Autrey Mill

Middle School







Please note that these dates are more current than the schedule in your student agenda. A few things are always added through the course of the year and of course conflicts do arise, but this is a good starting point for your calendars.
August 18- FCYO Application Deadline

August 22- FCYO Auditions, 5-6:45PM- AHS

September 5- All State Applications Due

September 7- Talent Show Auditions, 4-6PM

September 14- Talent Show, 6:30 PM

October 3- JCHS Orchestra Fall Concert, 7PM

October 14- All-State District Auditions-Centennial HS

October 19- 7th/8th Grade Fall Orchestra Concert, 6:30PM

November 10-11- AMMS Musical

November 15- FCYO Concert @ AHS, 7PM

November 16 - 6th Grade Orchestra Fall Concert, 6:30PM

November 30- JCHS Orchestra Winter Concert, 7PM

December 14- Combined Winter Concertx2 (7th/8th Grade)

December 15- JCHS Midwest Preview Concert, JCHS, 7PM

January 6- Final All-State Auditions

February 8- AMMS Orchestra Pre-LGPE Concert, 7PM

February 13-15- LGPE- Chattahoochee HS

March 1-3- All State @ Athens

March 9- 8th Grade Performs at National Orchestra Fest!

March 28- FCYO Concert @ AHS, 7PM

March 29- Chamber Concert Night- 5:30PM

April 24- JCHS Orchestra Concert 7PM

April 27-28- Spring Play

May 14- Final Orchestra Concert- 6:30

May 16- In school pops concerts- all grades


Dear Orchestra Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year in the Autrey Mill Middle School Music Program.  My name is Tim Anderson and after 15 fantastic years I am very pleased to again be back with the orchestra.  We accomplished a great deal last year including performances where we received straight superior ratings for the 7th and 8th grade orchestras at our performance evaluations and our 8th grade orchestra receiving the Division Champion Award at the Southern Star Music Festival!  I’m looking forward to even bigger and better things this year including a performance at the American String Teachers Association National Conference!

This handbook is a starting point for all you’ll need to know for a great year in the orchestra.  Our objectives and goals are listed here, as well as our expectations of students in terms of classroom behavior, rehearsal guidelines, attendance, equipment requirements, concert attire, and grading procedures.

If you have any questions regarding any of this please do not hesitate to contact me at any time by email at: 


            Thank you for your time and effort in reading this and in supporting the students in our fine music department.  I’m looking forward to a fantastic year and hope to meet and hear from many of you soon.

Tim Anderson, Orchestra Director


How it all Works

Instrumental music classes meet every day for about 47 minutes.  Each grade level will have its own performing orchestra.  These individual groups will have many opportunities to perform at a variety of functions throughout the school year.

In addition to our daily work on our instruments (tone production, articulation, bowing proficiency, scales, and rhythms to name a few aspects) we also have a few additional educational opportunities for students.  The first of these is the “Artist of the Day” program.  Two days a week a musical selection (it could be anything!) will be presented in class.  Students will be asked to listen critically for a few minutes and then analyze what they heard.  Students who are able to correctly identify the artist (or make a good educated guess and back it up) earn extra credit.

 Another weekly program is the “Student Warm-up”.  For this opportunity students rotate to the podium to conduct a warm-up with the orchestra.  A good warm-up helps prepare both the physical and mental aspects of performing.  Students will be coached through this leadership opportunity and will present 2-5 times a year depending on the size of their class.

Students will have many small group and individual performing opportunities throughout the year such as “Solo and Ensemble Festival” as well as smaller chamber music recitals which will coincide with our chamber music work in the class room.  Be sure to check your Autrey Mill news letters for upcoming dates and times.

Extra credit will be available to make up for missed quizzes, poor performance on tests, or to supplement lacking daily grades.  Assignments are noted periodically throughout the year or by request from Mr. Anderson.


Rehearsal Guidelines

1.  The instant the director steps on the podium (usually 3-4    minutes after the tardy bell) and addresses the orchestra, the rehearsal has started.  If you’re not there or not ready in any of the following ways, you are considered late and will be graded accordingly.  Attendance will be taken daily.

2.  Every orchestra member is expected to bring themselves, their instrument and accessories, their music, a PENCIL, their agenda book, and a good attitude to every rehearsal.

3.  As stated in the School Rules, no gum, candy, or drinks will be allowed in the rehearsal room, even during before/after school rehearsals, unless specifically permitted by the director.

4.  The time before rehearsals begin is for tuning and warming up, not discussing what was on T.V. last night.

5.  It is a good idea to clean off your instrument regularly and as   dust, rosin, and condensation can all be very destructive.     PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT!  Get a cleaning cloth!

6.  Students are not to use any instrument but their own without   permission from the director and the owner of the instrument being borrowed.

7.  The use of a school instrument is a privilege and should be   treated as such. Students will be held directly responsible for   any defacement or damage not associated with normal wear and tear.

8. We can get a lot done in a short time if you watch, listen, learn, and enjoy the time we have together.


Objectives and Goals

The mission of the Fulton County Public is to educate students to be responsible, productive citizens.

At AMMS the goal is to:

Prepare Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Challenges

In the music program we do this in the following ways:

1. We serve the school and the community in both leading and supporting roles.

2. We inherently promote social, educational, and recreational growth.

3. We acquire a thorough background in music.

4. We develop an appreciation and sensitivity for music in any style or medium.

5. We experience the satisfaction of quality performances.

6. We nurture both a sense of group responsibility and individual leadership.

7. We continue the development of the mental, physical, and emotional expansion unique to music.


Classroom Guidelines/Teacher Philosophy

There is really just one big word here: Respect.

Respect yourself, Respect your teacher, Respect your fellow students, Respect your instrument...  The list could go on.

The attitude of a true musician should be one of striving for continuous progress.  There is always something that can be improved upon, no matter how good you are at what you are doing.  Having the self respect and self discipline to do this is a great challenge, one that we should all strive to meet. 90% is not enough in the Orchestra.  We need 100% all the time!

The general guidelines for classroom behavior outlined in your agenda book all apply to the band and orchestra and chorus classrooms as well and will be strictly enforced.  It is also worth noting that music is one of the few subjects that requires everyone’s total cooperation in order for each student to achieve.  If four math students perform well and a fifth one fails, it has little effect on the successful ones.  If four music students are performing well and a fifth student is missing every note, it could be potentially disastrous.  Cooperation is vitally important if those who excel are to help those who have some difficulty.

Seating will be random for the first few weeks and will later be decided by audition and quiz results.


Attendance is mandatory at all rehearsals and concerts unless there is an emergency or your absence has been previously cleared with Mr. Anderson.  Students with unexcused absences will be given one week to request and complete an alternate assignment.


It is recommended that all middle school orchestra students acquire their own instruments.  We do have a limited number of instruments available for use here at school on a first come first served basis. All instruments should be kept in good playing condition (which WILL require purchasing a few spare strings since they do wear out and break occasionally) and at all times should be marked with a name tag and slot number on the case.  Large instruments (cello, bass) will be provided for use during the school year on a limited basis for a one time maintenance/repair fee.  There are many locations from which to rent or buy instruments and I would be happy to advise you on them and assist in selection if you choose to buy.

Sheet music will be furnished to each student.  Any student missing parts should immediately write a note to Mr. Anderson and leave it on his desk.  Parts will be numbered and students will sign off that they have received parts.  Any parts lost or damaged will be paid for by the student at a flat replacement rate just as a text book or any other school material would be.

The orchestra has two different sets of concert dress for different performing opportunities.  For informal performances, students will wear jeans and an orchestra polo shirt which will be available soon.  For formal performances the same shirt with the orchestra logo and a pair of khaki pants will be required.


What do I do with this?

Students and Parents, please sign and date this page, fill out the back of this page, cut it out of the handbook, and return it to Mr. Anderson no later than August 31st.  Students, this handbook is to be kept in your music folder at all times.  It is considered a piece of your required daily equipment, just like your music, your instrument, or your pencil.  Its presence may be checked for routinely.

I have read and agree to all of the rules and guidelines outlined in this handbook.

Student Name: (please print)


Student Signature: ______________________________


Parent Names: (please print)



Parent Signatures:______________________________




P. 9

How You Can Help and Bonus Information:
Any successful music program is a combination of many positive influences including the director, the students, the support of the county and school system, and most importantly the parents.  I wanted to take this opportunity to get to know more about you so I can serve you and your students better in the months to come.
Please include all of the following information for our parent/student orchestra network.  None of this will be shared or published.  Please include
andersont1@fultonschools.org on your list of acceptable senders if you have a junk email filter on your account.

My Student:_____________________________________________

My Name:_______________________________________________

Student Grade Level: __________ Instrument: _____________

My Phone#_________________________________

Student Email Address:  (please print clearly)




Parent Email Addresses:



__ I’d like to volunteer to help!

P. 10

Things You’ll Need:

Instrument in working order
 Cleaning Cloth (soft cotton)
 Rosin (instrument specific)
 Shoulder Pad for Violin/Viola
 Rock-stop for Cello/Bass
Folding Music Stand for home practice

Spare Strings
 Violin- Spare E and A
 Viola- Spare A and D
 Cello- Spare A
 Bass- not required (but I’d be impressed)

Essential Elements Book
 6th Grade-  Old EE  Book 1 for review + New Purple EE  Book 2
 7th Grade- Old Purple EE  Book 2 for review, New Green EE  Book 3
 8th Grade- Old EE Book 2 for review,  Green ET Book 3


Orchestra Web Site:


AMMS Web Site:




For an A you will:
1. Be on time for all rehearsals and performances.
2. Be well prepared with all materials and parts.
3. Maintain excellent self control and discipline during rehearsals.
4. Maintain an A average on tests and quizzes.
5. Have instrument in working order at all times.
6. Turn in money, equipment, and paperwork (that means practice records!) on time.

For a B you will:
1. Be prompt, alert, and attentive at all rehearsals and performances.
2. Exercise good self control and self discipline.
3. Be prepared with materials and parts.
4. Remain above average on quizzes and tests.

 Diminishment in any of the above categories will result in a lower grade.  There will be opportunities for extra credit throughout the year.  Students maintaining less than a C average will be asked to attend a conference with their parents regarding their future in the music program.  Your grade point average will be broken down as follows.

40% Tests (performance and written)
30% Daily Grades (materials, paperwork, etc.)
10% Practice Records
10% Written Assignments

10% Rehearsal/Performance Attendance




Tim Anderson, Director
Johns Creek, Georgia 30022