Orchestra FAQ

What will class look like during remote learning?

  • First quarter, all instruction will be online using WebEx and Schoology.  Rather than meeting in traditional classes, students will receive a weekly 1-on-1 or small group lesson.  This will allow us to develop our fundamental skills at a similar rate as a normal year, while also learning additional skills needed for remote learning, such as tuning your own instrument.

What is the schedule of classes?

Here's what the first few weeks will look like:

  • Week of August 17

    • device & supply pickup for the district

    • instrument selection & orchestra enrollment

  • Week of August 24

    • assignment & distribution of school instruments

    • sign-ups for those who missed last week

  • Week of August 31

    • instrument setup for store-rented & personally owned instruments

    • schedule created

  • Week of September 7

    • first week of orchestra classes

What if I cannot afford to rent an instrument?

  • The school owns a limited number of instruments, which are available for a one-time fee of $20.  You can request the use of a school instrument on the enrollment form, and mark whether your need is "critical" or "if available".  In the past, I've been able to provide school instruments for all students who mark "critical", and some others who request one “if available” as well, but most of our instruments are borrowed from other schools in District 11.  This takes some time, sometimes months, as we have to wait for other schools to finish their own enrollments to find out if there are any extra instruments available.  So, even if you need a school instrument, please rent one for the first month or two until I can find one for you.  Disclaimer: it hasn't happened yet, but it's possible that the entire district could run out of a certain instrument if a lot of kids sign up for it.  Please, please, please rent if you can.

Our family already owns an instrument.  Can my child use it?

  • Possibly - we'll have to make sure it’s in working condition & the correct size.  String instruments come in different sizes to fit different people; bigger instruments have a bigger tone, but an instrument that's too large will be physically painful to play.  It's not uncommon even for adults to use fractional instruments.  Bring your instrument to Instrument Night so I can check it out.

The String Basses are massive!

  • Yup, generally, though our smallest basses are the same size as a full-size cello.  Because of their size, I strive to assign most students 2 basses - one to keep at home, and one to keep at school.  If you rent a bass for at home, I'll guarantee you one to use at school.  If you can't rent one at home, we'll have to see how many people sign up for bass before I know if I'll have one for you to keep at home.  If you get assigned a 1/10 size bass, you’ll only need one instrument; being the same size as an adult cello, they’re easier to transport.