Beginning Strings 4th & 5th

  • Welcome to Beginner Strings!!!

     Students with viola's

     

     

    Below is all of the information that you will need to get started with your new string instrument. 

     

    Choosing an instrument can be a difficult decision. The question we are always asked is, "What instrument should my child play?"  The simplest answer is to choose the instrument that sounds the best to them.  Students can choose from the following orchestral string instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass.  If you are unsure what these instruments sound like please refer to the "What are the string instruments?" tab on this website.  There you will find videos of all of the instruments that we offer.

     

     How do I get my child started playing an instrument???

     

    To get started there are a few simple things that you need to do:

     

    1.  Lease or purchase an instrument: There are 2 companies that we recommend:

             

    Music and Arts on Rt. 611 in Horsham (215-443-7880)
    If you chose to rent from Music and Arts, you may go to the store or reserve online, but you must pick up the instrument from their location on 611.      

                   

    Menchey Music (Deluca music in Hatboro is an affiliate of this larger company) Menchey's number is 888-636-2439.  If you choose Menchey instruments needs to be ordered online and will be delivered to school.  http://www.menchey.com

     

    ***We STRONGLY recommend you rent your child's instrument at least fort the first year. In particular for string instruments this is adventageous as string instruments come in different sizes and while your child may need a 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 now, they will grow into the next size in the next year or two. Rental companies have options to trade in instruments as well as rent to own so please consider this when making your decision about renting or purchasing!

     

    1.  Register on the homepage of this website:

                   Please fill out the information on the ELEMENTARY STRINGS REGISTRATION FORM 

                     

    1.  Come to the first lesson with your instrument and book if you got one (start dates will be listed in September).

     

    Lessons

    1. One thirty minute lesson each week will be given during the school day.
    2. All lesson schedules are worked out with the homeroom teachers.
    3. Instruments should be brought to school on the assigned lesson day and returned home at the end of that day in order to practice.

     

     Practice

    1. Five times a week for five to ten minutes each day is suggested in the beginning. As the year progresses, your child many need more practice to achieve their goals and potential. I also tell students if it's easier, aim for about 60 minutes each week either all at once, or split up over the days. HOWEVER, at the beginning, playing everyday is so essential, I encourage students to try and find at least 5 minutes a day just to keep themselves playing.
    2. Additionally, a standard practice chart will be in placed in students school issued music folder. Students should record the minutes that they practice if they find it helpful. If a student is struggling to consistently practice, I may require that they fillout their practice sheet for a period until they are consistently practicing.
    3. Progress Reports will be issued for each trimester for strings via email and paper copy.

     

    Materials Needed

    1. Sound Innovations for Orchestra Book 1 (both 4th and 5th grade, though it will not be used until after completion of 1st Degree String Karate)
    2. Music stand (folding type) is needed for home use (do not bring to school)
    3. SmartMusic:  This is a computer program that we use in lessons.  It can be downloaded for home use athttp://www.smartmusic.com. An access code will be provided for your child at our first lesson.
      • This computer program has the ability to record student playing and then give instant feedback.  It is an invaluable tool that makes practicing more efficient and more fun!! To take advantage of this feature your computer will need a microphone.  If you do not have one, you can order a USB microphone from the SmartMusic website.  Please note that there is an assessment feature on SmartMusic that we do not use.  All assessments will be conducted in lessons.


    Trial Period

    1. We recommend that students lease their instrument.  Students can choose between a 4 month and 9 month option.  After the trial period, monthly payments will begin.  Payments go directly towards the outright purchase of the instrument (lease to own). For strings in praticular I recommend leasing as string instruments come in different sizes. If you purchase a 1/2 size violin now, chances are your child will need a 3/4 some time in 4th grade. They will then need a full size by 7th grade. Rather than buying 3 seperate violins, lease the 1/2 size and trade it in for the 3/4 when the time is right! You can also lease to own and still take advantage of trading in the sizes.

     

    1. If you are in the market to purchase an instrument please make sure that it is a name brand.  Some of the inexpensive brands will not last and are not repairable. If you are going to purchase, please contact us so that we can help!

     

                   Recommended band brands:  Eastman/Stroble, Franz Hoffman, Bellafina (links are to violins, but these sellers also have violas, cellos and basses available)

     

    1. Students that already have a playable instrument just need to purchase the lesson book and music stand

     

    1. Students that have difficulty with their selected instrument can transfer to a new instrument during the lease period.  Please communicate with the instructor before making any transfer.

     

     

    Orchestra Rehearsals

    1.  Rehearsals begin in January for 4th graders during the school day or before school. This will be in addition to the weekly lesson. Students must achieve their "Red Belt" in 1st Degree Strings Karate to participate. If a student achieves "Black Belt" in Strings Karate, they may be eligable to particiapte in after school "Black Orchestra" as well as the 4th grade "Red Orchestra" (see the Strings Karate page for more information).

     

    1.  If you child is playing an instrument for the first time in 5th grade, they will be eligible to play with the second year students at after school orchestra once they have acquired the necessary basic skills.  They will need to achieve at least a Green Belt in the "1st Degree Strings Karate" (see the Strings Karate page for more information).

     

     

     

    Start dates for lessons and lesson schedule will be posted the first week of September.

     

    Please email me with any questions that you may have!

    ntrach@hhsd.org