COURSE: Elementary Instrumental Music (Band & Strings, Grades 3-5)

INSTRUCTOR: Steve Whiddon --  410-880-5960,





The Laurel Woods Elementary School Band and Strings program provides a performance-based curriculum for advanced level learners, focusing on the development of expressive and artistic musical experiences through student driven work. It is important to note that we will not merely be playing instruments in this course, but rather learning the language of music through performance. As such, a significant portion of your work in this course will be devoted to refining your performance skills, increasing your ability to read new music at sight, and exploring what it means to be an all- encompassing musician.



  • Instrument and related supplies (reeds, oils, lubricants, swabs, etc.)
  • ‚ÄčMethod Book
  • Pencil
  • Folder and Music (provided)




(Refer to HCPSS Policy 8090 Non School Hour Curricular Programs)

  • Winter Concert (Intermediate & Advanced Strings and 5th Grade Band) – December 19th, 2018, 7:00pm @ Reservoir High School
  • Winter “In-formance” (Beginning Strings and 4th Grade Band) – January 17th, 2019, 7:00 @ Laurel Woods Elementary School
  • Spring Concert – May 30th, 2019, 7:00pm @ Reservoir High School


Grading categories from the HCPSS Music Grading Standards are weighted as follows:

HCPSS Music Grading Standards

Grade Weight

Mus s1: Creativity & Composition

Develops and applies strategies to generate and express a variety of musical ideas.


Mus s2: Musicianship

Uses best practices and experiences to inform and develop an authentic voice.


Mus s3: Applied Skills & Technical Development

Demonstrates skills and strategies appropriate to music-making


Mus s4: Procedures & Practices

Demonstrates appropriate musical practices in the classroom or rehearsal environment.


Mus s5: Reflection

Communicates an understanding of concepts and strategies through the evaluation of music.


Creativity and Composition - 10%

Students will complete composition assignments to further their understanding of music theory and creative processes.

Musicianship - 10%

Students will complete assignments that explore musical works performed in the class to further their understanding of performance practice. Assignments will include listening to personal, ensemble, and professional recordings and researching musical works to understand cultural and historical context.

Applied Skills & Technical Development - 50%

Every student will receive graded performance assessments and skills tests throughout the year. These tests are video and/or audio recorded.

Procedures and Practices - 20%

Students are not just learning to perform on their instruments, but they are also learning to conduct themselves in a large ensemble rehearsal. This class will put the student in the role of a professional instrumental musician. As such, you will be asked to show your understanding of rehearsal and performance behavior. Students are observed and assessed on their instrumental performance and rehearsal conduct on a daily basis.

Reflection - 10%

Students will receive oral and/or written reflection assignments over the course of the year. Students will evaluate their performances and performances by other groups in the following categories: tone, technique, intonation, musicality, balance, interpretation, musical effect, and other factors.

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