Welcome to Orchestra!! 

I am beyond excited to start Orchestra in the Elementary Schools. I have been playing in orchestras since I was 10 years old. I may have started on viola, but my main instrument is the double bass. I also play the violin, cello, piano and am classically trained singer. I cannot wait to create a thriving Orchestra program at both Elementary Schools.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to send me an email: lbrown@tanq.org

School Performance Dates - UPDATED 4/2019

Tuesday, December 18 2018
5th and 6th Grades: Band, Choir, Orchestra Concert at Emily Gray Junior High 7:00 (arrive 6:15)
            Dress: nice performance clothes please (no shorts or tee shirts) 
Monday, May 6 2019 
 5th and 6th  Grades: Band, Choir, and Orchestra Performance at Emily Gray Junior High 7:00
             Dress: nice performance clothes please (no shorts or tee shirts)
Tuesday, December 11 2018
5th and 6th Grades: Band, Choir, Orchestra 1:30 
            Dress: School clothes, but nicer school clothes 
Tuesday, May 7 2019
5th and 6th Grades: Band, Choir, Orchestra Performance 1:30
            Dress: nice performance clothes please (no shorts or tee shirts)
Thursday, December 6 2018
5th and 6th Grade: Band and Orchestra 1:30
            Dress: nice performance clothes please (no shorts or tee shirts) 
Thursday, May 9 2019
5th and 6th Grade: Band and Orchestra 1:30
            Dress: nice performance clothes please (no shorts or tee shirts) 

When The Lights All Shine materials

Use this sound file to help you practice "When The Lights All Shine." It does not include the words to the voice part, but you will hear the correct tempo(speed) to practice.

What should my student be practicing? How should my student REALLY be practicing?

Students should be practcing their concert music!
                  Concert Music:
#188 Cripple Creek
#193 Rockin' Strings
Beethoven Ninth
When The Lights All Shine 
                  Honors Students 
Jursassic Park 
How much should students be practicing? 
Students should be practicing 120 mins a week! That should be about 20 minutes, 6 days a week, or 30 minutes, 4 days a week, or 60 minutes 2 days a week. The more often the practice, the more consistent the playing will become. A focused practice is the best kind of practcie. Rushing through exercises and songs just to fill time will not help in understaninding skills and becoming a better musician.
Whats the best way to practice?
1. Set instrument up correctly with a stand for the music in a quiet place.
2. Warm-up like we do in class
3. If learning new music use the following steps:
        - Say the letters 
        - Clap the rhythm
        - Pizzicato
        - Arco
        - Fix the problem areas
        - Repeat for perfection
4. If working on concert music:
        - Play from beginning to end
        - Fix problem areas 
        - Figure out a way to solve the problem or ask Mrs. Brown for a suggestion in class
        - Repeat again
Common Problem Areas:
         - Scratchy/Squeaky/Glassy Sound!
                      W - weight (how hard or light the bow is pushed into the string)
                       A - amount (the length of the bow used for each note)
                       S - speed (how quick or slow the bow arm is straighten or moved. "Play low, bow slow. Play high, bow fly"
                       P - placement (where the bow is located on the string. It should be perpendicular to the strings making a plus sign in between the fingerboard and the bridge)
         - Notes aren't sounding right, even with the fingers on the tapes!
                      Make sure your fingers are pushing the string the whole way down. "Smush the bug"
                      Use a tuner app to make sure the strings are out of tune. Sometimes the tapes can move. Mrs. Brown is able to replace finger tapes if they are incorrect. 
        - All the notes sound the same speed/rhythm!
                       Make sure you're counting each note correctly. Are the eighth notes fast enough with a little bit of bow in the balance point of the bow? Are the half notes held for two counts using more then half of the bow?
        - Can't remember how the song is supposed to sound!
                       Use youtube as your resource! Many of the songs we play have been recorded by other students or professionals to help with listening. Some Essential Element Method Books even came with a CD to listen to and have accompaniment tracks to play along with. 

What do I need for Orchestra?

All students will need the following supplies:
- Essential Elements for Strings book 1; have students write their name on the cover
- A well maintained instrument; have students write their name on a luggage tag 
- A folder to keep Method book and suplimental music papers safe; with name and classroom teachers name on the front
- Folding music stand to practice at home 
- Rosin (size or color does not make much difference. Some stores do offer allergy friendly rosin if needed) 
- Soft rag or towel to wipe off instrument belly and strings after practicing 
Individual Instrument Needs: 
-  Shoulder Rest or Sponge
- Chair Strap or Rock Stop
- Rock Stop 

How will I be graded in Orchestra?

Students grades will be based upon the following:
      As a performance based class, Orchestra students are expected to be at the required End of Semester Performance. All students must perform their concert music each semester. If a student has a conflict, parents should inform Mrs. Brown about it before the day of the concert and arrangements will be made for her/him to perform his/her music at another time. Any student who does not perform their concert music will earn zero points. Anyone who misses a concertwill have to perform in front of the class the next time they are at school in order to earn their points.
Homework Pages and Practice Logs:
      Every student is expected to practice at home and document their time spent practicing on a Practice Log. Prctice Logs are due three times a quarter. This is our musical groups’ homework. Besdies weekly practice, students will receive short homework pages to apply music reading concepts learned in class. Homework may be turned in late, but will asses a late penatly. Any pages not turned in will earn zero points.
Playing Tests:
      Musical groups are a performance based class. Almost everything we learn will be performed at some time for an audience. Playing tests provide feedback on how well each student is doing when it comes to their preparation for our performances. Notation,rhythm, pitch, dynamics, articulation and style are elements that are evaluated. Tests include performing musical exercises or parts of concert selections. All students may retest a playing test to achieve mastery.
Class Participation:
      Musical groups are similar to sports teams: the group succeeds when every member participates in a positive and productive way. Each week, each student will receive a Participation grade: follows directions, participates in a productive way, comes prepared with instrument and all supplies, is pro-active (thinks of solutions and thinks of ways to help others), comes ready to learn, leads by example, is willing to make mistakes and learn from them. If more than 3 reminders need to be given about posture, instrument assembly, supplies, or following directions, participation points will be lowered. 
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