East Orange STEM Academy Home PageEast Orange STEM Academy
« November 2017 »
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


Mr. D. Santiago RSS
"Music begins where the possibilities of language end" - Jean Sibelius 

Feel free to contact me anytime at: Delfin.Santiago@eastorange.k12.nj.us 

Below is the course handbook the students will adhere by:


East Orange STEM Academy HS
2017 -2018 Syllabi/Handbook
Mr. Delfin Santiago
General and Instrumental Music Instructor 

Dear STEM Academy Instrumental Music Students and Families,

Welcome to the 2017– 2018 Instrumental music program!  Through your hard work and support, we will continue to grow this school’s reputation for developing students with exceptional musicianship. 

This handbook is your resource for information on the instrumental music program. It will also serve as an agreement between students, parents, and STEM Academy on program expectations, policies, and requirements. 

Parents, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, no matter how small! Students, please e-mail me if you need anything. 

Please read the Handbook, and mark performance dates on your calendars.

                                                               Maestro Delfin Santiago
Se Habla Español
American Sign Language


I.              COURSE OVERVIEW
A.    Music Program Goals
  • To discover and develop an understanding of the elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, and form.
  • To gain technical proficiency and develop instrumental range, timbre, and enhance the beauty of various instrumentation within the ensemble.
  • To develop the concepts and responsibilities of ensemble performance: balance, blend, and intonation.
  • To acquire the understanding and desire to perform to the highest level of ability.
  • To develop rehearsal habits that will prepare the ensemble for the highest level of performance.

  • High School Instrumental Music – Meets everyday for the entire year.
  • Middle School 8th grade Instrumental meets everday for the entire year.
  • Middle School 6th & 7th grade General Music – Meets everyday on a 10-week/Quarterly rotational schedule.
  • Students may be removed from the ensemble the following year due to behavior, consistent lack of musical preparation, or not grasping the basic necessary skills needed to remain. The ensemble repertoire can be very demanding and challenging and as much as I try to include as many students as possible, the groups musicianship need to be kept at a reasonable level in order to maintain quality/stability.
  • 6th-8th & 9th-12th Grade classes rehearse separately, but will perform together amongst their designated grade levels. Additional lunchtime/afterschool rehearsals for both groups may be necessary and will be announced at a later date.
  • All students that are enrolled as applied instrumental majors are required to practice their musical instrument. This practice includes scales study, band repertoire, and literature as it relates to their area of study.
  • The Golden Rule always applies: Do unto others as you want done unto you. In other words, show respect to everyone in this program: your teacher (Mr. Santiago) your fellow classmates, and anyone involved in the success of the instrumental music program. If there is a problem, come speak to Mr. Santiago immediately so it can be handled in an appropriate manner.
  • You must come prepared to rehearsal every class with all necessary materials
(Pencil, sheet music in your folder, INSTRUMENT, staff paper, and a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.) Failure to do so will affect your grade.
  1. You must be on time for rehearsals/concerts. Once Mr. Santiago steps on the podium, rehearsal has started and you will be marked late if you’re not situated in time. For concerts/performances: please arrive 15 minutes before call time (i.e. call time 6 PM, arrive 5:45).
  2. There is NO TALKING during rehearsal. Time is short, and we have a lot of work to get through. Additional noise not related to the rehearsal process is disruptive and rude to your fellow musicians. If there is a question, please wait for Mr. Santiago to ask if anyone has any questions, and keep them relative to what we are doing.
  3. Food, gum, cell phones, and drinks are prohibited in the ensemble room. If there is any litter on the ground, even if it isn’t your own, be a good citizen and pick it up and throw it out. Cell phones and other electronic devices will be confiscated/detained, as per school rules.
  4. Usage of the bathroom and asking for drinks of water should be done before and after class/rehearsal. Please do not disrupt the rehearsal process to leave the room unless it’s a real emergency. If the bathroom is needed, please follow procedure (check if hall pass is available, give me a thumbs up).
  5. Attendance at concerts/rehearsals is MANDATORY. Exceptions are granted to serious illness, and death in the family. A medical note must be provided for illness. Family vacations, other rehearsals, parties, etc. are not excuses to miss the concert. Missing the concert for something that can be negotiated completely defeats the purpose of all the rehearsing you have done for several months. If there is a conflict, you must speak to Mr. Santiago immediately. Failure to report to your concerts will result in possible failure for the marking period.
  6. Do not touch any equipment in the room without permission. In other words, if it doesn’t belong to you, don’t touch.
  7. Proper concert attire MUST be worn. We are a professional performing artist, and must look the part. Failure to wear appropriate clothing will result in removal from the concert, and possible failure for the marking period.

Consequences of breaking concert (range from):
 Warning (Written referral or verbal)
 Teacher/Student Conference
 Phone Call Home
 Parent/Teacher Conference
 Suspension (In School or Out of School)
 Non-Participation in Concert
 Removal from ensemble the Following Year


  1. Daily Rehearsal Grade: 30%
    As musicians, our habits in rehearsal will set the stage for how we perform. The music program lives by this quote by Aristotle:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
A positive attitude is essential! No team ever achieved great successes without each member giving 100%.  This ensemble will provide you with musical challenges, memorable experiences, musical growth and lasting friendships. For that to happen we need your willingness to perform and rehearse as a group and be a team player not only at concert settings, but every time we meet as a group. Without your support, we cannot achieve those wondrous moments.  Students earn points by positively contributing to each rehearsal by the following:

1. Be prepared to start on time. When you enter the room, you are expected to place your backpack underneath/behind your chair and wait quietly for Mr. Santiago to stand on the podium to begin class. Once Mr. Santiago steps on the podium, class starts and those not present will be marked late.
-A pass must accompany students arriving late from authorized staff and they must also sign the daily tardy log.

2. Have all necessary materials for class. The only thing that you should have on you when we start class is your instrument, music repertoire, and a pencil to mark important notation on the music!

3.  Follow Rehearsal Rules:
  • If you have a question, please raise your hand and wait until Mr. Santiago calls you.
  • If you need to use the restroom, give Mr. Santiago a “thumbs up”. Only one student (male and female) can go at a time.
  • PLEASE DO NOT TALK. The only sound needed is the sound of your awesome instruments and moving fingers. Talking is like a small fire: once it starts it can spread. While some students might feel what they’re saying is for the good of the group, ultimately it will distract instruction and the class. If you need to say something, please raise your hand.

  • 4. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward other ensemble members.  The ensemble is your team.  Our success as a group depends on you working together effectively.  Any unkind behavior toward another ensemble member will not be tolerated. 

    *Discipline Policy*
    1st infraction: Students will first receive a verbal warning/discussion.
    2nd infraction: Loss of daily rehearsal points and parent contact
    3rd infraction: Detention
    4th: Discipline referral

    B.        Class Projects: 20%
    Written/Performance quiz: 10%
    Written/Performance Test: 25%
    performance tests will be scored by a director according to the performance rubric, or graded by the student (self-assessment).  Performance tests may be live, video or audio recorded.  Video or audio will never be shared with anyone but the student and director. 

    C.         Written Assignments: 15%
    Students will complete written criteria to demonstrate working knowledge of music notation, vocabulary, theory, and instrumental technique. (Ex: Practice logs/homework)

    D.        Concerts and Performances: 
    Students will earn points for arriving on time, wearing the correct uniform, behavior on and off stage (audience etiquette), and following directions. 

    Excused Absence:  Emergencies are excused.  Parents or students should notify the director as early as possible.  A written request for excuse is due to the director no more than two days after the event.  Otherwise, parents must contact the director in writing AT LEAST TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the performance to request an excused absence. 
This Music class is a co-curricular academic class, which means it takes precedent over extra-curricular activities such as sports practices, School club meetings, games, parties, etc.
V.          MATERIALS
A. Instrument & Music Repertoire
  • Students must have their instrument and music for every class; it is unacceptable for course materials to be left in their locker or worse, at home. Every student is an important part of the ensemble and one person missing from the ensemble strictly puts the ensemble at an disproportionate advantage that is unfair to the rest of the members

B.    Pencil
Students are asked to sharpen their pencils before class and if they need to sharpen, they may ask the teacher by a hand raise, or they may bring a small sharpener with a case to hold pencil scrapings. Mechanical pencils are preferred.
  • Printed sheet music serves as our ensemble “textbook”.  Purchasing music is a major expense for the department. Music will be provided to students free of charge, but if a student loses their music, their grade will be deducted. To help alleviate these problems, students must always:
  • Write their name on your music in pencil.
  • NEVER fold or tear music
  • Write on music sparingly (meaning only things that are related to the music they’re learning like rehearsal notes) and with pencil only

Standard ensemble dress is a show of unity, professionalism, and tradition stemming back hundreds of years. Out of respect for other performers and the audience, students who do not meet the uniform requirements forfeit the privilege of performing with the group. 
More information on the concert uniform will be announced at a later date.

Please mark the following concert dates on your family calendars.
WINTER CONCERTS: December 2017 (Actual date TBA)
SPRING CONCERTS: May 2018 (Actual Date TBA)


The ensemble will periodically take trips to perform or hear other ensembles.  These trips are a privilege and must be earned.  Students must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA overall to participate.  Students who do not meet the academic requirements, show a record of discipline problems, have unexcused absences from music activities, or owe money to the music program will not be permitted to participate. Trip information will be provided well in advance. 
Congratulations, you are now the proud parent of a musician!  You may be wondering what you can do to help your child along their musical path enriching their life and perhaps earning lots of college scholarship money down the road*
*The music program takes no responsibility for scholarship money earned or not earned by its musicians. 
Research shows that playing an instrument or singing in a choir enhances students’ problem solving skills, ability to set long term goals, spatial-temporal reasoning, poise, concentration, and self-expression. For your family, music offers opportunities for shared family experience and new traditions. 
Your support is essential to your child’s musical development.  Here’s how you can help:
Remind your student to bring his or her music home and practice their instrument daily. 
Help student schedule regular practice time
Find a quiet place for student to practice
Praise your child’s efforts
Show interest and ask for demonstrations
Make a date to see a concert together
Invite family and friends to performances
Using practice as punishment!
Insisting student perform when he/she is not comfortable
We are always looking for parents to help fundraisers, concerts, receptions, video-taping, etc.  Please fill out the appropriate sections on the registration form to let me know you’re interested!


East Orange STEM Academy HS Instrumental Music Program
Parent Information
Return to 
Mr. Santiago ASAP
Please fill out the following contact information:

Name _________________________                                  Relationship to Student _______________________
Phone _________________________                       E-mail _____________________________________


Name _________________________           
Phone (optional)  _____________________
Student E-mail ________________________________

Other Contact Person (optional):
Name ____________________________                 Relationship to Student _______________________
Daytime Phone _____________________               E-mail _____________________________________

By Signing this form, I am acknowledging that I understand the terms and agreement of this classroom in accordance with East Orange School District Handbook, East Orange STEM Academy High School Handbook and school Discipline/Grading Policy.
Student Signature: _____________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: ________________________________     Date:________________________

Message Center
You must log in to send a message to Mr. D. Santiago.
Discussion Topics

Note: No discussion topics posted yet.

List of FusionPages