Hi everyone!

We got off to a bit of a chaotic start, but I think we had a great first day of the Orchestra Academy! I loved meeting all of the new people and seeing our returning members. Below I will recount what we worked on and what the students are supposed to practice.

Beginning Orchestra

In the Beginning Orchestra, we started out by learning the names of the different parts of the instrument, found in their Essential Elements book on page 2. We also talked about how to care for our instruments and what parts of their instrument are particularly fragile.

I then spent time tuning the instruments, and the students learned the names of each of their strings. This information is found on page 3 of their books.

We then learned about a quarter note and a quarter rest, and what they sound like. Once we knew that, we played the music on pages 4 and 5.

We are NOT using bows yet, because I want to make sure we have a solid foundation before we add bows (most likely in two weeks). I know that the kids will be bummed about this, but my experience in teaching tells me that this is the best way to go!

This week, students are to practice the music on pages 4 and 5 using pizzicato, which is when we pluck the strings. Beginning Orchestra students are expected to practice 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Intermediate Orchestra

In the Intermediate Orchestra, we started in our String Explorer books on page 24. We learned about left-hand pizzicato on #102, and violins and violas also learned how to use their 4th fingers in their left hand on #103.

We then went to our concert music, starting with Funky Fiddles. We learned the first 16 measures of Funky Fiddles. Then we went to Maiden’s Rescue and learned the first 12 measures. Finally, we played First Christmas March, focusing on measures 9-25.

This week, students are to practice in the String Explorer Book page 24 numbers 102, 103, and 104. In our concert pieces, they should practice the measures mentioned above, and feel free to learn a bit more! Intermediate Orchestra students are expected to practice 20 minutes a day 5 days a week.

Advanced Orchestra

In the Advanced Orchestra, we got to dive right into concert music. We started with Nightrider and started learning the first 18 measures. Then we moved to Sahara Crossing and learned the first 18 measures of that as well. We then started learning Variations on an English Carol and we started learning the first 24 measures.

This week, students are to practice the above measures of their concert pieces, and more if they would like! Advanced Orchestra students are expected to practice 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy Practicing!

September 11, 2019
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