The study of music should be made available to ALL students.  As it states in our mission...  we strive to present a comprehensive music program that challenges students to reach their full potential, become knowledgeable and appreciative musicians, and contribute as positive members of society, while performing at the highest level of musical excellence.  In all of these endeavors, we will strive to embrace the inherent joy of making music together.

  • Everyone will have access to a comprehensive music education.
  • Everyone will be assessed at their current ability level and challenged to demonstrate industrious growth.
  • Everyone will have the opportunity to perform.
  • Everyone will have the opportunity to be apart of an ensemble.


Participation in the Music Program earns the student credit for each academic year he/she participates.  A grade is given quarterly for the ensembles and is based on the criteria listed below.  The EMMS music member will be graded primarily on the basis of improvement, participation, attendance, and preparedness.  It is conceivable that any member, at any level of proficiency, would be able to attain a grade of “A”, provided the student works hard, is prepared, maintains attendance, and shows continual industrious improvement.

Students will be assessed in the following areas throughout the year.

  • SKILL DEVELOPMENT (MUSIC MASTERY)Students will work as individuals, in sections, and as an ensemble to develop the necessary skills to be successful as a musician and as an ensemble.  Individual/section skills will include instrument specific techniques and exercises, including listening.   Ensemble skills will focus on techniques required to perform as a group.  Assessments will occur regularly in class and during sectionals.

    • Music Mastery - The music staff is in the process of developing a set of progressive skills in key performance areas that will guide student growth throughout the year.  Student will be able to progress through this continuum at their own pace, thus providing a consistent challenge for students at all levels of proficiency.  The MASTERING of these skills and the PROGRESSION through the variety of skills will help guide our decisions for yearly ensemble placement.  More information to follow.

  • REHEARSAL - PARTICIPATION & PREPAREDNESS - Students are expected to arrive prepared for rehearsal and ready to learn. 

    • Participation - Students are expected to participate fully in all rehearsals.  Rehearsal participation includes asking/answering questions, assisting others where appropriate, supporting the efforts of the directors, and remaining emotionally and intellectually involved in what the ensemble is doing.  Students are expected to adhere to any guidelines set forth for proper rehearsal management.

    • Preparedness - Students are expected to attend rehearsals with appropriate materials  Refer to the list of Required Materials in the HANDBOOK section.  This includes being able to perform all exercises and music.

    • Performance Assessments - Students are encouraged to practice 30 minutes per day.  (We joke with students and tell them that they only need to practice on the days that end in "Y")  Throughout the year, students will be asked to perform selections of the exercises and current repertoire.  This is not only an opportunity to assess student achievement and development, but also a chance to evaluate the progress of the ensemble.  This will help to determine rehearsal strategies to better prepare for performances.  Daily practice is critically important our individual and ensemble success.

  • CONCERT ATTENDANCE - Students are expected to attend all performances as outlined in the Calendar of Events.

This is always a tough topic to cover, but here goes...

  • There is never any homework if you are in a performing ensemble!
  • There is always homework if you are in a performing ensemble!

When students get ready to run out of the house to go to athletic practice...  No student stops and says, "Do I have to practice tonight!"  Of course not, they go because they love what they are doing and they want to get better at it.  Music is no different, except that we do not keep score and we spend a lot of time alone when we practice.  We want your music experience to be fun, but it also requires a commitment of time, effort,  and energy.

If you work hard... you get better... it becomes more fun!

So...  We will no longer be using Practice Charts (Logs) to track student practice.

  • Students are encouraged to practice every day for 30 minutes.  This is the best way to get the most out of your music experience and progress as a musician.
  • Students will need to determine how much time is needed to reinforce the skills and repertoire that is presented in class.  We will assess your progress, and let's be honest... We know who is practicing and who is not!
  • HOWEVER...  I know how hard it can be to set a consistent practice routine and encourage your young musician to develop good practice habits.  If you would like to track your students practice at home, feel free to print a BLANK PRACTICE CHART.

In case you missed it earlier...  Here it is again.  Having Fun!  Getting Good!  Working Hard!

Now if you will excuse me...  It's time for me to go practice!