March 20, 2020 | Advanced

Orchestra Academy Plan during COVID-19

Hi everyone!

We are all kind of reinventing the wheel right now, having to self-isolate with COVID-19. I have been thinking about how we can continue to make progress in the Orchestra Academy. I have a couple of ideas about how we can keep students practicing and engaged.

First, I have created some online content for my students.

Here is a video showing the Beginning Orchestra what they should be practicing:

And below are links to practice videos for the other orchestras.

Intermediate Orchestra:

Advanced Orchestra:

In addition to these practice videos, I would like to offer online private lessons to the students of the Orchestra Academy. I have been using a free service called Zoom with my private students and it has worked pretty well. I will allow each student to sign up for 2 20-minute private lessons in the next 3 weeks using the link here:

Sign Up!

My expectation for these lessons is that the students have practiced and come to the lesson having put in some effort themselves. They should be ready to play what they can of their pieces for me and ready with any questions they may have. They definitely don’t need to be perfect—all students will be a work in progress—but I want to make sure that they have done some work at home.

My hope is that we will get to go back to rehearsing on April 20th and still have our concert in May (the concert date still hasn’t been confirmed, I am so sorry about that).

Please let me know if you need any help or if students have questions. I am here to help! Thank you all for your patience through all of this!

March 19, 2020 | Advanced

In the Hall of the Mountain King Practice Videos

Hi Advanced Orchestra! This one was a ton of work, but the practice videos are done. Look below for the video of everyone together and the individual videos. Feel free to comment and let me know what would be helpful for your practice—video explanations of certain sections, etc.

All 5 Parts:

Violin I:

Violin II:




March 18, 2020 | Intermediate

Dragon Slayer Practice Videos

Hi Intermediate Orchestra! Look below for practice videos for Dragon Slayer. First, I have a video with all 5 parts together. Then, I have each individual video below so that you can practice with just your part as well. Hopefully, these videos will help you practice at home!

All 5 Parts:

Violin 1:

Violin 2:




March 12, 2020 | Advanced

Orchestra Academy Cancelled

Today, School District 27J announced that all after school activities are canceled until further notice. This includes the Orchestra Academy. We will not have rehearsal this Monday, March 16th, and we were already going to miss Monday, March 23rd due to Spring Break. I will continue to follow what 27J decides to determine when our rehearsals will re ...

March 11, 2020 | Advanced

Review for 3/9/20

Hi everyone! Look below to see what we did in the Orchestra Academy on Monday. Please note that we will not have Orchestra Academy on Monday, March 23rd due to Spring Break. Beginning Orchestra In the Beginning Orchestra, we reviewed the A ladder and played the music on pages 10 and 11. We then did some bow exercises and started learning the music o ...

March 5, 2020 | Advanced

Review for 3/2/20

Look below to learn what we did this week in the Orchestra Academy!

Beginning Orchestra

In the Beginning Orchestra, we reviewed the notes on the D string and played the music on pages 8 and 9. I also taught the students a “mystery song” which might annoy their parents all week!

Then we learned how to play B, C#, and D on the A string. This week, students should practice the music on pages 10 and 11. Look below for information about the A string.




Intermediate Orchestra

In the Intermediate Orchestra, we spent a lot of time practicing First Finger Pachelbel. This week, students should practice the music from measure 21 to 29.

Then we practiced the First Scale March. Students should practice up to measure 20 still. We didn’t get to Dragon Slayer or Impulse this week, but students should still practice them.

Advanced Orchestra

We started with the Brandenburg and tried to learn the music from measures 17 to 32. Students should practice this section this week.

We then practiced Gauntlet and learned the section from measure 41 to 47. We then quickly practiced In the Hall of the Mountain King and then Conquistador.