All band students must have an instrument. If you don’t have your own, you must make arrangements to obtain one. A list of music stores that provides rentals is given later in this book. I also provide mail order information for instruments upon request. Shop around. There are some great deals available.
The school rents the larger and more expensive instruments, for example French Horns, tuba, and bassoon, and few of the more common ones. Students who rent school owned instruments must abide by the instrument rental agreement. Remember, any needed repairs on school owned instruments are the responsibility of the renter. Any preexisting damage will be taken care of by the school. Many of the school instruments are older models and require more maintenance than new instruments. No school instrument is to be taken home before the rental fee is either paid or I have a note from your parents stating when the fee will be paid.
Many instruments can be made to sound better by purchasing a better mouthpiece and for woodwind instruments, purchasing better reeds. This relatively small purchase will make a major difference for many instruments.
Everyone is responsible for your own instrument. This includes the percussion section. Take care of them. Follow the care card for your instrument. If you don’t have one, get a copy from Mr. Millett. If your instrument and case are dirty, clean them. If a screw or rod is loose, have Mr. Millett tighten it. If your instrument is broke, take it to Mr. Millett or a qualified repairman to have it fixed. Under no circumstances have a friend or relative, or yourself, try to fix it. You can do more damage than you can do good. (Oh the stories I can tell…)
Everyone needs to have the correct supplies for their instrument and for the class. All reed instruments must have four good reeds at all times. These are to be used in rotation, a different one every day. All percussionists should have at least two pairs of snare drum sticks. All brass players need to have their own bottle of valve or slide oil. Also, all students need to have the proper cleaning supplies for their instrument.
Every student needs to have their own pencil, which is kept in their music storage slot in the band room. To reduce the number of pencils that disappear, please mark your initials on your pencil.
Every student needs to purchase a copy of the technique book used in class. For 6th Grade Band, the book is Tradition of Excellence, Book 1. For 7th Grade Band, the book is Tradition of Excellence, Book 2. For 8th Grade Band, the book is Tradition of Excellence, Book 3. These will be available from me. The cost for the book is $12.00, including shipping and tax, for everyone except percussion. The percussion book is $14.00, including shipping and tax.
All concert music is property of the Aberdeen School District. Please take care of it. Music is extremely expensive. Do not fold it, mutilate it, write on it in pen, stuff it in your case, stuff it in your storage slot, walk on it, spill on it, let the wind blow it away, or let your dog eat it. A replacement fee of $7.50 will be assessed for every sheet of music lost or damaged.
Your grade is divided into four parts: Participation (1/5), Practice (1/5), Tests & Quizzes (1/5), and Performances (2/5).
Participation (1/5): Band is a participation class. If you don’t participate the band doesn’t progress and you don’t grow as a musician. In order to provide an atmosphere where all students can learn I have set the following class rules:
- Follow directions the first time they are given.
- No food, drink, candy or gum in class.
- Stay in seats with feet flat on the floor. Don’t lean back in the chairs.
- Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Don’t tease, call names, swear, or fight.
Consequences for breaking these rules are as follows:
- Loss of 5 participation points.
- Loss of 5 participation points, parents notified.
Being tardy to class without a proper excuse and/or not having the needed equipment or music in class, will result in a loss of 5 participation points. Tardies can only be excused by the main office or by another teacher.
All students start the quarter with 100 points. All points lost are deducted from the total. It is your choice to break a rule. Because of this, participation points cannot be made up. If you choose to lose them after a warning, you will not be able to get them back.
Practice (1/5): Practicing is a vital part of your musical growth. The band is only as good as its weakest player. Required practice is 75 minutes per week. It is recommended that you do 15 minutes a day for 5 days during the week. Spreading your practice out over time makes your embouchure stronger and more flexible. If you do any kind of weight training you know that it is continual consistent effort over time that gives the best results. You can’t do it just once a week and expect improvement.
The most successful students plan their practice, just like their other homework. Set a time when you will practice and do it the same every day. A steady routine will bring steady results.
You must submit a report on your practice each week. You can submit your report online through the music department web site This report is due each Monday for the preceding week and will be accepted through Tuesday. You will receive no credit for practice reports that are turned in after the due date. Any extra practice will count as extra credit.
Assignments, Tests, and Quizzes (1/5): Assignments, tests and quizzes will be given throughout the quarter. These will be written as well as playing and will include the vocabulary notebook. Tests will count twice as much as quizzes. The average of all assignments, tests and quizzes will be used for your grade. Anytime you are not happy with a score, feel free to arrange a time to retake it.
Performances (2/5): Performances make up the largest part of your grade, therefore it is very important that you plan ahead to be there. I realize the emergencies do arise, and at times it may be impossible to be there. If you cannot be to a performance for any reason, your parents must call me at 604-0733 (cell), or 397-4152 ext. 3120 (school) before the performance, if at all possible.
Each performance is worth 100 points. An unexcused tardy will subtract 10 points. An unexcused absence will subtract 100 points. An excused absence will remove the performance from your average, with the exception of a formal concert. If you miss a formal concert you will be required to do a make up assignment of my choice. This is usually a research paper on something related to your instrument. I do not want anyone absent from a formal concert!
The required dress for the concerts is: Girls—nice dresses or skirts and blouses. No pants. Boys—dress slacks with a dress shirt, a semi-conservative tie and dress shoes and socks. No jeans, shorts, or gym shoes. Please purchase or obtain these before the day of the concert. Anyone not in proper concert dress will have 40 points subtracted from that concert’s grade.
I strongly encourage you to take private lessons. The band programs that are truly successful have a high number of students studying with private teachers. We have seen in the past that the music students who get great scholarships, study privately. Remember, a music scholarship does not mean you have to major in music. It usually means you are required to perform in one of the college music groups. It’s a great way to finance your education.
The band will at least one trip during the year. This may include the District V Honor Clinic in Marsh Valley and the American Falls Middle School Band & Choir Festival, held in May.
I hope that this handbook has been straightforward and clear. You may not agree with or like all of the policies, but I do hope you at least understand them because you will have to live by them. If you have suggestions or comments, please make them. My goal is to have one of the best bands in Southeastern Idaho, and I know that as we work together we can do it.
Area Music Stores for Band Rentals
Piano Gallery Music and Families
3050 E. 17th St. 593 W. Bridge
Idaho Falls, Idaho Blackfoot, Idaho
(208) 233-1883 (208) 782-9768
(Also in Pocatello on Yellowstone Ave.)