• Middle School Orchestra
    Course Expectations
    Welcome back to school! I am looking forwards to a fun, productive school year. Please read the following letter to avoid any misunderstandings.
    While the individual musical growth of each student is one of our primary goals of this music program, it should be understood that participation in this ensemble implies a responsibility of the student to the whole group.
    Each student will receive a quarterly grade for orchestra. This grade will consist of an average of the lesson grade, rehearsal grade, quarterly benchmarks, and playing exams.
    The students will receive one lesson each week on a rotating schedule. The students are required to attend their weekly lesson. The students are responsible for telling their classroom teacher one day in advance for a scheduled lesson. If you do not tell a teacher in advance, they do not have to let you go to your lesson. If a student must miss a lesson because of a class test or project that cannot be made up, students are to notify their music teacher and make up the lesson at a later date. Please be responsible and keep track of your lesson schedule. Students that continually miss lessons will be given one quarter to improve their attendance. If there is no improvement made or attempt to make up lessons, the student will be removed from orchestra.  Lessons are part of the class, not optional!

    The students are graded on promptness, preparedness, preparation
    (practicing), and attitude. You should have an instrument, binder, and
    lesson books at each lesson.

    Orchestra Rehearsals

    Orchestra meets every other day during encore. The students are expected to attend the rehearsals on time with an instrument. Students cannot miss orchestra to make up a test or work on a project. The students must make up work on non-orchestra days. The students are expected to participate and pay attention at each rehearsal.

    Playing Exams

    Playing exams will take place several times throughout the school year. Students will be asked to play excerpts of orchestra music, scales, solos, lesson book material, musical terms, or sight-reading. These playing exams will be graded on the student's ability to play the right notes, rhythms and bowings, demonstrate musicality, style, and dynamics, and holding the instrument and bow correctly.

    Quarterly Benchmarks

    Each semester the students will be responsible to complete a set a of requirements in the following categories: scales, solo, orchestra music, and lesson book. The students will be assigned a grade based on their completion of these benchmarks. It is important to bring a binder and benchmark sheet to each lesson so you can get these checked off. The will count towards your final grade.


    Please encourage your child to practice! Practicing is a vital part to the success of your child on an instrument. Students should practice 120-150 minutes per week.

    Students - DO NOT "play through" your orchestra music. Work on sections that you are having trouble with and FIX them. Playing through is not practicing!

    Private Instruction

    Private instruction will greatly enhance your child's skills. Most private teachers offer 30 minute - 1 hour, weekly lessons. Please contact me for a list of private teachers in the area. I strongly recommend lessons for advanced students who need a challenge, for average students who want to improve, and below average students who need to catch up!

    Concert Dress

    Concerts are a very important part of your child's experience as a developing musician. Please follow these guidelines to assure that your child appears as part of our "team." These guidelines are set to help you choose appropriate attire for this special occasion.

    Ladies - Black skirt (below the knee), or pants, white shirt with sleeves, black nylons, black dress shoes - (NO mini-skirts, strapless shirts, spaghetti strap shirts, or bare midriffs)

    Men - Black pants, white dress shirt, tie, black shoes and socks - (NO sneakers)

    Fiddle Fest- solid white t-shirt, blue jeans, comfortable shoes