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2013 2014 Beech Springs Orchestra Handbook

Dear Orchestra Students and Parents, Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year and thank you for being a member of the Beech Springs Orchestra Family. I look forward to teaching the 5th and 6th grade orchestra classes and watching their progress in musical skills. I encourage you to be an active advocate for music in the educational life of your child. Your investment, time, effort, and energy can produce a lifetime of wonderful memories and musical enjoyment. Parents and students, please read this handbook carefully, become familiar with its content, and sign and return the Student & Parent Signature Page at the end. There is a lot of information, but it is all important! Return it to Mrs. Robertson by Friday, August 23. Throughout the school year, you will be receiving letters concerning upcoming concerts and other information important to the musical development of your child. I believe strongly in communicating all information with parents no orchestra program can survive without an informed and strong parental support base. I will occasionally send home personal notes that should be stapled in the students agenda. I will post information and updates weekly on my Beech Springs Orchestra Blog. Please visit regularly and sign up for updates via email.
The orchestra program at Beech Springs strives to create an environment conducive to stimulating creativity and positive attitudes about the performance and enjoyment of music. Music is a transmission of culture, and it is with this in mind that, through learning basic performance skills on an instrument, the orchestra program attempts to develop a lifelong appreciation for the value of music. This two-year program is designed to foster a basic understanding and appreciation for music, as well as provide the necessary skills to allow students to continue participation in orchestra through middle school, high school and college. The objectives of our orchestra program are as follows: * To teach instrumental music education through performance * To develop performance skills and techniques * To provide an ensemble/group experience requiring precision and cooperation * To provide some of the musical needs of the school and community Always feel free to contact me with questions or concerns you might have. I am honored to be your orchestra director, and I look forward to working with you and your child. Musically yours,

Lori P. Robertson
Orchestra Director Beech Springs Intermediate School (864) 949-7600 2013 2014 Beech Springs Orchestra Handbook Page 1 of 10

REQUIRED MATERIALS for class EVERY day: Instrument and bow Rosin Shoulder rest or sponge for violins and violas only Essential Elements 2000 5th grade Book 1 6th grade Book 2 Pencil 1-inch 3-ring binder notebook paper

My instrument is in the repair shop! What should I do?

Bring a note from your parent or the repair shop. You may borrow a school instrument if one is available. If not, you are expected to listen and take notes.

SmartMusic subscription HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (available at Tuner (or a tuner app) Metronome (or a metronome app) Cleaning cloth or soft cotton rag Sheet protectors for music

Sheet music will be issued to students throughout the school year. Sheet music may be placed in a plastic sheet protector before being placed in the students binder. Students will also be using class sets of supplemental method books.

Orchestra students cannot succeed if they dont have the right stuff!
This sounds obvious, but it is amazing how many students will forget their materials. What if I dont have something that I need for orchestra class? Students will either borrow the material or complete an alternative orchestra assignment. If this happens often, it will be considered a Level 1 Offense in the school-wide discipline plan.

LOCKS for Orchestra Lockers

Students will be assigned their own lockers. If a student would like to have a lock on his or her locker, please give Mrs. Robertson a written and signed note from parents/guardians. For example, John has my permission to use a lock on his orchestra locker. The combination is . Mrs. Robertson also needs a copy of the key or lock code. Students who regularly forget their combination or key will not be allowed to use their lock.

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The Students Instrument

The students should be especially careful with their instruments because they are very fragile and expensive. All instruments should be in good playing condition. Instrument cases should have the students name printed clearly on the outside of the case. Lockers are provided and should be used for instruments and music only. Students are not allowed to keep other personal items in these lockers. Instruments may be taken home for additional practice or left at school. Cellos and basses are not allowed on school buses, so students must arrange car transportation when they want to take their instruments home to practice. Here are the options for acquiring instruments: 1. The student owns the instrument. OR OR

2. The student rents from a local music store.

3. The student rents a school instrument. School instruments are available to those in need on a first-come, first-serve basis. All bass players will rent from the school. Cello players often rent from school, but they are also available at stores. Viola and violin players are strongly encouraged to rent through a music store. In order to use a school instrument there is a fee that helps to pay for yearly expenses such as string replacement, bow rehairs, bridge adjustments and any repairs that may be needed throughout the school year. The district fee is $100 per year. If you choose, you may pay $10.00 monthly payments beginning in August. The student may leave the instrument at school in an assigned locker or take it home to practice. In order to rent a school instrument, a rental contract must be completed, signed, and returned. The student will receive their instrument after turning in the rental contract with their initial payment of $25. If you write checks, please make checks payable to Beech Springs. If you pay in cash, please have exact change. School instruments are very limited in number, but we make every effort to ensure that students who truly need one will have one to play in class.


Neither the orchestra program, the school district, nor the director is responsible for student owned or rented instruments and materials that are lost or stolen. Each parent and student is responsible for recording the instruments serial number at home, and each student is responsible for making sure his or her instrument is always taken home at the end of the school day. Parents who rent their childs instrument from a music store or from the school instrument inventory are strongly encouraged to purchase insurance on the instrument. Parents who purchase an instrument are recommended to check with their home-owners insurance policy regarding potential loss or theft of that instrument during the school day. Instruments left overnight are the responsibility of the student.

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Local Music Stores

Several local music stores sell educator-approved instruments, books, and accessories. Instruments are also available to rent. I encourage you to call in advance, and also check the phone book for other stores. Music & Arts Centers 1450 W.O. Ezell Blvd.
(Market Square Plaza with Ollies, LensCrafters, and Burlington)

Spartanburg, SC 29301 Local: 864-595-1116 Toll Free: 1-800-237-7760

Bernhardt House of Violins 10 Howe St. Greenville, SC 29601 Toll Free: 1-866-479-8889 Local: 864-282-8887

Online Stores
Shar Music: Southwest Strings:

Step-Up Instruments and Upgrades in Equipment

The instrument sold or rented to students for use as a beginning instrument is of a competent brand and sometimes suitable for advanced playing. As early as 6th grade, students notice that a beginning instrument does not work well or sound right for their current level. Please see Mrs. Robertson for a list of instruments and equipment upgrades (shoulder rests, bows, rosin, etc.) that are recommended for students.

Before buying a new instrument, please check with the director.

Be very careful about buying an instrument online, especially through auction sites such as eBay. Many of these instruments have many problems or do not work! On many occasions, students come into class with a new instrument, and it is a VSO! The problems with the instrument cant even be fixed. Remember ASK BEFORE YOU BUY! Wasting money stinks.

NO VSO ! (Violin Shaped Object)

Quality makes a HUGE difference to the sound of the instrument and the success of the player.

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Instrument Repairs
NEVER TRY TO FIX AN INSTRUMENT YOURSELF! NO GLUE!!!! DO NOT TUNE OR CHANGE STRINGS! If a school instrument needs repair under normal circumstances, Mrs. Robertson will have it repaired. Unless the student caused the damage on purpose, this will not cost the student. Strings do break as normal wear and tear, and the school will replace strings on school instruments if they break normally. However, if the student does not follow instructions and then breaks a string, the student will pay for a new string. All music stores have strings for sale, but you may also buy strings from the school. Supplies All violin strings All cello strings Cleaning cloth Rosin - violin, viola, cello

$5 each $15 each $4 $3

All viola strings Rosin for bass Shoulder rest (KUN)

$8.00 each $9 $25

Privileges and Rewards

Students have opportunities to earn special privileges and rewards for outstanding achievement and conduct. These can include candy, small prizes, class celebrations, and field trips.

All fingernails should be short at all times. I realize that some of you girls especially may not be happy with this, but there are very good reasons. Fingernails do scratch and dent instruments fingerboards. Fingernails also prevent a good playing position; if your fingernails are too long (much beyond the white) then you cant play on your fingertips with curved fingers. A poor playing position = not too pretty music .. I will have some nail clippers in the orchestra room for emergencies. Thank you for your help with this!

Taking private lessons on an instrument is the best way to improve performance skills. The oneon-one approach allows the student to benefit from the individual attention as opposed to a teacher monitoring a big class. A recent survey of students in the South Carolina All-State Band (a state-wide honors group) revealed that 80% of those students in the band studied with a private instructor. Simply put, private lessons work! Lessons improve a students abilities, thereby improving their enjoyment of band or orchestra. 1. Call local music stores to get names and information about lessons (Music & Arts: 595-1116). 2. Converse College offers instruction through the Lawson Academy

3. Byrnes High School orchestra students often teach lessons. Mrs. Robertson will pass along this information.

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Beech Springs Classroom Rules

1. Listen carefully. 2. Follow directions. 3. Work quietly and dont disturb others working. 4. Respect others and be kind with your words and actions. 5. Respect school and others property. 6. Work and play safely.

All school and district discipline policies will also be followed.

Please note the empty-mouth policy No gum No drinks (there is a water fountain just outside the orchestra room) No food

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Orchestra Procedures
Before School Drop off your instrument on the way to your classroom. If the orchestra room is closed, take your instrument to your classroom. Never leave your instrument or supplies outside of the orchestra room. During Class Come into the room quietly and read the board. Get your instrument and supplies, and have a seat. As soon as you unpack, please begin to practice your music. Water You may drink from the water fountain just outside the room. Bathroom please go during your regularly scheduled breaks. You may not leave the room unless it is an emergency Do not touch anything that is not yours. This includes other instruments and supplies, the keyboard, the computer, and anything in other lockers. The student responsible will pay for any intentional or accidental damages that occur to an instrument. This includes damage that occurs in or out of the classroom, whether it is your instrument or someone elses. Do not go in the office or locker room without the teachers permission. Raise your hand before you speak. Do not play your instrument out of turn. o Never play while the teacher is talking. o Never continue to play after the teacher stops the class. We will pack up 5 minutes before the end of class and then line up at the door to be dismissed. After School Extra Help / Afternoon Practice o If you want to practice in the orchestra room after school, you must first ask Mrs. Robertson during your regular class. Never assume that it is okay to stay! o Fill out one after-school practice permission slip and have Mrs. Robertson sign it. o Bring your belongings since you will not go back to homeroom. o Bus riders will be dismissed when their buses are called. o Car riders should plan ahead to be picked up at 3:10. o There will be no practice when Mrs. Robertson has bus duty.

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There will be several concerts at Beech Springs this school year. All students are required to perform at all concerts. This is a performing arts class. We are a team, and the entire group suffers when someone is absent. The student also misses a very valuable, educational, and fun experience by not participating. Students who miss concerts may not be allowed to continue orchestra the following year. Please see the 2013 2014 Orchestra Dates on the next page, mark your calendars now, and make every possible effort to be there.

Concert Attendance Policy

Concerts and occasional after-school rehearsals are considered part of the class requirement. Good communication between teachers, students, and parents can prevent misunderstandings. 1. Written notices from parents / guardians are required for all absences. 2. Advance notices are required for all prior commitments. A prior commitment is defined as a date already committed to another event when the schedule is announced. Parents / Guardians should send a notice of such a commitment to the director immediately. 3. In the case of an illness or family emergency: Parents / Guardians should send a written notice as soon as they are aware that such a situation exists. If it is an emergency situation, a parent should leave a message on the directors voice mail or email. 4. Make-up work is required for any student who misses a concert.

Concert Attire
Concerts are a formal affair. By dressing professionally, we show pride in our orchestra. Please prepare ahead of time dont try to purchase an entire outfit the night of a concert. Students not adhering to the orchestra dress code may not be allowed to perform. If any student should have difficulty acquiring any part of the required concert attire, please let Mrs. Robertson know as soon as possible. In order to insure the best possible appearance during performances and concert festivals, the following dress code has been adapted for all Beech Springs Orchestra members: Girls * solid white blouse with short or long sleeves * solid black long dress slacks -or- a solid black skirt that is mid-calf when seated * solid black dress shoes or dress sandals Boys * solid white, long-sleeve dress shirt * solid black long dress pants * solid black socks * solid black dress shoes

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2013-2014 Orchestra Dates

Please mark your calendars now
Much more info to follow

Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Spooktacular Orchestra Concert at the District 5 Fine Arts Center
This concert will feature all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in District Five. Each grade level orchestra will play selections. Students and audience may come in costume. Admission is free and open to the public.

Monday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Orchestra and Chorus Concert at the District 5 Fine Arts Center
This concert will feature the Beech Springs 5th and 6th grade orchestra along with the Beech Springs Chorus. Each group will play selections on their own, followed by a few combined musical selections. All orchestra students are required to perform in their concert uniforms (black & white). Family and friends are welcome to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.


6th Grade Students Only: March 20, 21, OR 22 SCMEA Concert Festival
This is a field trip for second year orchestra that takes place during one school day. District Five is hosting this event this year at our beautiful Fine Arts Center. The orchestra will perform three pieces for judges and receive comments and ratings.

Tuesday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Orchestra and Chorus Concert at the District 5 Fine Arts Center
This concert will feature the Beech Springs 5th and 6th grade orchestra along with the Beech Springs Chorus. Each group will play selections on their own, followed by a few combined musical selections. All orchestra students are required to perform in their concert uniforms (black & white). Family and friends are welcome to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.

Optional: Saturday, May 3 SCMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival at Spartanburg High School.
Students will perform solos or duets for a judge and receive comments and a score. This is an exciting event that builds musicianship and character.

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Student & Parent / Guardian Signature Page

Keep the Orchestra Handbook.

Please return this page to Mrs. Robertson no later than Friday, August 23, 2013.

I have read and I agree to follow the Rules and Procedures for Orchestra at Beech Springs Intermediate.
Student Name: ____________________________________________________________ Grade: ______ Instrument: _______________ Student Signature: ______________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Name (print) Parent/Guardian Signature ___________________________________________ Date _______________ Phone numbers ________________________________________________________________________ Please check one: Student owns instrument. Student rents instrument from store.

Student rents instrument from school. Please sign and return the Rental Instrument Form. ______$100 paid in full or $______ partial payment/deposit

Please note that this is by need and on a first come, first serve basis. Students renting a school instrument will receive their instrument after their first payment of $25.

Please check one:

We do have internet at home.

We do NOT have internet at home.

In an effort to communicate with you regarding your childs assignments and/or class events, I will have a n e-mail list. If you would like to be on this list, please provide your name and e-mail address. Please print clearly. Also, visit the BSIS Orchestra Blog at and sign up for email updates there. E-mail address ________________________________________________________________________________ Attached is information about Remind101. It is a service that provides a safe way for teachers to text message or email students and parents. Using Remind101, teachers can engage their students and parents more effectively without needing to know their phone number and without having to give their phone number out. ************************************************************************************* Use the space on back for questions and comments. Please include any special needs and/or medical conditions.

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