Our orchestra is a place for students of all abilities who want to play violin, viola, cello or bass. We play classical music, movie music, folk tunes, multicultural music, blues, jazz, rock, and more. If you love the sound of strings and want to play a variety of music, join our orchestra! Our program will operate a little bit differently this year, but we are looking forward to exploring this new way of teaching, learning, and making music together.
Students and Families, please submit the attached Google Form as soon as possible, no later than Friday, September 4, 2020. Our music department is working hard to prepare music, supplies, schedules, and instruments. The Google Form will help provide information to get things ready to go for each of our students. Here is some information to get us going for the 2020-2021 school year:
What supplies will students need for orchestra?
Most materials are available at our local music retailers (Leithold Music, Old Towne Strings, or SSE Music). Each store features easy online or telephone ordering and curbside pickup! Please make sure that you have all of the following supplies by Friday, September 11, 2020:
- Instrument, bow, case & rosin: store rental, own, or school rental, see instrument info below
- Textbook: Measures of Success for Strings, Book 1 (6th Grade) or Book 2 (7/8th Grade). Other books from the Measures of Success, Suzuki, or Essential Elements series may be required as students advance later in the year.
- Instrument support: shoulder rest/sponge (violin/viola) or end pin rest/rockstop (cello/bass).
- Folder, notebook & pencil: For storing music & recording practice assignments.
- Music stand: To be kept at home for practice and virtual orchestra
Store Instrument Rentals/Purchasing
Instrument rentals for our region are covered by our local music stores: Leithold Music, Old Towne Strings, and SSE Music. Each store carries a full line of high quality orchestra instruments and accessories that are backed up by a full-service repair department. Beginning orchestra instruments usually rent from $20-35 a month, with the first year of rent counting towards the purchase price of the instrument. Be sure to ask about their incentive programs!
School Instrument Rentals
School instruments are available for students who have a financial need. Families who qualify for free and/or reduced lunch can be served by our inventory of instruments. Students that rent their instrument from the school will pay, at most, a nominal fee of $45 per school year.
How will our “Virtual Orchestra” look?
We will offer a 20 minute small group or individual virtual lesson, once a week. Arrangements can be made for alternate lesson formats if needed (i.e. pre-recorded). We will schedule lessons over elective classes, Level Up Longfellow time, or an alternate time within the school day that works best. Teachers will communicate lesson times/schedule within the first 2-3 weeks of school. Additional course specific instruction for students will be provided through the Canvas portal once we are up and running! Virtual, blended, or in-person, we will still be having performances in some way! We will share those dates as soon as we have our performances scheduled.
More information coming soon!
We will be sending out more information about our program, lessons, and instruments very soon. In the meantime, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email anytime. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. Thanks and have a great day! 🙂
TEACHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Ms. Jessica McDonald ~ email@example.com ~ 608-789-7670 (Longfellow)
- Measures of Success Book Series – recordings and videos
- General practice tips from the instrument basics series
- Free online music dictionary
- How to slow down YouTube videos for play along practice at home
- Instrument set up & posture:
- Caring for your instrument
- Parts of your instrument violin
- Violin/Viola posture (& why do I need a shoulder rest?)
- Violin/Viola – how to put on a shoulder rest
- Cello endpins-how tall or short?
- Cello posture
- Bass endpin height and posture
- Bow preparation – how to rosin & tighten/loosen
- How to hold the bow Violin/viola – Cello/French Bass – German Bass
Instrument & Supply Purchasing Help:
- Instruments – Rent or buy?
- Thinking of upgrading your strings? Types of strings explained
- What is the difference between dark and light rosin? More on types of rosin
- ***Please remember to support our awesome local music stores as much as possible! Their friendly staff and repair technicians are also a great resource for helping you to choose the best instrument and accessories for middle school musicians.***
Local Music Stores:
- Leithold Music ~ 608-784-7555 ~ 116 4th Street S.
- Old Towne Strings ~ 608-782-1222 ~ 1218 Caledonia Street
- SSE Music ~ 608-781-2850 ~ 2609 George Street N.
School District Related Links:
- Longfellow/LDI River City Strings Fiddle Club
- School District Volunteer/Chaperone Application
- Central High School – Orchestra
- Logan High School – Orchestra
Local Orchestras & Performance Opportunities:
- WSMA – District & State Solo & Ensemble Festivals
- WSMA – Middle Level State Honors Orchestra Project
- LYSO – La Crosse Youth Symphony Orchestras (Italiano & Philharmonic)
- UW-La Crosse – Music Department Events
- Viterbo University – Chamber Music Series
- LSO – La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
Cool ‘Just for Fun’ Videos to Explore:
- How to Practice Effectively
- How playing an instrument benefits your brain
- How it’s Made: Violins Bows Steel Strings Gut Strings
- Orchestra vs. ghost peppers
Awesome Artists to Check Out: