Junior High Semester 1 Curriculum Guide

Weeks 1-8  

Students will be getting used to playing together as an ensemble again after summer break.  Practices will be dedicated to parade music and marching in the beginning of the year, then moving to individual pieces.

Method books: Even though the band will done purchasing Essential Elements method books, there are many very good individual methods.  Rubanks Intermediate or  Advanaced methods are very good.  The Student Instrumental Course by Fred Weber is also an excellent choice.

Drumline:  For the first time, students will be using marching percussion equipment referred to as the drumline.  These are offered only to Junior High percussionists due to the difficulty level playing them and also because they are very heavy and unwieldy. 

14 Weeks to a Better Band: The band will be playing together rhythmic warm ups from this book From the Introduction:

 “The Purpose of “14 weeks to a Better Band” is to afford students the opportunity to learn and reinforce their understanding of 14 basic rhythmic figures and principles….[Included] are related studies written in classical, march, jazz and spiritual idioms….The students should practice the rhythmic figure indicated for that week as follows:   1) Each exercise should be practiced a minimum of twice a day, six days a week. 2)Band rehearsals and individual practicing both count towards the minimum time.  Before publication of this book and extensive 14 week field study involving 18 high school and 4 jr. high school bands was conducted.   Using the format outlined above the bands averaged 54% fewer counting errors at the conclusion of the study than at its outset.”

 Scales: Students will begin learning scales by memory.  Students will have the concert Bb Eb and Bb chromatic scale memorized.

Sheet music:  Students will be focusing on sheet music with a greater difficulty.  Publishing companies use a variety of grading levels, but Alfred Music Co. usually has more difficult grading levels.  At this point we will be focusing on Alfred Music Co. grade level 2 pieces.

Weeks 9-16

14 weeks to a Better Band:  At the end of the second quarter, the band will be halfway through the 14 weeks packet. The focus is unison playing, using different articulations and overall achieving a uniform, mature band sound.

Scales: Bb, Eb, Ab and Db should all be memorized at this point.

Sheet music:  Still playing Alfred Music Co. grade level 2 music, but adding pieces that are level 2.5.