The Clarence Elementary Orchestra program consists of small group lessons for fourth and fifth grade students who choose to participate, and the District Orchestra which rehearses twice per week after school.
In fourth grade, students have the opportunity to play a string instrument for the first time in the school setting. A recruitment program takes place in September, and students begin weekly lessons at the conclusion of that process. Small group lessons take place once a week for each student, and work on a rotating basis so students do not miss the same class time each week. Lessons continue throughout the year. In fifth grade, the lesson process functions in the same manner.
At the start of the school year, the District Orchestra consists of mostly fifth grade students. Fifth graders who played an instrument the previous year take part in the twice-weekly rehearsal after school, from approximately 2:30-3:35PM. (Please see Mr. Ieda’s teacher webpage for specific schedules.) These rehearsals prepare the ensemble for the first concert of the year, which takes place in January.
In November, all beginning 4th grade string players attend Beginner’s Orchestra, once a week, after school from 2:30-3:30. (See Mr. Ieda’s teacher webpage for specific schedules.) Beginner’s Orchestra, a group class, comprises over 50% of the first year string player’s instruction time. Students are taught by rote in the Suzuki-style, repetition is essential for retention, and pieces are memorized to prepare for our concert in June. All students will be picked up and bused to rehearsals and bused home after rehearsal.
Some fourth grade string players are invited to join the District Orchestra, based on their lesson achievement.