Welcome to all Rising 6th grade students! I am so excited you are choosing your instrument for next school year. As I explained in our virtual presentation recently, there are several string instruments available to learn.
Here is a slide presentation with pictures that reviews what you saw in the online meet you saw recently.
Violin--the smallest and highest sounding of the instruments. It is played by plucking the strings and by drawing a bow across its strings. It is played either standing up or sitting down and you hold it under your jaw with a sponge or a shoulder pad to keep it in place.
Viola-- is the second smallest and it sounds lower than the violin. It has a nice, rich, mellow sound. It is played in the same way as the violin.
Cello--is the second largest of the instruments. Cello has a lovely, lower than viola mellow sound. It is played sitting down by plucking the strings and by using the bow on the strings. To play cello, you keep one at home and one at school. We have school cellos for rent for next year.
Double (String) Bass--is the largest of the string instruments. The Bass is the deepest sounding of all the string instruments. You may play it standing up or sitting down. You learn to pluck the strings (called pizzicato) and to use the bow on the strings. We have school Basses for rent. You keep one at school and you have one at home too.
Availability of school instruments is as follows:
Violins/Violas--we have a limited number of these for students who have financial needs. Local music stores have these instruments in stock. They come in various sizes, so please go with your parent/guardian when it's time to rent an instrument as you will need to be measured to get the correct size.
Cellos/Basses-if you decide to play one of these instruments, please tell Mrs. DeRosa, so an instrument size can be selected for you and reserved for you for next year. Please contact her using this address: email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When do we need to have an instrument for class?
6th grade students need to have an instrument by the second week of school. It's important to wait to rent an instrument until close to when you will need it, as you will grow in height and string instruments come in different sizes.
Why can't we buy an instrument instead of renting one? String instruments come in different sizes to fit you at your current height and arm length. If you buy an instrument, you could grow out of it and then you will need to buy another one. That's why, while your still growing, you need to rent first.
Why are local music stores for violin and viola the best choice? Local music stores are present when there is a problem and can fix a repair problem more easily than if they were not around. Online retailers sell you a product and then they are done with you once you buy it. Customer service does not exist with online retailers. Musical instruments should not be bought online for that reason. They look nice but they don't work as they are often what are called "factory seconds", which means they don't last.
What about an old instrument which is in our family? Can my student use it? With string instruments, it depends on the size of the instrument. Often, family instruments are good to use. If you have questions about an instrument, I am happy to look at it for you to tell you if it will work for your student.
What else do we need to get with the instrument? Please see the list below.
Violin/Viola--rosin, a soft cloth(you may have one at home), a sponge shoulder pad with rubber bands, and a folding metal music stand (perhaps you know someone who has one you can borrow).
Cello/Bass--a rock stop(looks like a hockey puck) to keep the cello anchored on the floor; rosin, a soft cloth(you may have one at home), and a metal folding music stand (perhaps you know someone who has one you can borrow).