Beginning Band

  • Welcome to the La Joya Band

    Dear Band Students and Parents,

    I am looking forward to another great year at La Joya. This year I hope to encourage students to grow as musicians both mentally and physically. It will take a commitment on their part to do the best that they can. I am willing to make the commitment with them to see how far the band students at La Joya can go.

    The following are things I expect from each band student:


    Students need their instruments every day. A record will be kept of how many times a student forgets to bring his/her instrument to class. If an instrument is left at home 4 times during a grading period, the student's grade will drop one number (i.e. a grade of an 4 will become a 3). Students may not call home to request a parent to bring an instrument to school. Failure to play due to instrument repair or bodily injury will not affect a student's grade. If an instrument is being repaired, the student should bring a note from home stating that the instrument is being repaired and when the repair should be finished. Instruments should be kept in good playing condition. Brass musicians need to have valve oil and a cleaning rag. Woodwinds need to have the proper reeds and keep at least 3 good reeds in their case at all times!


    Every student is expected and required to participate in the activities of the class. If a student does not have his/her instrument or is unable to play, the student is still expected to follow all instruction. Lack of participation in class will affect the student's grade.


    Each student must bring their music to class everyday. This includes the Standards of Excellence book and/or any sheet music received. Every student should have a binder for sheet music and some plastic sheet protectors with three whole punches for the binder music. Students also need a pencil for every rehearsal._


    At home instrument practice is a requirement. Students will need to practice to prepare for playing tests, chairing tests, and concerts. They will need to keep a record of time practiced. Time practiced should be logged in the students agenda, stating time practiced and music practiced.


    There will be periodical written assignments that the students are responsible for turning in. Failure to do the assignments will result in a lowered grade in the class.


    All concerts are graded. Just by being on time and playing in the concert, a student will receive an A for that performance. If there is a conflict with any of the concert dates, the student/parent must inform Mr. Sprague atleast two weeks prior to the performance date in order to have a chance to do make-up work. Most rehearsal time will be done during the regular school day. An occasional after school rehearsal may be scheduled in preparation of a performance. Advance warning will be given for any extra rehearsals. Because a performance is a grade, it is mandatory and should be considered a priority for all students.


    Beginning band performs in all black.  Black Shirts, Black Pants, Black Shoes and socks.



    I am looking forward to a year of achievement both in playing and learning for your students. I know your child's education is important to you, and I will do my best to help them achieve and learn in music. Together we can work to bring a sense of satisfaction to your child by giving them the tools necessary to succeed as a musician.


    Steve Sprague, La Joya Band Director

    730-7921 ext. 202


    Code of Ethics


    The code of ethics is established so that each student will know in advance what is expected of them as a member in the La Joya Middle School Band and Color Guard.

    1. I will display respect, consideration, honesty, and courtesy for students, staff, chaperones, and parents at all times. Any student displaying disrespect will be suspended from the performing ensemble and may be considered for expulsion from the group.

    2. I will show self-control at all times and accept the decisions of the band director and staff.  I will express my concerns in an appropriate manner.

    3. I understand that any behavior expected of me during regular school attendance as established by the Visalia Unified School District Governing Board is in affect and all school policies will also be expected at all band activities.

    4. I will remain with the group and ask permission from the director if I must leave the immediate area of the group for any reason. 

    5. I understand that any signs of affection are inappropriate during a school activity.

    6. I am responsible for my own behavior at all times. If my behavior infringes on the rights of another person, my behavior is unacceptable.

    *All students will attend all performances and rehearsals involving his/her group.

    *All students must use school transportation to and from school activities when provided by the district. Any exceptions to this policy must be made in writing prior to departure, and require administrative (Principal) approval. Students may only be released to their parents or legal guardians.

    Classroom rules

    La Joya Band- Classroom Rules

    * Come to class prepared to do your best and improve every day.

    * Enter the room quietly and orderly.

    * Be in your seat at all times.

    * Be in your seat by the time the tardy bell rings.

    * No students are allowed in the office or on the podium.

    * You are not to leave the room unless you have been instructed to do so by the director.

    * Stop playing your instrument when the director stands on the podium.

    * Raise your hand if you need help or have a question.

    * Play your instrument only.

    * When the director stops the music do not talk.

    * Put your instrument, stand, and chair away properly in assigned place.

    * Treat other students and property with respect.

    * Keep the room clean. Do not leave backpacks or gym clothes in band room.

    * If the directors are in the office and you need to speak with them, knock lightly on the door and wait for a response. Do not continue to knock!

    * No drinks, food or gum is allowed in the room.

    * Do not throw anything in the room.

    * Students are not to use the phone. Only in extreme emergencies, weekend, and nightperformances may a student use the phone. You must first obtain permission by the director to use the phone.

    * Do not run in the room.

    * Remember to think before you do. You are responsible for your actions! You will be dealt with accordingly.


    Course description:   This class is for those students who would like to learn to play a band instrument.  It is also available for those students that wish to learn a second instrument.  Students are given experience in reading music as well as performing and interpreting a wide variety of artistic styles.  Students are encouraged to critically analyze music and play an active role in the selection of music and the organization of their performances.

  • Standards


    BDI.78.01.1001 - READ, NOTATE, CREATE, PERFORM 1.1: Reads, writes, and performs intervals.


    BDI.78.01.1002 - READ, NOTATE, CREATE, PERFORM 1.2: Reads, writes, and performs rhythmic and melodic notation in duple and triple meters.


    BDI.78.01.1003 - READ, NOTATE, CREATE, PERFORM 1.4: Sight-reads melodies in Treble or Bass Clef at a level of difficulty .5 (scale 1-6).


    BDI.78.01.1004 - READ, NOTATE, CREATE, PERFORM 2.3: Performs on an instrument with expression, technical accuracy, tone quality, and articulation at a level of difficulty 1.5 (scale 1-6).


    BDI.78.01.1005 - READ, NOTATE, CREATE, PERFORM 2.4: Composes short pieces in duple, triple and mixed meters.


    BDI.78.02.1001 - HISTORICAL & CULTURAL 3.1: Compares the function music serves and the place of musicians in society in various cultures.


    BDI.78.02.1002 - HISTORICAL & CULTURAL 3.4: Perform music from various and diverse genres and cultures.


    BDI.78.02.1003 - HISTORICAL & CULTURAL 3.5: Identify instruments from a variety of cultures visually and aurally.


    BDI.78.03.1001 - PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS: Shows appropriate behavior at performances.


    BDI.78.03.1002 - PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS: Attends required performances.


    BDI.78.04.2001 - AESTHETIC VALUING, CONNECTIONS, RELATIONSHIPS, APPLICATIONS 4.1: Uses criteria to evaluate quality of musical performances and compositions.


    ZCT.78.01.1001 - CITIZENSHIP, ATTENDANCE, EFFORT: Takes responsibility for classroom behavior.


    ZCT.78.01.1003 - CITIZENSHIP, ATTENDANCE, EFFORT: Completes class work and homework as required.


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