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Music Department Handbook

This handbook contains information, policies, and advice. It is designed to communicate information that will ensure your success as a music student at Jackson High School. As a family, please read through this manual and submit the form in the back by the appropriate due date. After that, keep it available for review. You’ll want to refer to it from time to time. The year’s schedule is included so that it can be detached from the book and posted. Please note that the schedule contains events for ALL music students.


If you have any questions regarding the contents of this handbook, please do not hesitate to contact your music instructor.

Jackson High School
544 Wildwood Ave
Jackson, MI 49201

Contact us by phone:
841-3700 Switchboard
841-3748 ROOM 108
841-3734 ROOM 109


For Choral Information email Mr. Bruce at
For Percussion/Guitar email Mr. Heim at
For Bands/Music Department email Mr. Shaner at
For Orchestra email Mrs. Tarzia at



Behavioral Expectations for Music Students
1. Show respect for your environment.
2. Show respect for others.
3. Come on time and preparedwith allnecessary materials for every session.

Failure to meet the expectations will be addressed with respect to the Code of Conduct as printed in the Jackson High School Student Handbook.



    We believe strongly in teaching for mastery learning. This approach assigns the responsibility for understanding concepts and performance at the ninety per cent proficiency level. Quizzes must be made-up by the students until the ninety per cent level is attained. It is our belief that moving away from the notion that 60% is passing is a necessary departure for the modern day learner. Making errors is understandable, but we feel it necessary to insure the learners fully understand the concepts and content of this course to continue their development as learners and performers. Quizzes are not graded on a percentage basis. Once proficiency has been attained, students receive credit. Failure to achieve proficiency will result in no credit given for that assignment.

Grading Policy

The means of calculating one’s grade will be objective and easily measured.

Participation points– Every class session will be worth five points. If you come to class, bring all materials, follow the rules, and participate, you earn five points. Absences, “sitting out”, or arriving late will cause in the loss of these points.

Assignments – Daily and/or weekly work with point values assigned per instructor.

Quizzes – Singing, playing, or written quizzes with point values assigned per instructor.

Performances – Please consult calendar for specifics. Point values vary.

At the end of a marking period, grades are calculated by simply dividing your number of points by the number of points possible. That percentage is your grade.

100+ A+
93-99 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
59 or below E

Semester grades are calculated by valuing each of the three marking periods as 30% and the semester exam as 10%.

EXTRA CREDIT is available for up to 50% of a marking period grade. A suggested list of projects and approved activities will be available from your instructor.


Sheet Music

All music handed out to students for classroom use is to be considered as your textbook. There will be space available for students to keep their materials in the classroom. To complete your work for each class and receive your points, your folder must be returned to its appropriate space at the end of every class session. In cases where a student would like to take music home, it must be signed out on the posted list each day it is taken. If music is not present and not signed out after class, the student loses his/her points for that day.

As stated earlier, students need their folders, pencils, materials, and music every day.

Students who lose or damage music will need to cover the cost of its replacement. Pending payment, an unfinished business form will be submitted to the bookkeeper. When the debt is resolved, the student will be issued more music to use.

These fees must be paid before the next performance, or the student will have an unexcused absence from that performance.


All students will be supplied with a concert uniform. Most performances will require this concert dress.

Choir students will need a white shirt with a collar. All pants, skirts, socks, and shoes must be completely black. Ladies who wear skirts will need to wear black nylons. This is all dress attire. Tennis shoes, jeans, and sandals are not appropriate.

Instrumental students dress in concert black. Ladies, you will be assigned concert dresses, you provide black hosiery and closed toe shoes. Gentlemen, you will be assigned a tuxedo, you provide a tuxedo shirt, black socks and black shoes. It is acceptable for male band students to use their marching shoes for concert season.

Students who do not dress properly for a performance will not be permitted to perform, resulting in an unexcused absence. Any questions regarding uniform should be posed to the instructor before the evening of the concert.

Jackson High School Music Department
Performance Attendance Requirement

A major element in all music education is performance. Individual, small and large group performances are scheduled throughout the year and students are expected to participate as a part of their continuing progress and education. We at Jackson High School would like to stress the importance of attendance at all scheduled performances.
Educators and musicians alike agree that performing is great for the individual…but an individual's attendance at a performance is essential for a group’s success. A group does not play as well with one or more members absent. We want all students to be comfortable and successful while performing with Jackson High School Ensembles.

The Calendar

The JHS Music Department publishes several calendars throughout the school year. At the first day of classes, students will receive a “Confirmed” calendar of events and performances for the school year. These include all performances by the JHS Music Department, but does not include the special request performances that often come up during the year. Some examples of these special request performances were Office Depot Grand Opening (Jazz), HS Groundbreaking Ceremony (Marching Band), Pep Assemblies (all students), Elementary Visits (all students), and special requests by the JPS Administration. These special performances will be voted on individually by the performing group requested and jointly decided on by the music department staff.


Students are required to attend all “Confirmed” performances scheduled for their ensembles. In the event that a conflict is discovered, each student may apply for an excused absence at least 2 weeks prior to the anticipated absence. The teacher, including an expected completion date will assign make-up requirements.
Unexpected absences such as illness, family emergencies will be accepted with a parent note received within 1 school day of a student’s return to school. The teacher, including an expected completion date will assign make-up requirements.
Every effort will be made by both the student and the teacher to insure that students participate in performances.

The Parent Note

A parent note, student request for a missed performance must include the following information.
*Student and parent name
*Date and missed performance date
*Day phone numbers if possible, home phone if necessary
*Reason for missing performance

Sample Make-up Assignments
All make-up assignments must be approved by a JHS Music Staff and is due on the performance date for pre-excused absences and 1 week after for unexpected absences. In the event of special circumstances, the teacher and parents/students will jointly decide a due date.
*Assigned solo/performance of music from performance with JHS Music Staff
*CD Review: Biographical and music/performer review
*Video Concert Review: Biographical and music/performer review
*Written research topic paper
*Other topics as applicable to performing ensemble

Jackson High School
544 Wildwood Avenue
Jackson, MI  49201

Attendance Hotline - 841-3730
School Closing - 841-2175

(517) 841-3700 voice
(517) 768-5910 fax


Last Update -- Thursday, September 29, 2011 2:52 PM