About the Gatewood Music Program
The band program at Gatewood Schools began in the fall of 1999 and is provided for the purpose of enriching students’ lives through the great medium of music. Band members have several performances opportunities including the state wide GISA All-Select Band. Gatewood has had the privilege of participating in this event every year since 2001.
Band at Gatewood begins in the 5th grade although students are encouraged to pick up a new instrument at any age. Students will be exposed to basic notation and reading, as well as trying out on as many instruments as possible to find just the right one. We are excited about offering computer rehearsal via the internet, new in 2006. Musicians will be using a computer program that records their practice, shows students where mistakes occurred and can grade them automatically. Then, when the student has completed the exercises to their satisfaction, the music can be saved on a cd or emailed to the band director for grading purposes. They will also be encouraged to make cd’s of themselves playing for family members. Students are encouraged to participate in the band program through their senior year in high school.
Band is an academic/performance class with a spiral curriculum that continues throughout high school. At the beginning, 5th graders will be divided into brass, woodwind and percussion families. Students will also be given more growth opportunities through small ensemble participation.
Gatewood’s vocal music program has also been growing over the past 7 years. Our Middle School vocal group witnessed major growth this past year. Approximately 30% of our entire middle school was involved in vocal music which also took their first trip to Disneyworld to participate in the America Sings program. Vocalists have been participating in solo, girls trio, boys quartet and piano at Literary since the beginning of Gatewood. We have seen more excitement build in our vocal ensemble which performs at 2 concerts a year and has performed at various local functions as well.
Students in the vocal program will learn the many aspects of professional singing through rehearsals and performances. Everything from music notation and sight reading to ear training and correct technique will be learned. They will also be using computer programs to enhance their vocal skills.
About the Director
Music director Ron Kauffman has been teaching since 1999 at Gatewood. He previously worked as Music/Youth Director for Heatherridge Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ron holds a Bachelors of Science in Education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma with endorsements in Music, Langauge Arts and Social Science. He also was a member of a college jazz band in Kansas while he was music director at Fellowship Baptist Church in Garden City, Kansas. Currently, Ron is also the Music Director at Victory Baptist Church in Milledgeville. He is married to the former Donna Ridley of Eatonton and they have 2 children, Christopher (7) and Cody (6).
All music students are expected to come to class prepared to participate. Regular practice is necessary to keep up and function as a contributing member of any group. Computer programs are used to check intonation, timing and music reading ability. Band students need to have a working instrument, all instrument accessories, proper books and music, and a pencil or pen. Vocal music students need to come to class with their music and a pencil. Points are deducted from a student who does not come to class each meeting with all of the above mentioned items. If an instrument is being repaired you should try to get a loaner instrument. If that is not possible, please bring a note from your parents stating the situation. You will still be expected to participate using a pencil as a ghost instrument. Students who “forget” to bring an instrument or music a first time will participate with a ghost instrument. Those who forget again will be required to write the following paragraph a minimum of 5 times.
Participation in a music program is very similar to that of participation in team sports. The discipline and effort of the individual directly influences the quality and success of the group. In an excellent program, such as we are continually building here at Gatewood, it is important that I be self-disciplined and work to the best of my ability so that the entire group can benefit. Therefore, in the future, I will work to the best of my potential so that the entire ensemble may benefit from my contribution.
If, for some reason, there is a third or fourth time the students will be given an article from a music education periodical from which they will read and report to class.
Playing Opportunities (Band)
On several occasions during a grading period students will have to perform short excerpts or exercises for a grade in order to check progress in certain areas of their performance. These will be played individually through a computer program or in the class. Each opportunity will count 10% of the students’ grade.
Because the instrumental music curriculum in a spiral curriculum, the individual concepts cannot be considered mastered after one or two performances or playing opportunities. It is a continuous building process over a protracted period of time. Students perform or submit their pass-offs for the band director and they are either passed or not passed. These can be recorded at home and emailed to the director or turned in to the director the following day. Students move at their own pace and must complete one level of the pass-off before they move on to the next.
Rehearsals and Performances
Band and vocal music are performance-based classes and public performance is a major part of the class. Performances are scheduled at the beginning of the year and count as a major portion of the students’ grade. If for some reason your child cannot attend and participate in a scheduled performance you must send a written excuse ahead of time. If a family emergency arises the day of the performance then an excuse from the parents is due the day the student returns to school. If the absence is excused and alternative assignment will be given to the student.
Few rehearsals are scheduled outside the school day. Every effort should be made to make the scheduled rehearsals.
Once a student enters the 9th grade they are eligible to be nominated for the GISA All-Select Band or Chorus. This is a huge honor in that they will be privileged to perform with the best GISA musicians in the state. They will also get to work with very accomplished directors on music that is at a higher level than available at Gatewood.
Gatewood School Music
“Building Students of Character”
Policies and Procedures for Classroom Management
“The purpose of discipline is to shape future behavior, not punish past behavior.”
Music Room Policies
- Come directly to class, entering quickly, quietly, getting materials ready for class. Attendance is taken when Mr. Kauffman begins instruction. Students must be ready to play or sing at the first downbeat. Students are allowed 2 tardies each nine weeks. All subsequent tardies will result in break detention.
- Cooperate fully by following the teacher’s directions immediately, completely and cheerfully.
- Raise your hand, not your voice, to be recognized by the teacher.
- Respect the belongings of others. If it doesn’t belong to you, you must get permission from Mr. Kauffman before touching it.
- Put all materials away in the proper place when you are dismissed from the classroom.
- Cooperate fully for guest conductors or substitute teachers. Failure to do so will result in automatic detention.
Procedures for Shaping Appropriate Behavior
- 1st - Positive reinforcement of appropriate behavior
- 2nd - General verbal reminder of policy to class
- 3rd - Personal verbal encouragement to follow classroom policy.
- 4th - Private conference with student and entry into the discipline log.
- 5th - Solicit help of parents to encourage/reinforce appropriate behavior.
- 6th - Conference with parents and administrator.
The first two detentions assigned will be during their morning break. Any subsequent detentions will be served after school at a prearranged time.
- Band: instr. and access. - 20%
Vocal: music & pencil - 20%
book - 5%
music - 5%
- Performing opportunites: (in class exercises)
Band: opportunity #1 - 5% Vocal: opportunity #1 - 10%
opportunity #2 - 5% opportunity #2 - 10%
opportunity #3 - 5% opportunity #3 - 10%
- Band Pass-Offs: assigned each 9 weeks 15%
Band - 40%
I am available after school and at different times during the day for additional help on pass-offs.