COVID-19 School Closure Update
COVID-19 School Closure UpdateAll ECASD schools will be closed at the end of Monday, March 16.  Details have been sent to families through Skyward.  That message may be found at

For more information about At-Home Learning and other resources, go here:

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South Middle School Chorus' Syllabus

Course Objectives
1. Acquire the skills and knowledge to be a better singer and musician, both individually and in an ensemble.
2. Learn vocal music of different styles, cultures, and historical periods and better understand how all of it is related.
3. Build an understanding of how music is written and read.
4. Develop aesthetic awareness, appreciation, and sensitivity.
5. Recognize the connections between choral music and non-musical disciplines.
6. Experience and appreciate the unique joy and satisfaction that comes from creating music with other people!

 How will you be graded?
I.  Tests/Concert Performances (“Demonstration”) = 60%
     Ia.  Concert Performances
  1. Performance in our scheduled concerts is absolutely required.  Not performing a concert would be like being on an athletic team and not attending the games, right?  As a member of Chorus, every singer is literally a member of a musical team…except on our team, everyone plays every minute!
     Ib.  Tests of…
  1. Song memorization (done in small groups, not as solos)
  2. Music Theory (on an individual basis; these tests are written)
  3. Sightsinging (like song tests, these are done in small groups)
NOTE:  Test Retake Policy:  Per ECASD guidelines, I offer students one opportunity to retake a test or quizz.  This retake must be completed within two weeks of the original test/quiz and before the end of a grading period, unless otherwise discussed with me.  Students are responsible for contacting me and arranging a time to do the retake; I will not go to a student and arrange a retake.
II.  Ensemble Skills (“Lab”) = 25%
  1. Be on time.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Be involved.
  4. Be your best.
III. Practice Affidavits/Miscellaneous Assignments (“Homework”) = 15%
  1. An affidavit is defined as “a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation”.  Practice Affidavits are written statements of Chorus practice at home, confirmed by the oath or affirmation of a parent’s signature.  They are due every two weeks in Chorus 6 and Chorus 7, and they will have specific practice assignments to complete.  These assignments will be shared with students and families weekly via Skyward messages.
IV:  Alternative/Extra Credit
-This is available.  If you feel you should receive Alternative/Extra Credit for something, please discuss it with me.  See below for some ways to earn alternative credit, as well as the point value of each.

 Alternative Credit Activities and their  Point Values
          Activity Point Value Description
“Encore” (7th and 8th Grade) 600      “Encore” is SMS’ show choir and is open to all 7th and 8th Grade Chorus members.  This year-long group meets 1 – 2 Resource periods each week, as well as 10 - 12 hours per semester outside of the regular school day to learn choreography.  “Encore” performs at all SMS 7th and 8th Grade Chorus concerts and at several special events through the year.  There is a $40.00 participation fee.
Clearwater Middle Level Invitational
Choir (CMLIC)
500      The CMLIC is a by-invitation-only chorus for all middle school Chorus students in Eau Claire.  Members rehearse several times outside of school hours and are expected to practice diligently at home.  The choir has a day-long clinic, concluding with a concert performance, in January (see our Calendar of Events for details).  Next to the All-State Middle Level Honors Choir, this is the best middle school choir students in which students will have the opportunity to sing.  There is no cost.
Solofest 400      “Solofest” is held annually at one of EC’s middle schools on the first Saturday of March.  Students prepare a solo and perform it in a private classroom for another music teacher, who gives them feedback and coaching.  The time required that Saturday is an hour.  There is no cost, so long as a signed-up student follows through and completes the event.
Non-SMS Concert Attendance 150      If you attend a singing-oriented concert outside of SMS, you may get extra credit for it by getting an “SMS Chorus Extra Credit Form” from Mr. K and following the instructions on it. 
Private Lessons (voice, piano, or guitar) 25/lesson      If you take private lessons for voice, piano or guitar, you may get extra credit for it by getting an “SMS Chorus Extra Credit Form” from and following its instructions.
Non-SMS Choir 25/rehearsal      If you participate in a choir outside of SMS, you may get extra credit for it by getting an “SMS Chorus Extra Credit Form” from Mr. K and following its instructions.
***PLEASE NOTE:  Most of the opportunities for Extra Credit involve the efforts of many; one student’s choice to participate in an activity affects others, especially fellow performers and classmates.  Because of this, it is expected that students choosing to participate in extra credit activities will honor their commitment to do so.  If a student elects to participate in an extra credit activity and then later chooses to quit that activity, not only will the student forfeit any extra credit earned, but s/he will also be assessed a penalty on his/her grade equivalent to half the points that would have been earned.  The only exceptions to this are the last three items on the list above.

Concert Attire (clothing required for all performances)
1.  SMS Choirs t-shirt (cost to you is $11.00; order this with the “Eau Claire SMS CHORUS Shirt Fee Collection Form”)
            2.  Black pants or skirt
-newer black jeans are acceptable
-skirts must be at least knee-length on the wearer
            3.  Black socks (if socks are worn…not all shoe styles require socks)
            4.  Black/dark shoes (dress shoes preferred; tennis shoes that are one, solid, dark color are OK)
5.  Note:  This concert uniform is not optional; as indicated above, it is required.  That said, no student will be denied the opportunity to perform in a concert simply because s/he did not plan ahead and take the necessary steps needed to be in concert attire.  A student who comes to a concert performance not wearing the correct Chorus concert uniform will still perform in the concert but will take a minus 25% on his/her grade for the performance.  

Practicing at Home – Resources for Students
        Practicing your music at home is a vital part of our success as a choir and of your success as an individual singer.  To help you with your at-home practice, SMS Choirs provide two tools.  They are:
  1. Website – Finale Notepad program (this is the ABSOLUTE BEST CHOICE of practice tools!)
-Available for Windows-based computers and Mac/Apple computers
-Go to our website at:  (You can navigate to this location from the ECASD home page, too.  Follow this sequence of links: -> Schools -> Middle Schools -> South Middle School -> Academics -> Chorus)
-Click on "Finale Practice Files".  Refer to the “Finale Notepad Installation Instructions” document. 
  1. MP3 audio files (with take-home sheet music)
-If you do not have a computer, you may download MP3s from the internet and put them onto a digital music player (iPod, smartphone, etc).  These files will not have singing on them (only piano playing), and they do not display the notes and lyrics on any screen; so you will need to take home copies of your sheet music.  You are responsible for letting me know if you need this resource.  You should inform me of this via the pink sheet you have your parent/guardian complete and return to me at the start of the year.
  1. CD (with take-home sheet music)
-As a last-choice option, you may request a CD with instrumental (not sung) recordings of your choir’s songs.  As with the MP3 audio files described above, these files will not have singing on them (only piano playing) and will not display the notes and lyrics anywhere, so you will need to take home copies of your sheet music. You are responsible for letting me know if you need this resource.  You should inform me of this via the pink sheet you have your parent/guardian complete and return to me at the start of the year.