COURSE:             Elementary Band & Strings Grades 3, 4, 5

INSTRUCTOR:     Steve Whiddon,, 410-880-5960



Course Description

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 (Detailed on the “Required Supplies” sheet)
  • Method Book (the specific book you need depends on your instrument and level and is specified on the “Required Supplies” sheet)
  • Pencil (just keep one in your case or folder)
  • Folder and any sheet music (provided)
  • Metronome (optional)
  • Tuner (optional)

Required After School Performances
Refer to HCPSS Policy 8090 Non School Hour Curricular Programs)
  • Winter Concert- December 19th, 2019, 7:00pm @ Reservoir High School (Intermediate Strings, Advanced Strings, and 5th Gr. Band only)
  • Winter “In-formance”- January 16, 2020, 7:00pm @ Laurel Woods Cafeteria (Beginning Strings and 4th Gr. Band only)
  • Spring Concert- May 27th, 2020, 7:00pm @ Reservoir High School
Depending on the ensemble in which you are participating and needs that may arise throughout the school year, there may be additional performances throughout the year.

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. Represented in Learning Behaviors.
Mus s5: Reflection
Communicates an understanding of concepts and strategies through the evaluation of music.

Creativity and Composition - 20%
Students will complete composition assignments to further their understanding of music theory and creative processes.
Musicianship - 20%
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 may be video and/or audio recorded.
Procedures and Practices – (Represented in Learning Behaviors)
Students are learning to perform on their instruments, as well as learning to conduct themselves in a large ensemble rehearsal.  This class will put the student in the role of a professional instrumental musician and as such, will be asked to show 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 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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