Amber Grissom » TMS Band Handbook

TMS Band Handbook

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Thomasville Middle School

Bullpup Band Handbook



 Mr. Kevin Leake, Principal

Ms. Amber Hoyle, Director of Bands


Welcome to the Thomasville Middle School Band Program.  Thomasville has a long history of fine bands and I am glad you have chosen to be a part of it.  You are the next generation of the Thomasville Band! The goal of the Thomasville Middle School Bands is to always strive for excellence and quality in musical performance.  The success of the band program centers on focus, effort, intensity, and positive attitude. 


This handbook will be a reference and guide as to how the band will operate throughout the school year.  It is a resource that each student in the band program should follow to ensure a successful experience in band.  Procedures and policies should be followed as closely as possible by all band students. By accepting membership in the Thomasville Band, you agree to perform to the best of your ability and work together with the band director to make this year’s band the finest musical organization that our combined efforts can produce.


Again, I am really looking forward to a new school year and can’t wait to get started.  We have some big things planned for the year. You’ll take PRIDE in being a member of the Bullpup Band! Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or concerns. 


Amber Hoyle 

Director of Bands

Phone: 336-474-4120

[email protected]


Required Materials for Band Students


Essential Elements for Band (2000) Book 1 (6th and 7th grade)

Essential Elements for Band (2000) Book 2 (8th grade)

3 Ring Binder and Dividers





  • Instrument
  • Box of Reeds(Cl & Sax) - 3 good working reeds when one breaks you need a new one to add in
  • Cork Grease (Cl & Sax)
  • Tuning rod (Fl)
  • Swab or cleaning cloth
  • Instrument
  • Valve Oil (Tpt, Bar, Tuba)
  • Slide Oil (TB)
  • Tuning Slide Grease
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Drum kit including snare and bells
  • Vic Firth SD1 drum sticks
  • Hard yarn mallets
  • Percussion Bag (optional)

Optional Materials

Music Stand (for home)

Metronome (for home)

Tuner (for home)

It is STRONGLY encouraged for you to get a personal metronome and tuner for home practice.  Some phones may have tuner/metronome apps.  


 *ALL Band Students will need the following for ALL concerts

Students are required to dress appropriately for all concerts. 

Black polo, Black pants, Black socks, Black shoes

 Band is a year-long class.

 Students will not be allowed to quit or leave band after the 10 days of school.  Often students will get discouraged when they are not seeing results or improvement.  There is a reason students decided to be in band and when it gets hard they will often get discouraged. The solution is usually more practice and effort outside of class, not quitting. ALL BAND STUDENTS SHOULD BE PRACTICING AT HOME or AFTER-SCHOOL.  If your child is not practicing at home or after-school, they will not see positive results. Encourage them to bring their instrument home and practice daily for the best results!


 Broken Instrument Policy

All students are expected to have an instrument in good working order in class each day.  Not having an instrument for class will result in a loss of participation points. Broken instruments need to be inspected by Ms. Hoyle before they are taken to the repair shop.  If repairs are needed, the instrument should be taken immediately.  It may be possible for the repair shop or the school to provide a temporary instrument if one is available.  Please remember to bring a note from home or the repair shop, your mouthpiece and your music. Bringing these items will allow students to participate and prevent the loss of participation points. 


Forgetting an instrument at home is not an excuse from class participation.  Students who do not have instruments and a note from home or the repair shop will be given an alternative assignment and will result in a phone call home.  Habitual lack of instrument and music in class may result in dismissal from the band program. 


Lost or Stolen Instruments

Parents are encouraged to record the instrument’s serial number at home and check with students often on the status of their instrument.  If renting or purchasing from a music store, purchase the insurance plan that is offered with the instrument. Parents who purchase instruments are also encouraged to check their homeowners insurance policy about potential loss or theft of the instrument during the school day.  The band program, school district, band director, or band boosters are not responsible for student-owned or rented instruments and materials that are damaged, lost or stolen.


Step-Up and Professional Instruments

Some students may choose to stop using their beginner instrument and upgrade to a higher quality instrument at some point.  A better quality instrument will provide better response and improved tone. If you are considering a new instrument, please consult the director before you purchase.


School-Owned Instrument Rental

The Thomasville Band program has a limited number of school-owned instruments that may be rented through the program.  These instruments are usually large instruments that cannot typically be rented through local music stores. Parents and students are allowed to rent these instruments ($50 per school year) and will need to acquire the appropriate accessories to care for the instrument during the year.  Rental fees must be paid before the instrument can be released to the student.


School-Owned Instrument Rental (continued)

Students will forfeit their use of a school-owned instrument and the rental fee for any of the following reasons:

o   Negligent treatment of the instrument

o   Failing grade in band for any grading period

*If a school-owned instrument is damaged, lost or stolen, procurement of a replacement instrument is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.  Students are expected to return the instrument in the same condition it was issued. Repairs must be completed before the end of the school year at the cost of the student. 


ID Your Instrument Case

All instruments must have an attached ID tag or permanent label with your FULL NAME & GRADE.  If you leave your instrument somewhere, the ID tag will help you get it back. We will have surprise ID tag checks for a grade throughout the school year.  Percussionists are encouraged to keep your sticks and mallets in a percussion bag with ID on sticks/mallets and bag. I have ID tags if you need one.


Students will have the opportunity to have a locker for their instruments. There are not enough lockers to provide every student with their own instrument locker and some students may have to share. Students should not keep personal items such as cellular devices, laptops, or items that are not band related. NO FOOD IS ALLOWED IN THE LOCKER ROOM. Students can lose locker privileges for a messy locker or inappropriate use of the locker room.

Students are responsible for the lock that goes with that locker. If they lock goes missing then they are to provide the school with a new one of the same brand (Master Locks) and register it with the Ms. Hoyle, providing the locker combination and the serial number on the back of the lock. Lockers are to be kept locked at all times except for when instruments are being removed or returned to the locker. 

After School Practice

The TMS band room will be open until 4 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for students to practice individually, in small groups, or receive one-on-one assistance from Ms. Hoyle. Students who stay after school must be there with intent to practice. Students must set a ride home before staying after. If a student constantly has issues obtaining transportation home, they will lose the privilege to stay after school. Ms. Hoyle may cancel after school any day and it will be announced in class when this occurs. After school practice will not occur on day Ms. Hoyle is not present at school.


Band Member Expectations

It is a privilege to be a member of the band at Thomasville Middle School.  Both parents and students should understand that discipline problems are not tolerated in the Thomasville Middle School Band program.  Band students are expected to be mature, responsible, and well behaved representatives of the school at all times. Students who cannot behave and prohibit other students from learning will be warned and then asked to leave the program.


Students are expected to follow all school rules and band expectations.  All band member guidelines stem from a respect for each other, equipment, and facilities.  All students in the Thomasville Bands are expected to “Set the Example”. This includes behavior in band class and in their daily school activities.

Students should:

  1. NOT have gum, food, candy or drinks in class (except plain H2O)
  2. Participate Including instrument, pencil, & music in class everyday
  3. Raise your hand and be recognized before speaking
  4. Not play before class begins or during class at inappropriate times
  5. Respect yourself and others
  6. BE ON TIME!!!
  7. Do your Personal BEST!


Classroom Procedures

  1.   Students are to go to their lockers, use the bathroom, and get water on the way to class.  Once class starts you will not be allowed to leave unless it is an absolute emergency.
  2.   Students will enter class QUIETLY.
  3.   Students will enter and exit the classroom in a quiet and orderly manner.  Instrument maintenance should occur before the school day begins, afterschool, or at home. 
  4.   Students will walk into the band room; retrieve their instruments from lockers; find their seat; and assemble their instruments quickly.
  5.   If paperwork needs to be turned in it should be done before class begins or hold it until you pack up.  Put paperwork in the appropriate box. DO NOT hand it to me. I will lose it and you will not get credit.  Put your name on your paper or you will not get credit. All money turned in should be in an envelope with the students name and what it is for. Money should be turned in at the beginning of the school day.
  6.   Warm up will begin when I step on the podium.  This will be on the board daily as well as the order for the remainder of the rehearsal.  Please have all materials ready to begin. 
  7.   Students will use Proper Playing Position at all times.  This includes rest position, ready position, and playing position.
  8.   There will be No Talking while the director is on the podium.  Questions will be answered only when the director has stepped off the podium.  Students with questions should raise their hand and wait to be recognized before speaking. 
  9.   Students are expected to help keep the classroom in a neat and orderly fashion.  Students will have a locker for their instruments and should return them in an orderly fashion.  If you see something on the floor, pick it up and put it in the right place. Show your pride by keeping the room clean and orderly. 
  10. At the end of class, the director will make announcements and dismiss the class, not the bell.  The bell is to assist the teacher, not to release the students.
  11. Students will return instruments to lockers and line up against the wall to exit class.


Do not eat, chew, drink and then leave trash hidden in the back of the room or storage areas.  Eventually, I will find these things and it makes me sad. 


Restroom:  You may NOT go to the restroom during band, so don’t ask!  If you have a medical problem, please bring me a copy of your doctor’s note and we will make arrangements. If it is an emergency (a REAL emergency) sign out, take the pass, and hurry back.  If you have too many “emergencies”, I will contact your parents to find out if you have a medical problem. This is a trust issue. Do not take advantage of my trust.

Discipline Policy

Responsibility to the group is stressed in the Thomasville Middle School Band.  Each individual’s behavior and performance have a major impact on the other members of the band.  Students are expected to exhibit their best behavior at all times. We have a number of visitors in our classes and at our concerts.  You are a representative of our school and band. One incident of poor behavior by one student can ruin the public’s good impression of our band program and our school.



  1. Verbal/Visual Warning
  2. Silent Lunch/ Call home
  3. Office Referral
  4. Removal from Band Program


Goals for the TMS Band

  1.   Positive development of the individual and the individual’s talents and capacities.
  2.   Broadening the individual’s experience and knowledge, thereby adding another dimension to the student’s life.  As a result, the student will be a more developed and refined citizens.
  3.   Developing mental and physical skills, some of which will apply to many other life situations.
  4.   Developing mental and physical discipline, coupled with the desire to do well no matter what the task may be.
  5.   Developing habits of excellence by working with others and being a valid part of a team.
  6.   Developing a sense of awareness and respect in the student regarding his or her environment.
  7.   Developing skills that may be used later in some of the musical opportunities that exist in the form of professions.
  8.   Developing a sense of flexibility in the student.  (Working with others toward common goals does teach compassion as well as respect for others.)
  9.   Developing the major aspects of music in the individual so that his or her life will be much more interesting, enriched, and fulfilled.
  10. Developing a healthy sense of self-value and esteem.


Grading Policy

 It is the goal of the Thomasville Band Program that every student has a successful year.  Band is an academic class and will be graded on the following criteria:

MAJOR Assignments - Concerts/Tests: 55%

MINOR Assignments - Quizzes/Other Assignments: 35%

Class Participation/Rehearsal/Homework: 10% 



Playing Tests

  •         Students will play individually in class for assessment purposes.  All students are expected to play on test day unless they have made prior arrangements to play their test before or after school BEFORE test day. No tests will be play in the morning on the day of the test and make-up tests must be completed within 10 days (absent or redo).


  • All members of the band are required to be at concerts. 
  • Performances will be counted as major exams
  • If no performance occurs during a grading period, in playing tests will be the majority of the grade.
  • Attendance is mandatory except in the case of extreme illness or family emergency.  Students must bring a note immediately on return to school for any absences from extra rehearsals or concerts.  Students will receive a total attendance grade of ZERO for ANY missed concert and their grade will be greatly reduced for missed rehearsals.  It is impossible to make up a missed rehearsal or performance and other members must carry the extra burden when students are not present. Band is a group activity and 100% participation is essential.  There will be no exceptions to this rule and students will not be able to receive a grade higher than a C if they are unexcused from a performance.
  •         Grading for Concerts – Promptness- 10 points, Attendance- 20 points, Appropriate Attire- 20 points, Performance Behavior- 25 points, and Audience Behavior- 25 points =Total- 100 points (5 test grades)

*Excused Absences - Excused absences are granted at the discretion of the band director and need to be approved before the event if possible.  The following will be considered excused absences: sickness (doctor’s note) and death in the family.


Students will be expected to complete a make-up performance.  Students will play their concert music after school for an assessment grade.  It is the student’s responsibility to set up a time to play for Mrs. Hoyle within 10 days of the concert.

Concert Attire

Students are required to dress appropriately for all concerts.  Any student who does not strictly follow the dress code may not be allowed to perform and may not receive credit for the performance.


ALL Band Students will need the following:

*Black Polo    *Black pants     *Black socks      *Black shoes

8th Grade Students will wear your Band Polo/Shirt, Jeans, and Tennis shoes for informal performances.

Concert Etiquette

During the school year, students will attend and perform in concerts.  The following list of behaviors is to be observed when at a live performance:

  •         Dress appropriately for the event (Concert Dress for TMS performances)
  •         Clap when the conductor comes to the stage
  •         Do not talk during the performance
  •         Turn off all electronic devices
  •         Do not bring food, candy, gum or drinks into a concert area
  •         Only clap at the end of a selection.  No yelling or whistling.
  •         Do not leave the performance in the middle of a piece.  Only in an emergency, should you leave a performance. It is incredibly disrespectful to the performers on stage to not listen to their whole program.

MINOR ASSIGNMENTS - Quizzes/Other Assignments

Pencil checks, music checks, reflections, and other assignments will be given throughout the grading period.



  • It is expected that students will practice 5 days a week for 20 minutes a day.  Without consistent home practice students will not experience significant progress. Homework is assessed weekly through playing tests.
  • Other written homework will be assigned to supplement student learning


Class Participation

  • Students should be on task and focused during rehearsal
  • Students should have instrument, music, pencil, and supplies everyday.
  • Students should be prepared to play their part successfully.
  • Students will mark music and take notes as needed.




Leadership Council

Leadership positions will be nominated and voted by the students.  The director will make the final decision. Nominations and voting will be held at the beginning of each semester. Leaders should view their role as a means to support the band program, not tell others what to do.  The main focus of a leader should be to demonstrate the highest level of responsibility. 


Band Captain

8th Grade Only – Student must demonstrate superior musicianship and leadership abilities.  Students will work with the band director before and after school as needed. Student will be responsible for representing the band, speaking publicly, leading class/sectionals in the absence of the director, and other responsibilities as the director assigns. Student should be knowledgeable, trustworthy, and responsible with media equipment.  Student will take pictures for the Noteworthy Board, all band events, and in rehearsal at appropriate times. Student will be responsible for helping arrange pictures for end of year activities. 6th and 7th grade students will be eligible for woodwind/brass captain after the 1st semester.



Students should be well organized and willing to work with the band director before and after school as needed.  Students will help director file music in catalog, pass out music in class, and distribute music to students that are absent.



Students should be well organized and willing to work with the band director before and after school as needed.  Students will help director with attendance, collect music for students that are absent, and other duties as the director sees fit.


Equipment Managers

Students should be willing to move equipment and be familiar with the set-up of the band room.  Students will set up the band room in the mornings on days after the floor has been vacuumed and maintain the appearance of the band room.  Students will also aid in set up at concerts and loading equipment for trips.





Davidson County Honor Band

All-County band represents a unique opportunity for students to play with students from the other middle school bands in the county in a higher caliber band and work with a guest clinician.  Students will be selected based on audition. 


NWDBA District Honor Band

8th grade students are encouraged to audition for the All-District Honor Band.  All-District band members get to play with the highest caliber musicians in our district and a special guest clinician.  Students received audition material at the end of last school year, but may request another copy. Students must perform their audition material for Mrs. Hoyle before registration.  There will be a registration fee to audition. If students miss the audition they will be NOT be reimbursed. Auditions are at East Davidson High School. If students place in the top of their section they are eligible to audition for the NC Honor Band.


Music Performance Adjudication (MPA)/ Festival

MPA is held in March at Lenoir-Rhyne University.  The 8th grade band and a few selected 7th grade students will perform in both the Concert and Sight-reading portions of the festival.  Each group is rated from the best rating of I (Superior) to IV (Poor). The band will participate in a Pre-Festival Concert in order to prepare for this event.  This is the main event the SmMS Band will participate in this school year. A large portion of our rehearsals in the Spring will be dedicated to MPA.


Solo and Ensemble MPA

During the year, the director may give students extra music to challenge and motivate continued musicianship.  Students can prepare solo pieces or small ensemble pieces with like instruments. SEMPA is held in May. SEMPA music is an addition to concert music (class material).  Students must first demonstrate mastery on class material before the director will encourage SEMPA.



Band students are encouraged to participate in band fundraisers.  We do not receive any fiscal assistance other than funds raised. Participation in fundraisers is voluntary, but it is important for everyone to contribute.  The TMS band boosters will organize fundraisers. We are in need of parents that care for the band program and it’s progress to step into leadership roles. We will be sending home information as details are finalized.


Band Belts/Gold Band

Students will perform songs or skills for the teacher and receive a belt for each level completed.  All songs/skills must be demonstrated with the proper technique and sound in order to pass. You may play a song/skill as many times as needed to pass it off.  Special recognition will be given throughout the year for exceptional events or achievement of skills.