Orchestra is a class that happens as a part of the school day. The large group rehearsal meets two to three times per week with all string students. This rehearsal is where we practice music for our concerts. Students also take lessons once a week in a 15-minute like-instrument small group. This lesson is where we practice instrument specific techniques and work on extension material.
There are three evening concerts spread through the school year. The concerts are our chance to show family and friends what we have learned in the classroom.
If you follow these expectations, you will be successful in orchestra:
- Come to class prepared with proper materials. If you lose your book, you need to get a new one. If you break a string, you need to get a new one. If you need help, ask!
- Have a good attitude: come to orchestra wanting to learn and allow others to learn.
- Show up to concerts.
- Show up to lessons. This is the time where the teacher can break down a skill to a personal level.
What is required of orchestra students
- Classroom participation, including bringing all needed materials to class and participating in a positive way
- Preparing for and attending weekly orchestra lessons
- Attending the three required concerts throughout the year
What is optional of orchestra students
- Participation in chamber orchestra
- Preparing a solo or ensemble with friends for the all-city music contest in April
- Performing out in the community
- Honor orchestras
Orchestra supply list
In order to be successful in orchestra, it is important to have all of the needed supplies. Click here for the complete supply list. Please reach out if you need assistance with supplies—we do have some extras and we will make sure all students have what they need to succeed.
How to get an instrument
- Most students rent common instruments (violin, viola, cello) from a local music store or purchase a used instrument. For students with financial concerns we have school instruments available.
- If you are planning to play a large or specialty instrument like bass, rent from Franklin. The rental will stay at home.
- Brand does matter! Check our supply list for reputable brands.
- Buy or rent from a store that specializes in musical instruments (such as Schultz Strings, West Music, or Griggs Music)
- If you plan to purchase used, you can find good deals online, but please feel free to send the link to Mrs. Stern first to protect your investment!
- If you will be using a used instrument, please make sure to get the instrument checked over before beginning the summer lessons at an instrument repair shop like Schultz Strings, Griggs Music, West Music, and Reck Violin Shop.
School instrument rental
- If you are in need of a school instrument, please first contact Mrs. Stern for availability and reservations.
- School instruments may be rented on a yearly basis and must be returned if moving, dropping band, or at the end of eighth grade.
- The instrument rental contract can be found here. The fee will be added to your Infinite Campus account. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Stern.
- If your child plays a common instrument, such as violin or viola, and they do not qualify for free or reduced book fees, they really should not be using a school instrument in seventh or eighth grade, if possible. Those instruments are intended for students with financial need and to get kids started in sixth grade. If you have the means to get an instrument, please consider doing so and return the school instrument so it may be used by someone in financial need.
- Please take good care of the instruments so they may last for many years!
Concerts are the best part about being in orchestra! There are three required concerts for all three grades in November, February/March, and May. Our May concert is especially fun as we make it a dessert concert.
Concerts are what we spend months preparing for and your classmates are relying on you to be there. Concerts are less than one hour in length and students are expected to stay for the entire concert unless there is a special circumstance that has been discussed with Mrs. Stern in advance.
What to wear to an orchestra concert
For all concerts (unless otherwise instructed), students should wear their best set of clothes. A white top with no image or lettering and black bottoms. Please: no jeans, no sweatpants/warm-ups, and no revealing clothing (shorts or skirts should be knee-length when sitting). If you cannot afford appropriate concert attire, please speak with Mrs. Stern in private and appropriate clothing will be provided.