Orchestra Required Materials
If you don’t have everything when school starts that is OK. Just complete the list as soon as you can. Contact Mr. Hartmetz Sean.Hartmetz@lcps.org with questions.
1. Instrument -Everyone will need to rent or buy an instrument. Instruments should come with a bow and a case or bag. Instruments come in different sizes. Most students where sized at our instrument nights, but if you do not know what size your student needs, they can be sized in class or at most music stores. A good sturdy case is a good investment for violins and violas since they will be bringing their instrument to school for every orchestra class. Cello and Bass students will use school instruments at school, but will need their own instruments for home practice and performances at school. Personal cellos and basses will only need to come to school for taping/ tuning and for concerts. Cellos & Bass will be fine with a good instrument bag (not a hard case). If you have a financial need please contact Mr. Hartmetz for assistance options.
Your student will be well served by doing some comparison shopping. String instruments vary greatly in quality and price. Low quality or cheaper instruments are more difficult to play and are often impossible to produce a pleasing tone quality. Check several vendors before you buy or rent. You can find a list of local vendors and previously reliable internet vendors at Music Vendors. If you have a financial need, please contact Mr. Hartmetz for assistance options. We are comitted to making Orchestra possible for all students, regardless of a familiy's financial resources.
Please fit each case with a good sturdy luggage tag clearly marked with your student’s name and “Harmony Middle School”. Once a case was left at a bus stop and because it was labeled “Harmony Middle School” a good neighbor delivered it before the student even realized they had left it. It is also a good idea to personalize your case with a sticker or yarn tied to the handle or anything to make your case easily identifiable. It is not uncommon for students to grab the wrong case at the end of the day. Instruments have always been returned unharmed, but it does cause some anxiety.
2. Book - Students are required to purchase one method book for Orchestra class. The books are specific for each instrument, violin, viola, cello & bass. Students need to start the year with the following books:
6th Grade, Essential Elements for Strings, Book 1, Published by Hal Leonard
7th & 8th Grade, Essential Elements for Strings, Book 1 & 2, Published by
3. Pencil kept in instrument case.
4. Music stand for use at home and some concerts. This is very important for students to have for practice at home. Practicing without a music stand can cause tremendous problems.
5. Clip on Tuner – clip on tuner. Violin & Viola - D'addario NS Micro tuner for Violin (also works on 13" & 14" violas). This tuner can be put on the instrument and never removed. Cello & Bass - any clip on tuner that will clip on your bridge.
6. Violins & Violas – Shoulder rest. They typically come in three sizes and they must be the
correct size for the instrument.
1) 4/4 (full size violins) and 14” violas.
2) ¾ or ½ violin and 13” violas.
3) 15” + violas.
It is best to get a should rest that has collapsible feet, so it will fit into the larger cases. If your case cannot fit your shoulder rest inside, please purchase a small bag that the shoulder rest can go into and then clip to the outside of the case. Shoulder rest that do not fit into cases or attach to cases tend to get lost. Save your receipt for your shoulder rest. Some students will require special shoulder rest and you may need to return your original purchase. Mr. Hartmetz will help students adjust their should rest in class.
7. Rosin – often comes with instrument, but you do need rosin and everyone (even cello and bass) need to bring rosin to class. Most rosin is good for violin, viola and cello. Bass players need special bass rosin. Nyman Bass Rosin is excellent and doesn’t melt in warm weather.
8. Xeros Cello & Bass Stops – The rubber disk type tend to slip on dusty smooth floors, like our stage. The best cello and bass stops are made by Xeros and have a strap that goes around the chair or stool leg. They come in specific models, one for cello, one for bass.
9. Bass Stool – Bass players need a stool that is the correct height for the student. They should be able to sit on the stool with their right foot flat on the floor with only a slight bend in the knee. The least expensive stools are wooden (29”) and you can cut the legs off to get the stool at the correct height. When the student grows, you must buy another stool. Alternately, you can purchase an adjustable stool such as On Stage, DT8500.
10. Concert Wear –
6th & 7th Grade - Harmony Strings tee shirt, full lenght blue jeans (without holes) and shoes (no sandals or flip-flops).
8th Grade -
Gentlemen: Black dress pants, Black dress Shoes, Black socks,
Black long-sleeved, collared shirt.
Ladies: Black dress pants or full length black skirt, Black dress shoes.
Black dressy top, long sleeves preferred.
(If you have a question about concert dress, see Mr. Hartmetz)
Orchestra Optional Materials
Ingles Adjustable Cello & Bass stand – promotes practicing by making it easier to get started and stores the instrument in a smaller foot print.
Instrument mutes- Good for practicing without disturbing others. You will only want to use these when you must, because it does change the tone quality. For violin and viola the metal kind work the best. The cello and bass mutes are made of heavy rubber.
If you have difficulty obtaining any of these items for class, please contact Mr. Hartmetz Sean.Hartmetz@lcps.org for assistance.