Programs & Services » Music/Band


September 2020
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome (or welcome back!) to the Highland Music Department! Enrolling in music involves a large responsibility to the group, but hopefully the rewards are great. This letter will explain our department’s policies.
Although this year will have many challenges, I am excited that I will be working with all of you in person once again! We will have to be vigilant about safety measures and respectful of everyone’s comfort level, but if we do, we can get back to making music together! We will be observing the social distancing rules, washing our hands frequently, and wearing masks is recommended. Band students might consider having an additional mask for Band class with a slit cut in it for your mouthpiece. I am also recommending that you bring a cloth in a ziplock bag to absorb any excess moisture.
Practice sheets will be required for all band students. Regular practice is essential if students are to develop as musicians, and to keep the class improving at a good pace. Practice sheets will be handed in twice each term and should be signed weekly by parents. Recommended practice times for Grade 8: 60 minutes per week, and for grades 9-12: 30 minutes per week. Extra practice can earn up to 5% bonus each term as well. Practice is worth 20% of each term mark.
Band students will be tested individually each term by playing in front of a teacher. Playing tests are worth 40%of the term mark. The remaining percentage in both classes is based on class participation and effort – so any student who makes a sincere effort to listen, learn and improve should do well. Ensemble skills are worth 40%. Students who are involved in musical activities outside of school time can apply for a 5% enrichment credit.
In a participation and performance-oriented class, students who show up without music or instruments cannot participate and cannot work with the group towards a performance. Students who forget their instruments more than once a term will lose 5% of that term’s participation mark.
Concerts will likely look a little different this year. My goal is to try and have a live streamed concert at the end of each term which will showcase what the students have accomplished up to this point. More info to come on this as the details are worked out.
For Grade 8 students, instrument rentals will be taken care of online this year. Please do not rent an instrument until one has been assigned. We will be exploring the different instruments in the first 2 weeks of classes and I will be sending home information on where and how to rent/obtain an instrument.
As it stands right now, overnight travel is not permitted so trips are temporarily on hold. I will be exploring travel options for all groups once it is safe to do so. If students have credit from fundraising it will be kept in student accounts as long as the student is a member of the music department. Students who leave the music program leave their credits behind to help defray trip costs for all music students.
Students renting School District instruments must pay for them in full ($100 for the 2020/2021 school year) before they begin using them. Parents should note that there is no school insurance coverage for these instruments, and therefore students are responsible for repair or replacement of the instrument in the event of damage or loss.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Cox at Highland Secondary (250-339-5525), or by email:
I hope that this will be a great year full of music and learning!
Ms. Cox