FAYM

FAYM

Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians

Band and Percussion Curriculum, Auditions, and Testups

New Band/Percussion students with previous experience must audition to be placed in the appropriate level. Please sign up for the EARLIEST AVAILABLE audition day. Click here to sign up for an audition. 


Spring semester only: All guitar/piano/bass students must audition for Jazz Band. Students should be able to play all 12 Major scales and arpeggios, all triads, and all 7th chords. Please sign up for the EARLIEST AVAILABLE audition day. Click here to sign up for an audition.


Students in any of the orchestra, percussion, or band classes may test up to the next level before each semester begins. Students are encouraged to ask for assistance when practicing for their next level test. When the student feels like he is ready, he may ask to test up to the next level. However, testing up is not required by any student at any time. The student may stay in his current level for as long as he likes, as long as he is comfortable at that playing level.

This page lists both the current curriculum for each level (what will be taught) and what needs to be mastered before moving up to the next level (the testing requirements).
 
 
Curriculum for Band Classes
 

Percussion students will follow all BAND curriculum and testup requirements for the mallet instruments. For non-pitched percussion requirements (snare drum), see below under Percussion Requirements.


Curriculum for Intro Band (introductory level):

In Intro Band, students will learn the basics of their instruments, including set up, proper care, how to hold their instruments correctly, fingering, how to produce a good tone, how to form the embouchure, articulations of slurring and tonguing, and correct breathing. Beginning notation will also be introduced, including reading notes on the staff, and elementary rhythms. Rhythms include the quarter note/rest, half note/rest, whole note/rest, dotted half note, and eighth note pairs. Brass players will learn embouchure flexibility through their 2- and 3-note warmup. Woodwind players will develop a minimum range of an octave.

Intro Band students usually only spend one semester in this class, unless the teacher determines that students need more confidence in these skill areas.



Curriculum for Band 1 (beginning level):

In Band Level 1, students will learn many 3-note scale patterns and chromatic half-scales with correct fingerings, including alternates. Sound Innovations Book 1 will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. Students will learn and memorize 4 major scales. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus eighth rests, eighth note/rest combinations, and dotted quarter/eighth note combinations. 16th notes may be introduced. A big focus of this class is developing strong reading skills. Woodwind and Brass players will develop a minimum range of a tenth (one octave plus a third). Clarinet players will learn studies to help them learn to cross the break confidently. All students will demonstrate correct articulations.

Band 1 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.



Curriculum for Band 2 (elementary level):

In Band Level 2, students will continue to develop a good tone, articulations of slurring and tonguing, and correct breathing. Rhythms studied include review of all previously learned rhythms (eighth rests, eighth note/rest combinations, dotted quarter/eighth note combinations), plus 16th notes, 16th note combinations, triplets, and compound meters. Students will learn many 5-note scale patterns and a minimum one-octave chromatic scale with correct fingerings, including alternates. At least 5 major scales and the relative natural minor scales will be studied, including arpeggios. Sound Innovations Book 2 will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 4- and 5-note warmup. Woodwind players will learn to play through 2 registers on their instruments. Clarinet players will continue to develop confidence with crossing the break, and develop a good tone throughout the entire 2nd register (clarion register).

Band 2 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.



Curriculum for Band 3 (intermediate level):

In Band Level 3, students will continue to develop more intermediate playing and ensemble skills. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus additional confidence with sixteenth notes/rests, 16th/8th note combinations, triplets, and compound meters. Students will learn a minimum of 6 major scales and the relative natural and harmonic minor scales with arpeggios, understand the 3 forms of minor scales, and play a two-octave chromatic scale with correct fingerings, including alternates. TBA Book 3 will be used. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. All students in Band level 3 will study the Middle School District Band audition requirements. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 5-note warmup. Woodwind players will learn to play through all registers on their instruments (full range). Clarinet players will learn notes in the altissimo register.

Band 3 students can not test out of this level until all skill requirements are confident.


Students in Band 3 will be tested in class periodically to make sure they are keeping up with the class requirements. Students who consistently fail these assessments will be moved to an easier level of band.


Curriculum for Band 4 (advanced level):

Students must be taking private lessons to be admitted into this level.

In Band Level 4, students will continue to develop advanced playing and ensemble skills. Rhythms studied include all previously learned rhythms, plus mixed meter, uncommon time signatures, and advanced rhythmic concepts. Students will learn 12 major scales and the relative natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales; all major and minor arpeggios; will understand the 3 forms of minor; and play the chromatic scale throughout the entire range of their instrument. TBA is the required book. Assignments from this book will be assessed through the SmartMusic program. All students in Band level 4 will study the High School District Band audition requirements. Brass players will develop their range through the brass 6-note warmup. Woodwind players will develop confidence playing through the entire range of their instruments. 


Students in Band 4 will be tested in class periodically to make sure they are keeping up with the class requirements. Students who consistently fail these assessments will be moved to an easier level of band.


 

Curriculum for Percussion (snare drum):

Percussionists with no previous experience will attend the Intro Band and Intro Percussion classes, learning the bell kit (mallets) and the snare drum. Other accessory percussion instruments may be introduced in either class. Students will learn correct stick hold, posture, and position. Beginning notation will include eighth notes, quarters, halves, dotted halves, and whole notes, and all corresponding rests.


Drumset and Timpani instruction will be occasionally included in all levels of percussion classes, as resources allow. 


Percussion 1 introduces more rhythms and basic stickings, including dotted quarters, 8th note combinations, 16th notes, and 16th note combinations; the accent, flam, paradiddle, single and double strokes, open and closed rolls.

Percussion 2 will continue the study of more advanced rhythm reading and rudiments, including drag, flam paradiddle, pataflafla, and more rolls.


Percussion 3-4 will continue the study of advanced rhythms and rudiments, including all requirements for District Band auditions.  



Testing Requirements for Band and Percussion


Testing Notes:

  • all scales, including chromatic, must be played in rhythm (all notes the same value)
  • students should be comfortable counting AND playing the rhythms listed
  • students will be asked to sightread a short example
  • good tone and a solid concept of intonation is required at each level
  • correct posture/position matters
  • everything from the chart below should be mastered in order to move up to the next level
 
 Testing into
Band 1
 Testing into
Band 2
 Testing into
Band 3
 Testing into
Band 4 (private lessons required)
scales/arpeggios
none - understand and be able to play all natural notes in order, from low to high, or high to low
play all of the three-note scale patterns with correct fingerings; play 4 full, one-octave Major scales by memory, with arpeggios
play all of the five-note scale patterns with correct fingerings; play 5 one-octave Major scales (two octaves if possible) and all relative natural minor scales by memory, with arpeggios
play 6 major scales and the relative natural and harmonic minor scales, with arpeggios, by memory, as many octaves as possible for your instrument
articulation and tone
demonstrate correct tonguing, breathing, and embouchure/tone production
slurring, staccato vs. legato tonguing; proper embouchure and tone control throughout the dynamic range
confidence with all articulations, a more focused tone, and control over intonation across the entire dynamic spectrum
a well-developed tone and complete control over all intonation tendencies across the entire range of the instrument
chromatic scale
know the fingerings for the sharp and flat notes
play 2 chromatic half-scales by memory, with correct alternate fingerings
play a one-octave chromatic scale by memory with correct alternate fingerings
play a two-octave chromatic scale by memory with correct alternate fingerings
rhythms
quarter note/rest, half note/rest, whole note/rest, dotted half note, eighth notes
previously listed rhythms, eighth notes, eighth note/eighth rest combinations, dotted quarter/eighth note combinations
previously listed rhythms syncopations, 16th notes and 16th/8th note combinations, dotted 8th/16th, triplets, compound meters
previously listed rhythms, plus more confidence with mixed meters and meter changes, advanced rhythms
woodwind range
one octave, some chromatics
2 octaves, clarinets can play crossing over the break
confidence in both registers, some extended register notes
full range, including extended register notes
brass range
play the 2- and 3-note brass warmup
play the 4-note brass warmup and all notes from book 1
play the 5-note brass warmup and all notes from book 2
play the 5-note brass warmup and all notes from book 3
percussion (snare)
know all rhythms learned in class, with alternate sticking; single-double sticking
single/double sticking; accent, closed roll, 5 stroke roll, flam, flam tap, flam accent, flamacue, paradiddle, double paradiddle, triple paradiddle; rhythms through dotted quarters, 16th notes, and 16th note combinations
flam paradiddle, pataflafla, drag, open rolls, 7 stroke roll; 8th triplets, 16th triplets, compound meters, syncopation, cut time, all 16th notes and combinations
all Middle School District Band percussion requirements; all rudiments and rhythms in TBA books 1, 2, and 3