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Instrument and Supplies - Band and Orchestra Only

Do I have to buy my own instrument?

You are encouraged to get your own instrument.  However, we have a limited amount of instruments that you can rent from NNPS.

Do I have to buy my own supplies?

Yes.  All students will need their own supplies.


Orchestra students will need rosin, a wiping cloth, a music folder with their music, and a pencil, in addition to these supplies:

  • Violins and Violas will also need a shoulder rest.

  • Cellos and Basses will also need a rock stop.


Band students will need a music binder and a pencil, in addition to these supplies:

  • Clarinets and Alto Saxophones will also need reeds.

Where can I purchase an instrument or supplies?

Instruments can be purchased from a reputable instrument retailer, which can be found by clicking here.


Binders and pencils can be purchased wherever you purchase your other school supplies.  Please do NOT spend more than a couple dollars on a wiping cloth.  You can simply use a SOFT towel or wash cloth from home.


Music supplies (i.e. rosin, shoulder rests, rockstops, or reeds) can be purchased from Music and Arts Center, which is located in the Kiln Creek Shopping Center.


Music and Arts Center

Address:  209 Village Ave., Ste. I, Yorktown, VA 23693

Phone:  (757) 988-3970



How often should I practice?

All student musicians should practice five days per week.  If you want to practice more than that, feel free.  However, please make sure that you take a little bit of time for your other activities and family time.

How long should I practice for?

Practice times are based on the grade level:

  • 6th Graders:  A minimum of 20 minutes per night.

  • 7th Graders:  A minimum of 25 minutes per night.

  • 8th Graders:  A minimum of 30 minutes per night.

If you want to practice longer than this, that is fine.  However, your grade is based upon completion of the minimum practice time per evening.

When should I turn in my practice record? (Band and Orchestra Only)

Practice records should be submitted by Monday evening at midnight.

Where do I turn in my practice record? (Band and Orchestra Only)

Practice records should be submitted electronically through Edmodo. 

What if I forgot to turn in my practice record by Monday at midnight?

Practice records are due by midnight on Monday evening.  Please see your Director's late submission policy for more information.

I have a lot of homework this week. Can I skip practicing my instrument?

Yes...but only for two nights.  This is why you are only required to practice five nights per week.  If you need to skip a night or two, that's fine.  But, you must still practice for five nights.

How is my practice record graded?

For each night you practice for the minimum amount of time required, you earn 20 points.  If you complete five nights of practice for the minimum amount of time required, you earn a 100%.  If you practice less than the time required (i.e. 29 minutes or less for eighth graders), you earn 0 points for that evening's practice.  Make sure you are accurate when you are filling out your practice record.


Where can I find the performance dates and times?

Performance dates and times can be viewed in the Performing Arts Handbook, as well as on the Music Department Calendar.

When should I purchase my concert attire?

NOW!  Do not wait until we get close to a concert because, often, stores run out of the proper clothing.

What is the attendance policy for performances?

NNPS School Board Policy allows all performing arts teachers to require students to attend performances outside of the school day.  Therefore, all students are required to attend all performances.  Absences are excused or unexcused.

  • Excused Absences:

    • Illness:  Students who are ill and cannot attend the performance may be excused by properly documenting the absence.

    • Death in the Family:  Students who have a death in the family may be excused by properly documenting the absence.

    • Other Reasons Excused by the Director:  Students who have other conflicts MAY be excused at the Director's discretion by the students' parent notifying the Director in writing at least 30 days in advance.

  • Unexcused Absences:

    • All other absences not listed above.

I have a baseball game at the same time as a performance. Can I miss the performance?

While we are supportive of students being involved in many different activities, a performance is an experience that cannot be recreated.  Therefore, students are expected to make a performance the priority when choosing between a performance and other events.

I have a really important event that I really cannot miss, and it's at the same time as a performance. Are you sure I can't miss the performance?

If you have an important conflict, the parent must communicate this conflict with their director at least thirty days in advance of the performance or it cannot be excused.

If I am absent from a performance, can I make it up?

Performances account for 40% of your overall marking period grade.  Students who are excused may complete an alternative assignment to make-up the entirety of the performance.  Students who are unexcused may complete an alternative assignment to make-up half of the performance grade.


While most marking periods have only one performance, some marking periods may have more than one performance.  To help you understand the ramification of an absence, please see the following example:


Little Johnnie, who is currently earning an A (a 95%) is absent from a performance due to illness.  The absence brings his grade down 40% to a 55%, which is an "F."  He completes the alternative assignment, earning a 90%.  His grade comes back up to 91%, which is an A.


Little Jack, who is also currently earning an A (a 95%) is absent from a performance because he had a basketball game.  The absence brings his grade down 40% to a 55%, which is an "F."  He completes the alternative assignment, earning a 100% (good job!).  Because his absence was unexcused, he was allowed to make-up half of his grade, which comes back up to a 75%, which is a C.    


Hopefully this helps you to understand the ramification of being absent from a performance!

Grading and Extra Credit

What activities are graded in band, orchestra, or chorus?

To make this answer simple, the answer is EVERYTHING!  If I am going to take the time to assign something to you, then I am going to take the time to grade it.


Most of your graded assignments are a result of your participation (being ready to go on time, playing when instructed to do so, following all classroom procedures, and completing any written assignments during the class period).  However, you should understand that Daily Participation only accounts for 20% of your overall grade.


The rest of your grade comes from practice records (15%...see above), tests and quizzes (25%...tests counting as double grades and quizzes counting a single grades), and performances (40%...see above).


NOTE:  Even when a substitute teacher comes to teach for me when I am out, you are being graded.  So, be sure to do your best, even when I am not at school.

When is the latest I can turn-in an assignment?

Other than practice records, you can turn-in any assignment at anytime.  Your grade will be a "0" until it is turned-in.  If the end of the marking period comes, and you have not turned the assignment in, it will be reflected as such on your report card.

Student: I looked up my grade online, and I believe it is incorrect. What should I do?

We believe in the importance of students taking initiative to ensure they are being treated fairly and equitably in all of their classes.  Therefore, the first step would be for the student to either email their director or come see their director to discuss the grade.  If there is an error, we will certainly correct the grade.  If there was not an error, we can more adequately explain why the grade is correct.

Parent: I looked at my child's grade online and believe that it is incorrect. What should I do?

First, ask your child why they believe their grade is what it is.  If they do not know why their grade is what it is, then ask them to contact their director via the instruction above.


We always love to hear from parents.  However, at the middle school level, students are transitioning into high school, and thus should take responsibility for their grade.  If we receive an email from a parent regarding a student's grade, we will most likely speak with the student before responding to the parent.  Then, we will respond to the parent's email

with the results of the discussion.


Parents, please have your child contact us first.  Many times, an error in a student's grade is the teacher's fault.  It is easier to correct a grade with the student present than it is without the student being there.  We promise we will take great care of your child...please encourage them to see us anytime there is an issue that needs to be resolved!  :)

Parent: Okay, my child came to see you, and I don't think your explanation was correct. What do I do now?

Please, please, your director right away!  It will usually not get to this point.  But, if it does, please contact your director so we can figure out the correct solution.  The teacher / student / parent relationship is too important for problems to fester, so please let us know if we did not resolve the grade issue to your satisfaction.


When a parent contacts us, and we have already tried to work it out with the student, we will usually set-up a conference so we can look together to see what the issue is.  This way, we can resolve the issue together, and try to come up with a plan to avoid the problem in the future!

Do you offer extra credit?

Yes, but only when it is needed to ensure that the student does not fail the class.  Please see your director to set-up an extra credit assignment.

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Music Department FAQ

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions.

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