Students that participate in the VHS String Ensemble earn five fine arts credits per year. String Ensemble is open to violin, viola, cello, and string bass players.
Information that is different than, OR in addition to, String Ensemble is highlighted in yellow.
STRING ENSEMBLE GRADES:
PARTICIPATION GRADES 40% of Marking Period Grade:
- CLASS PARTICIPATION AND REHEARSAL TECHNIQUE GRADES: You will receive a grade in this area typically once every week. The grade will be based on your participation in class/rehearsal. Your grade can be affected by not being prepared for class, performing incorrectly, being on your cellphone, chewing gum, being late to rehearsal, etc.
- INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE GRADES: There will be some days that are given for individual practice time during the marking period. You will be graded on the amount of time that you use wisely and/or what you get accomplished. At times, students will also be assigned exercises on SMARTMUSIC to build their endurance or to challenge them on their instruments; students will receive participation grades for this type of assignment as opposed to receiving a performance grade (which would be based mainly on accuracy versus completion).
- SECTIONAL GRADES: Students will have the opportunity to work together within their instrumental section to practice as a group or to complete a task. When receiving a sectional grade, students will receive individual participation grades based on their participation in the sectional activities.
- PRIVATE LESSON / CHECK-IN GRADES: Each student will be required to schedule one 24 minute private lesson per month with the director. This lesson can be during a study hall, directed study, or after school from 2:30-3:10. Schedule times in advance so that you do not run out of time at the end of the month.
PERFORMANCE GRADES 40% of Marking Period Grade:
- TESTING GRADES: Testing may include written tests, performances of prepared musical excerpts, or small group performances. Performance testing grades still allow for a portion of the grade to be based on completion, however the majority of the grade is based on accuracy.
- MAJOR SCALE TESTS: Each Honors String Ensemble student will be required to learn and memorize nine major scales with ranges in line with NJMEA Region Orchestra standards. These scales will tested in the first three marking periods.
- PRIVATE LESSON ASSIGNMENT: Honors String Ensemble students will be assigned lesson exercises to prepare on their own in Smartmusic. There will be one assignment due after each marking period.
- CONCERT PERFORMANCE PARTICIPATION GRADES: String Ensemble is a performance class. Attendance at a concert in which the band performs is mandatory. The only legitimate excuses for missing an in-person performance are illness or a death in the family. Absences of this nature must be excused with a note from a parent addressed and delivered to the instructor personally, and preferably prior to the concert. Unexcused absences are not tolerated. You will receive two grades for each performance. View the STRING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE and get these dates in your calendar ASAP. Please note that there may be additional performances. We would never schedule a concert without trying to give at least a month notice. The following grades can be received for your performance participation grading area:
- performed in concert with proper performance attire 100% (A)
- performed in concert without proper performance attire 85% (B)
- failed to attend concert 0% (F)
- SOLO INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE: Each student will have to prepare a solo instrumental piece throughout the course of the school year. There are two options available for this assignment: prepare Region Orchestra Audition (and go through with the audition) OR perform at a VHS Solo Night.
LISTENING & PERFORMANCE CRITIQUE GRADES 20% of Marking Period Grade:
- RECORDED LISTENING EXAMPLE GRADES: You will have to complete one listening assignment per marking period. This assignment will be completed through Google Classroom.
- CONCERT PERFORMANCE & RESPONSE: Each student will be required to attend one instrumental performance per semester. Following the performance, students will compose a concert response paper.
- Be on time to class.
- Have your instrument and music every day.
- No talking while someone else is talking.
- Treat others with respect.
- No gum, food, or drink in the band room during rehearsal.
- Cell phones should not be out or used during rehearsal (unless requested by the director).
- Take care of your instrument and be aware of other instruments in the room.
- Treat the music rooms with respect.
Students participating in String Ensemble are required to wear one of the following uniform options for performances. These items can be purchased on your own, or you can choose to purchase a uniform through the school. We will distribute uniform ordering information to students and parents/guardians via email.
- Black tuxedo (or black dress pants and black jacket)
- White shirt (tuxedo shirt or dress shirt)
- Black bow tie
- Black shoes and socks
- Black dress pants
- Black dress shirt (tuxedo shirt or dress shirt)
- Black bow tie
- Black shoes and socks
- Full length black dress (conservative neckline and short sleeves)
- Black closed toe dress shoes (no sandals)