Orchestra FAQ

What is the schedule of classes?

  • Our class meets during school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

  • Fall 2022 classes start the first day of school!

Where should I get an instrument?

  • The best way to get an instrument is through one of our local music stores: Arizona Fine Violins, Milano Music, Music & Arts, or Andrew’s Fine Violins.  Renting from one of these stores will ensure you have a quality instrument of the correct size that will last you for the year.

          Tip #1: Ask the store for a rental plan which allows you trade up in size as the student grows.

          Tip #2: Ask for a “rent-to-own” plan - one where after a couple years (after you’ve paid the full value of the instrument), you have the option of keeping that instrument as the permanent owner or applying your balance paid towards an even better quality instrument.


  • The district also owns a limited number of instruments, which are available for a one-time fee of $125.  However, unlike rental plans from a music store, you are on the hook for any repairs that may be needed after checkout.  Renting an instrument from the store is usually a better value.

  • Please do NOT buy an instrument from an online website like Ebay or Amazon.  These websites neglect to mention that instruments are delivered incomplete – it is assumed that once you get the instrument, you will take it to a local luthier to get the bridge and nut fitted.  Typically, these instruments also come with demonstration accessories - bows, pegs, strings, and tailpieces that must be replaced with the real deal.  Altogether, that $50 violin will cost you another $250 before it’s playable … and even then, they usually sound terrible.  Most students who buy an instrument online are left unsatisfied and quit before their second year.

  • Some families already own an instrument.  See the next question below :-)

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 the smallest basses resemble a 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 do my best to provide a district bass 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're only able to have one instrument, we'll have to bring it back and forth for practice at home and classes at school.  To make it easier, you might consider bringing it to school on Mondays and Thursdays, and bringing it home on Tuesdays and Fridays.  This will let you have the instrument every day for class, and also have up to 5 days a week you can practice at home.