Welcome to the West Running Brook Middle School Choral Program! This year offers a wide variety of musical learning experiences and performances that provide each student with a direct involvement in the music making process. This handbook has been prepared to provide both students and parents with the information and requirements of the chorus for the 2019-2020 school year. Please read this very carefully and sign and return the Student/Parent Contract. I am looking forward to this year with great anticipation for success!
The West Running Brook Middle School Choirs are dedicated to the study of music fundamentals, vocal technique and ensemble skills. The amount of effort you put into achieving our objectives will determine how much knowledge and experience you will receive in return. The more you put in, the more you will get! Our objectives:
To experience the thrill of creating music through active participation and self-expression.
To develop, through performance, proper vocal technique, rehearsal skills, and performance etiquette.
To develop useful music reading skills in notation and sight-singing.
To develop discipline through group involvement and effectively responding to the music of others.
To make connections between music and other learning areas as well as the outside world.
The chorus room is a “No Gum, Candy, Drinks (except water), Food, or Negative Attitude Zone.” Please do not bring these items into the music room.
In addition, the following rules must be respected in order to create a fun, safe and positive learning environment:
Cooperate with each other
Have a positive attitude
Own your words, actions, and behavior
Respect yourself, others, & the classroom
Understand our individual differences
Failure to respect the classroom expectations will result in the following consequences:
1. Reminder/Warning 2. Student/Teacher Discussion with a rule specific consequence. 3. Phone call home 4. Detention 5. Administration Referral
**Depending on the severity of the action, one or some of these steps may be altered and not followed in this order.
Each chorus student is responsible for bringing the following materials to class every day: assigned music folder, all music, a sharpened pencil with an eraser, assignment book, and a positive attitude. Learning cannot properly take place with any of these items missing.
A student’s grade in chorus will be determined by a number of sources. However, 90% of this grade will be determined by summative assessments (what students know). In chorus, summative assessments can take on the following forms:
Performance & Participation tied to specific skills and content,
Essays and Written Work,
Other demonstrations of learning.
Formative assessments (on-going assessments, feedback, informal quizzes, reviews, and observations) will count as 10% of a students final grade.
Attendance at all chorus performances is required and a part of your grade. As chorus is a collection of musicians, an ensemble, it is extremely important that everyone is present at all performances. When even one person misses a concert, the entire chorus is weaker.
Please mark your calendars now so that no problems arise in the future. The calendar in this handbook lists most dates. Any information and dates about performances not indicated will be given to you in ample time.
***If a student must miss a performance, a note is required at least two weeks before that performance. In addition, the student must complete the Missed Concert Assignment. (Directions can be found at that link.) Failure to complete the assignment will result in a zero for that performance. Please ask if you have any questions about this policy!
Students or parents should speak with me if there are any concerns about concert clothing. If it will not be possible for you to obtain these items, please let Mr. Leister know as soon as possible so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. We are willing to assist you in any way as long as we know well in advance!
Glee Club is an auditioned group of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade singers who perform different styles of music in multiple voice parts while learning more about choral singing and their voice. Select Choir is a small auditioned group of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who show a strong interest in choral music. They are given the opportunity to perform more challenging music in a smaller ensemble. Students who wish to join these extra choirs will need to audition for Mr. Leister. This audition is fun, and I encourage all students to audition! Auditions are at the end of September. More detailed information about the audition will be given to students.
How Parents Can Help
The success of the music program is largely dependent on the parental support that we receive throughout the year. There are many ways that parents and guardians can contribute to our students’ success.
Contact Mr. Leister as soon as questions or concerns arise. Communication is important!
Encourage your child to perform for others, whether it is at home, school or in the community.
Keep a scrapbook of your child’s various musical activities.
Sing with your child at home!
Encourage your child to keep up with classroom studies and to make up missed work.
Discuss with me anything that will help me to understand your child.
Donate items for our raffle and bake sale at each concert.
Attend concerts involving your child. Show your support through applause!