What practical supplies can I buy for my child that will help he/she progress?
If you are like me, you might be a last-minute shopper for gifts. Or, you are the savvy shopper that scouts for deals online and stalks the local stores. In either case, this is a list of ideas for you that pertain to your child's involvement in orchestra. (links are in red)
Students who keep an instrument at home and use a different one at school could benefit from a tuner that clips on to the instrument. There are many brands out there, but I find the ones that work best are the ones that clip onto either the scroll (violin/viola) or the tail piece (cello and bass).
Believe it or not, strings do have an expiration date. There isn't an exact formula, but usually within one-three years or less, strings have gone false (plucks one pitch, while bows another, or has trouble tuning in fifths) or worn to the core (usually starts to unravel or develops nicks in the surface). All of the rental stores in town carry these items, or there are numerous places to order them online (here, here, and here). I recommend for violin or viola, the Red Label, Dominant, Pirastro, or D'Addario, but there are many price points. I also recommend purchasing them as a set (all four strings together).
Bow Re-hair or New Bow
Click the link above for an in-depth explanation about when to re-hair, but basically, bow hair wears out. Frequent breaking or shedding is usually an indicator. Or, maybe an upgrade is in order.
This is a great time to check in and make sure your child has rosin for the bow. There are SO MANY out there, but there are plenty of cheaper options that will do the trick. If the recipient is a high school student, I recommend some of the more refined options like this and this. If you are looking for something that works and is FUN, then check this out.
We are blessed to have a store in town that sells a wide variety of music, J.W. Pepper.
I hope this post gives you some ideas. :) You can always contact me as well if you have questions.
We have begun our second fundraiser of the year, the Country Meats Fundraiser. We will continue this fundraiser through April, to allow ample time to sell and raise money for the following: International Music Camp. Here is the letter that goes along with it. You can pre-order as well, and here's the form for that.
What a gorgeous fall!
What have we accomplished so far this year? We've had our first big, successful concert. We've kept a record of practice, with a second one on the way. We had a very successful fundraiser, and we had our first of four playing assessments. So, what is coming up?
Middle Level Honors Orchestra Recordings - Almost Done!
We will hopefully finish these recordings this week, and find out results December 8th, which isn't too far away. 6th or 7th grade students, if you didn't have a chance to prepare or wanted to audition but couldn't, let's make a goal to get ready and prepared to audition next year. MLHO is a great opportunity to perform with other middle school students around the state at an advanced and challenging level.
Cookie Dough Fundraiser - Pick Up on Friday, November 18th
Conway freight will be dropping off items at Simle from the fundraiser to be ready for you to pick up after school. Prizes can be picked up at the same time. Having never done this before, I have been asking where parents and family can go to pick up the goods, and it sounds like will either happen in the cafeteria or outside on the field. Thank you for your hard work, students and parents! I was able to purchase some new music as well as a cello rack, and eighth graders, you were able to put away some money for the NYC 2018 tour.
Our next practice record (under Resources) and playing assessment (under Assessments) will be posted soon, hopefully by the end of this week. I always take time to go over the material with students and post reminders on our classroom whiteboard. So that we are all aware, my philosophy as a teacher is to allow redo's and late work, as long as it is accomplished with the high standard that I expect of my students.
Our next concert is Tuesday, December 13th and will comprise of students from grades 4-8 in the Simle Gymnasium. This is always a fun concert for the elementary students and all families to see the progress made in such a short time. The concert will start at 7:00 PM and while concert dress remains the same (black), students are allowed to wear colorful accents or Santa hats in keeping with the holiday spirit.
If you have any questions, as always, please contact me. I feel sometimes like I'm treading water, but I do try my best to respond to your questions in a timely manner. Have a great day!
Good afternoon! Parents, I am enjoying orchestra class time VERY MUCH with your children. We have a fantastic concert planned in October. Here are a few items I'd like to draw to your attention:
I have updated the site with our concert dates. Our first concert is planned for Monday, October 10th in the Simle Auditorium, 7:30 PM. I have to fix the April date, so please do not put that one into your calendarPlease take time with your son or daughter to make sure he or she has the appropriate concert dress. If you have questions, please let me know.
P/T Conferences & the Schedule Conflict
Simle will be holding its conferences on Monday and Tuesday, October 17-18th, 4:30-8:10 PM. Unfortunately, I put together Legacy's orchestra concert on the 17th, before conferences were scheduled. Please note that I will be leaving conferences at 5:30 PM on Monday to prepare for the concert. If you would like to visit with me and Monday evening was the only time you could do so, please contact me and we will set up a date and time that works for you. You could also attend the concert at Legacy and then visit with me afterward if you like.
Middle Level Honors Orchestra
Information is provided in the link above, but I do want to stress that this is a wonderful audition opportunity for students. It is an auditioned ensemble that performs together in early February, and audition recordings will happen in late October or early November. I have material that I will be giving out to interested students this week. There is an option of signing up on the webpage, FYI, and from there I will start making contact to schedule auditions.
We are kicking off our fundraiser on Friday, September 23rd. This year we have chosen to sell cookie dough with Great American Fundraising. Students will come home with information packets on Friday this week.
Practice Packs and Practice
Practice packs containing our concert music have been given to students. I am changing the format slightly of the practice logs. These will be 2 weeks in length (handed out once a quarter), and goal-oriented rather than relying on minutes practiced. Practice goals will dovetail with playing assessments. I will be visiting with students about these and handing them out closer to the end of this week.
NYC Tour 2018
8th grade parents, you son or daughter has an opportunity to join next year's class at Legacy on an orchestra tour. Please click on the link above and I will be in contact about a parent information meeting near the end of September or early October.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Students and families, welcome back to a new school year!
As you may have gathered, I am your new orchestra teacher, Mrs. Tafelmeyer. I am excited to teach and work with you this fall. We have some great things planned for the coming school year!
To help get you ready, here are some "Back to School" things you will need to know:
Here's to a great start to a great year!