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The Orchestra All you need to know about the Orchestra Program at Lower Dauphin.

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Presentation on theme: "The Orchestra All you need to know about the Orchestra Program at Lower Dauphin."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Orchestra All you need to know about the Orchestra Program at Lower Dauphin

2 You may navigate through this slide show simply by clicking your mouse button. You may jump to a specific slide by moving your cursor to the bottom left corner. When the arrow pops up, click on it and then click on “Go”, then click on “By Title.” This will allow you to jump to the instrument or slide of your choice.

3 Why choose Orchestra? The string program will provide a strong foundation of lifelong skills. During the student’s progression through the program, they will proceed to master more complex skills, more advanced technique, and more challenging levels of string orchestra music. Disciplined work habits developed through practicing an instrument can be transferred to academic studies and other facets of life. It also develops the mental building blocks for critical thinking, concentration, and self-motivation. Music develops interpersonal skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication, cooperation or negotiation and working with others as well as the basic personal attributes required for problem-solving. Orchestra literature is one of Western culture’s great treasures. Playing a string instrument integrates a person’s physical, intellectual, and expressive qualities. This provides a positive experience at an influential period in the lives of the students. The opportunities for lifelong participation are numerous, either as an avocation or vocation. For those who excel in musical ability, many colleges offer scholarships for string instrument players. There are many community orchestras as well as countless church music groups. In addition to standard orchestra concerts, string instruments are also used in a variety of other musical settings. They often provide accompaniments for musical theater and choral productions. String ensembles are used for an endless variety of functions. Through participation in a string orchestra, students can experience an added dimension to their education. Playing a string instrument also gives students special opportunities for achievement and recognition through a variety of performances.

4 Before you purchase an instrument…  Go through the following slide show patiently and read everything that you see. We’ve tried to tell you here what is expected of EVERY instrument in the orchestra.  We recommend that you purchase your instrument from a local instrument dealer. Contact your string teacher for information about these dealers.  Buying instruments from big wholesale stores or from ONLINE services might save you money immediately, however these instruments are often generic or in bad condition and tend to break more often, costing you even more in repair than you spent on the instrument.  Many of our vendors will not service instruments that are purchased from large wholesale stores because when they continue to break, it reflects poorly upon the service of our vendors.

5 We want YOU to make an informed decision… As a department, we have three different levels, each with different goals:  Elementary: to find an instrument on which the student can be successful and to learn the fundamentals of music and of playing the instrument. (see slide 12 for more details on the Elementary program)  Middle School: to progress as a musician on the instrument, to have fun while participating in any of our various musical ensembles, and to learn how to play different styles of music from different time periods. Students are held accountable for their progress through the use of different playing tests. (see slide 13 for more details about the Middle School program)  High School: to continue the musical development and advance the technical skills of the student. Students are held accountable for their progress through performance venues and playing tests that measure student progress. (see slide 14 for more details about the High School program)

6 The Instruments

7 The Violin The violin is the highest pitched instrument of the orchestra, because it is the smallest. As with all beginning string instruments, it is a good idea to rent an instrument that fits the size of your child. Your string teacher should be able to tell you which size is best. When your child is ready for a full- sized instrument, your string teacher will contact you.

8 The Viola The viola looks very similar to the violin and is played the same way, but is slightly larger and lower in pitch. The orchestra can always use more violas, so if your child is interested in a violin, but wants to be unique, try encouraging your child to play the viola. It is played exactly the same way and the difference in size barely affects the weight of the instrument.

9 The Cello The cello is a low sounding instrument that is played between the knees of the student. Just like the violin or the viola, smaller versions of this instrument can be rented to fit your child. At the middle and high schools, there are enough cellos that the students may have one to play at school and one to leave at home, so that they do not have to transport the instrument to and from school on the bus. At the elementary school, the availability of instruments will determine whether or not this same accommodation can be offered. Typically, this does not cause a hardship because of the fact that the elementary ensemble only rehearses once a cycle. At the middle and high schools, the students may need their instruments anywhere from 3 to 6 days per cycle.

10 The String Bass The string bass is the largest instrument in the string family is played either while standing up or while sitting on a stool. Because it is the largest instrument, it is the lowest sounding. Like the cello, the school owns a supply of string basses that the students may use during rehearsal, so that the student does not have to transport the instrument on the bus. Advanced string bass players will be selected for the Jazz Band at the middle school level based on string teacher recommendation and band director approval. At the high school level, all students must audition for jazz band.

11 Maintaining A String Instrument String instruments are very fragile and break if they are not well-maintained. Here are some tips for maintaining your instrument: Always store the instrument in its case. Loosen the tension on the bow when it is being stored. Loosen the tuning pegs when it is being stored. Do not store the instrument in extreme temperatures. It should be stored at room temperature. Water on string instruments is bad…bad, bad, bad!! Rosin should be cleaned off of the instrument before it is returned to its case. Shoulder pads should be removed from the Violin and the Viola prior to storage in the case. End pins on cellos and string basses should not remain in the extended playing position while the instrument is being stored. Instruments should NEVER be left unsupervised outside of their cases. The instrument should NEVER be laid to rest on its bridge. When using soft cases, you should be extra cautious with the carriage of the instrument in order to preserve the bridge.

12 As time goes by and your child gets busier, what is expected? ELEMENTARY SCHOOL At the elementary level, students are expected to put in time outside of school as they practice on their own. This is crucial to the development of the musician. A performance at the Lower Dauphin Elementary Arts Festival and at 2 concerts a year are your only out-of-school commitments. Additionally, a few students who are selected for the Dauphin County String Festival or the PMEA District 7 Youth String Festival will have several out-of- school rehearsals along with the performance.

13 As time goes by and your child gets busier, what is expected? MIDDLE SCHOOL At the middle school level, students are not graded on practice time but should come to class with their music prepared. All performances are mandatory unless written notice is given at least two weeks ahead of time. - Performances include: 2 Concerts per year and either an adjudication festival or a community performance. Additionally some students will be selected for Dauphin County String Orchestra or Full Orchestra Festivals, as well as the District 7 Youth String Festival.

14 As time goes by and your child gets busier, what is expected? HIGH SCHOOL Musical literature from the Baroque period to Contemporary Music of today is performed by the string and full orchestras. Varied activities including trips, county, district, and regional events, as well as public performances all provide the interested student with many opportunities to be a vital part of the school community. Students should sign up for “Orchestra” (course # 1214) during course selection if they are a string who wishes to participate. Wind, Brass, and Percussion players who wish to participate in the orchestra must audition with the orchestra and band director, and if selected should add “Band / Orchestra” (course # 1215) to their course selection. EXTRA-CURRICULAR HIGH SCHOOL ENSEMBLES Each year, the High School Musical uses Orchestra members to fill the Pit Orchestra. Interested students should contact Mrs. Weber or Mrs. Cliff. All rehearsals and performances take place outside of the school day and are mandatory unless prior approval has been given for absence.

15 PRIVATE INSTRUCTION Private lessons are recommended to all students who wish to pursue an instrument. One-on-one time with a professional musician will give those who study privately the opportunity to get special attention that is focused on their own development at a rate that works best for that student. Contact your string teacher to find out who they recommend as a private instructor for your child’s instrument.

16 Getting in touch with your string teacher… Mrs. Melody Cliff Middle School / High School Miss Stephanie Rodgers Conewago / Londonderry Mrs. Melissa Sheaffer Nye Mr. Caleb Stelle South Hanover / East Hanover This presentation was created and edited by the LD Music Department. This slideshow is the property of the Lower Dauphin Music Department.


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