Band Karate Black Belt Degrees (for 8th grade band only)

Band Karate Rules

Band Karate =25% of your grade in band!

♫You must test for belts in order.

♫All scales must be memorized! 

♫All portions of the test must be played with correct notes, rhythms, articulations & dynamics.

 ♫You may only attempt a pass off once per day. Further attempts are at the discretion of the director!

♫You may take any portion of the current belt you are working on when you are ready. 

♫You must earn at least one belt during each nine weeks to get full credit on the Band Karate portion of your grade.

♫You must have all band supplies to take the test. (Reeds, valve/slide oil, flute swab, binder, pencil)

♫Students must pass off their required belts by midterm each nine weeks or they will receive a 0 on their midterm report for the karate portion of their grade. The only exception will be the first grading period since administration uses the first midterm grades to determine the first PBIS reward. 0’s on incomplete pass offs will not become permanent until the last day of the nine week grading period.

  ♫To test in person: you may take one belt test in class when the director provides time or arrange another time outside class

♫Video submissions: Upload your video to google drive. Students can also use smartmusic to pass off requirements that are in the book. You must achieve a 95 or higher in smartmusic to pass. Email ( if you have questions!

Band Karate Black Belt Degrees (for 8th grade band only)


5th Degree

  • Submit line 193 G minor from memory. with few if any mistakes.

  • Perform the current school year’s All State solo with few if any mistakes.


  • Conduct a portion of the honors symphonic band rehearsal.  Ask the director what you should do. Prepare and Study the score in advance. Diagnose and fix problems.

  • Perform a solo of your choice and reasonable difficulty  (not an all state solo!) in time with few if any mistakes (Mr. Dodson must approve) or write a composition that is at least 24 measures in common time and at least 2 part harmony. The composition must sound decent. Write your score on and email it or show it on your laptop or device to Mr. Dodson.


6th Degree

  • Perform 2 individual studies selected by your directors from your essential technique book (Not 149 or 151)

  • Improvise on your instrument for your directors or perform line 181 with accompaniment (smartmusic or EE interactive)

  • Visit and tour a college campus school of music / or  interview a professional musician (someone who makes ½ or more of their living in the music profession/ industry) (No teachers)

 7th Degree

  • Pretend you are a recording artist. Make a digital recording of yourself playing four or more songs. Design a website or an MP4 video that features your music. If you submit a CD to the director will not be returned. Websites will be constructed on Mr. Dodson's web page. Consider choosing songs that have piano or MP3 accompaniment. Songs  such as the ones on smartmusic or perhaps a book that you have bought that has a MP3 accompaniment, or even have a live pianist record with you. 1 of the songs can be a duet with a friend or yourself (Some students have done duets and trios but used a multi track recording program like apple's garage band to record each part themselves.) You may also search you tube for accompaniments. A minimum of 4 songs are required! See: 

  •  PASS IT ON! Teach 5 private lessons to a younger student on your instrument for 30 minutes or more each. Bring a note from that child’s parent or teacher confirming you have done this. Or  spend eight or more hours learning a new instrument (must have director approval on this activity and bring note from a parent or teacher confirming time spent on this activity.