Author: RMS Orchestras
Note: Private lessons are now on a waitlist for 2018-2019. Lesson slots have been assigned on a first come, first-served basis. To get on the waiting list for the next available slot, please fill out the private lesson interest form above.
Welcome back to school! We are looking forward to a great year with the Reynolds Orchestra. Here is your “Back to School To-Do list”
- Parents, please mark your calendars for our Orchestra Parent Meeting which will be held on Monday August 20, 2018 from 6:30-7:30pm in the Reynolds MS Cafeteria.
- FOR NEW STUDENTS, please complete the orchestra info sheet as soon as possible. OLD STUDENTS, complete only if any of your contact information (such as parent phone & emails) changed from last year.
- SUPPLY LISTS…For all students, click on the NEW STUDENTS tab above to view the Supply List. Please obtain these items before school starts. Click on APPROVED VENDORS to find local music stores. Beginners will need Essential Elements book 1. Concert Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra will need Essential Elements book 2.
Orchestra forms and information will be given out during the first week of school, and parents may begin submitting fees starting August 20th at the Orchestra Parent Meeting.
Orchestra class has moved out of the portable and into the main building! Woohoo! We will have class in room 601 which is currently under renovation and will be finished by start of school (pardon our dust!)
Let’s have a great year! See you soon, Mrs. Oyedipe
Practice Tips for Younger Students/Beginners
- 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 an evening time 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.
Practice Tips for Older/Experienced Students
- Help your child set up a regular time every day to practice.
- Help him establish a routine. This may require some consultation with the teacher. A typical middle schoolers’ half-hour practice routine might include:
- Warmup — 1-3 minutes
- Play a fun, familiar piece — 3-5 minutes
- Work on a new or difficult piece — 10-15 minutes
- Work on technical requirements, such as scales or other technique builders — 5 minutes
- Play something fun to conclude the session
High school students may have more technical problems to work on, but they also have the ability to practice longer in a more concentrated way.
- Help your child understand that playing only familiar songs will not help her improve.
- Explain to your child that learning happens in stages. Sometimes a student will work on something for a long time with no apparent improvement, and then discover a sudden leap in ability. Other times, learning happens very quickly. The important thing to stress is that consistent practice will yield results.
- Help your young musician set practice goals. Keeping a journal, not just a practice chart, helps track the peaks and valleys of learning a new piece or improving fundamental skills.
- As a parent, don’t make judgments about the musical quality of your child’s practicing. Learning an instrument requires lots of squeaks, scratches, and wrong notes.
It’s ensemble time! Students from the middle school and high school orchestras have been busy preparing for the 2nd annual Prosper String Ensemble Festival. The festival will take place on the evening of Friday February 3rd at Prosper High School. Students will perform in small groups in front of a professional orchestra judge, and receive an evaluation of specific criteria such as: pitch, tempo, phrasing, dynamics and musical effect. Performing at festival is an honor and a huge accomplishment, as it requires working together as a team to achieve musical excellence.
Students will have another chance to showcase their ensembles on Tuesday February 7th at 7:00PM for friends and family during our first-ever Suites and Sweets Dessert Recital. We will feature a dessert contest, with guest celebrity judges (TBA). The audience will also have a chance to vote on the Fan Favorite ($1 per vote). Prosper Strings are taking it to the next level; we hope you will join us!