One Monday in September, Jase bounced home and announced that he wanted to join Fifth Grade Strings. He held in his hand the pink paper announcing that a free concert by the Middle School Orchestra would be held for fifth graders on Friday. This concert would allow students to hear the four instruments offered – violin, viola, cello and base.
So Jase eagerly awaited Friday. He came home struggling to decide whether he wanted the violin or the viola. His best buddy also was interested in joining strings. The boys discussed their choices and both decided on the violin.
So I signed Jase up online. The class is taught by the middle school orchestra teacher. He comes to our elementary school on Tuesday for violins and violas and on Thursdays for cellos and bases. He does the same for a neighboring elementary but on Mondays and Wednesdays. Classes are after school and at no cost. The reason he does this is he is hoping these fifth graders will join middle school orchestra next year.
(Realizing many places break up their schools differently, here elementary school is kindergarten through the fifth grade. Middle school is grades 6 thru 8 and high school is grades 9 thru 12.)
So after signing him up, I attended parent orientation so the orchestra teacher could go over what the student’s needed and the rules of the class (you miss more than 3 and you are kicked out). The flyer didn’t say anything about bringing your child. It was after all a “parent” orientation, so I left Jase at home.
Everyone else brought their kids. And you needed your student so they could be fitted with the proper size instrument. The instructor had invited four vendors to the meeting and they all had instruments for the students (or should I say parents) to rent.
Well, lucky for me, the step-mom of Jase’s best buddy was there. Since her daughter already played the violin, she knew what questions to ask the rental companies and knew which offered a good deal. It also benefited me that Jase’s friend was there as the boys are the same size and build. We used his measurements to pick Jase’s violin.
Jase was excited when I brought home the violin. He actually was able to pull the bow across the strings without making it sound like he was killing a cat or something. Of course the first class they only learned how to care for their violin and how to hold it. But in the other two classes he has had they have learned the notes and begun so rudimentary playing.
So far he seems to be doing well with the violin and is excited to be learning how to play. They give their first concert to parents in December (unfortunately the same night as Lexie’s third grade performance). Then they will have a bigger concert at city music festival in April.
Here is to hoping that Jase continues to do well and enjoys playing. I am not sure he will continue after this school year but I love that he wanted to try something new.