• Welcome to Dr. Foster's Teacher Page

             Contact Information: Dr. Tom Foster/Keyboard Studies & AP Music Theory
             Email Address: tfoster@franklinboe.org 
             Telephone Number: 732.302.4200 ext. 6608
             Office Hours: Tuesdays from 2:35pm or by appt.  
             Room: FHS/F-116




     **There is no substitute for practice.  Having an acoustic or electronic weighted hammer action piano at home or making arrangements for practice is essential.  Additionally, there are practice rooms available at the high school as well as opportunities for additional time in the piano lab.

    **Bring the following materials to class every day: Headphones & adapter, music, three-ring loose-leaf notebook with pockets, lined paper, manuscript paper, pencil, and an eraser.  Students who fail to bring headphones and/or an adapter to class will lose 15 points per incident from their participation grade.

    **Participate in class every day unless excused by Dr. Foster.  Students are responsible for bringing their piano music and notebook to class everyday.  Permission to retrieve one’s music from another classroom, a locker or car will not be granted.

     **As this is a skills based course, regular class attendance and regular practice outside of class are required for success.  Practice the piano, at home, 5 of 7 days per week for a minimum of forty-five minutes per session, unless otherwise directed by Dr. Foster.  Practice sessions should include: a) 10-15 minutes of scales, arpeggios, etc. as assigned; b) sight-reading; c) learning new music; d) reviewing repertoire; e) other work as assigned.  Students are responsible for submitting signed (by parent/guardian) practice sheets at the end of each given practice week.  Practice sheets are due every Friday and must include Friday through Thursday times from the previous week.

     **Music for public performances must be memorized unless excused by Dr. Foster.  All scale & arpeggio fingerings must be committed to memory as well.

     **Students must dress in the proper Concert attire as specified below for all performances. 

           Men—Tuxedos will be provided.  Additionally you will need black socks & black shoes;
          Women: Formal (long) black dress below the knee or long black skirt/black top with long or short sleeves, black (closed-toe) shoes.

     **ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.  All piano students must represent Franklin H.S. with an exceptional attitude both on and off campus.

     **The piano cannot be played properly with long fingernails.  Fingernails must be short and maintained.  No excuses.  Failure to follow this guideline will lower the student’s participation grade or test/quiz score by one letter grade. 

     **Students are responsible for keeping up with make-up work including but not limited to missed quizzes, and other assignments.  Quarterly grades will be based on the following criteria:

    Practice Sheets:            10%
    Participation Grade:      20%
    Written Work                30%
    Quizzes/Tests/Exams:   40%

     The lowest test grade will be dropped for each marking period.

    **Generally, quizzes will be conducted each Friday and consist of repertoire, technical exercises, and other assigned material.  Students will not be permitted to makeup any work unless they have consulted with Dr. Foster previously or have a verifiable medical excuse.  Excessive absence or tardiness will affect your progress and your grade.

     *All music practiced in the piano lab or music selected for performance must be approved by Dr. Foster.

    *Student leaders may be identified and appointed.  In addition to regular classroom assignments they will assume leadership roles/duties within the class.

      AP Music Theory
    AP Music Theory Mascot  

    TextKostka, Stefan and Dorothy Payne, Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music.  McGraw-Hill.

    Course Objective:        
    The purpose of this course is:

    1) to develop the student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score; the development of aural skills is a primary objective of this course;

    2)  to master (with speed and fluency) the rudiments and terminology of music including but not limited to—notation, intervals, scales and keys, chords, metric organization, and rhythmic patterns;

    3) to progress toward the more sophisticated tasks of composing bass lines for melodies, realization of figured bass and analysis of repertoire;

    4) to introduce twentieth-century scales, chordal structures and compositional procedures;

    5) to develop fluency with procedures rooted in common-practice tonality including functional triadic harmony (four voices), tonal relationships, and modulation to closely related keys.  Emphasis will also be given to standard rhythms and meters, phrase structure and small forms (e.g. rounded binary, simple ternary, theme and variations, strophic,);

    6) To read, notate, compose, perform, and listen to music synthesizing all of the above.


    Expectations: During the course of the year, it is expected that the student will:

    a.  Participate in class every day.

    b.  Complete and submit assignments in a timely manner. No late work will be accepted.

    c.  Remember that as a skills-based course, regular class attendance and regular practice (outside of class) in the lab are required for two hours per week.

    d.  Bring the text, a pencil, an eraser, and a three-ring loose-leaf notebook with pockets to class everyday. Your notebook may be graded.

    e.  Pay the appropriate AP test fees when due in order to take the spring examination.  

     Grading: Students will be evaluated frequently.  Written work may consist of homework and quizzes and/or tests.  Other means of evaluation are performance based and may consist of the performance of exercises, intervals, scales, sight-singing, dictation, etc.  Make-ups for missed work and exams will be permitted only for verifiable absences related to illness or school-related functions.  Students cutting classes on the day of an exam, quiz, or written assignment will not be permitted to make it up.  A breakdown of grading percentages follows:

    Participation:        20%
    Homework:          30%
    Quizzes/Exams:   50%