top of page

Read everything on this Page carefully

Paulding Band Handbook

Grading Guidelines


Welcome to a fun and exciting year of music. Although an important benefit of being involved in band is gaining a lifelong appreciation, understanding and LOVE of music, there are other equally important benefits. Involvement in band develops self-discipline, responsibility, social skills and performance skills that will stay with you throughout your lives. Remember that band is an academic elective and you will be graded on your performance in a variety of areas.

Please refer to this website for ALL information regarding the class, events and assignments.  I will discontinue use of schoology due to accessibility issues.



  • Participation (Instruments, materials and attitude)                                    - 45%

  • Performance Tests (Concerts and Playing tests: in class and online)            - 30% 

  • Weekly Practice  (Based on combination of time and reflection)                 - 25%


 GRADING SCALE (per quarter)

A = 90% - 100%      B  = 80% - 89%       C = 70% - 79%         D = 60% - 69%



Since band is a performing GROUP, the positive participation of each band member in EVERY rehearsal and performance is essential for ALL students to achieve at the highest possible level.  I will stress throughout the year that Band is a TEAM EFFORT.  Anything that derails the team is unacceptable.

Each individual is responsible for having all necessary materials in class (instrument, reeds, music, folder, music book, pencil, highlighter, etc.), for being prepared musically and for interacting positively with students and teachers. Students are required to attend ALL performances except for the Spring Fun Festival. (Please see concert schedule)

Parents, if your child becomes discouraged, please encourage them to work through rough times by seeking extra help or advice from their teachers, additional practice time and/or private instruction.



Playing tests on assignments we are working in class or towards a concert will be part of each student’s grade. Since music is a performing art, students will also BE GRADED on concert attendance and rehearsals. Please see the information regarding concerts.



Practice, plain and simple, is just necessary!  There’s no way around it! Each week you will be require to submit a practice reflection which you submit online through the website on FRIDAYS.

You will still be required to keep track of practice time, however I will de-emphasize the amount of time that you practice as part of your grade. I will provide you with a paper practice log that you can use to help you keep track of your time but will not need to be turned in.  I personally believe that it is not necessarily how much you practice, but HOW you practice that is most important!  A sustained, focused EFFORT is required to be successful, whether it takes 30 minutes or 3 hours to accomplish your goal.



Reminder of How to Practice:

  • Practice in a quiet place without distractions.  ALWAYS use proper posture and hand position.  Place your music at eye level (a music stand might help with this).  Have a pencil and mark your music as needed.

  • Set a Goal and make it small.  “I’m going to learn the fingering for measures 1 – 10” Then move on to your next goal.

  • In order to develop your embouchure, begin by using warm-ups we use in class or ones you’ve learned in private lessons

  • Practice the assignments first.  Pay attention to details discussed in class as well as those notated in the music that we may not have addressed yet.

  • End your practice session playing familiar and/or fun music.

  • Record your time and tell someone about what you accomplished for that time.


 *note to Parents*

I would like to ask parents to take an active role in you child’s musical growth through the use of weekly practice records.  Because a regular and goal-oriented practice routine outside of class is essential in developing the skills necessary for playing a musical instrument (not to mention developing self-discipline and responsibility), practice is a significant part of a student’s grade.  Please help monitor both the practice time and the quality of practice.  In order to assist in monitoring the quality of practice, look over the How to Practice (above).


You will have the following Options to meet the Practice Requirements:
  1. Tradition Method – Weekly Written Paper log or Online submission

    1. Time will be recorded weekly as well as a short reflection

    2. Must be kept on a weekly basis but turned in twice a quarter.

  2. Recorded email submission

    1. No time will be required however a weekly recording will be required to be submitted based on the weekly assignments that are posted.

  3. Recorded submission through Smartmusic program software

    1. Weekly assignments will be submitted through the software.

    2. This option requires a subscription to smartmusic which costs $40 a year.

For each quarter you MUST commit to 1 particular method.  You can change after a new quarter but NOT in the middle.


Please return all written forms of communications on time with the appropriate signatures.  This will count towards your participation grade.


Music Goals for Band
  • To develop an appreciation of music and an understanding of music fundamentals by becoming skilled in playing a musical instrument.

  • To reinforce scholastic skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analyzing and evaluating through participation in music.

  • To develop team building skills and leadership qualities

  • To provide a vehicle for developing creativity, self-expression and self-confidence.

  • To develop self-discipline, organizational skills, responsibility and the ability to cooperate with others.

  • To promote a positive self-image and feeling of self-worth through individual accomplishment and group success.






General Information




  • Bring your instrument and music materials to class every day!

  • Label your case with your name (first & last), phone number and band class.

  • ALL instruments will need to be stored in the band room shelves. You will have a 10 minute window in the morning (7:40 – 7:50 and a 10 minute window in the afternoon (2:10 – 2:20) in which the band room will be open for you to put your instruments away or take with you. 

  • ALL students Must store their instruments in the storage shelves provided.   Please DO NOT leave your instrument in the Foyer and Outside.  Repeated offenses may result in loss of points or other consequences. 

  • All students Must take their instrument home with them after school for practicing unless you have made arrangements with Mr. Kirby. Students with larger instruments may have one at school and one at home depending on availability.

  • If your instrument is being repaired, there may be an instrument you can borrow for class use.  Please bring a NOTE from home and your mouthpiece, reeds, neck strap etc.

  • Whether it’s your own personal instrument or the school’s, PLEASE respect and treat ALL instruments and equipment as if they were your own. Please follow the rule that if it doesn’t belong to you then don’t touch it! Students who are found misusing and/or abusing their instrument or other instruments or equipment will receive a detention and/or may lose the privilege of using a school instruments if applicable.



Please have or obtain the following;

A Black 1 inch binder or oversized music folder

A Pencil and/or highlighter

All sheet music/hand outs unless indicated that it is not needed.



There is a limited supply of school instruments available to students who need them.  Please see Mr. Kirby if you need to use a school instrument.  There is no rental fee for school owned instruments, however you must complete an agreement form.  There are some instruments that are important in providing bands with balanced instrumentation and they often can provide opportunities for students to advance quickly in middle school, high school and college. Some of these instruments are not for everyone.  Students, who are successful on these instruments generally like a challenge, like individual recognition and work well independently. The most challenging of these instruments (usually private lessons are highly recommended) are oboe, bassoon and French horn. The others include baritone, tuba, bass clarinet and tenor and bari sax. 



Percussionists must be self-discipline to stay on task, work independently and be responsible.

For NEW Percussionists, you must demonstrate proficiency by having either participated in the 6th grade percussion class and be recommended by your Elementary Band teacher or successfully passing an audition scheduled outside of class within the first week of school.

Because percussionists must master the skills to perform on a variety of instruments and must learn to read music in the treble clef and common percussion notation, private lessons are also highly recommended in order to help you be more successful.  THIS YEAR, ALL percussionist will be required to carry their own sticks and mallets.  Please see the attached regarding the required “Stick Kit”.





Additional Concerts may be added and Events and Activities may be SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Please Stay in Communication!


Since music is a performing art, attendance at all School concerts and parades are required and a major portion of a student’s grade.  To be excused from a performance, students must provide a written note from their parents and obtain the director’s permission as soon as a conflict is known.

While Fun Festival Band trips are a lot of fun, keep in mind they are a reward for your hard work throughout the year.  They are not your right to go on and since you will ALWAYS represent Paulding wherever you go, good behavior is imperative to be able participate.


Please be sure to add these EVENTS into your calendars.

Our FIRST parade practice IS Saturday, August 26 at 8:30am.  ALL Band members are required to attend.



CONCERT ATTIRE (NOT Parade Uniform.  May be subject to change)

You must acquire the following items by our Winter Concert.

Parade uniforms will be handed out separately.

BOYS – ALL White Button-up Long-sleeved Shirt, black DRESS pants, black socks and black dress shoes. (If not ordering the band shoes)

GIRLS – White Dress shirt or Blouse, Black DRESS pants or skirt, black socks or stockings and black dress shoes. (If not ordering the band shoes) Girls may wear an all black dress in lieu of a Blouse and Dress pants as long as the dress falls 1 inch below the knee when sitting.




“Do I need private lessons?”..............YES!!!

Of course, most students can have a successful musical experience without private lessons, but that experience can be enriched greatly through private instruction. Playing a musical instrument is such a complex mental, physical and emotional discipline that all students progress exponentially with the one-on-one attention of a qualified private instructor.


Contact information

Thanh Kirby

Paulding Middle School Music Room

School Email:

School Phone: 805 – 237 - 3450

Home Email:*

Cell Phone: 619 – 847 – 1592*


* Preferred method of contact

bottom of page