In Orchestra electives, students have large group instruction four days a week, for forty minutes each session, with their peers. Students can begin as 1st graders (in January), and progress through each level (Continuing and Intermediate), building to Advanced Orchestra in 4th/5th grade. While learning to make music and master the skills needed to play a stringed instrument, students are expected to show respect to their classmates, themselves, and their teacher. Students must demonstrate responsibility by bringing their supplies (instrument, book, music, folder, etc.), and by practicing regularly at home in order to be prepared for class. We have a great time making music together, and learning how to love playing string instruments!
We have at least two formal concerts per year, one in December, and one in May. We have also been invited to perform at various events such as the Elementary Educators of NC Annual Conference, Eastern Regional Music Performance Adjudication (where students have historically earned Superior ratings), and NC Symphony Concerts. Our students work hard, and rise to any challenge before them! By the time students are in Advanced Orchestra, they are playing typical “middle school level” music.
We incorporate technology through the use of SmartMusic (an online practice and assessment tool), musical apps, metronomes, recordings, Noteflight and Finale (composition software), as well as learning appropriate uses of personal devices in order to make practicing more effective at home. Because of the way our elective schedule works, there are only beginner classes for 1st, 4th & 5th graders. Students may join at a later date with permission and support from parents to help get students caught up.
In the fall, Orchestra consists of four classes:- Continuing Orchestra (2nd grade students who began in January of 1st grade)- Intermediate Orchestra (mostly 3rd grade students)- Accelerated Beginning Orchestra (4th & 5th grade students)- Advanced Orchestra (4th & 5th grade students)- In January, we add 2 classes of 1st graders, so there are 6 Orchestra classes in the spring.