West Alexander Middle School Band 2015-2016

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West Alexander Middle School Band


Dear Band Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! I wish to extend my welcome to all new and returning band students. I look forward to this upcoming school year and can’t wait for the fun to begin! It is my belief that hard work, discipline, and open communication will be the foundation to our success this year. I want to do everything in my power to promote active learning.

The first step in reaching our goals for this year is to provide the necessary information to the students and parents. This is the reason for our Band Handbook. I hope that parents and students will use this handbook as a helpful tool and guideline throughout the year. This handbook will hopefully address any questions and concerns you may have.

I will discuss the handbook with the students on the first day of school. I request that everyone take the necessary time to sit down with their child and read through the information together. I will ask you to sign a contract that shows me you have read the information. I will also request that everyone fill in the “contact” portion of the page. This will tell me where to contact you when needed. Please make sure this is turned in to me, signed and your child has a black binder and Method Book by 8/31.

I also need 6th grade students to purchase or rent an instrument ASAP. If you are having trouble in any way with this, please contact me at the school so I can help you with whatever you need. I will do my best to get an instrument into your child’s hands. If your child owns an instrument, I would like them to bring it to school ASAP so I can start assigning cubbies to each student to alleviate the cumbersome task of carrying their instrument around school all day!

I want to thank everyone for taking time to read the handbook and encourage you to contact me with any questions! I can’t wait to begin this year and look forward to educating and building a relationship with you as a parent and your student.
Matthew Cochran


Classroom Materials
Required Materials:

  1. Pencils

  2. 1-inch 3-Ring black binder (Students will use this to store their band handbook, method book and music.)

  3. Method Book: Essential Elements 2000, Book 1 (For 6th and 7th grade students).

Essential Elements 2000, Book 2 (8th grade students).

*7th grade students will need to purchase Book 2 mid-year

Suggested Materials: This added investment will be helpful for practicing at home and your instrument maintenance.


Suggestion 1

Suggestion 2


*Korg TM 40: Tuner and Metronome.

Model- TM 40

Price: $30.00

Quiktim Time:

Price: 19.95


Free Apps on Smart Phone . It’s what I use.

Snark Tuner:

Price: 19.95

Music stand

Wire foldable music stand


*Can be bought individually as well. Having at least 3 playable reeds at all times is recommended

Clarinet and Sax:

Rico Royal: 2 ½-3 in strength

Clarinet and Sax:

Vandoren: 2 ½ to 3 in strength.


Renard: medium to medium hard

Reed Guards:

Clarinet and Sax:

Holds 4 reeds



Tenor Sax


Generic Brand:



* This certain product is a metronome and tuner in one!

Required Accessories
Flute: Tuning Rod and polishing cloth.
Clarinet: Swab, polishing sloth, reeds, and cork grease.
Saxophone: Swab, polishing sloth, reeds, and cork grease
Trumpet: Valve Oil, trumpet snake.
Trombone: Slide Oil, trombone snake.
Wire music stand for home use

All students need to make sure that they have all their required materials by September 3rd. The method books and suggested materials can all be found at The Music Center, located at: Or at Main Ave Music, located at:

1620 8th Street Dr Se 36 West Main Avenue
Hickory, NC 28602 Taylorsville, NC 28681

The Concert Uniform
The uniform for the concert will be:
All Grades - khaki pants

  • Black shoes (closed toed)

  • Black socks

  • WAMS Band Polo Shirt-Students who do not already have a band polo or need a new size will need to purchase a polo shirt. Orders will be placed in September. (More information to come)

*Note from Mr. Cochran- Please do not wait until the day before the concert to begin looking for these items. The concert uniform removes visual distractions, makes us look more professional, and instills a sense of pride in the students. Please start preparing for these events in advance.

Practicing your instrument is just like going to football practice every day. I have high expectations for my students and your children. They should be bringing their instrument home and practicing on a regular basis (recommended 80 minutes/week). Please encourage your child to practice. Don’t let your investment go to waste.

Classroom Rules

1.) Always be on time and properly prepared for class. I will always expect you to have your black binder or music folder, Method Book, music, instrument, and a pencil (not pen). Students will NOT be allowed to go back to their lockers to get required materials for class.

2.) There is no food, drink, or gum in the band room.

3.) Do not touch any instrument other than your own. This includes all percussion equipment, the piano, or any instrument that belongs to another student.

4.) Always respect the teacher, your fellow students, and school equipment.

5.) Practice at home, not during class. Do not play your instrument while Mr. Cochran is talking. This is very distracting and rude.

6.) If you don’t have an instrument for class because of repairs, bring a note from a parent or guardian.

7.) Be a respectful student of West Alexander and follow all school rules. All school policies will be enforced (i.e. gum, electronics, dress codes, etc.).


Consequences will be given as seen fit by Mr. Cochran

1.) Verbal warnings will always be given before further action is taken

2.) Student will be asked to do a co-curricular writing assignment instead of playing if poor behavior continues. This will result in a lowered participation grade

3.) Grade level disciplinary action
Severe Disruption: Automatic Office Referral

Daily Procedure

  1. Enter the band room peacefully and quietly.

  2. Put instrument together (properly) and get all materials for class.

  3. Leave your instrument’s case in the proper designated area. Do not bring it to your chair with you.

  4. Find your seat and look to the board. The daily goals and objectives will always be up so you can get your music in order. DO NOT PLAY UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.

  5. Mr. Cochran will step on the podium. Once I do,

*You are to be in your seat ready to play.

*All talking stops

  1. Have fun!

Grading Policy




(Practice Logs)

A minimum of 80 minutes of practice is required each week. Students are to record their practice minutes on the practice logs which will be due every Monday. They need to be signed by a parent/guardian.


Tests and Quizzes

(Pass Offs and Playing Tests)

Pass Offs:

The pass offs will occur bi-weekly and will be assigned from either the Method Book or their scales. Pass offs will be held every other Friday. The assignment must be played correctly in order to receive credit.

Playing Test:

Playing tests will be administered on an as need basis. These tests will be based on our concert music to ensure that thorough preparation is accounted for.


Class work
(Concerts, Performances and participation in class)

Every student is required to attend every performance. I have the concert dates ready for everyone, so there won’t be any time conflicts. If a student must miss a performance, I MUST BE NOTIFIED 24 HOURS BEFORE THE CONCERT TIME.
*Students absence from a concert without proper notification will result in an alternate assignment
Excused absences form a performance include:

  1. A death in the family

  2. A family emergency

  3. A sickness that will not allow the student to perform

Students will be given 20 points a day unless they fail to have the required materials for class (instrument, black binder, Method Book, music, pencils, and reeds) or fail to follow the classroom procedures and rules.


Band Contract

*The band handbook can be found online through Mr. Cochran’s website via the direct link http://www.alexander.k12.nc.us/Domain/671

Or by visiting http://www.alexander.k12.nc.us/westalexander, then click the teacher websites tab
I sign this contract to show that I have read and understood the contents found in the WAMS Band Handbook. I understand the rules and procedures that are expected of the band members, and I acknowledge the policies governing the band program for the 2015-2016 school year.
Principal Signature: ___________________________________________________
*Student Name (Print):_____________________________________________________
Student Signature:__________________________________ Date:_________________
*Parent/Guardian Name (Print):__________________________________________________________________
Home Phone:_____________ Work:_____________ Cell:________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature:____________________________________ Date:________
* I also sign the line below giving Mr. Cochran my consent to photograph/video tape my child for assessments, concert videos, yearbook pictures, and the band website.
Parent Signature:__________________________________________________________

Please take this time to mark the following bullets about parental involvement. I would love to contact you with the details on the activities you have interest in. I ask for as much parental participation as possible. A band experiences the most success when the teacher, students, and parents all work together!

I am willing to:
Aid in the hauling and loading of the WAMS’s Band Wagon
Chaperone for a Concert or a field trip
 Come into the school and help maintain the band room by filing music or other volunteer activities
 Participate on a Committee or hold a position in the WAMS Band Parent Boosters

2015-2016 West Alexander MS Band Calendar

Date Event

September 25th 8th grade band night @ ACHS

October 13th (tentative) Possible Apple Bowl Performance, 8th grade only

October 22nd Fall Concert @WAMS Cafeteria, 6th grade only

December 10th Advanced Chorus and Jazz Band Concert

December 11th Elementary Jazz Band Tour

December 15h Christmas Concert-Required @ WAMS Cafeteria 6th grade beginning at 6:30, 7th grade - 7:15, 8th grade- immediately following 7th grade

January 9th NW All-District Band Auditions at Central Davidson MS/HS

January 23rd Snow Date for –NW All-District Band Auditions at Central Davidson MS/HS

February 19th-21st All-District Band Clinic (If qualified)

March 3rd 6:30 pm MPA Preview Concert-Required for 8th and participating 7th (ACHS Auditorium)

March 5th All-State Band Auditions- Brown Middle School and East Davidson High School, Thomasville, NC (if qualified)

March 22nd, 23rd, 24th (will only perform on one of these three dates) Music Performance Adjudication Event Required 8th and participating 7th graders Broyhill Center, Lenoir, NC

April TBD Advanced Chorus and Jazz Concert

April 29th All-State Band Clinic- Chapel Hill (if qualified)

May 17th Spring Concert Required @ WAMS Cafeteria 6th grade beginning at 6:30, 7th grade - 7:15, 8th grade- immediately following 7th grade

**Other performance dates to follow will be emailed to a parent, posted on the Band webpage, and be sent home with student in advance.

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