Course Assignments/Grades


Fall 2020 -- 

As with all classes during any virtual instruction, attendance is taken through face to face in class meetings as well as zoom meetings. The zoom link can be found by logging in to moodle and searching for Keller or Shapley at

Growth will be evaluated and grades will come from class rehearsal, home practice, goal sheets, periodic playing assignments and similar activities.

We will give students clear indications about whether a particular grade is a summative or a formative grade.

Additionally, our fall semester written final will be different this year.    You will not have to attend a live performance as we have done in past "normal" years.  There will be a similar, but different final exam for the Fall semester.

Normally, Grades will be based on the following criteria:

Daily class rehearsals and home practice. We expect instruments and music to go home on a daily basis.

Participation in extra rehearsals outside of class; concerts

Periodic playing tests in class.

Weekly Goal sheets.

Miscellaneous informal metrics used to assess growth including but not limited to:
     Music Theory
     Individual playing assignments as an upload to google classroom
     Individual playing assignments in front of the group
     Master Class playing assignments

Tests/Quizzes will cover a variety of materials such as:

A. Technique drills 
1) Scales‑‑major and minor
2) Arpeggios‑‑major and minor 
3) Position and shifting exercises 
4) Rhythm studies 
5) Finger pattern studies

B. Orchestra music
1) Bowings
2) Tone quality
3) Intonation
4) Style
5) Counting and rhythmical features
6) Precision and articulation
7) Musicality and qualities of interpretation

Concert grades will be based on three areas:

70 points - for their individual performance

10 points - for being dressed properly and on time to the concert

20 points - for staying to the end of the concert.

*Students who have a conflict and must miss any portion of the concert must produce a parent email, note, or phone call to explain the missed portion of the concert grade and will need to make the grade up for full credit. Grades will reflect any missed portions until a parent or guardian’s note, email, or phone call is received.

Final Exam:
Concert Evaluation

In order to complete this item, you must attend a concert that features string instruments in some way. Examples of events that meet the criteria:

--Any professional orchestra concert (Dallas, Fort Worth, Richardson, Plano, Irving, etc.)
--A college/university orchestra concert (UNT, SMU, TCU, UTA will be the best options in our area)
--Any professional or collegiate solo or chamber recital (most college recitals are free of charge)
--A Broadway musical performance (must have strings as part of the pit orchestra)
--An opera production (professional or collegiate)

Examples of performances that DO NOT fit the criteria:

          --A concert at another high school or middle school
          --Somebody playing a string instrument at church
          --A concert that does not include professional musicians or collegiate musicians


The Assignment:

First, attend the concert and ENJOY it! After the performance, record your thoughts about the following:

--The music performed. Did you like it? Who wrote it? How did it make you feel? Any reflections of the compositions themselves are welcome.
--The performer(s). Were they engaging? What did you think about what they wore? What impressed you—or not—about their technique? Did they inspire you?
--The venue. Describe the performance space. How did it affect the performance and the audience experience?
--The audience. What kinds of people were at this concert? How did they behave?

Express your thoughts in a typed essay. The form of the paper is not important as long as it completely covers your experience. Spelling, grammar, capitalization, and syntax DO matter. Mostly, we are interested in hearing about your experience. Do not feel compelled to take notes during the performance.

Concert evaluations (with a photograph of the student and the ticket or program) can be completed and turned in at any time prior to your final exam in December through the Google Classroom link.


NISD and Byron Nelson HS grading guidelines for late and missing assignments has been updated. Please be sure to reference/read the student code of conduct for updated grading policy on late and missing work.