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New Orchestra Student FAQ

Have you always wanted to learn an instrument, but maybe it looked too hard? There is a place for everyone in the Orchestra, and the best part is you will learn everything in small steps - no prior musical experience required!

Instruments available for Beginner Orchestra students include Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass.

Each beginner class is grouped by instrument so that each student receives individual and small group instruction. Sixth graders will learn how to read music along with the basic skills involved in playing a string instrument. Students will have the opportunity to participate in four annual concerts, LISD Solo & Ensemble Contest, and NRH20 Music Festival. Each student interested in joining Orchestra get to meet with Mrs. McHenry and Ms. Delorenzo for instrument selection prior to being enrolled.


What if I have been playing my instrument for awhile?  Can I advance to an older orchestra?

You will need to play a live audition for the teachers in order to be considered for a higher orchestra.  Send us an email if you would like to be considered for this: &

Should I take private lessons before I get to orchestra?

Private lessons before 6th grade starts are not required or necessary.  We will teach you everything you need to know!  If you'd like to have private lessons once school starts, we have many highly-qualified private teachers who come directly to the school during the day.  These teachers are director approved. 

Can my child be in orchestra and sports?

Yes!  We have very few after school commitments and work with the coaches to avoid schedule conflicts as much as possible.  In addition to sports, our students are also involved in drama, art, choir, cheerleading, extra-curricular clubs and Spanish.

Some other benefits of joining Orchestra include:
Opens Doors to Other Opportunities

Orchestra is much more than just practicing and performing. You can take private lessons, earn extra honors and awards throughout the year, go to fun parties and social events, and more!! 

Learning to play an instrument can help you develop a hobby that will last you a lifetime - even if you don't become a professional musician you can still play in the college Orchestra (and get scholarships!), teach private lessons, get paid to perform at local events, or just make music with your family and friends! 

Time Management & Organization Skills

By learning how to organize all your Orchestra supplies throughout the year and how to manage your practice time every week, you will be able to stay organized in your other classes too!

Goal-Setting & Achievement

You will learn how to set goals in your practice to make the most of your time, and if you practice consistently you will see yourself improve every day. By the end of the year you will be amazed by all your achievements and all the songs you will know how to play!

Coordination & Motor Skills

Playing a string instrument requires simultaneous use of both hands, so you will improve your coordination, flexibility, and motor skills. We start with posture and instrument position, before plucking the instrument and slowly adding in the bow. By doing everything in small steps, you will see yourself improve every day!

Self-Discipline & Responsibility

Learning an instrument takes patience and perseverance. You will learn how to be responsible and you will practice self-discipline which you will also need in your other classes, at home, and for the rest of your life!

Involves Higher Thinking & Problem Solving Skills

When you read music and play an instrument, your brain is doing several things at once: you are reading symbols, interpreting the symbols into fingerings/bowings/sounds, performing the music, and analyzing your performance all at the same time! You will learn how to solve problems in your own practice at home and you will be able to teach yourself new music all on your own!

Improves Memorization, Cognition, Concentration, & Focus

Do you ever hum along to a song you've heard before? By playing in class every day, some tunes will become familiar to you because of a special skill we have called muscle memory! This is only one of the ways Orchestra helps improve your memorization and cognition. Practicing an instrument daily also helps improve your concentration and focus on details in your music!

Builds Performance Skills & Self-Confidence

Whether you're playing at a concert or you're giving a presentation in Social Studies, performance is a part of life! Being in Orchestra gives you TONS of performance opportunities and will help you get rid of stage fright because you are 

Teamwork & Cooperation

Being in ORCHESTRA means being on a TEAM - we practice together, we work hard, and we have fun! Every Spring we even perform together at a fun contest at NRH2O! You will also find many of your lifelong friends in Orchestra because joining Orchestra is like joining one big family!
...and SO much more!!!

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