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CMS syllabus

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: In this class, emphasis begins to be paced on performance. Students start to work on advanced bowing and positions, as well as orchestra playing skills in preparation for high school orchestra. Eighth grade students are expected to perform with greater accuracy than the less experienced seventh grade students.


Fall String Clinic
Winter Concert
Pre-Festival Concert
Orchestra Festival
Solo and Ensemble
Spring Concert


Tuning, warm up, pieces and announcements.


Students daily practice (practice charts).
NO cell phones during rehearsal time.


In seventh and eighth grade students should:

       Learn and continue to develop vibrato
       Learn to read advanced rhythms (cut time, triplets, etc.)
       Develop proficiency in higher positions through scales and literature,
       Develop sensitivity to musical phrasing and feeling,
       Develop ensemble playing skills (balance, sense of ensemble).


 Students will be able to earn 100% total:
70% of the grade is based on assessment, that is combined from:

     30% – Playing, written tests
     30% - Performance assessment 
     10% – Lab (rhythmical patterns, melodic patterns, intonation)

30% of the grade will contain:
     20% – Casswork
     10% – Participation


Students need to report on times before the concert for warm up.
Tardiness at performance can lower grade as much as one full letter grade.
Unexcused absence for a performance may result in an “E” for that particular performance.

Excused absence for a performance: the next day the student is in school, he/she will bring in a note from home explaining the absence. If the note is not brought in during that time frame, the absence will not be excused. It will depend on the individual situation and will be considered by your instructor. If the absence is deemed to be excused, the student must write a paper on a topic chosen by the instructor due two weeks from the assigned date in order to make up the performance grade.


The school will pay for normal wear of the instrument.
The student will pay for damage done to the instrument due to abuse or carelessness. The final decision regarding payment rests with the instructor and/or administration. An agreement will be issued with the instrument and must be signed by both parent and student.


The school will provide all music. The exception being solo and ensemble music not owned by the school.
Music should be kept neat (not folded) in the folder.


Chairs are determined through auditions during the first few weeks of school.
Placement is based on the score from the audition and seniority with the orchestra; however, it is possible for younger students to sit ahead of upper classmen due to their audition score. The director makes the final decision concerning chair placement. The audition material will contain the following: excerpt selected by director, major scales and minor scales.

The success of the orchestra depends on how it rehearses. How it rehearses depends on the conduct and the cooperation of the students. Rehearsals are the place to correct mistakes. The fewer mistakes you make the grater your contribution to the orchestra. Be patient, attentive, careful and cooperative in observing the following rehearsal procedures:

     Be in the orchestra room on time and sit in your assigned seat.
     No one is talking during the tuning procedure.
     When director is on the podium, there should be not talking or playing.
     Do not put your instrument away until your are excused.
The rehearsal room must be kept orderly in all times, with all music and instruments in their designated places.

This is each member’s responsibility.

The orchestra room is not a place to store personal items.
Bring your instrument, music and a pencil with you to class everyday.


Males: 7th grade – black pants, black shirt, black socks, black shoes.
8th grade – tuxedo, black socks, black shoes
Females: Black floor-length black dress with long sleeves, or black skirt/dress pants with long sleeve black blouse, black shoes.