ORCHESTRA

(PROCEDURES & INSTRUMENT MATERIALS)

In Orchestra class, students will have the opportunity to develop skills on orchestral instruments. The instruments taught in orchestra are the violin, viola, cello, double bass and harp. To better prepare yourself for this class as a student AND a parent, it is important that you read this entire page, in addition to the Syllabus page which is for both band and orchestra.

INSTRUMENT SELECTION

1. Students will have the opportunity to try the different instruments in class. All students will learn the proper playing positions and postures for the four bowed instruments violin, viola, cello and bass. They will have the opportunity to make sounds and do some fingerings on each of the instruments to see if they like the sound and if they are comfortable holding the instruments. There is only one student harp, so this must be reserved for the student with the most advanced piano skills who wants to dedicate themselves to learning the harp full-time for this class.

2. The students will then choose their top three favorites for instruments and prioritize them in order from #1 to #3. These favorites will be submitted on an Instrument Selection Form that the students and parents will sign agreeing that the family will be able to acquire the three favorite instruments selected, either by purchase or rental from the school. 

3. Once all the Instrument Selection Forms are submitted, the teacher will then make instrument assignments based on student potential, student ability to focus, student prior knowledge of music, and of course the prioritized favorites of the students. Most students will get their #1 or #2 choice. The students who receive their #3 choice are due to the instrument sections being imbalanced. 

NOTE: When making selections of favorites, it is important to know that all four bowed instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass) are all EQUALLY easy and difficult to learn. The HARP is the only instrument that can be difficult to learn at first without basic knowledge of piano music.

NOTE: The five main sections of the orchestra are Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello and Bass. This does mean that we do need a few more violins than the other instruments, but the group can't be grossly imbalanced. For example, a nicely balanced class of 35 students would have 8 First Violins, 8 Second Violins, 8 Violas, 6 Cellos, and 4 Basses and 1 Harp.

NOTE: Also when considering your favorites, it is important to know that although the Violin is the most popular stringed instrument, Universities give scholarships equally to the top students of each orchestral section so that each section is balanced. Violin students will usually compete with 50-150 other violin students for scholarships, whereas Viola, Cello, Bass, and Harp students will have FAR less competition. (In addition, students do NOT have to be music majors to get scholarships. they just need to play in the ensembles).

GETTING YOUR INSTRUMENT

VIOLIN

Students who are selected to play the violin must get their own instrument as the school does not have any violins for rental. There are now very affordable options for instruments found online. I have links for instruments provided for you below. Beginner violinists 12 and older will use a 4/4 full size violin. Any instrument you rent or purchase must have 4 fine tuners!

Beginner instruments are cheaper, but should only be used by the student for the first two years. The student should purchase their own intermediate level instrument for the third year. If you purchase your own beginner instrument, it is advised not to use the strings that come with the instrument unless approved by the teacher. It is essential that the students play on quality strings. D'Addario is one of the preferred brands for quality strings, but any brand recommended by a private teacher or string specialty store is suitable.

VIOLA

Students who are selected to play the viola must get their own instrument as the school does not have any violas for rental. There are now very affordable options for instruments found online. I have links for instruments provided for you below. Most high school beginners on Viola will use a full size 16-inch viola. Shorter students may choose a 15.5" or 15", and taller students may choose a 16.5." Music store personnel can take your measurements and give suggestions. Any instrument you rent or purchase must have 4 fine tuners!

Beginner instruments are cheaper, but should only be used by the student for the first two years. The student should purchase their own intermediate level instrument for the third year. If you purchase your own beginner instrument, it is advised not to use the strings that come with the instrument unless approved by the teacher. It is essential that the students play on quality strings. D'Addario is one of the preferred brands for quality strings, but any brand recommended by a private teacher or string specialty store is suitable.

CELLO 

Students who are selected to play the cello will play the school cello in the classroom. (Please read School Rental Terms & Conditions below). Rental for a school cello is $75 per semester (Fall and Spring) mainly to cover the cost of replacement strings and bows which constantly need replacement. Any loss or damage to the instruments will need to be covered by the family who is under contract for the instrument. Cellos are allowed to go home with the student once the rental fee and contract are submitted. Cellos may go home on the bus at the discretion of the bus driver and should never be placed in the aisle of the bus.

It is highly recommended that a cheap student cello be purchased for home use if possible so that the student need not travel regularly with the instrument. See links below.

Beginner instruments are cheaper, but should only be used by the student for the first two years. The student should purchase their own intermediate level instrument for the third year. If you purchase your own beginner instrument, it is advised not to use the strings that come with the instrument unless approved by the teacher. It is essential that the students play on quality strings. D'Addario is one of the preferred brands for quality strings, but any brand recommended by a private teacher or string specialty store is suitable.

DOUBLE BASS

Students who are selected to play the double bass will play the school bass in the classroom. (Please read School Rental Terms & Conditions below). Rental for the bass is $50 per semester (Fall and Spring) unless an extra bass is available to take home, then the rental for both instruments is $75 per semester. Any loss or damage to the instruments will need to be covered by the family who is under contract for the instrument. Students who already own a bass will use theirs at home for practice, recordings, and private lessons. It is highly recommended that a cheap student double bass be purchased for home use and private lessons so that the student need not travel regularly with the instrument. See links below.

HARP

Students who are selected to play the harp will use the school harp in class and take the smaller practice harp home. (Please read School Rental Terms & Conditions below). Rental for both harps is $75 per semester (Fall and Spring) to cover the cost of replacement strings. Any loss or damage to the instrument(s) will need to be covered by the family who is under contract for the instrument. 

* All checks/money orders for rental or fees are to be made out to "Franklin Academy".

Payments can also be made on Franklin Payments website CLICK HERE

REQUIRED MATERIALS

The following materials for each instrument are REQUIRED, which means there will be a HW material grade in the gradebook for each item as they will be used regularly in class. The harpist only needs a piano or portable piano for home practice.

1. Instrument - comes with strings and bow

2. Extra Bow - sometimes comes in Violin or Viola purchase. Any cheap replacement bow will suffice for emergency purposes. (One bow is provided for Cello and Bass with rental. If a cello or bass bow is damaged due to negligence, it will be the responsibility of the family to replace.)

3. Extra set of Strings - sometimes comes in Violin or Viola purchase. One set of extra strings are provided for Cello and Bass with rental. D'Addario strings are recommended. Harp strings are replaced by instructor or repair person through rental fees.

4. Rosin - usually comes with purchase. D'Addario rosin is recommended.

5. Shoulder Rest - sometimes comes with purchase. Kun or Everest shoulder rests are recommended. Make sure you get the correct size for your instrument.

6. Practice Mute - sold separately. Glaesel or any hard rubber practice mute is recommended.

7. Tuner - ALL INSTRUMENTS including harp - tuners sometimes come with instruments. Tuners do not come with the rented cellos and basses. Students can have either a tuning device or tuning app.

AFFORDABLE BEGINNER INSTRUMENTS FOR PURCHASE

VIOLIN

Cecilio CVN-300 Violin, Size 4/4 - $129.99

eMedia My Violin Starter Pack Full Size - $99.95

Mendini Violin (4/4) - $63.93

VIOLA

Bellafina Prelude Series Viola Outfit 16 in. - $159.99

Mendini 16-Inch MA250 Viola - $99.99

CELLO

Cecilio CCO-100 Student Cello, Size 4/4 - $269.99

 

Store Rental

The nearest trusted store to the school is Barnes Violins

They take rental orders over the phone and deliver the instrument to the school for you. 

They have instruments available for rent and for purchase. They also have instructors for private lessons!

School Rental Terms & Conditions 

School rental fees are final and non-refundable.

If you would like to reserve a school instrument, please email me immediately.

The student may use the instrument at school, but may not take it home until the contract and fee payment is received. 

If the rental contract and fee is not received after 2-weeks, the instrument will be made available for another student to rent and the student will have to get their own instrument elsewhere.

A signed rental contract is required, but the student may take the instrument home after the rental payment is made as a temporary rental contract, but the rental contract must be turned in soon after. 

Once the rental fee is paid and the contract is submitted, the student is allowed to take the instrument home. 

Any repair needed on the instrument before the contract is over is the responsibility of the family.

Any damage to the instrument beyond "regular wear & tear" is the responsibility of the family. 

If any family refuses to get an instrument repaired, the instrument will be returned to the inventory as damaged school property and the family will no longer be able to rent instruments from the school until the payment for the repair is made. 

The parameters that define "regular wear & tear" are decided upon by the repair shop after the repair invoice is received during Winter Break or Summer Break.