Thank you for your interest in Orchestra at Galileo.Orchestra for 4th and 5th grade currently meets twice a week, for 30 minutes. Students are expected to practice at home a minimum of 15-20 minutes daily to help build both technique and muscle strength.Orchestra for 6th grade meets twice a week for 45 minutes. Students are expected to practice a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day to continue building their technique and muscle strength.7th and 8th grade meets daily at the end of the day. Students are expected to practice 30-40 minutes daily to continue building their technique and muscle strength.Students can learn any of the four bowed string instruments, also known as the violin family: Violin, viola, cello and bass. Each instrument is briefly described below, and the name of each instrument includes a link to a performance.Upper stringsViolin: The smallest and highest instrument in the string family, this instrument is very popular and is held under the chin.Viola: Larger than a violin, the viola has a lower mellower sound and is an excellent instrument for players who don't like the high pitches of a violin, but do not want the size of the lower strings.
Cello: The third instrument in the string family, it is played while sitting and has rich tones similar to the range of the human voice.
Double Bass: The lowest and largest of the four string instruments, the bass is played standing or sitting on a tall stool.
Students who wish to learn the bass but cannot find an instrument in their size are encouraged to play cello until they have grown a bit more.String instruments are unique in that they are made in various sizes to match the physical stature of the player. Most adults play a full size instrument (4/4), but student instruments for this age group are generally 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 size. Violas are measured in inches instead of fractions, but the same principle applies.Renting InstrumentsSince most 4th-8th graders are not finished growing it is recommend that students rent an instrument that fits their current size so when they grow you can exchange for a larger size.Galileo has a limited number of instruments available to rent, please contact Mrs. Pope for details.The valley has two categories of rental instruments. Music stores that carry both band and orchestra instruments (such as Dunkley Music, or Welch's Music) and ones that specialize in string instruments (such as Telford and Sons). Both types should measure and match your student to an instrument in their size, and be aware that mid-late august is very busy and instruments are rented out quickly. Many stores also have a "rent to own" policy, which is worth looking into.For more information about music stores, please see the sidebar tab labeled "Local Music Stores"Purchasing InstrumentsPlease do not purchase an instrument unseen or on the internet. If you are interested I can tell you many sad stories, but in summary you will not save any money in the long run and your student will very likely be frusterated playing a poorly made instrument.When a student has grown enough to fit a full sized instrument, and they have shown themselves to be committed, then enjoy the process of finding "the one!" Quality musical instruments are handmade and therefore unique. (A person who makes instruments is called a Luthier) Allow your student to try several instruments before selecting the one they connect with. The music stores in the valley will be happy to assist you.If you enjoy family trips, Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake all have small businesses with a wide selection. They are usually called "(name) violins" as they specialize in the violin family and pride themselves on a quality reputation within the musical community.Private InstructionA private teacher is an excellent way to excel as it usually involves an instruction ratio of 1:1 and can be tailored to an individual student's interests. Private lessons are not a requirement to join orchestra, but if you are interested I have provided a list of instructors in the area in the sidebar labeled "String Teachers".Local music stores also maintain a list of local private teachers, including teachers hired to teach at the studio space within the store.