6th and 7th Grade Beginning Orchestras, are for students that are brand new to learning a string instrument. You will be playing on an instrument of your choice out of the string family. You will all have an opportunity to try the instruments to see which one is a good match for you. Some considerations will be:
- Availability of instruments – For students wanting to play violin or viola, you will need to rent your own. There are many local music stores that rent to own violins and violas for $25 per month.
- If you are unable to get your own violin/viola, some will be available to rent at the school, but not guaranteed.
- Those students who cannot afford your own instrument or rent an available school instrument may have to be placed on an instrument of greater school need and availability.
- School cellos or basses are provided free of charge while at school.
- Your hand size, arm length, and height
- All people have different sized and shaped bodies.
- The size of your hand, body frame, and overall length of your arm can help determine what instrument you will play more successfully. (But not in all cases!!!)
- If you are very tall and have very big hands, you may have difficultiesplaying violin, but may be perfect for Bass.
- If you are smaller in body frame with smaller hands, bass may be difficult (but not impossible to play)
- I will let you try the different instruments to see what is possible a good match for you.
- Needs of the orchestra to have a balanced sound*
- Orchestras consist of a violin, viola, cello and bass section. Too much of one instrument leaves an unbalanced sound.
- Just like in a chorus, there are different voices, the strings are the same way in a orchestra
- Even though you may want to play violin, there will be just as much playing opportunities on other instruments, and if you pick a slightly different instrument, you will be all the more special.
What to Expect:
Students initially learn from beginning method books. The book that we use is called "Essential Elements for Strings", which students learn the fundamentals of reading music rhythms, and notes, learning basic techniques of pitch, how to pluck (pizzicato) and bow on the string, and learning how to play songs individually and as a group.
Students will progress into learning to read sheet music that has both similar parts, and independent parts. Always remember - beginning sounds ALWAYS lead to pretty sounds. Always encourage your child to practice and do their best. That's all I will ever expect out of everyone: Their best.
What you need for orchestra by September 16th 2016:
PLEASE NOTE – THE SCHOOL IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ISSUING YOU AN INSTRUMENT, NOR ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR MUSIC STORE POLICIES. WE DO NOT WORK WITH MUSIC STORES, OR HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER THEIR INSTRUMENTS OR AGREEMENTS.
I strongly encourage you to get your instrument from one of the recommended stores attached to this form. Working with a known local store offers ease of purchase, and peace of mind. Don’t outright buy!
All local music stores offer a rent to own, or buy back options as well. Many allow you to order online and pick up directly at the music store. They also offer a trade up policy, where if you outgrow the size of the instrument, they will trade out the smaller instrument for the larger instrument as you grow. They also, offer insurance programs, which also include repairs.
ALL STUDENTS WILL NEED TO PURCHASE THE FOLLOWING:
Method Book: “Essential Elements for Strings” Book 1 with book and play-a-long CD – for your instrument. ($10)
VIOLIN AND VIOLA ONLY: Violins and violas usually rent for about $25 per month, (approx. $250 for the year) and cost on average, about $150-$500. A good student brand is Eastman, Strobel, Glaesel, or Scherl & Roth.
Violin – ¾, or 4/4 violin, depending on how your arm is measured at the music store, or with me.
Viola – 14 inch, 15 inch, or 15 ½ inch depending on your arm length, and how your hand is measured at the music store, or with me. (Note, Violas come in many sizes, by inch. There is no Full Size)
Rosin – ($3-$5.) Any kind of rosin will work for your instrument. Each student must have their own rosin, even for a school used instrument.
Shoulder Rest: Made by “Everest” ($13) – All Violin/Viola Students are required to have a shoulder rest, to properly hold your instrument, so that it is in the correct place, and to avoid body injury.
Extra set of Strings – required: a SET of “Prelude” strings for your size instrument. The strings vary, by instrument and size. If you play on a ¾ violin, you must get a set of ¾ violin strings.
A set of violin strings ($17) include: G,D,A,E strings. A set of Viola strings ($25) include C,G,D,A string set.
CELLO Only: School cellos are available to use at school, but you are required to bring the following: Chair Strap by Xenos ($15-$20), or a Cello doughnut Rock Stop ($10), cello rosin ($5), and Method Book.
Bass Only: School basses are available to use at school, but you are required to bring the following: “Pops” ($9) Bass Rosin, and Method Book.