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Grades & Grading

As Band is an academic course, grades are carefully computed based on the following criteria:

Demonstrated Performance / Homework / "Ladders to Success" - 40%

Students are not required to complete a Practice Log. Instead, homework will be assessed on a student’s progress on a list of skills and/or tasks called "Ladders to Success." Each quarter, students will be given a new "Ladder" (progression of skills) that they will be required to master. These could include scales, techincal exercises from "Foundations for Superior Performance," rhythm exercises to be clapped and counted, rudiments, or musical examples or etudes. The skill assignments will be arranged progressively, with so many earning a "D," then more to earn a "C," and so on until a student earns an "A." A new "Ladder" will be supplied each quarter, with each quarter building on the skill sets from previous quarters. Students will pass off mastered skills during weekly sectionals. It will be the student's responsibility to get each mastered skill assessed and checked off. All skill assessments must be completed before the final week of the quarter.
Preparedness - 20%

Students receive a 100% in Preparedness at the beginning of each quarter. Points are then deducted whenever a student comes unprepared to a Band performance, rehearsal or class. Examples would include, but are not limited to, forgetting one's instrument, not having a good reed, misplacing or forgetting one's music, not having a pencil or tuner in class.
Written Assignments - 20%

Students will be graded on content, form, quality of construction, and creativity in quarterly written assignments. Written assignments will vary from quarter to quarter, but will always be given out in writing and posted during regular band rehearsals. This category also includes vocabulary quizzes and tests, as well.
Playing Tests -- "Performance Quizzes" - 20%

Students will graded on a performance of assigned material at least once per semester. Letter grades will be given based on the following criteria:

A - The best conceivable performance of the material. Careful attention was given to the unique style of the piece, well constructed musical phrasing, steady tempo, accuracy of tone, pitch, dynamics, and articulation, and good intonation.

B - A good performance of the assigned material. All rhythms and notes were correct, but the performance was found lacking on additional musical devices as described above.

C - A fair performance of the material, with occasional mistakes in time, notes, and/or rhythm. Student may have had to stop and restart once.

D - A poor performance of the material, with frequent errors in time, notes, and/or rhythm. Students may have stopped two to several times during the performance.

E - Unacceptable performance. The student exhibited little evidence of effort or preparation. Must be brought up to a level consistent with the rest of the ensemble.

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