Grading Policy and General Information - MAAS 

Grades are based on participation (30%), assessments & assignments (65%), and auditions (5%).  Every orchestra student is a vital part of the group, so participation includes focus during class and performances, having the necessary materials, attendance at concerts and other performances.  Playing tests will occur as often as needed - some will be for re-seating.  Auditions will occur once each quarter, and the Concert Report or Reflective Personal Analysis is due by the end of each quarter.  
Concert dates for the 2018-2019 school year are 9/27/18 (Th), 12/10/18 (M), 2/26/19 (T), and 5/9/19 (Th).  These dates will not change unless a significant conflict occurs, so please try to make sure these become part of your family's schedule.  Students who miss a concert will be required to complete an additional concert report to make up for the missed grade. 

Concert etiquette is always a concern, and can impact the quality of the performance.  Here are some defining characteristics of good concert etiquette:

  • Arrive early enough to be seated prior to the start time. If you arrive after the performance has started, please wait until the piece is completed and then enter to find a seat.
  • Performers appreciate applause, but it is only appropriate to do so at the end of a musical selection. Sometimes, though, in multi-movement works, it may seem to be over before it really is. In these cases, you can watch for the conductor's cue (both arms coming down or stepping off the podium) before applauding.
  • Turn off all electronic devices. 
  • Do not talk or whisper during a performance.
  • Avoid rustling your program, tapping your foot, unwrapping candy, etc.
  • Please do not leave your seat to take a picture during the performance, and do not use flash. Both the movement and the sudden flash are distracting to the performers.  
  • Children need exposure to good music and live performances, but young children may not be able to sit through an entire concert. Keep children seated next to you unless they become restless. Sitting near an exit will allow you to take your child to the foyer quickly and with minimum distraction to the performers and other audience members.
Daily requirements: All students need to have their instrument, bow, rosin, and cleaning cloth in class every day. For students who play the violin or viola, I strongly recommend they either have a shoulder rest or a piece of foam rubber - this will be a necessity as they learn to shift, but it really helps with posture, which is a key component of accurate performance technique.

Intermediate Orchestra students can find information about the technique books that will be used in this class by following this link: 

Advanced Orchestra students can find information about the technique books that will be used in this class by following this link: 


Concert Dress is black and white for everyone. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to acquire appropriate concert dress, please contact me and ask for assistance.  
  • Girls should wear a white blouse (bright white, elbow length or longer sleeves) and a modest neckline, a black skirt (mid-calf length or longer) or black dress pants (no jeans or leggings), and black dress shoes (no flip flops of any kind!) with a closed back or back strap.  
  • Boys should wear a white dress shirt, a tie of their choice (tasteful, please), black dress pants, black dress shoes and black socks.
We generally have very few discipline related problems in the orchestras, but detention or other appropriate discipline will be necessary for those students who have three or more unexcused tardies, those who don't have the necessary class materials, those who have food, beverages (other than sealable water containers), or gum in the classroom, or those who demonstrate inappropriate behavior as identified in the Student Handbook guidelines.