Jefferson R-VII

Music Department Handbook




­­­Excellence is our Standard, not our Goal

Congratulations on your decision to be in the Jefferson R-VII Music program! This handbook is designed as a guide to provide specific details concerning many of the aspects of the program. For any further information, please call the office at (636) 933-6900 or e-mail Mr. Sikes at or Mrs. Sikes at Also, check out the music website at for up to date information.


We are honored to have the privilege of working in the Jefferson R-VII school district. Not only will you be learning how to make wonderful music, you will also be learning dedication, responsibility, work ethic, punctuality, communication, and leadership. These are the qualities, along with education, that will make you successful in life as well as school.


Being enrolled in music through high school brings you many other wonderful fringe benefits. Students enrolled in fine arts courses score from 10 to 12 percent higher on the SAT than students not enrolled in fine arts courses.


After reading the material enclosed in this handbook carefully, please sign the attached form. Hard copies of the handbook and acknowledgement form are located in the band and choir room. The form is due by second week of September. It will be a test grade of 100 points each.


We hope that this packet will answer most questions that you may have so that your music experience is a successful one. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of us at the numbers listed below or e-mail us. This promises to be an exciting and eventful year and we look forward to joining with you in making the Jefferson R-VII Music program one of the very best.


Ron Sikes                                        Catie Sikes

Director of Bands                                Director of Choirs/Assistant Band Director

Jefferson R-VII School                        Jefferson R-VII School District              






As a member of the band/choir, you are a member of one of the school district's most important and respected organizations.  As with any other organization, the success of the band/choir depends on the loyalty of ALL ITS MEMBERS. How can a musician show loyalty and cooperation to the band/choir?  First, by making up your mind to be a proud and worthy member.  Second, by giving the organization all you possess in attention, interest and effort.  Third, by observing the general objectives and rules outlined which are a necessary part of any successful organization.  The rules outlined on the following pages are simple, sound and easy to abide by.  In following them, you are meeting an obligation that you owe to your school, your fellow band/choir member, your family, and yourself.  It is intended that this handbook serve each musician with an acquaintance and understanding of the TRADITION, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES of the Jefferson R-VII music program.  There is no place in any outstanding organization for half-hearted participants.  Only when every band/choir member cooperates can a band/choir achieve the distinction of being truly outstanding.

Band/Choir Objectives


Danby-Rush Tower Middle School

Cadet Band (6)

Concert Band (⅞)

Concert Choir (⅞)

        Extra-curricular:        Select Choir (6)

                                Jazz Band

Jefferson High School

Concert Band/World’s Most Dangerous Pep Band

Concert Choir

Jazz Band

Extra-curricular:         All-District/All-State

MSHSAA Solo & Ensemble

Jazz Combo




Facebook:        Jefferson R-7 Music


Google Classroom:


Danby Concert Band (⅞)        

Send the message @ah96946 to the number 81010                 

Danby Cadet Band (6)        

Send the message @8g29gd7 to the number 81010

Danby Jazz Band                

Send the message @jazzbna to the number 81010                

Danby Choir                        

Send the message @497bg3 to the number 81010

Danby Select Choir                

Send the message @akdadf to the number 81010

JHS Jazz Band                

Send the message @aff8gk to the number 81010 

JHS Band                        

Send the message @c32g32 to the number 81010                

JHS Choir                        

Send the message @e3487b to the number 81010


The Jefferson R-VII music program uses the Charms Music Management system. It is a web-based system that allows the director to keep track information on each student. It helps track attendance at events, money owed to the music program, inventory assigned to students, student and parent contact information, private lesson information, and much more. Along with all of that, parents can access all information related to their student. To access information, please follow these steps.

1. Log on to:

2. Under ENTER/LOGIN, select Parents/Students/Members

3. Enter the school code:  jr7music   then click ENTER CHARMS

4. Enter your child’s PASSWORD:

There is also a mobile app for smart devices.

Apple (iPod, iPhone, iPad)


I recommend all students use their Google Chromebook password as their Charms password/id. Please access the Charms system from time to time to make sure your contact information is accurate. We use Charms as our primary tool for communication.

Charms will be used throughout the year. Students will use Charms to log in practice minutes (if applicable). We will keep all attendance data outside of the school day in Charms. You can check it at any time. All financial information will be tracked through Charms. The official calendar of the music department will be on Charms. All inventory assigned will be in Charms. Playing tests will be completed through Charms. Charms is always where you will first go when you have a question.


        Attendance is required at ALL performances.  All required performances are marked as “R” on the CHARMS calendar. We realize, however, that there are times when attendance is not possible due to circumstances beyond the control of the parent of student.  The following will be considered acceptable reasons for absence:

If for any reason you must miss a performance, it is the responsibility of the parent & student to fill out the Google form ASAP prior to the event to be missed. The form can be found at > Students > Absence Form. Most performances will be scheduled well in advance, and the director will make every effort to notify parents and students of these performances and dates.  

Any time a student is absent from a performance (excused only), a make-up assignment is required. The make-up work must be recorded. The student must submit a recording of his/herself playing every piece that was performed the night of the absence in Charms.  The make-up assignment must be completed one week from the absence to receive credit. No make-up work will be offered for unexcused absences.


Attendance is the most important element to the music department's success.  Students should make every effort to attend all rehearsals during school.  When a student misses a rehearsal, the material covered during that rehearsal must be retaught to the entire ensemble upon the return of the student.  Due to the nature of our performances, a student can not truly make up this time lost outside of a band rehearsal.


If you are absent from class FOR ANY REASON, make-up work must be completed.  Music is a participation-based class, therefore your grade depends on participation.  If your make-up assignment is not completed, a zero will be awarded for the day. The make-up assignment must be completed one week prior to the end of the quarter to receive credit.


All payments must be turned in an envelope. We cannot take random cash/checks. The envelope must be labeled with first and last name, amount in the envelope and what the payment is for. Envelopes must be turned in the locked cash box.


Jefferson High School

World's Most Dangerous Pep Band: Students will purchase a t-shirt and hoodie to be worn at all casual performances

Concert Dress Concert Band & Choir: Students will be issued a tuxedo or gown. Students must furnish black socks and black shoes.  

Jazz Band: Students will purchase a t-shirt and be issued a jazz band uniform.  Students must furnish black slacks, band socks and black shoes.

JHS Choir:  Students will purchase a t-shirt.  Hoodies/sweatshirts are available as an optional purchase.

Danby-Rush Tower Middle School

Students will purchase a music t-shirt ($10) to be worn at all performances

Students must furnish black slacks (no jeans), black socks and black shoes.



The Jefferson R-VII School District is not responsible for stolen or damaged instruments that are owned, rented, or borrowed by students. Although the school has instrument storage available, no storage space is 100% secure.  Instrument storage rooms are not always secure, and the school cannot be responsible for anything left in them, either during the school day or overnight.  Instrumental students are expected to take their instruments home every night to practice.  Parents are advised to make sure their homeowners or renters policies cover musical instruments.  Students must take proper care of instruments including not leaving them in classrooms, buses, hallways, etc., during the school day, weekends, or vacations.  Under no circumstances will private instruments be housed at school during the summer.

Students need to take care not to leave instruments unattended in precarious positions (on music stands, which can be easily bumped, on chairs sticking out into aisles, and standing or lying on the floor where someone could knock them over, step on them or kick them). Instrument cases must not be used as chairs, foot rests, or bowling balls, as these uses can impair their ability to protect the instrument inside from damage, dirt, or moisture.

IF YOUR INSTRUMENT NEEDS REPAIR - Please bring your instrument to me (Mr. Sikes) as soon as you arrive to school.  If I can repair it, I will.  If I cannot repair your instrument, a different course of action will be prescribed.  I cannot stop class to repair an instrument.

If your instrument needs repair, beyond what I am able to fix, it will need to be repaired by Nottelmann Music Company (314-631-1486).  Nottelmann’s Music visits our school once a week for pick-ups and drop-offs.  Payment for repair must be arranged with Nottelmann’s Music.  The Classroom Participation grade will not be reduced as long as the instrument is at the music store.

Students are to take extreme care of their instruments.  Instruments are not toys.  Repairs can be very costly.

Lockers (JHS only)


Grades in class will be determined by a weighted point system. Points will be awarded for Homework Assignments, Informal Assessments and Formal Assessments.

Homework Assignments (10%):         

Practice Logs (middle school only), Google Classroom assignments, etc

Informal Assessments (45%):         

Daily rehearsals, rehearsal etiquette, quizzes, warm-Ups

Formal Assessments (45%):        

Major tests, performances, written evaluations, etc.

Materials Needed Daily:          

-Instrument in proper working order (band)

-All sheet music

-2 Pencils

Korg TM50 w/ contact mic (band)

If any of these materials are forgotten, the consequence is a grade reduction. Band/Choir is a participation/performance-based class. It is crucial that every student is diligent in bringing all needed materials.  Not only does the entire ensemble suffer from one student not participating, but more importantly, that student could miss learning a new concept.    


Practicing is a very important part of a musician’s growth and development. It can be a productive and enjoyable time when it is approached in the correct manner. A consistent practice routine of 20-45 minutes a day per week is highly recommended for the best results


                10 Minutes - Warm-ups and flexibility exercises

                10 Minutes - Scales or rudiments

                10-25 Minutes - Assignments in rehearsal music

If you practice, you get better

If you get better, you play with better players

If you play with better players, you play better music

If you play better music, you have more fun

If you have more fun, you want to practice more

If you practice more, you get better


Jefferson R-VII Music Handbook

I have read and discussed the Jefferson R-VII Music Handbook with my parents/guardians and will abide by the rules, policies and procedures stated in the handbook. We understand the responsibilities that come with being a member of the Jefferson R-VII Music Department and agree to cooperate with the objectives herein.


Print Name




Student Signature                                Date


Parent Signature                                Date