Brink Band Handbook
MR. ORTEGA’S CLASS SCHEDULE
- Westmoore Band (asst.)
- Beginning Woodwinds (3rd Lunch)
- Advanced Band
- Beginning Band/Percussion
WHO CAN BE IN BAND AT BRINK?
Any entering 7th grader wishing to learn a musical instrument is welcome to join the beginning band program at Brink. No prior musical experience is necessary. Band is a regular class that meets daily and joining band is as simple as indicating your preference on the enrollment form for Brink.
Beginning Band classes are designed to teach the student with no prior experience on an instrument. Beginning Band students are usually 7th graders. General music knowledge is taught along with step-by-step instruction for that student's instrument. Students will perform concerts in December and late Spring. Beginning students have an opportunity to participate in a solo & ensemble contest in the Spring if they are ready.
Advanced Band classes are for students who are ready for the next step on their instrument. Advanced Band members are usually 8th graders but 7th graders with prior experience are also welcome. Instruction on technique and tone production continues but there is more emphasis on different forms of band literature. Advanced Band students will perform at pep assemblies, at least one football game, a parade, and several concerts. They will have the opportunity to participate in all-region band auditions and solo & ensemble contests. At the end of the year Advanced Band students will be prepared to enter the high school band program.
This class will start in November and will meet once a week after school. Jazz band is open to all 8th graders and select 7th graders. Students are taught jazz, rock, and Latin styles and will learn characteristic pieces. Students will also have the opportunity to experiment with jazz improvisation. The jazz band will perform at a concert with Westmoore and Moore West in the Spring.
Band Room Procedures
Show respect for instructors and other students.
Show respect for school property and others personal property.
Have all materials needed for class each day.
Be on time for class and all performances.
No gum, food or drink in band room.
Have your name on your instrument & music books.
Take your instruments home EVERY NIGHT to practice.
Do your best each and every day.
Time out and deduction from weekly grade
Detention, parent contact and deduction from weekly grade
Office referral, parent contact and deduction from weekly grade
- 40% - Daily Grades
- 50% - Tests/Performances/Extra Rehearsals
- 10% - Semester Test
1. Daily Grades
Daily grades consist of class participation grades for all bands and practice reports for beginners. Failure to have daily band supplies will result in a deduction from their weekly grade. If instrument is being repaired please bring a note signed by a parent or a receipt from the repairman. Any disciplinary action resulting in the student being removed from rehearsal will result in a deduction from their weekly grade.
Daily Band Supplies You must ALWAYS come to your class with the following:
- Necessary accessories (reeds, mouthpiece, etc.)
- All Music and Musical Studies
- Any assigned method books
- Any additional handouts
Practice reports will be kept each week and are due each Monday. Students fill out the form on Canvas. Grading will be as follows:
- 30 minutes a day = 50 (A+)
- 20-29 minutes = 45 (A)
- 16-19 minutes = 40 (B)
- 15 and below = 35 (C)
2. Tests, Performances and Extra Rehearsals
Tests for beginners are usually given on a weekly basis. Advanced band members will be tested at the beginning of the year and then once at the end of each semester. Semester tests are given to all band members and will count twice. Playing test criteria includes: Articulation, Rhythm, Tempo, Pitch, and Tone. The band directors will announce any tests at least two days in advance.
The Brink Jr. High Band is a performance organization. Performance dates are listed in the calendar. Attendance at all performances is mandatory and each student will receive a performance grade. If you have an unexcused absence, you will receive a ZERO for that performance.
The Advanced Band is split into two classes: brass/percussion and woodwinds. During concert season (starting in November) rehearsals for the entire band will be scheduled on Thursday afternoons. Attendance policy is the same as that for performances.
If there is a conflict with another school activity, please contact Mr. Ortega. It is the band’s policy to work with other school organizations in order to allow a full experience at the junior high.
3. Semester Tests
At the end of each semester a summative test is given in band. The fall semester test is written and includes musical terms and note names. The spring test is a playing test that includes scales.
All students must meet criteria for academic eligibility as set by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (See High School Rule 3 in OSSAA Rules.) A student must be passing all classes that he/she is enrolled in to be eligible to participate in competition. The first week a student is failing in a subject he/she will be on probation for the following week. During this week they may continue to compete with the band. However, if they are not passing at the end of the week of probation or are failing in another class they become ineligible to compete with the band.
COMMUNICATION: REMIND and CANVAS
Remind has become our main communication tool. Students and parents are automatically enrolled in the Remind for each of the student's classes. It is easy to communicate through the Remind app on your phone. It is free to download.
Canvas is where all course work, assignments and student resources will be found. We send students information through Canvas messages as well.
The school district provides transportation for all band students to authorized out-of town events. All students are required to ride the buses provided by the district to and from the event. Students may ride home from events only with their own parents. Teachers do not have the authority to release students to anyone other than their parents. The students will be chaperoned by adults on each bus and are expected to follow Moore Public Schools' Guidelines for Bus Conduct. Students who fail to follow those rules will be subject to disciplinary action.
INSTRUMENTS AND SUPPLIES
The following instruments must be acquired by the student for band: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Trumpet or Cornet, Trombone, and Percussion Kit. For more information see "Acquire an Instrument" on this page: Brink Beginning Band. Also see Band Instruments
The Moore School District owns a limited number of the larger, more expensive instruments. Instruments furnished by the school are French horn, euphonium, tuba, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, and tenor and baritone saxophone. Students will be for major repairs that occur as the result of accident or abuse during the course of the school year.
Students should take their instruments home with them at the conclusion of each school day. Without adequate practice on the part of each student outside of class, their musical growth is hindered. Aside from the concern for individual improvement, security of any instrument left overnight in a school building cannot be guaranteed. Moore Public Schools assumes no responsibility for any individual's instrument left overnight in a school facility.
The band staff makes every effort to impress on students the value of their instrument and its proper care. To guard against damage or loss through theft or negligence, we offer these suggestions:
Find and use a safe place in the home to store the instrument away from siblings.
Keep a record of your instrument including make, model, and serial number and identifying marks.
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine if musical instruments are covered when they are away from home.
Mr. Geoff Clifton, the assistant band director at Southmoore, is a licensed repairman and does the repair for the school-owned instruments at Brink. If your instrument needs attention, you can get it to him through Mr. Ortega or contact him directly at email@example.com.
Music Store Service
Gilliam Music Company will deliver music supplies (reeds, valve oil, etc.) and pick up instruments that need repair. Gilliam Music is located at 2280 West Main, in Norman. You may call them store for service at 321-0080.
CELL PHONE POLICY
Students are allowed to use cell phones as tuners during band. If you are not using the phone as a tuner, it has to remain in your backpack during class.
Advanced (8th Grade) Band
- Blue Jeans
- Band T-Shirt
- Tennis Shoes
Concert Band - Boys
- Black slacks
- Black dress shirt w/ collar
- Black dress shoes and socks
- Black neck tie (optional)
Concert Band - Girls
- Black slacks, dress, or skirt (either ankle length or short w/leggings)
- Black long sleeve blouse
- Black dress shoes
Beginning (7th Grade) Band
There is no official uniform for the beginning band. However, when we have our beginning concerts in December and in the spring, we expect band members to dress nice. For boys that usually means slacks and a nice shirt (coat and tie is optional). For girls either a dress or skirt/slacks with a nice blouse. There are no specific colors to wear.
OTHER PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Band offers other opportunities for performance outside normal classroom instruction and full band performances.
CODA All-Region Band Auditions - Open to all advanced band members and select beginners. Students compete against other muscians in the region for membership in a band that will perform at the University of Oklahoma in January. Auditions are normally held the first Saturday in November at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Audition material is available in May.
Solo & Ensemble Competitions - Open to all advanced band members and select beginners. Students perform by themselves or with a small group in front of a judge. Students who earn superior ratings receive a medal. District Solo & Ensemble is in late February or early March. We sometimes schedule another one for April.
Private lessons are not required in the Brink Band. However, private lessons with a quality instructor is the best way to achieve a high level of mastery on your instrument. Most of the top-rated bands throughout the country utilize private teachers in their programs. This allows the bands to perform more advanced music. It also enhances personal satisfaction and diminishes frustration in the student-performer. While private lessons are encouraged for enhanced musical growth, they do not guarantee higher placement in bands. Ask Mr. Ortega for contacts of private instructors on your instrument.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I acquire an instrument for band?
See "Acquire an Instrument" on the Beginning Band page.
Is percussion more than just drums?
To be a percussionist at Brink means that you are capable of playing a wide range of instruments. They include drums(snare, bass, timpani, etc.), mallets(xylophone, marimba, bells, etc.), cymbals, triangle, and a host of other instruments. As a beginner, you are required to learn both the drum pad and the bells. To continue in the program, you must achieve a level of mastery on both instruments. We do not teach drum set, although some older students have the opportunity to perform on the instrument.
Is it OK to buy instruments from Ebay?
One quick bit of advice. Let the buyer beware. While there are safeguards on Ebay to protect the consumer, the selection of musical instruments is so large and varied it's often difficult to know your best choice. If you know exactly what you are looking for you may be able to purchase a high-quality instrument at a good price. Keep in mind that the condition of the instrument is very important and you might have to get repair work done before it plays properly.
Is it OK to buy a different color instrument?
Incoming 7th graders can get excited about different color instruments (red trumpets, pink trombones, blue clarinets, etc.) but often the color is that instrument's greatest selling point -- not the quality. When these students get into the high school band they will definitely want the same color instrument as the older kids.
How often should band students practice their instruments?
The average beginning band student should practice between 20 and 30 minutes a day 4 to 5 days a week. The student who desires to excel will, of course, practice longer. Towards the end of their first year, the average beginner should increase each practice session to 45 minutes. 8th graders who are working towards mastering their instruments should practice an hour each day. It is not necessary to practice in one long session. It is often easier and sometimes more beneficial to split your daily practice into 2 or 3 shorter sessions.
Can you be in both band and athletics?
Yes. Many of our band members are active in a variety of sports at Brink. We also have students who are involved with journalism, drama, choir, cheerleading, science club, academic club, spirit club, and other school activities.
Is it OK to start in band as an 8th grader?
Yes. Remember, however, you will be in a class that is almost entirely 7th graders. Also, you will have to be prepared by the end of only one year to become part of a competitive high school band.
Will braces affect playing an instrument?
Braces affect two instruments more than any other: flute and trumpet. For flute players, it's a matter of repositioning the headjoint to the lips so the airstream strikes the embouchure hole at the correct point. For trumpet players, the problem is mostly discomfort. It will also adversely affect the tone for a while. However, most children today will wear braces at one point, so it's really a matter of getting used to them.
Is it OK to buy the cheapest instrument I can find?
See the following page for a guide on buying quality band instruments: Instrument Buying Guide
If you have further questions, contact Mr. Ortega
Make sure you also acquaint yourself with the Moore Public Schools Handbook for this year.