Orchestra and Mariachi Handbook


    Teacher:  Jose Martinez


    Email:  jose.martinez@humbleisd.net


    Telephone:  281.641.4038


    Course Objectives:  Learn the basics of music.  To develop sensitivity to music through performance and listening.


    Text and Required Materials:



    • Method book
    • Essential Elements Book 1 (6th and 7th grade)
    • Essential Elements Book 2 (everyone)
    • A shoulder rest for violins and violas.
    • A rock stop or anchor for cello and basses.  
    • A pencil-Must be brought to class everyday!
    • A soft cloth to keep the instrument clean.
    • Rosin suitable for your instrument.
    • Dark or light  rosin for violin, viola, and cello
    • Sherman or Pops rosin for basses. (Bass rosin looks different from violin, viola, and cello and can only be used for the bass)



    Optional but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

      • A folding metal stand for practice at home
      • A stool for basses; if needed
      • Name tag for instrument case


    • Strings on a “needed basis.” 


    • A Tuner



    1. Learn music basics through learning to play a string instrument.
    2. To develop a common musical vocabulary
    3. Develop skills of aesthetic judgment and critical thinking through music listening
    4. Demonstrate professional behavior 
    5. Learn to perform alone in front of others and in an ensemble


    Grading Procedures:

    Concerts will count twice in the grade book.  All other grades including chair test, supply checks, counting tests, note reading tests, etc. will count once in the grade book.  If a student is absent, it is their responsibility to ask for any make up work.


    Concerts attendance is required for all students.  Orchestra is a performing class and students are required to perform.  There will be plenty of notice for scheduled concerts. “I did not have a ride,” is NOT an excuse to miss a concert.  Students will only be excused for personal illness and family emergencies only. I will need to be notified by parent/guardian, not by a student.  For an excused absence, an alternate assignment will be given. Any unexcused absence will result in a zero and cannot be made up.




    Sectionals will be scheduled throughout the year and are required.  If there is a conflict with scheduling, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor and make it up.  Sectionals will be calculated in the Dailey grade. Arriving late will result in 10 points being deducted plus the number of minutes late.  




     To participate in any extra-curricular activity function, you must pass all your classes the grading period prior to the event.  This applies to Region Contest, and any trip the orchestra may take. This does not include school concerts. School concerts are part of the orchestra curriculum


    Classroom Rules:


    1. Take care of yourself
    2. Take care of each other
    3. Take care of this place 

    *This includes taking care of your personal instrument and the instruments of others.


    Not following the rules will result in the following

    • A warning will be given the first time
    • Second offense will result in a phone call home and after school detention.
      • Failure to do detention will result in a phone call home and an office referral
    • Third offense will result in a referral to the office and a phone call home.


    If the offense is severe enough, it will result in an automatic referral to the office and a phone call home.

    Classroom Expectations:


    1. Be in your seat and ready to start two minutes after the tardy bell.  This means you have your instrument, binder with music, and a pencil when you are seated.
    2. Only play your instrument when you are instructed to.
    3. Respect others, instruments, equipment, facilities and yourself
    4. Raise your hand or bow and be recognized before you speak.
    5. Instruments should be with you during class.  Not having your instrument, unless it is in the shop and arrangements with me have been made, will affect participation grade.
    6. Trim fingernails! It is very hard to play your instrument with long nails.
    7. Be supportive of each other!


    Orchestra Fee: $40

    • Covers the student’s t-shirt and other expenses throughout the school year.

    School Owned Instruments:

    The school has a limited amount of instruments that can be issued out to students.  There is no fee to use a school instrument but any fee associated with taking care of the instrument will be the student’s responsibility.  Basic supplies like rosin, shoulder rest, and strings are a student’s responsibility. In the case of an instrument being lost or damage it is the student’s responsibility to cover the cost or replace the instrument.   An instrumental rental agreement form needs to be filled out and signed by a parent/guardian before an instrument is issued to a student.

    Field Trips and Spring Trip


    For a student to participate in any type of trip, they must be eligible and have a travel consent form on file.



    • Fees associated with the trip will be discussed at a later date
    • Orchestra fees must be paid off before any money will be applied to the spring trip
    • In order for a student to go they must:
    • Be Eligible, must not be failing.
    • Demonstrate that they will represent HMS in a positive way.