• Orchestra Class Guidelines 2019-2020

    Teacher: Sean Hartmetz

    E-mail:   sean.hartmetz@lcps.org


    Dear Parents and Students,


    Welcome to the Harmony Middle School Orchestra Program.  We are beginning a new year and we will be having lots of fun playing string instruments and learning about music.  Everyone who practices 6 days a week for 20 minutes will make steady progress and feel successful.  That is what the Orchestra program is all about.  Your students will be learning about many aspects of music including:

    ·       Note Reading

    ·       Ensemble Playing

    ·       Improvisation

    ·       Technique

    ·       Music Theory


    Orchestra Required Materials

    Please see Mr. Hartmetz’ webpage on the Harmony Middle School website, under  “Music Vendors” & “Orchestra Class Materials List”.


    Grading Procedures


    Students will record themselves playing assigned material at home and send it to Mr. Hartmetz via Google Classroom.  Some playing tests will need to be done in class.t of the class.  This will be done in small groups, pairs or solos depending on the nature of the playing example.  Any test can be retaken as many times as necessary to achieve an “A”.  Retakes can be a video or with Mr. Hartmetz before or after school.  All retakes must be completed prior to the last week of the quarter.  The expectation is that all students will retake tests until they achieve at least an A-.  Persistence always wins.


    Required attendance outside school hours counts heavily in a student’s grade.    Please record the dates below on your family calendar.  Even one student missing a performance can cause a complete disruption of the performance for the entire ensemble. Students who have a conflict should notify Mr. Hartmetz as early as possible so part distribution can be adjusted to account for their absence.  Students who miss a performance will make up that grade by making a video of them playing all the selections that would have been played at the concert or rehearsal.  The video will be made outside of class time and within one week of the student’s return to class. 

    Rehearsal/Performance Requirements

    1.     Students will be required to practice six days per week for a total of 120 minutes, OUTSIDE OF CLASS TIME, on the assigned material. 

    2.     Each student is expected to bring their book, folder, pencil, rosin and tuner to EVERY class.

    3.     Two minutes after the bell rings, the student will be seated with instrument in hand and having completed tuning their open strings.

    4.     Cello and bass students will treat school instruments used during class with respect.  If a student is careless with the instrument at school, they will lose the privilege of using one and will have to bring their instrument from home for in-class use.  Personal instruments cannot be stored overnight at school. 

    5.     All Instruments and materials must be put away at the end of class.

    6       Required Attendance Outside school hours.  Attendance at the following rehearsals and performances is a requirement of the course (See grading policy).  On concert nights students will need to be at school 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the concert.  Parents are encouraged to drop their student off at 6:15pm then return for the concert at 7:00pm.


    6th Grade
    Rehearsal:  Harmony Auditorium, Wednesday, October 23rd, 3:30 – 5:15 p.m.
    Fall Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Thursday. October 24th, 7:00 p.m.

    Rehearsal:  Harmony Auditorium, Tuesday, May 5th, 3:30 – 5:15 p.m.
    Spring Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Wednesday, May 6th, 7:00p.m.


    7th Grade
    Rehearsal:  Harmony Auditorium, Wednesday, Dec. 18th, 3:30 – 5:15 p.m.
    Winter Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Thursday, Dec. 19th, 7:00p.m.

    Rehearsal:  Harmony Auditorium, Monday, May 4th, 3:30 – 5:15 p.m.
    Spring Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Thursday, May 7th, 7:00p.m.

    8th Grade
    Fall Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Thursday. October 24th, 7:00 p.m.

    Pre-Assessment Clinic/Concert: Harmony Auditorium, Thur., Feb. 27th, 6:30 – 8:30pm

    Assessment Performance:  Broad Run H.S., March 13 or 14, which day & time TBA

    Spring Concert1: Harmony Auditorium, Wednesday, May 6th, 7:00p.m.

    Spring Concert2: Harmony Auditorium, Thursday, May 7th, 7:00p.m.


    Optional Dates:  Junior Regional Orchestra Auditions, Sat., Sept. 28th, AM, Colgan HS

                            Junior Regional Orchestra Event, Fri. & Sat., Nov. 8 & 9, Fauquier HS

                            All County Orchestra Auditions, Sat., Jan. 25th, AM, Trailside MS

                            All County Orchestra Event, Fri. & Sat., April 17 & 18, Woodgrove HS

                            Baltimore Symphony Trip, Sunday, April 26th, All Day

                            Music Festival/Hershey Park, Friday, May 29th, All Day



    I hope to meet with all of the parents at open house.  I believe that Arts education is vital to student development and that self-expression and creativity are developed through the discipline of daily practice.  If there are any questions, feel free to contact me.

    Please pring and sign the commitment form:  Orchestra Class Commitment Form

    This form is due Friday, August 30th.

    Thank you,

    Sean Hartmetz