Orchestra is an academic course with specific Core Knowledge, National Music Standards and State Music Standards guidelines. Poudre School District Middle Schools utilize Standards-Based Grading to calculate each student's progress and growth. Therefore, each student's grades in Orchestra will be tied to one of these four Colorado Music Standards*:
1. Expression of Music
The expression of music is the demonstration of human thought and emotion through the medium of performance, which is a product of knowledge and skills gained in the study of music
2. Creation of Music
The creation of music is the demonstration of learned skills in the composition, improvisation, and arranging of music. Creating music involves writing music, fashioning new music from an existing piece of music, or forming an entirely new piece of music.
3. Theory of Music
The theory of music is the understanding of the distinctive language, conventions, mechanics, and structure of organized sound. Investigation of music theory allows for a more complete understanding of all aspects of the musical process, including musical performance and composition.
4. Aesthetic Valuation of Music
The value of music focuses on the knowledge needed to make an informed evaluation and to provide a well-thought-out critique about a musical piece. It also addresses the beauty, heart, and soul: the aesthetics of music. Valuing music will permit individuals to distinguish between a scholarly and an individual judgment of music.
Poudre School District Middle Schools also differentiate assignments by categorizing them as either summative or formative assessments. Simply stated, a summative assessment should be an assessment of learning whereas a formative assessment should be an assessment for learning or even as learning. For more explanation of the different assessment types, see this article from Carnegie Mellon University: What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?
Examples of formative assessment in Orchestra include:
Rehearsal Assessment (each student's performance during class)
Successful rehearsals are dependent upon each student's preparedness. Please see Orchestra Supply List for required materials.
An Advanced level achievement in rehearsal includes consistent engagement in class as well as good preparation, significant improvement, and leadership.
Proficient achievement in rehearsal includes consistent engagement in class with good preparation, and improvement of skills.
Partially Proficient achievement in rehearsal indicates inconsistent participation in class, a lack of participation (perhaps due to a lack of instrument or other supplies), a lack of or poor preparation, and little to no growth in skills.
Practice Logs (each student's individual practice outside of class time)
Individual practice is an essential part of learning to play an instrument, therefore, every student is expected to practice consistently throughout the school year.
Practice is the primary form of homework in Orchestra.
The logs serve as a communication tool between student, parent,
Playing tests on scales, exercises, and selections of concert music
Theory workbook exercises
Written assignments to strengthen music reading and/or listening
skills, history, and culture
Examples of summative assessment in Orchestra include:
Concerts are required. (More information is below under "Concerts".)
Certain playing tests and/or written tests such as the quarterly Core Knowledge Assessments.
Grades will be updated in Synergy approximately every two weeks.
If the absence is pre-planned, it is best to consult with Mrs. Griffey beforehand to get make-up work. If the absence was not planned, first check the Google Classroom page for updates. Upon returning to school, the student should consult with Mrs. Griffey briefly during a transitional time of class or before or after school to learn if any additional make-up work is required.
Missing Supplies for Class
All students are expected to have all the required supplies every day for Orchestra class. If a student is missing his/her instrument, he/she will be required to complete an alternate assignment for the daily Rehearsal Assessment grade. This alternate assignment will need to be completed through home practice and signed by a parent before being turned in to Mrs. Griffey. (If an instrument is being repaired, please notify Mrs. Griffey as soon as possible via email or a written note from a parent. When appropriate and feasible, other accommodations will be made in this case.)
Practice Logs are the primary form of homework in Orchestra and are a formative assessment. The rationale for this is to emphasize and evaluate the quality of music practice in addition to the quantity.
Practice Logs are submitted as responses to the Google Form posted each week in the students' Google Classroom for Orchestra. Practice Logs should record each student's practice from Monday through Sunday of each week and are DUE on the following Monday morning by 8:15 a.m. Students should submit this form every week, regardless of the quantity or quality of their practice. In the case of a student's extended illness, injury, or travel, accommodations may be made. Please use the online Google form to communicate such concerns to Mrs. Griffey. No late logs will be accepted! (There will occasionally be "Optional Weeks" which can be used to replace a previous missing or low grade within the same grading period.)
Grading of practice logs is based on the following rubric:
Kinard Orchestra Practice Log Grading Rubric
Concert Uniform Information
All students have a required concert uniform that they must wear for concerts and performances.
6th Grade Beginning & Concert (7th Grade)Orchestra:
1. Black Kinard Music long-sleeve t-shirt tucked in (will be ordered in the fall for new students).
2. Blue jeans (darker blue is preferred) or solid black pants or skirt (below knee length).
3. Clean, neat shoes (sneakers or nice athletic shoes OK - please no flip flops)
Concerts celebrate and demonstrate students' learning over a period of time. To perform music for an audience is one of the greatest experiences of learning music! Concerts teach students how to prepare for a long term goal, how to cope with nervousness, to follow directions, appropriate behavior at formal concerts, and how to critically listen to other performers. It is not possible to replace or "make-up" a concert experience due to the unique aspects listed above. Therefore, all concerts are required. Please find a list of Kinard Orchestra concerts here. If there is a concern about a student's ability to participate in a concert, please inform Mrs. Griffey as soon as this concern arises.
Our Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra are the premier performing ensembles in our music program. These groups travel to several performances and festivals each year. Because of this visibility and the musical maturity of these ensembles, we believe it is valuable to have the Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra in a formal uniform. Families are responsible for providing the uniform. You can download the 2019-2020 Uniform Information letter here.