Band Syllabus







    Course Title: Band  (Course 500) 

    Textbook(s) & reference materials: SLHS Band “Textbook,” Treasury of Scales (Smith), I Recommend (Ployhar), 66 Festive and Famous Chorales (Erickson), Sightreading for Band Vols. 2 & 3 (Evans & Nelson), Symphonic Band Technique (Bierschenk), Warm-ups That Work (American Band College/S. Oregon Univ.), SLHS Chromatic Scale Sheets, acknowledged standard band repertoire, Instrumentalist Magazine brass/woodwind/percussion anthologies, Watkins-Farnum Performance Scale (standardized assessment method).   

    Course Description: This elective is open to all students in grades 9-12 who have had private or class instruction on a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument.  Band is a course designed to strengthen existing playing/reading/aural skills and to develop greater technique and musicality. Literature that Band performs is in addition to method books and materials and is comprised of a wide spectrum of musical styles and technical difficulty.

    Band at Southern Lehigh is both a marching and concert organization.  Rehearsals commence prior to the start of the school year.  All students are expected to participate in all public performances; this is a course requirement. 

    Course Content: 

    Concert band literature

    Scales in all twelve major and minor keys



    Rhythm etudes

    Dynamic studies

    Articulation studies

    Performance techniques particular to each instrument. 

    Course Requirements: Students are required to attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances.  Band students should plan on regular practice sessions at home. All band students are expected to complete designated ear-training exercises on Auralia as a component of their quarterly grade.  All band students are encouraged to complete at least one seating test (Watkins-Farnum Performance Scale) each academic year.

    Appropriate dress is required for concert performances.  Details regarding concert dress will be outlined at the outset of the school year.


    Grading System/Point Values 

    Marking Periods 1-4 

             All Early Morning or Evening Rehearsals - 50 pts.

             All Period 1 Rehearsals - 10 pts.

             All Performances - 90 pts. (Including Commencement Rehearsal) 

    Auralia Ear Training - 100 pts. (Proficiency Tests) 



    Forgotten Instrument/Equipment/Music - “0” for that rehearsal/event

            Uniform/Dress Infraction - 10 pts. per occurence

            Late - 10% deduction from value of rehearsal/event

            Inattentive, talking - 4 pts.

            Improper posture, gum chewing - 4 pt.

            Instrument/equipment not put away - 4 pts.



    Calculation of Grades: Averaged together according to weights and scale as below.

    Rehearsals/Classwork = 50% of grade for that quarter

             Students can expect to get full credit for this category if they arrive on time, with their instrument and music, and are ready to warm up and tune in a timely manner.   Students may not do homework for other classes during rehearsal, nor may they arrange to make up test or other work for other teachers during class time.  Early morning band rehearsals are often weekly, but only during the fall marching season.    Every effort is made to avoid scheduling extra rehearsals after school or in the evening hours once school has begun.

    Performances/Assessments  = 20% of grade for that quarter

             Reasonable efforts are made to arrange some kind of performance in every quarter.   Performances include evening concerts, assembly concerts at local schools community programs, Commencement, and/or appearances in other venues.   Please note that performances (evening concerts, school assembly programs, etc)  are an integral part of the music curriculum;  they are not “optional.”   Students should not make arrangements to work, babysit, travel, etc. that would result in a conflict with a scheduled performance.   Students may not miss a performance for an extra-curricular sports practice.   In the event of a potential conflict with a performance and a sporting event (meet, match, game, etc.)  all decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis between the director and the coach.   The Principal and/or the Athletic Director may also be part of that process. 

    Quizzes/Tests/Assessments = 15% of grade for that quarter

    Content material relevant to this course will be covered in class and is also available in on-line sources.  Students will be expected to know more than just how to play their own instrument.  Content material will include concepts related to pitch, rhythm, notation, and fundamental music theory topics with the goal of integrating these concepts into performance for increased understanding. 

    Auralia Ear Training = 15% of grade for that quarter

             Strengthening of aural (listening skills) is essential for total musicianship.  Students are to complete the specified drills  by the last day of the quarter.  Students may work ahead.  Students who meet the proficiency threshold for their grade/drill for the quarter will receive full credit toward this category.  Students who do not meet the proficiency threshold will receive pro-rated credit in this category (Ex. a student scores 78% on tuning for the quarter.  The grade entered in the grade book will be 78 points out of 100.)



    Grade Scale for Band

    A+ = 99.0% and above

    A = 93.0 - 98.9%

    A- = 90.0 - 92.9%

    B+ = 87.0 - 89.9%

    B = 83.0 - 86.9%

    B- = 80.0 - 82.9%

    C+ = 77.0 - 79.9%

    C = 73.0 - 76.9%

    C- = 70.0 - 72.9%

    D = 60.0 - 69.9%

    F = 59.9% and below



    Alternative Assessments: Students may take advantage of the practice facilities in the school.  Students are also encouraged to contact the director or their section leader for help in this regard. Students are encouraged to take a "seating test" (Watkins-Farnum Performance Scale) to identify strengths and areas in need of improvement. 

    Auralia ear-training exercises specified for students can be completed at their own pace during the quarter quarter so long as they meet established benchmarks during that time. 

    Students with specific identified issues are encouraged to contact the instructor well in advance so any accommodations (e.g. extended time for testing, enlarged print music, etc.) can be ready in a timely manner.

    Pathway:  Traditional Academic & Technical Academic


    Participation in Band is open to all students regardless of the pathway they have elected, as participation in a performing group is a potential life-long avocation.  This course is also appropriate for any student having an interest in other subjects or potential careers such as acoustics, acoustical architecture, instrument design/construction, music merchandising, copyright law, music publishing, artist/venue management, etc.


    Required Summer Readings: None at this time.