Middle School Orchestra

Welcome to the
Middle School Orchestra

Repertoire for Fall 2014:

Sagebrush by James Curnow
"Allegretto" from The Creatures of Prometheus by Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. England
Fantasy on American Themes by Curtis Bryant


Concert Dates for the 2014-2015 school year:

January 14: String Showcase, 7:00 pm, High School Auditorium
May 14: Middle School and High School Orchestras, 7:30 pm, High School Auditorium
June 16: String Awards Night, 7:00 pm, High School Auditorium


Tools For Success:
An Orchestra Parent’s Guide To Being Involved

        Parent/Guardian support and involvement is crucial to the musical success of each individual orchestra student. By expressing interest and involvement in your child's music education, you show your child that you value their hard work and commitment to learning a string instrument. You do not need to be a musician or know anything about music to support your child's musical interest and development. Simply asking for an impromptu performance or asking questions about what he/she is learning in class can be effective in showing your interest and support. Listed below are additional suggestions of how you can support your child's involvement in orchestra at Horseheads Middle School.

1. Help to facilitate regular practice habits. Establishing a regular time for practice will help students be more consistent in their practice efforts.

2. Simply playing through familiar songs over and over again is NOT practice. Have your child set specific goals that are both challenging and attainable for each practice session. Good “practicers” know how to choose small 'chunks' of music that need work. Through several repetitions, they isolate and try to improve one thing at a time (pitch, rhythm, bowing, dynamics, fingerings, tempo).

3. Consistent practice over time (short sessions almost every day) works much better than one marathon practice session every week!

4. Provide a suitable practice environment at home- free of noise, intervention, and distraction.

5. Make sure your child is practicing with a music stand! Music stands help develop proper posture.

6. Have your violinist, violist, or bass player stand while practicing. This will allow students to develop healthy playing posture. Cellists will always use a chair when playing.

7. Be a cheerleader! Give positive comments and praise for your child’s efforts. Your child cares what you think- showing your interest and enthusiasm is a great motivation boost!

8. Musical learning is a layering process that is ongoing and involves refinement of the physical, aural, and intellectual skills. Be patient and know that it will take time.

9. Emphasize the importance of personal responsibility to your child. Students MUST bring their instrument on “orchestra days”. Encouraging personal responsibility and ownership early on will help to set them up for success in high school and beyond!

10. Request to hear a mock concert/performance of the music/material that your child is currently learning in class.