Junior High Band
Lesson Plans

Daily Lesson Plans

A typical set of daily lessons plans that were written on the whiteboard.

Daily lesson plans

Having the lesson outline on the board helped me to remember everything that needed to be done. Having the students prepare for the rehearsal by getting their method books, scale sheets, and music in order at the beginning of class also saved valuable time.

  1. Next Test and Practice Report Due Date
    Above the top line on the whiteboard was the next test (playing test, written test, or tuning test) and when it was going to be, followed by the day the practice reports were due. In this case Playing Test #1 would be given Monday the 9th and the practice reports would be due Friday the 20th. Playing Test #1 was different for each grade level. The students received a list of all the playing tests for the year when school started. (See Playing Test Lists)
  2. Jazz Band and Early Morning Rehearsals (EMRs)
    Just below the next test are listed the up-coming Jazz Band rehearsals and EMRs. Jazz Band rehearsals were every Monday and Thursday and every other Friday so the students could receive half credit for a year of participation. The EMRs were listed on the playing test lists. (See Playing Test Lists)
  3. Warm-Ups
    The warm-up began with long tones on a given scale then incorporated tonguing, articulation, and tuning drills.
    (See Warm-Up Tips)
  4. Scales
    Few people would argue the value of practicing scales to develop technique. Because it’s so useful, we warmed up with scales every day and each quarter there was a scales test.
  5. Chromatic or Set
    Each quarter there was a different chromatic test for the blowers and a different drum-set test for the pounders. While the blowers practiced their chromatic, the pounders silently practiced their set test on “air” drum sets.
  6. Playing Test Material
    As part of the warm up we practiced the next playing test.
  7. WT (Written Test) Material
    Once a quarter, there was a written test that covered the guidelines and standards that are difficult to teach in a rehearsal setting. The test was different for each grade level. Before the test I would take five or ten minutes each day to cover some of the questions on the test.
  8. Hardest Tunes First
    After a good warm up and a short break to cover written test items, we worked on the hardest tune we were preparing for concert or festival. Then we would move to tunes that were easier.
  9. Fun Tune Last
    The students would work extra hard knowing the sooner we got through the hard stuff the sooner we could play their favorite piece. A warning though - Don’t get so caught up in the rehearsal that there isn’t enough time to play the last number. You may have mutiny on your hands. One of Wes Barry's sayings was, “Send them out whistling.”

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.