Waterloo Orchestra Grading System (updated 9/17/18)
Waterloo Elementary School orchestra provides a performance-based curriculum for advanced learners, focusing on the development of expressive and artistic musical experiences through student-driven work. It is important to note that we will not merely be playing instruments in this course, but rather learning the language of music through performance. As such, a significant portion of your work in this course will be devoted to refining your performance skills, increasing your ability to read new music at site, and exploring what it means to be an all-encompassing musician.
Creativity and Composition (10%) Students will complete composition assignments to further their understanding of the creative processes. Our classes typically do a short composition or improvisation project during the 4th quarter and written notation practice during the first quarter.
Musicianship (10%) Students will complete assignments that explore musical works performed in class to further their understanding of performance practice. Assignments will include listening to personal, ensemble and professional recordings and researching musical works to understand cultural and historical context.
Applied skills and Technical development (50%) Every student will receive graded performance assessments and skills test throughout the year. These tests will be done both in class and by video and or audio recording.
Procedures and Practices (20%) Students are not just learning to perform on their instruments but they are also learning to conduct themselves in a large ensemble rehearsal. This class will put the student in the role of a professional instrumental musician. As such, he/she will be asked to show an understanding of rehearsal and performance behavior. Students are observed and assessed on their instrumental performance and rehearsal conduct on a daily basis. Types of assignments may include attending all classes with required materials, using required material during all classes, following all school-based rules and procedures, and demonstrating best efforts on an individual basis and as a member of the ensemble.
Reflection (10%) Students will receive written reflection assignments over the course of the year students will evaluate their performances and performances by other groups in the following categories: tone, technique, intonation, musicality, balance, interpretation, musical effect and other factors. Types of assignments may include responding, having classroom conversations or discussions, exit tickets, performance evaluations or self-assessments.