7th Grade Band Syllabus

 Welcome to Band!!

Congratulations on choosing to explore the challenges and rewards offered by our excellent KMS Band program.  You are in for an exciting year, as together we pass through many musical thresholds.  This handbook contains important information for you to share with your family regarding our program at KMS.  Read it carefully!   Please turn in the last page by the specified date. If you or your parent(s) have any questions, please call Mr. Handford at 751-3883, or email handfordh@sd5.k12.mt.us



Concert Band classes at Kalispell Middle School focus on building music fundamentals and demonstration of learned skills through performance. All performances are mandatory and will occur at least once per grading period.

Music reading and music interpretation are improved by practicing scales, arpeggios, chorales, rhythm exercises, and solo and ensemble sheet music.


In addition to classroom activities, every KMS band student may participate in Jazz Band, an extracurricular band class. All band students are encouraged to take private lessons on their chosen band instrument or other instruments including piano and guitar. Participation in other musical activities outside of school is also recommended.



1. Respect your fellow musicians, your teacher, equipment (yours and others), and yourself.

2. Be in your chair with instrument when the director is ready to begin.

3. No food, gum, or drinks in the band room. (Water bottles are acceptable.)

4. Observe the Podium Rule.

5. Be sure to have the following items each day of class:


-Extra reeds, drum sticks, etc.


-PENCIL!! This is as much of a musical necessity as your mouthpiece or drumsticks.

6. Always work to improve yourself and your band.


I.    Work Ethic 


KMS feels that the “work ethic” grade earned in each class reflects how the student is doing overall and should be the focus of attention. A proficient grade (3) in work ethic is a combination of timeliness, preparedness, professional rehearsal skills, and student practice. 


II.   Knowledge and Skills 


This includes demonstrating music literacy by reading and notating music, playing with correct posture and instrument position, being able to perform the assignment for the day at an acceptable level, and showing improvement on skills and techniques that we are working on in class. Student progress is assessed daily, and formal playing assessments will take place every 2-3 weeks in class. 

III.   Performing

To earn the highest grade, students must be at every concert on time, and prepared with proper concert dress and all equipment. They must present themselves professionally both on and off stage. Students are expected to help either with set up or clean up for every concert.
Please avoid scheduling vacations and appointments on the days of our concerts (we often have dress rehearsals during the day and we need everyone there!) 


IV.   Responding


Students must regularly analyze, describe, and evaluate music and/or performances through discussion and in writing. KMS Music students will be asked to complete one written “Enrichment” assignment by the end of each grading period. Enrichment assignments will vary by grade and may include a concert reaction, a music related research paper, or a self-evaluation. Guidelines will be given in class, but the assignment will require some work outside of class time. 



WORK ETHIC GUIDELINES – Band is graded on a Standard-Based system. 


To get a “4” (Advanced) in Band, you must:

  • Participate fully in class and exhibit a positive attitude about music and band.
  • Practice regularly at home and perform well on playing tests.
  • Attend all of your group’s performance(s) and exhibit professional behavior on and off stage.
  • Turn in ONE (1) Enrichment project for the grading period.


To get a “3” (Proficient) in Band, you must:

  • Participate fully in class and not interfere with others’ abilities to do the same.
  • Practice at home occasionally and perform satisfactorily on playing tests
  • Attend all of your group’s performances and exhibit proper behavior.
  • Turn in ONE (1) Enrichment project for the grading period.


To get a “2” (Nearing Proficient) in Band, you must:

  • Participate in class, sometimes allowing yourself or others to become a distraction.
  • Fail to attend your group’s performance(s), or exhibit poor behavior.
  • Choose not to practice at home, or to make progress on your instrument.
  • Fail to make up missed playing tests or written assignments.



Remember: In Band, we (usually) perform in a group, but students are assessed individually. 

How are you earning your grade?

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. (but dress shoes are definitely preferred!)
Black pants or skirt.   Skirts MUST be at least knee-length.
White dress shirt.  Preferably long-sleeved, collared, button-down.  NO T-SHIRTS!
Contact me if you have difficulty acquiring these items, so that I may offer suggestions.