individually prepared. Concert: December 5th Skills and Concert Preparation (March to year end) The focus is to further develop basic skills as students prepare for the final concert. Playing with expression and sensitivity will be stressed. All students will prepare a solo or etude, which will show progress and the development of their musical skills and technique that will be evaluated by their teacher. Concert: April 22nd, 2012

Unit 3

Unit 4

Assessment of Student Performance


Ability to demonstrate and apply appropriate rehearsal skills that contribute to the ensemble and personal musical growth. The fulfillment of responsibilities to self and the ensemble Demonstration of productivity and accountability within the ensemble

Knowing the language and function of musical elements that improve musicianship. Using assessment and critique, individually and as a member of the ensemble that develops musical understanding and appreciation. Ability to apply musical knowledge and concepts. The level of musical performance skills as reflected through musical understanding. How musical ideas are expressed. The ability to demonstrate and apply musical understanding to musical performance. Development and improvement of instrumental technique Self directed learning and initiative that develop musical growth and musical skills



Band students are expected to practice at home on a daily basis, approximately 30 minutes per night when possible. They are required to prepare their assigned parts at home, and come to school prepared to play them alone and with others.

Demonstrates etiquette as a performer and as an audience member Performance and rehearsal responsibilities and accountability Attendance at all performances and rehearsals Demonstrates musical preparation at performance level

Additional Expectations Individual Practice: It is simply a question of time, patience, and intelligent work - Trevor Wye, flautist Regular practice is essential for performing the required music and for self-improvement. Consistency is the key! Prioritize individual practice either at school or at home. The results of disciplined practice are obvious to all in the ensemble (directors and students alike). There should be noticeable improvement through practice. Individual practice is the homework for instrumental music! Approximately 20 -30 minutes daily is recommended. Students need to prepare their assignments through individual practice and come to school prepared to play them alone and with others. Only through disciplined practice can students develop embouchure, breathing, fingering, music reading, musicianship, instrumental technique and ensemble playing skills. As a famous musician once said, Learning to play an instrument is 90%perspiration and 10% inspiration. All musicians need to work early on good practice habits. Lessons/Sectionals: Students are expected to attend scheduled individual lessons and small group sectionals outside class time. Lessons are designed so that the director can work with students on an individual basis and within their instrument group. Musical skill levels and comprehension of musical concepts can be addressed. Attendance at all performances and dress rehearsals are mandatory. Everyone is important to the groups performance success. If there is an emergency the band director or band assistant must be contacted immediately via email or a phone call. Supplies: Students are expected to provide their own maintenance supplies for their instruments, such as: reeds, cork grease, valve oil and cleaning swabs, which can be purchased from the school store or music department. Instrument Storage and Maintenance: Students are expected to plan ahead to insure that their instrument is properly cleaned, maintained and in working condition at all times. Instrument and musical equipment are to be

handled correctly, kept clean, and stored properly. Class time can not be used for instrumental fix its or help with problem instruments. Free periods, after and before school should be used for help. Valuable class time is lost if a student is unable to participate in class due to lack of playing accessories or problem horns. Maintenance is the best prevention to equipment problems and expensive repairs. Instruments can be difficult to play and may not respond correctly due to lack of maintenance. Any mechanical problems must be reported to the band director or band assistant immediately. A visiting repairman visits CAC twice a month and will do instant repair at school and the student will be invoiced. Do not attempt repair at home! Storage lockers are provided in the music room for all band instruments. Instrument storage lockers are provided in the music room for all band instruments and students may provide their combination locks. All instruments must be clearly marked with students name, address and phone number on a luggage tag. Moodle: All students are responsible and expected to check online the Moodle page for their band class assignments, reviews, class information and concert dates, updates, forms and information letters. All class information will be posted on Moodle; students are responsible for all information and work posted on Moodle. Students are highly encouraged to audition for the AMIS International Honor Band. They are also encouraged to participate in the CAC Jazz Band, other selected ensembles, and the Junior & Senior Arts Festival. See Ms. Jimenez for details or contact her at 2755-5445 or at Make good use of time for music. It is about quality not quantity. Class Behavior Expectations As stated above in Attitudes and Values: Students will demonstrate a commitment to their own musical education and growth by participating in class activities in a positive manner, with appropriate concentration and attention to the activity. They will attend all classes, rehearsals, and performances, as well as learn to respond to constructive criticism by taking steps to improve. Music classes in their very nature are participatory. Attitude and effort play a key role in the musical experience. Improvement of ones own musicianship, preparation and positive contribution to the ensemble are important. There must be commitment and productivity in all musical ensembles. Musicians need to take responsibility for their own musical learning and their acquisition of musical skills. Concert Dress Dress for concerts is formal. It is important that ALL music groups project pride and uniformity in appearance. Concert dress is black. Boys: Long sleeved, black button up dress shirt and tie. Black dress slacks (no denim) and black shoes with dark socks. If black shoes are not possible, dark shoes will do. Absolutely no tennis or sport shoes including converse! Ladies: Long black dress skirts to the ankle or mid calf or black dress slacks (no denim, no minis. No skirts above the knee). No stomachs can be showing or spaghetti straps! Black sleeved blouse or nice black top and black shoes (no tennis, sport shoes or flip flops!). If a student shows up inappropriately dressed, he/she may not be allowed to perform. High School Band Events Calendar September 25-30 October 16 November 20 December 5 March 13-17 April 22 AMIS Honor Jazz Invitational Clinic AMIS Audition recordings due and complete MS/HS Band/String Concert HS Band Concert AMIS Honor Band MS/HS Band/String Concert Kuala Lumpur To Ms. J CAC Theater CAC Theater Dubai CAC Theater