6th Grade Band Syllabus



Participating in the KMS Band Program is Challenging, Rewarding, and FUN!  Music is a gift you can continue to learn and enjoy your entire life, and will bring you new experiences, new friends, and personal pride and satisfaction. Included in this syllabus is important information about the class and the process of learning to play a musical instrument.  If you have questions, please contact me at school via email, handfordh@sd5.k12.mt.us, or phone, 751-3883.




Class Participation…………….….30%

Concert Attendance………………30%

Playing Tests………………..……15%

Home Practice…………………….15%



Class Expectations


Rules are in place to create a safe learning environment for our students. The expectations in the Kalispell Middle School Beginning Band rehearsal are:

  • Enter Classroom quietly, on time, and take out your instrument and folder.
  • Always have your music, pencil, planner and instrument supplies with you.
  • Play with good posture, instrument position and embouchure.
  • No food or gum is allowed in the band room. Water bottles only.
  • Treat everyone with respect and maintain a positive attitude. It's more FUN!
  • You are responsible for putting away all your materials at the end of class. (This includes reeds, mallets, cork grease, valve oil, music, etc.)


The consequences for interfering with our learning process are:

  • Student is asked to correct behavior
  • If a reminder is needed the student will be moved or placed in a time-out area to re-focus
  • Conference with student after which they call home
  • Parent /teacher conference about the situation
  • Administrative assistance and input


The sixth grade Beginning Band will present at least three public concerts during the school year. Attendance is mandatory!  In Band class, the concert is similar to the “final exam” in other classes.  Even one student being absent can greatly affect the other students’ performance, and the overall quality of these special events.  Please let the band director know of any possible conflicts as early as possible.  In certain circumstances, students may be permitted to do make-up assignments after an absence from a concert.

Concert Attire

Concerts are special events, worthy of special attire.  The object is to look your best.  A musical group that appears sloppy will be perceived by the audience as sounding sloppy. Rule of thumb: Remember, audiences listen with their eyes!!  For usual performance situations, the concert outfit will consist of:

Black shoes and socks.  Athletic shoes that are clean and MOSTLY (90%) black are   acceptable.

Black pants or skirt.   Skirts MUST be at least knee-length.

Music department t-shirt.  These will be purchased through the school.  

  Contact me if you have difficulty acquiring these items, so that I may offer suggestions. 

Practicing at Home

 It is essential that young musicians practice on a regular structured basis.  Some tips for helping your child to succeed:

  • Provide a quiet area in which they can practice.  It should be well lit, have a music stand and a firm chair.
  • Encourage your child to play for you every so often.
  • Practicing is homework for band.  Remind your child to practice just as you would remind them to do their math homework.
  • Spreading the practice throughout the week is more beneficial than doing a large amount in one day. (Cramming doesn’t work in music!)
  • As you go about your evening business, keep an ear out for what they are playing.  You should hear slow, easy, sustained sounds at first as they warm up.  Then you should hear them slowly repeating difficult parts in their music.  It should start to sound better as they carefully repeat it.  Fun review songs should be played at the end of the practice session.  If all you ever hear is one easy song being played straight through, over and over, remind your child that they need to work on the things they can’t play.
  • Be aware that some students go through cycles of high and low interest in their instrument.  Help them through the times when they aren’t feeling too excited about playing.