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Class Policies and Objectives

Rehearsal Expectations and Procedures

✓ Students must keep their fingernails at a short length that does not exceed the tips of their
fingers. This allows for their instrument to be played properly.
o If a student does not abide by this rule, the orchestra director will send a note home to
the students’ parents that must be signed and returned with the promise that the
students nails will be cut.
✓ Always arrive on time; on time means in your chair with your materials by the time the tardy
bell rings.
o If a student arrives after the tardy bell, the student will be marked tardy unless they are
accompanied by a note from a teacher/parent stating why they are tardy to class.
✓ Cell phones are not permitted during rehearsal.
o If a student is on their phone during class, the orchestra director will pick up the
student’s phone and will return it to the student after rehearsal.
✓ Students should be in their seats with all their materials when the tardy bell rings.
o Have your instrument, music, pencil, and all other required equipment at your chair.
✓ When the concert master stands, stop what you are doing and prepare for the tuning note.
o If students do not adhere to this rule, we will take time out of our class to ensure that
every student understands our classroom procedure.
✓ After tuning, wait quietly for instructions.
o Students who continue to talk, play, and/or misbehave after tuning will be told to pack
up until they feel they are ready to join the ensemble again – i.e. when they are ready
to pay attention and be a functioning member of the ensemble.
✓ When the conductor stops or cuts of the ensemble, immediately stop playing and wait for
o Students who continue to play after the conductor cuts off the ensemble will be told to
only shadow bow/shadow pluck until the conductor gives the student permission to
participate in ensemble activities again.
✓ Music will be passed out only once.
o If the student is absent, it is their responsibility to pick it up outside of rehearsal time
from a librarian.
✓ Students must write bowings, fingerings, etc. immediately when you are given the information
during rehearsal.
o If the student forgets their music at home, deliberately leaves their music in their
locker/backpack, and/or loses their music, the student is responsible for contacting the
orchestra librarian outside of rehearsal time to attain the music.
✓ Students will be released from rehearsal three minutes before the bell dismisses them. In this
time, they must pack up their instrument, stow and lock their instrument/music/materials in
their locker, and line up by the door to exit when the bell rings.
o Students who do not lock their lockers when leaving the classroom will have their
instruments taken by the orchestra director (to ensure that their instrument will not be
stolen) and the student will have to meet the orchestra director to retrieve their
instrument. After two times of not locking their locker, the orchestra director will take
away locker privileges for the remainder of the week. After three times of not locking
their locker, student will lose locker privileges for the remainder of the semester.
Rehearsal Facilities

✓ Food, drinks, gum, and candy are not allowed in the orchestra room unless permitted by the
o If a student enters the room with any of the items listed above, the student will be
asked to throw away their food/drink/gum/candy before rehearsal begins.
✓ Instrument lockers are to be kept clean at all times.
o The students instrument and orchestra materials are the only items allowed in their
locker unless the orchestra director says otherwise.
✓ Keep the orchestra room clean. If you see trash, pick it up.
o If a student is caught littering in the orchestra room, the student will be held
accountable for their actions and will be given the duty of cleaning the orchestra room
of all litter after school.
✓ Practice rooms are for music practice only.
o If students are found loitering in the practice rooms before, during, and/or after
rehearsal, the students will lose their privilege of using the practice rooms unless given
permission from the orchestra director.
✓ Non-orchestra members are not allowed in the orchestra room unless given permission from
the orchestra director.
o If a non-orchestra member is found in the orchestra room before, during, and/or after
rehearsal, whether before school starts or after school, the orchestra room will no
longer be available for before school and/or after school practicing.
✓ Orchestra students have permission to practice in the orchestra room/practice rooms before
and after school as long as the orchestra director is in the orchestra room.
o The orchestra room will be locked when the orchestra director is not on campus.
o When the orchestra director is not in the room but on campus, the orchestra room will
only be available for instrument pickup/drop off – do not practice, loiter, study, do
homework, and/or any other activity without the orchestra director present in the
room. Students who do so will lose all room-access privileges outside of picking
up/dropping off their instrument and regular orchestra rehearsals until the orchestra
directory decides otherwise.


✓ Each student should have their own instrument, bow, and case.
✓ All music must be kept in a 1” Black, 3-ring binder.
✓ Each student must bring a pencil to class every day.
✓ Each student is responsible for their own instrument, locker, and music.
✓ Students are responsible for materials and are subject to pop-materials quizzes given at the
discretion of the orchestra director.

Orchestra Objectives

Students in orchestra will develop the following skills and concepts:

1. Self-discipline, self-confidence, responsibility and dependable behavior.

2. Respect for others and for the equipment.
3. The ability to work cooperatively with others toward performances of music in small and large
4. Rehearsal etiquette
5. A high degree of music reading and understanding including, but not limited to:
a. Correct rhythm
b. Tempo
c. Right-hand and left-hand technique
d. Dynamics
e. Precision
f. Consistency on all the above given any musical situation
6. Understanding, Knowledge, and appreciation of a wide variety of orchestral literature.
7. A functional knowledge of terminology, theory, and music history.

Instrument and Equipment Policies


In order for students to participate in orchestra, all students must have access to an instrument. When
searching for the correct instrument for your student, it is important to take a few things into

1. Rent or Purchase?

Several shops offer instruments for rent. These instruments typically come with a maintenance
contract that covers all maintenance that may be required for your student’s instrument. These
types of rental contracts are perfect for students who are new to string instruments, as they are
easily breakable and require maintenance on a frequent basis. Visit your local shops to acquire
pricing and availability.

When it comes to purchasing an instrument, beware of instruments sold on Amazon, Ebay,

CraigsList, etc. These instruments are typically of lower quality and are less reliable. Make a
conscious effort to hold and play the instrument in person before making a purchase. Your
student’s orchestra director loves to take part in such decisions and will do everything in their
power to make sure your student gets an instrument that is reliable, consistent, and affordable.
Many shops offer a trial period where your student can borrow an instrument, free or charge, to
ensure that the decision to purchase it is one that you will not regret.

2. What is my student’s size?

Your student’s orchestra director can size your student. Any local string specialty shops are also
capable of sizing your student. It is important that your student plays and practices on an
instrument that is the correct size for them because it can physically hurt your student to be
playing on an instrument that is too big or too small for them.

3. What quality instrument should my student have?

Instruments bought online (Amazon, Ebay, CraigsList, etc.) are not acceptable instruments for this
orchestra program. These instruments are of incredibly low quality and are unreliable. To
determine the best quality for you and your student, visit your local string specialty shop for
information on which instrument is best. Any string instrument sold/rented through a string
specialty shop is acceptable and will set your student up for success.

Cello and Bass students are required to have a “home” instrument for personal practice. Our school
district has graciously purchased cellos and basses for school use. These instruments are assigned to
students at the beginning of the year and will be inspected at the end of the year for any damage beyond
normal wear and tear. If damage is found, the student must pay for any repairs. These assigned
instruments are not to leave school grounds unless permitted by the orchestra director. Since the number
of students enrolled in orchestra far surpasses the number of cellos and basses that have been given for
classroom use, each student is responsible for bringing their own “home” instrument to school for
concerts and performances. If your student is unable to arrange for their instrument to be brought to and
from the performance facility, please let your orchestra director know; we are happy to work with any
and every situation to ensure that your student is successful and equipped with the materials that are

Instrument Repair

All instruments should be maintained in exemplary playing condition. This includes, but is not limited to,
regular bow re-hairs and string replacement. If your instrument is in need of repair, please contact your
director immediately. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THE INSTRUMENT YOURSELF. The orchestra director
will continuously monitor instruments throughout the year to ensure that all instruments are maintained.
If your instrument, for whatever reason, is in the shop, please forward a note to your orchestra director
describing the circumstances no later than the first day of class after the incident.

Locker Policies

✓ Each locker will be given a combination lock and a name tag that corresponds with the students’
name of whom the locker belongs to.
o Each student will receive locker combo information on the first day of classes.
o If the lock is lost, stolen, damaged, etc. the student is responsible for replacing the lock.
✓ Your director will keep record of all lock combinations in event that the student forgets the locker
✓ No students may share a locker.
✓ No students may touch or share another students instrument.

Lockers are a privilege, not a right. If a student disobeys any of the above rules, the student will lose their
privilege of a locker for the remainder of the semester. The orchestra director is not, under any
circumstance, responsible for any students’ instrument when they are placed in the locker; however, the
director will aid in the recovery of any stolen items to the best of their ability.

When performing with the orchestra, each orchestra student must adhere to uniform guidelines. These
guidelines are different than the stated dress code in the school handbook.


The student must adhere to uniform instructions before the performance in order to perform with the
ensemble. The orchestra director has the final say as to whether your student’s performance attire is
appropriate. Please inform your director AT LEAST two weeks prior to an event if you or your student can
not adhere to the following rules and regulations regarding attire:


Black Dress*, Black Hose or Tights, Black Flats (NO HEELS).


Tuxedo Jacket*, Tuxedo pants*, Tuxedo shirt*, Bow Tie*, Cummerbund*, Black Dress Shoes, Black
High Socks.

*provided by the school

Attire provided by the school will be assigned to each student at the beginning of the year. The student is
free to take their uniform home or leave it at the school. Once the uniform has been assigned to the
student, the student is responsible for any lost or damaged items. At the end of the school year, each
uniform must be returned. Upon return, each uniform will be inspected for lost or damaged items. If the
uniform is at all damaged or missing parts, the student is responsible for replacing any items or paying for
uniform repair. If the student forgets their uniform on the day that the uniforms are checked in, the
student has no more than 4 class days to return it to the orchestra director until the student has to replace
the whole uniform. Please talk to your orchestra director if there are any hardships preventing you or your
student from returning your student’s uniform. Again, we are willing to work with any and every situation.

(cut on line and return bottom slip to teacher by the second week of classes)


I ________________________ (parent) understand my student’s responsibility in the classroom and

how my student should act. I understand the consequences of improper action and will expect

repercussions as described if my student acts against these rules and expectations.

_____________________________________________________ parent signature _____________ date

I ________________________ (student) understand my responsibility in the classroom and how I should

act. I understand the consequences of improper action and will expect repercussions as described if I act

against these rules and expectations.

_____________________________________________________ student signature ____________ date