klo band 7 handbook

I am excited that you decided to join the band program at KLO! My name is Mrs.
Samaddar. I'm your grade seven band director and will be starting my second year at KLO.
Wow- this will be my 32nd year teaching, my 23rd in Kelowna. I am fortunate to be able to
partner with Mr. Perry, our full-time KLO music director and I also teach English 7 and
Social Studies 7. I've taught grade seven many years at Dorothea Walker as well as Band
and Classroom at Raymer and Lakeview Heights. I've also held music specialist positions
in Delta and was a full-time secondary band teacher in North Vancouver. A mother of four Nathan (25), Devin (22), Liam (19) and Maya (14), I recently celebrated my 26th wedding
anniversary with Sam Samaddar, YLW's Airport Director.
Your first assignment is to review this handbook with your family, copy concert dates to
your home calendar, and sign and return the participation agreement located on the last
page of this handbook on or before Wednesday, October 1st.
It’s wonderful that you have decided to make music a part of your education! Be sure to
take full advantage of the opportunities offered during your time at KLO! Music can be a
truly rewarding and memorable school experience, and I look forward to helping you begin
this journey with a great year of learning and making music together. At the time I wrote
this handbook we had about 90 students enrolled in our Grade Seven Band Program!
If you signed up for band because you want to learn to play an instrument well, and to be
among friends who all want to make great music, then your goals fit together nicely with
mine. Music has always been an integral component of every society – in times of
celebration, mourning, relaxation, or any other emotion, people have always turned to
music as the medium to help express their thoughts and sentiments, whether individually or
I want to teach you how to play your instrument, read music, and work together in a friendly
and respectful atmosphere so we may perform music to the best of our ability. There will
be plenty of opportunities for you to develop cooperative and collaborative skills, and selfdiscipline through rehearsals and home practice.
Not all band students become great musicians, but certainly all become more mature,
cooperative, self-disciplined, hardworking members of society with an appreciation of the
arts. The life-lessons picked up in band are significant and can translate to success in other
areas of your life!
We will go over routines more in-depth during class. These are some to keep in mind:
 Be attentive and respectful.
 Avoid playing any instrument other than your own
 Be ready to play on time with all materials (pencil, small binder, music and
instrument in good working order).
We want you to be courteous and willing to work toward our common goals. You need to
accept guidance and constructive criticism in a positive way. Your classmates and I need
you to be prepared for all rehearsals and performances. This means paying attention to
detail and practicing at home as well at school, to improve and develop consistency in your
playing. We also expect you to perform whatever "duties" are assigned to you or to your
Section (e.g., taking care of the rehearsal room, equipment, storage areas, and sheet
music). Each member of the band is vital. We all come to depend on one other. You are
important to us!
There are activities throughout the year which, in order to do well, I could use some help
from band parents. Mr. Perry and I have scheduled two evening concerts, Wednesday,
December 17th and Tuesday, June 16th. During Education Week, on Wednesday, March
11th, grade 7 band students will showcase and celebrate their progress! I will be in touch
soon as we schedule a Band Parent Meeting and as we approach each event. If you’re
available to volunteer, thank you, as parent involvement is key to the success of our
In order to have a successful program good communication between parents and teachers
is essential. The good source for information is my website:
http://pamsamaddar.weebly.com and Jupiter Grades. Please check regularly as I will
update both as needed and will have information as to upcoming events, calendars, contact
information, templates, assignments, tests/quizzes, etc.
I want to be available to you to answer your questions about band, band events, and/or
your child’s musical progress. If you have ANY questions or concerns please contact me
directly or through your child's agenda, Jupiter Grades, my website CONTACT form or
email pamela.samaddar@sd23.bc.ca or by phone at (250) 870-5106. As several teachers
choose to use Jupiter Grades you may want to set up an account immediately.
Rationale – Why Take Band?
Music education…
 Enables all learners to explore, create, perceive, and communicate thoughts,
images, and feelings through music.
 Plays a significant role in students’ lifelong development,
 Contributes to the development of a healthier society and a culturally literate
citizenry that respects and reflects the diversity of human relationships.
 Enables students to interact with sound — simultaneously engaging mind, body, and
spirit — through creating, performing, listening to, and responding to music.
 Offers one of the most effective ways of connecting thinking and feeling
 Provides a way of learning that effectively integrates the cognitive, psychomotor, and
affective domains.
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
Students will
 develop competency in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making through
experiences with music
 develop literacy in music, especially familiarity with the conventions of written music
 connect knowledge gained through experiences in music with other aspects of my life
 demonstrate understanding and appreciation of artistic and aesthetic expression
 develop independence, self-motivation, and positive self-image
 practice co-operation in social interactions involving the creation, exploration, and
expression of music
 explore, create, and interpret self-awareness and global understanding through the
study of music and the music traditions of various cultures
 develop discipline and confidence through experiences that require focussed and
sustained practice
 appreciate the role of music in society
 explore opportunities for lifelong pursuits in music (as recreation or career, as performer
or audience).
For a specific list, visit the BAND 7 TAB on Mrs. Samaddar Webpage.
During our first band period, Wednesday, September 3rd, students will experience their
first band class:
 Welcome & Intro to Band
 A review of this Band 7 Handbook and most important Music 7 Instrument
Selection Form to be returned the very next class. (Also posted on website)
turnaround time. I am available prior to school tomorrow (8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.) and after
school to answer student/parent questions or concerns. If this does not work please email
me immediately at pamela.samaddar@sd23.bc.ca. My goal is to let students know their
assigned instrument during this next class so that parents/families can acquire an
instrument for their child on or before the rental/ first lesson evening, September 11th.
To acquire an instrument for your son/daughter, please see suggestions written in the
"Frequently Asked Questions" segment towards the end of this handbook. Few
instruments are available to rent at KLO, however, we have some larger instruments. Also,
know band is an expensive undertaking and we want you to feel comfortable speaking to
us regarding any financial concerns. Anything shared will be kept in confidence with our
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
principal and music department directors. Bottom line, we want students in band enjoying
Please attend this important event scheduled for:
For your convenience, local music store representatives will be available at 6:15 p.m. and
first lessons with guest clinicians will start at 7:00 p.m. We ask that all Band 7 students
attend his/her "first lesson on the 1ST of October. Instruments are not mandatory, but if
you have one, bring it along. Students will learn important tips about putting their
instrument together, preparing to play and for caring for their instrument. If your child is
unable to attend, please email me (pamela.samaddar@sd23.bc.ca) I will make other
arrangements for the first lesson to occur prior to our first "whole-class" session with
instruments October 2nd or 3rd.
Instruments are assigned based on a variety of factors:
 Your child's top three preferences
 Your child's history with music
 The need to have a balanced blend of instruments in band; and
 The qualities they possess that make certain instruments more appropriate (E.g.,
physical suitability – embouchure, braces?, arm length, size of hands, etc.)
Please know that I will do my best to balance the factors mentioned above with my
decisions and at the same time recognize students' feelings/emotions during this process.
Do not hesitate to call me at KLO if you have any concerns.
INSTRUMENT ACCESSORIES (Please ensure your child has what they need)
Clarinet & Saxophone
Oboe & Bassoon
❑ Cleaning rod
❑ Reeds – strength 2 Rico
❑ Two medium-soft cane
Reeds (Keep 3 on hand at all
❑ Swab (purchased from a
reeds. (Your private teacher
times in reed guards)
store or homemade out of
should help select reeds for
3×10 inch strip of old tee-shirt) ❑ Cleaning swab*
you. If you are not taking
❑ Polishing cloth
❑ Cleaning cloth
lessons, please see me for
❑ Optional: pad saver
❑ Cork grease*
a list of good sources.
❑ Pad savers (optional)
❑ a small container of
*A cleaning kit (purchased at
water (a film canister with
music stores) will contain
snug lid works great)
these items.
❑ Reed case
❑ Cleaning swabs
Extra reeds are available at
KLO for $2.00 each
❑ Cleaning cloth
❑ Seat strap
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
❑ Stick bag with a pair of
drum sticks
You will need a snare drum
(or practice pad) and a bell kit
for home practice. Depending
on the size of the percussion
section, beginners may have
to bring their bell kits to / from
Brass Instruments (trumpet,
trombone, tuba, etc.)
❑ Valve oil (horns use rotor oil, trombones use slide oil, or
better yet, slide cream and a very small spray-bottle of water.
Palm sized spritzer bottles can be purchased
at local drug stores.)
❑ Cleaning brushes and snake
❑ Slide grease
❑ Polishing cloth
Cleaning kits usually contain all that stuff listed above.
You should have all your materials, including your instrument for your first band
class Thursday, October 1st or Friday, October 2nd.
Make sure your instrument case is clearly marked near the handle with your first and last
name and class initials. Band 7 Block 1, 3, or 5 (Blue/Green painter’s tape works great
because it’s easy to spot and doesn’t leave sticky marks when you remove it later.)
Students need to bring the following items to their seat each day:
 Sharpened pencils with eraser on tip. No pens. Not even erasable pen. Make a
habit of keeping a few sharp pencils in your instrument case or folder, and always
set one on your music stand at the beginning of class.
 Duotang - You have to be able to remove or store pages quickly without losing
 Quality instrument in good, working condition.
 Method book "Standard of Excellence" Book 1 by Bruce Pearson (red cover). This
book can be purchased at local music stores or signed out at the KLO library.
 SMARTMUSIC – Please register online for this amazing opportunity. For a
small yearly fee ($40), your child has access to computer software that
accompanies, records, shows errors, tutors and makes playing at home
effective and fun. Worth every penny! Watch for a separate flyer!
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
 Wire music stand for home practice inexpensive, electronic metronome (comes
with SmartMusic)
 Instrument accessories and cleaning supplies as listed earlier.
– NOV. 28 , 2014
DEC. 1 , 2014 – MARCH 6 , 2015
MARCH 9 – JUNE 2015
Sheet music and method books are expensive. Please keep them neat. It’s okay to
write on your parts. Good musicians are expected to write on their music, however,
marks you make must be erased before the music is collected. Write lightly and always
use a pencil. Music is to be returned in the similar condition it was handed out.
Further into the year we will offer an opportunity for students to purchase a personalized
black binder. Please await further information regarding this. Note: Cardboard folders
are not used in our program.
Gr. 7 and 8 students use the "upper" storage room. Gr. 9s use the room next to my
office. We ask flute and clarinet players to keep instruments in lockers. At the end of
the day, remember to stop by the band room to pick up your instrument. Your
instrument is valuable and it is important to take care of it.
Section rehearsals help address special challenges presented on each individual
instrument. We will review exercises especially designed for your instrument. They will
often come from the "For…Only" exercises positioned in green on the left-hand pages
of the Standard of Excellence Book. Sectionals are scheduled at lunch (Brass,
Tuesday, Woodwinds, and Thursday.) Percussionists , we will arrange time together.
Sectionals will be short and focused during lunch, however, mornings and most after
school times are not options due to busing and other rehearsals. Note: On occasion,
sectionals will be cancelled as I attend meetings and have supervision responsibilities.
Your child's success in band will depend a great deal on what is achieved during daily
home practice sessions. Learning takes place in school, but proficiency is gained at
home. You can use the following guidelines to help your youngster at home.
o 20-30 minutes is the minimum amount of practice time recommended for
the average student. Practicing at the same time every day is good, but
some flexibility should be built into this schedule. Don't bring the world to a
halt at 6:30 pm every evening because it's practice time - kids need time
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
for fun and relaxation just as adults do. If the situation merits, reschedule
the practice session to an earlier or later time. Note: Beginners ONLY
need to practice 15 minutes per day the first month of school and then
start 20-30 min. per day after that. This is because their facial muscles
have not matured enough the first month to handle 30 minutes of a
practice routine without forming bad habits.
o Practicing should be done in an area that is free of distractions away from
the TV, radio, stereo, and family traffic. Good lighting, a straight-backed
chair, mirror, and a music stand are definite assets. Reed players should
have several reeds available during the practice session.
o Spend some time listening to your child practice. Offer constructive
criticisms. You do not need to be a former band member or musician to be
able to hear improvement. Encourage them to play assignments and tests
for you. Each time the student plays for a friend or relative, it helps them to
feel more comfortable with a performance or competitive event.
For the beginning band student, the field of instrumental music is new. Students are
learning to use facial and finger muscles in a different way and their breathing
apparatus for a different purpose. There is a new language of symbols (notes) that
require the use of their mind and body to translate this into musical sounds. All this
takes time! Even parents who have former instrumental training have probably
forgotten the "struggle" of producing those first few notes and songs.
Parents can evaluate practice sessions by asking:
1. What is your assignment for today?
2. Am I hearing the same daily warm up each day? It is important to play the same
daily warm up and drill before beginning the assigned material.
3. Am I hearing music that they can already play, or am I hearing attempts at new
4. Is the tone quality becoming more characteristic of the instrument, or is the tone
harsh, unmusical, and unpleasant?
5. Does the familiar tune or exercise move along steadily with some sort of fluent
rhythm, or is it halting and jerky with no steady rhythm?
A student's practice reflection is designed to help students establish an organized
routine for daily practice and to communicate how they are doing/feeling. The practice
portion of this reflection is not needed to be able to tell whether a student has practiced
or not. How you improve from day to day and week-to-week reveals that fact. Honesty is
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
the best policy concerning practice time. Students and I will develop criteria for a quality
weekly reflection to share with classmates and online with myself.
The Practice Cycle
Incorrect habits are sometimes more easily developed than correct habits, and a habit is
hard to change so THINK when you practice. Avoid simply going through the motions!
Remember, the playing of your instrument comes through development of coordination,
just like any athlete. Patience is a virtue for the ambitious player. Individual practice is
the homework that must be done to meet the responsibilities that go with being a
part of a team. The idea is to have a fun, engaging musical experience. We can only
do that if we have good skills on the instrument and a good understanding of the music.
Skills and understanding come only with daily practice. At times you will be called upon
to play your parts alone, and should be prepared to do so. Don't worry. I will make it
fun and your classmates will support you!
1. Warm up correctly. Each instrument should have a separate warm up for home
practice that differs from the band warm up. Use a mirror and concentrate on
tone quality and embouchure during long tone warm ups.
2. Set a goal for the practice session. Don't try to do too much at one sitting.
3. Isolate a problem or a section in a piece of music. It may be a rhythm, a
measure, or a line of music. Repeat it over and over many times - just like
shooting baskets in the basketball goal. Practice it slowly at first, and then
gradually build up the speed using a metronome.
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
4. Try to end each practice session with something that is fun to play and that
has already been mastered! Practice involves learning and reinforcing areas
that are difficult therefore it is not always fun.
Structure your practice session to get the most benefit out of your time!
Warm up and daily drill:
Fundamentals: tone, breath control,
(long tones, scales, lip slurs) embouchure,
technique, tonguing, etc.
New material and
Develop new technique, increase range,
expand capability of student
Previous and continuing
Improvement of finger dexterity,
tonguing, tone, musicality, etc.
Personal music choices
The practice session will vary depending on assignments and time constraints. The
more consistent you are the better your results will be. Efficient use of time is important
in your busy schedule.
One of the real joys of being in band is getting to perform and the beginner band is
intended as a training ground to prepare each student to participate in performing
bands. Students will learn a vast amount of musical and instrumental concepts the first
year and will perform scales, music and band literature throughout the year. Basic
music concepts such as rhythm notation, music note identification, instrumental
fingerings and tone production will be covered in our Band 7 class.
At KLO, we have scheduled two grade 7-9 public performances and one Grade 7
Showcase & Celebration. See scheduled dates earlier in this handbook. Please mark
the performances on your calendar and know students will have rehearsals at the
Kelowna Community Theater the day of the first event and will need to arrive much
earlier than concert start times of 7:00 p.m. Separate details will be provided prior to
each event!
It is absolutely essential that all members of our band be present at all performances
and sectional rehearsals. We work together as a team. When even one person is
absent, the entire ensemble is effected and virtually incomplete.
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
A phone call or email to Mrs. Samaddar before a performance or sectional rehearsal is
required for an absence to be excused. While excused absences should be a serious
illness or family emergency, we recognize individual circumstances. Absences are to
be made up through special arrangements with Mrs. Samaddar. One example is a
playing test.
BLACK top, BLACK bottom, BLACK socks, BLACK shoes
Assessments will be conducted both formally and informally. Formal assessments are
recorded after which students receive written and verbal feedback. Informal
assessments are taken from brief solo performances during class, or through teacher
observation as the ensemble plays. Together, students and I will review rubrics to
assess skills and help students better understand their targets, progress and set goals
for improvement.
Rubrics will categorize skills into four levels: Beginning (Not Yet Meeting, Advancing
(Minimally Meeting), Meeting, and Exceeding. Students are welcome to stop by for extra
help. Other than sectionals, I will try and make myself available most days after school.
Prior to school each morning, I can be located in my band office or English classroom
by the Cougar Den.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I've never played an instrument before – is that problem?
A: Teaching music is what we do! For first year students, we'll teach you everything,
including how to read music, figure out rhythms, and move your fingers at the right
times. With your good work, you'll be able to play great tunes within a month or two.
Q: Why didn't I get my first choice?
A: We tried our best. Most of what you learn on your 2nd or 3rd choice will be easy to
transfer to your first choice instrument, if you still want to switch later or next year.
Q: What kind of music do you play?
A: Everyone has their own preferences, so we try to include a huge variety – rock, pop,
jazz, swing, classical, big band, disco, concert marches!
Q: Can I switch instruments in Grade 8?
A: The second year of music is often a great time to switch. All of the basics you will
have learned will transfer to a new instrument. There are so many reasons that
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
students might have for switching – for each student, we'll talk about the reasons, and
make sure that it's the right decision before moving forward with the switch.
Q: Can I play the drums?
It depends. A percussionist is one of the most important people in the band. They also
have the toughest job in reading rhythms, and they don't get a lot of attention in
rehearsals, because we're trying to sort out the songs before we need the drums.
Owning a drum set, renting a mallet set for home and private lessons are highly
recommended. Interested percussionists should attend a special meeting at
lunch, Friday, Sept. 6th.
Q: Can I play piano or electric guitar in band?
A: Not really. Our program won't start you on these instruments. In Jazz Band we do
have jazz piano or guitar, but a student would need about 5 years of private instruction
before they can handle the Jazz band music. There is bass guitar in Concert Band.
Once in a while we'll have horn players play their own guitars for certain songs. The
usual instruments are flute, oboe, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, trumpet,
French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, bass guitar, and percussion (drums).
Q: Do you do band trips?
A: We have in the past for Grade 8 and Grade 9 students, but not in our beginning
band year. The trip to Edmonton last year was excellent!
Q: Do we have to practice?
A: Of course! The course requirement is 100-150 minutes per week, above and
beyond our school rehearsals (after the first month).
Q: How do I get an instrument?
A: Options are to rent, rent-to-own or purchase. You might want to look into buying a
good used instrument by checking the newspapers or contact our local music stores
(Paramount, Wentworth, Valley Wind and Reed, World of Music, etc.). KLO does have
a variety of instruments available ($100 payable in September). Students are asked to
attend their First Lesson Evening September 12th7:00 p.m. If needed, music store
reps are on hand at 6:15 p.m. near the gym entrance.
Q: Is music fun?
A: Yes! Most students thoroughly enjoy the band experience and look forward to days
when they have Band. The first few weeks will be full of squeaks, squawks, and sore
muscles, but even this is kind of fun! If you practice, you'll be playing with confidence in
only a short time. Talk to our grade 8 students and they will tell you how well they did
last year!
Q: Do students need to take private lessons?
A: No However, the opportunity to study privately with a
professional musician can be an important factor in an individual's success if a student
is struggling or wishes to progress more quickly.
KLO Middle School Band 7 Handbook
Note: Percussion, bassoon and oboe players are asked to have private tutorials.
Please complete and return this section indicating you reviewed the KLO Band 7
Handbook with your child on or before Friday, September 12th.
This form lets me know you received information that will help get the band year off to a
good start. I appreciate your patience with the amount of information coming from
school this week!  Know that this handbook is also posted on my website at
Thank you and I look forward to meeting you at the Music Program Instrument Rental /
First Lesson Night and working with your child this year.
Parent/Guardian Name (please print)
Parent signature
Student Name (please print)
Student signature
Your Child's Band Block: ___________
Remember to set up an account with Jupiter Grades. I will communicate on an
almost weekly basis through Jupiter Grades.
Are there any Medical / Learning Needs for which I should be aware of (i.e.,
diabetes, asthma, allergies, eyesight, hearing, epilepsy, lesson
adaptations/modifications, behavior, self-esteem, peer relationship concerns,
etc.)? If needed, please attach separate note in sealed envelope.