Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to Orchestra 2014-2015

We will start meeting for 5th grade Orchestra class on Tuesday, September 2nd.  Students will need to start bringing their instruments to class on Thursday, September 11th.  Orchestra will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at these times:    NORTH:  11:20-12:00      EAST:  12:30-1:10       SOUTH 1:30-2:15
Students will need to get a sign up sheet from their fifth grade teacher and can return it to their teacher by August 30th.  Please email or call me with any questions.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Samurai by Keiko Yamada

The 5th grade orchestras will join with Cedar Middle School orchestra in playing Samurai at our CMS concert on May 6, Tuesday at 6pm.  Listening to the recording is very helpful when learning a new piece of music.  Here is a link to a recording of Samurai.

go to this link and under the title, Samurai, there will be a speaker icon, click on 'listen'
Samurai, score and parts 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Practice Ideas

Getting into good practice habits is a challenge but very important in learning anything new.

When practicing, here are things you should keep in mind:
*Have specific goal/outline playing time
*Practice in a place where you can focus/quiet spot
*Pick a specific time of day to practice each day
*Practice SLOWLY
*Practice LOUDLY
*Don't practice mistakes; fix them immediately
*Stop practicing when you are too tired to play or can no longer focus(10-30mins for beginners)
*Practice often/consistent (but not necessarily for a great amount of time!)

A playing/practice outline includes:
    1. Warm up, check correct hand positions, bow exercises on each string, D major scale etc
    2.  Review songs, play through songs they've learned or the concert pieces a few times, focus on playing in tune and with correct postures.  Try memorizing the songs,  the more comfortable a student is with a song the less nervous they'll be when playing in a concert setting.   (Idea:  roll a dice for each song and the number rolled is how many time they'll practice that song.)  Also, try playing with the CD accompaniment.  
    3.  New song,  play through any difficult measures first, slowly, until their fingers recognize the note patterns.  Then play through the entire song a few times.
    4.  Discovery time, students may want to explore different sounds their instruments make, play some made up tunes or fun familiar songs.

Talk with your child about how the muscles and brain are strengthen when doing something over and over.  Some times beginners just need to get past that struggling stage of learning something new before they start to see/feel the enjoyment of being able to play and instrument.  Stick with it and be patient.  Take the time to have your child play songs for you and be encouraging with their progress.  Have rewards for practicing.  Remind your child that they're part of an orchestra team and everyone needs to play their part well to have a good sounding team!
Your know your child best, find what works best for them.  GOOD LUCK and THANK-YOU!

*Learning to play tips from FamilyEducation online:
Practice Tips for Elementary-School Kids

  • Help your child set up a special place at home to play the instrument.
  • Establish a time each day to play. Some children are at their best in the morning, before school. Some parents set a time after the evening bath when the child is relaxed, but not tired.
  • Consider using the phrase "playing time" rather than "practice time."
  • If possible, be a positive part of your child's playing time. Sit with your child while he plays and ask, "Show me what you're learning." Or, consider learning to play the instrument with your child.
  • Praise your child for each step forward.
  • Never make negative remarks about how your child's playing sounds. It takes time and effort to produce musical sounds.
  • Encourage other family members to applaud the child's efforts. Positive attention is a great motivator.
  • Remember that there are always peaks and valleys in the learning process. You and your child should expect times of discouragement, accept them, and focus on the positive fact that she's learning to make music. Remind her that everything worth doing takes time and effort.
  • Provide positive role models. Bring your child to hear amateur or professional musicians perform. Take your child to movies that show musicians in a positive light, such as "Music of the Heart."
  • When seeking private lessons, find a qualified teacher you can talk to easily. Ask about the teacher's philosophy of education, and ask to talk to some of the teacher's current students or their parents. Make sure your child is comfortable with the teacher.