5-7th Grade Band Syllabus 2021-22
My name is Megan Levendosky. You can call me Ms. Levendosky or Ms. L. I graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) with my Bachelor of Music Education in 2020. I am currently completing a graduate program at SWOSU to earn my Master of Music Education by 2022. I primarily played tuba, saxophone, and flute in my college years, but I make it my goal to be the best instrumentalist I can be on every instrument available! I have two cats, Kiki and Shady, and I have a red heeler puppy, Penny. I like outdoor things like hiking and camping. I like the color light pink, and my favorite animals are ducks. I listen to all types of music, but country and heavy metal are my least favorites.
The goal we are aiming for in the Central High Band Program is unity through diversity by using discipline, respect, and fun! To achieve this goal, we will all work together with a musical medium: band. We will unify our sound to create solid, entertaining shows for contests and concerts. The discipline aspect comes from our hard work we put into everyday rehearsals and practicing outside of rehearsals (yes, I expect you to take your instruments home). Respect will help our rehearsals run efficiently and keep frustrations to a minimum. We will talk more about respect in the next section of this packet. Finally, fun! I want this program to be centered on the idea that music is fun. Performing a concert with minimal mistakes, a solid sound, and interesting elements is exciting, and I want you to all have this experience! Being in a class where you aren’t confined to a desk or even inside the building is invigorating throughout the day, BUT we have to be able to turn the switch to serious sometimes in order to achieve our goals.
I have high expectations for my students. The minimum expectation is to remember the 3 R’s.
Be respectful. Be responsible. Be reliable.
Respect is defined as “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.” You all know what respect is but putting the definition into practice can be hard. I expect respect for your peers above all else. Second to that is respect for me, other faculty and staff, our school, and our facilities. Respect your peers. Everyone goes home at the end of the day to different things, and you have no way of knowing what is at home for some of your peers. This is your family, and families should look out for each other and have respect for one another. Ask a classmate about their day or compliment their solo. Be KIND to each other! Respect for me is simple. When I am teaching, you are not talking. Raise your hand for questions and respect when others have questions even if you already understand what is happening. I will respect you, so I expect the same in return. Respect any faculty or staff with the same respect you have for me. Respect our school by representing it well at contests, football games, etc. Follow school rules and be appropriate. Finally, respect our facilities by cleaning up after yourselves. Everything has a place, so put things away when you are done using them. I am not a maid, and our janitors have plenty to do without you adding extra messes. Trash needs to be picked up and all extra items (instruments, stands, backpacks, etc.) needs to be put away so the custodians or I can vacuum and clean without having extra steps before hand.
Responsibility is key in the music world. You are responsible for your own actions, but when working as a whole unit what you do affects those around you too. You are responsible for showing up on time. This does not mean showing up to rehearsal one minute before start time. I expect you in your spot and ready to play when we are ready to start. Be focused on the goal.
You are also responsible for your own materials. This includes but is not limited to your instrument and anything you need for it to function properly (reeds, cork grease, valve oil, slide cream/oil, sticks, mallets, etc.), your music, a pencil, your uniform, and all of its pieces, and any other materials you are asked to bring depending on the day.
Finally, you are responsible for YOUR band. This doesn’t mean you are in charge of all of the boring paperwork things I do (yes, I do boring paperwork). This means you are in charge of the attitude this band has. Encourage your peers! Help your section out if they don’t understand a part of the music. Be positive and we will receive positive outcomes! I want this to be an enjoyable experience for everyone, but you have to help me achieve that goal.
Being reliable means a few things. Number one: you have to show up. Band isn’t like sports where you can sub a different player in if someone is injured or doesn’t show up. Band takes 100% of the team and plays them the whole time. There are no substitutions in band. Number two: you have to participate when you are in rehearsal. Showing up is step one, but don’t let the team down by not playing your instrument or by not marching. Be proactive in the process, and you will reap great rewards! Finally, number three: practice outside of the school day. Take your instrument home and play the passage you are struggling with. Come in before or after school and practice for 10-15 minutes. I will do my best to be at school early and stay late so you have an opportunity to practice, just talk to me the day before and make sure I will be around! We need each person to know their own part because in a band our size every single person is so extremely important, and confidence is key!
Honesty is simple. Tell the truth. Lying to me or other faculty will result in disciplinary actions. Be honest to each other as well. You are in school to form your character as a person, so start forming a good character now.
Integrity goes right there with honesty. Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is watching. There will be times I am not at rehearsal, but it should run the same way whether I am gone or not. Going back to respect, respect any substitute teachers if I am gone and listen to the student leaders for rehearsal to run smoothly.
I want you to get a complete music education in this band room. The things that you can expect to learn and participate in include, but are not limited to, note and rhythm identification, counting, singing, chord identification, sight reading, scale studies, technical studies, chamber ensemble studies, solo repertoire studies, honor band participation, and more. I want to hear feedback from you as well and what you are interested in learning about!
I expect attendance to my class every day, health permitting. Do not show up if you are sick because in band and music of all places, germs get spread very quick. Take care of yourself and your well-being. You know your limitations! Listen to your own body.
Performances are NOT optional. Performances are required. You may only miss for illness, injury, or family emergency. For any absence, I require a signed note from a parent/guardian. Multiple performance absences will result in a meeting with the parent due to the nature of this program. We only have so many performances, and it is hard to recreate that environment so a “make up assignment” would not suffice here. Please reach out to me if you have concerns regarding my attendance policy. I am a fairly understanding person, and I want to keep you in band, so I am willing to discuss and compromise on any issues at hand. I do not view this policy in black and white.
Grades in band are fairly simple. I have four categories: Performance Grades, Pass Off Exams, Daily Participation, Written Assignments.
Performance Grades are the most important. All performances are required.
Pass Off Exams are short playing tests that will be over the music we are playing in the ensemble at that time. You will know about these in advance, and as long as I can tell you have tried your best and practiced outside of the classroom you will have no problem passing these.
Daily Participation is as simple as it sounds. Show up. Play your instrument. Do as you are asked. Don’t be disruptive. Such a simple way to get an A!
Finally, Written Assignments will not happen very often. Typically, only if a substitute teacher is needed or if I decided that a written assignment would most benefit the class on a certain day.
M.CR.1: Generate musical ideas for various purposes and contexts.
M.CR.2: Select and develop musical ideas for defined purposes and contexts.
M.CR.3: Evaluate and refine selected musical ideas to create musical work that meets appropriate criteria.
M.CR.4: Share creative musical work that conveys intent, demonstrates craftsmanship, and exhibits originality.
M.PR.1: Select varied musical works to present based on interest, knowledge, technical skill, and context.
M.PR.2: Analyze varied musical works and their implications for performance.
M.PR.3: Develop and express personal interpretation s that consider creators’ intent.
M.PR.4: Use self-reflection and peer feedback to refine individual and ensemble performances of varied music repertoire.
M.PR.5: Perform expressively, with appropriate interpretation and technical accuracy.
M.RE.1: Choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context.
M.RE.2: Analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response.
M.RE.3: Support the reasons for an interpretation of musical works that reflect creators’/performers’ expressive intent.
M.RE.4: Evaluate musical works and performances based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria.
M.CN.1: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences in making/understanding music.
M.CN.2: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen personal understanding.