1. How often does my child have to bring their instrument to school?
Every day! .. except the first day. We will notify students in advanced if there are any days that we will not be using our instrument. Otherwise they should plan to bring their violin or viola to school daily. Students will be able to leave their instruments in their homeroom class during the school day so they will not need to carry it to every class, but all instruments must go home every night. If you have a problem bringing an instrument home on a specific day, please contact me and I can help you out.
2. Does my cellist/bassist student need to bring their instrument to school?
If you pay the one-time $40 rental fee to maintain the school instrument, your child can leave their cello or bass at home. The only time they will need to bring in their instrument is for our three evening concerts. If the instrument needs to be tuned, you can set up a time to bring it in to school for me to tune, or you can bring it to your local rental shop.
3. What does my child do if they are absent from school?
Our Canvas course contains a weekly outline describing all assignments and in-class activities. Students can find links to all assignments they have missed and need to complete.
4. How often should my child practice their instrument?
Your child will have a weekly HPO (Home Practice Organizer) which describes week-by-week how often students should be practicing. QUALITY practice is more important the actual time the student is holding the instrument.
5. How will my child know what to practice?
Every day we will fill out practicing assignments using student iPads. These assignments will usually also be posted on the “assignments” section of this website, so students can check in even when they are absent. Students will have very few written homework assignments in Orchestra – their “homework” time should be devoted to practicing playing assignments.
6. Does my student have to take private lessons in the evening?
This is not a requirement of being a part of the Orchestra. Private lessons are an excellent way for students to reinforce good habits, and learn new skills with more one-on-one attention. If you are at any time interested in private lessons for your child, please contact me and I can give you some suggestions for teachers in the area.
7. Is concert attendance mandatory?
Yes – concerts are each student’s opportunity to showcase what they have been learning in class. Performing in concerts is 25% of each student’s grade in Orchestra. Please let me know if you have a conflict ASAP! Absence due to illness or family emergency is excused with a signed parent note.
8. When will my child start sounding GOOD?
Learning a brand new instrument is a process, and while students are learning a new instrument, they are also learning to read the language of music. Please be patient and encouraging as this process can take time. You will begin to hear great improvements by the time you hear students at our November concert!