If your child is a member of your church's youth band, have you considered turning that into a high school fine art credit?
If you are swimming in fine arts, like my high school friends who took multiple music classes, you might like this article: Fine Art Fanatics. If you don't even know what fine arts are, then you might like this article: Art For The Art Klutz .
But here's the thing ... Band is a GREAT fine art class. When I was in high school, I had friends in that took band every single year - and earned high school credits in music every single year. Feel free to put your homeschool band on a homeschool transcript. One credit is 120-180 hours of work, or about 1 hour a day throughout the year. One half credit is 60-90 hours, or about half an hour per day throughout the year.
On the grading criteria, it looks like band classes are usually divided up like this: Playing, Practice, Participation. This is how one school explained their grades, and of course you can choose any percentage you want for each criteria. For the grade, if your child enjoys it and does well, give a grade of A or 4.0. You can consider your grade further in this post: Quick Grading Estimate.
I suggest you work on course descriptions every single year and keep them up to date. Getting something down on paper each year is more important than creating a perfectly written description. You will have plenty of time to modify them over the years, but you don't want to put it off, and then never start. The most important thing is to get them on paper now, while the information is fresh in your head, and before the real crunch time of senior year begins.
Perhaps your course description for Band might look something like this:
Fine Arts: Band with Performance
In this course the student will perform as part of a Christian church youth-group band. This band provides an academic opportunity to participate in instrumental ensemble playing. Special attention is given to forming proper habits with regard to band routine, tone production, intonation, interpretation, etc., through skill study and participation. Students are able to study and appreciate representative music of accepted value within the technical and intellectual range of their ability. This is an instructional class in the development of lifelong performance skills. The class provides a unique opportunity to participate with other students in performances throughout the year. Students are encouraged to take the full year of worship band each year. Musicianship, worship, and showmanship are of importance. Additional rehearsals are a requirement for this course, and the student will be responsible for practicing the different sets of songs assigned for each week. Weekly attendance is required. Credit assigned after 180 hours of practice and performance.
Student will be required to demonstrate the following criteria throughout the course.
- Build Strength in Character
Playing 60%: All tests will include material covered in band class. The playing evaluation may consist of scales, excerpts from the method books, concert materials or other supplementary materials. Playing assessment may occur weekly, and will be performed in front of a band director for a grade.
Practice 20%: The student will practice as required to ensure adequate ability in performances. Practice times are considered as a homework assignment for the class.
Participation 20%: The participation grade covers participation and attendance at rehearsals and performances. Students must be prepared with their instrument at every practice, sit with correct posture, clean up after class, follow band rules and policies. Attendance at rehearsals and performances are mandatory except in the case of extreme illness or family emergency. It is impossible to make up a missed rehearsal or performance and other members must carry an extra burden because of someone else's absence.
I have to give a hat-tip to my member Kristyn, who recognized the character qualities involved in church band. That was an important addition.
In case you don't know what electives are required in high school, this may help: 3 Must-Have High School Electives.
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