Advanced Instrumental Ensemble Syllabus

SCHOOL YEAR: 2015 – 2016

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Borden/ ROOM: 010 Alexander Hall 

I.            Prerequisites: The student must have satisfactorily completed the Beginning Instrumental Class or passed an audition with Dr. Borden.

II.           Course Description: The Advanced Instrumental Music Class, separately and in combination with other University School musical ensembles, will represent University School in public performances.  The course work will continue to advance the musical competence of each member as the ensemble prepares music for public performance.  One of the primary emphases of this organization is musical excellence.  To achieve this, each student must exhibit hard work, dedication and perseverance.

III.           Course Requirements:

A.              Each member must provide his or her own instrument, and required music books. Certain percussion instruments will be supplied by the school.

B.              Members of the class need copies of certain method books. These will be assigned in class but students are responsible for purchasing the books. The books are usually available in local music stores or may be ordered online.

C.                Each student is expected to practice at home as recommended by Dr. Borden as well as to participate during class.

D.                If a student forgets his or her instrument or his or her instrument is unavailable, the student is expected to "air play" during class. If the instrument is in repair, the music store will give a note excusing the player. However, ask for a substitute instrument if possible. If the student has simply forgotten the instrument, the student will receive a zero for the day.

E.                Each student is expected to maintain in good working order his or her instrument, music, stand and other University School property he or she may use.  Each student is responsible to have repairs made to his or her instrument in a timely manner when necessary (see above).

F.                Each student is required to have a working pencil placed on his or her stand.

G.               This organization may, from time to time as necessary, practice before school hours, after school hours or on the weekend in addition to the normal class time.  The group at times will perform during non-school hours as well as during school time.  These concerts and extra rehearsals are part of the requirements for this special ensemble that represents University School.  Each student is expected to participate in all concerts and extra rehearsals.

H.               Students are responsible for arranging make up work and times with Dr. Borden.

I.                    Please note that excused does not mean exempt.

IV.           Grading:

A.                 The nine weeks grade will be based on the following categories

                1.             Daily class participation 40%

                2.             Quizzes, playing tests, papers and projects: 30%

3.            Performances: 30%. A missed performance that is unexcused or not made-up if excused will result in a failing grade for that nine weeks.

B.                  The semester grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two nine week's grades.

C.                  The yearly grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two semester grades.                       

D.               Daily grade:       Students are expected to give significant effort in playing during rehearsals each day.  Grades will be reduced if students do not comply

                        F.           Performances:       The Advanced Instrumental Ensemble is a performance organization.                                             Therefore, each musician is expected and required to participate in all performances.  Excused                                       or unexcused misses must be made up in a timely fashion. Make up work may include but is                                          not limited to playing the performance music solo for Dr. Borden during class, writing a                                                           research paper on an assigned related topic, or performing service for the instrumental class                                       such as library work or class room cleaning. Make up work for an unexcused missed                                                         performance will receive a maximum grade of 70.  A grade of zero will be given to an                                                       excused or unexcused absence if the make-up work is not completed or not completed in a                                      timely manner. Non-excused events include but are not limited to birthdays, work, parties,                                   vacations, sporting events, packing and so on.  If you are in doubt, consult with Dr. Borden at                                        least two weeks prior to the concert. A note about athletics: Performances take                                                                 priority over athletic practices and games. Extra rehearsals take precedence over                                                                 athletic  practices. A final dress rehearsal will also take priority over practices and                                                    games (Dr. Borden may make an exception in special circumstances).

G.           If a musician is injured or too sick to play but can attend a performance, he or she is expected to do so.  If the musician attends, there is no make up requirement. 

J.                 Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.   If a student demonstrates inappropriate or disruptive behavior, the instructor may, depending upon the situation and the severity of the disruption do one or more of the following.  He may ask the student to desist, reduce the student's grade, or send the student to the office for administrative assistance. 

K.                  Classroom policies include:

1.          No food, gum, candy, or non-water drinks will be permitted in the classroom or at other rehearsals and performances. 

2.          No hats or other head coverings are to be worn in class.

3.          An unexcused tardyequals minus two on the final grade.

4.          An unexcused absence is minus five on the final grade.

5.          Students will not use or otherwise tamper with equipment, material, or other items located in the room.

6.           Students will regard one another with the utmost respect.  This is a team effort.

J.             Performances:

1.                 Performances are a significant part of the instrumental ensemble experience.  The number of performances during a nine-week grading period and the importance of each performance will determine the grade for each performance.

2.                     Excused misses for extra rehearsals and out of school performances will include personal illness, death in the immediate family, or regularly scheduled religious services. 

a.                    A University School academic trip will require the student to choose.  A miss in this case will be excused, but the student must let Dr. Borden know at least two weeks in advance that he or she will miss.  The missed rehearsal or concert will still need to be made up. 

b.                   Other non-excused events include but are not limited to work, parties, vacations, athletic practices or events, packing and so on.  If you are in doubt, consult with Dr. Borden at least two weeks prior to the concert.

V.          Performance wear: Students are required to purchase their own performance attire. Dr. Borden will send home information concerning this.

VI.         Parents and instrumental ensemble students will be expected to actively participate in fundraisers for the program.  As the ensemble improves and grows there will be a need for special instruments.  These are often very expensive and will require a concerted effort to raise the thousands of dollars necessary to eventually equip a high school ensemble.

VII.       There are several major performances for this ensemble during the year.  We will announce performance dates as soon as possible.

 VIII.     There is a $ 20.00 music participation fee due by the end of the first nine weeks. Make checks to University School and give to Dr. Borden. No student will be denied participation in music if unable to pay this fee. Please ask Dr. Borden if you have any questions regarding this fee.



direct edit