• Welcome to Elementary Orchestra!

     Overview of Course

    The elementary string program serves to provide students with the opportunity to explore a variety of orchestral instruments and learn the basic fundamentals needed to perform basic repertoire on that instrument. Since long term success is predicated on mastering fundamentals instilled at each grade level, the music program is sequentially structured.

    Students in Elementary Orchestra will receive individualized group instruction on a pull out basis, during the regular school day. Lessons will meet at the same time every week and that time must be approved by classroom teachers as an appropriate time to minimize impact on their daily schedule. In addition, 4th and 5th grade orchestra students will meet twice a week in order to rehearse as an ensemble.

    Instructional Philosophy

    Through how organized sounds move and interrelate, the Garden City Public Schools music department strives to heighten, sustain, refine, and extend human emotional life while engaged in the struggle to create beauty.

    Knowledge and Skills Objectives

    ·       Basic holding and playing positions will be introduced.

    ·       Students will have comprehensive knowledge of rhythm patterns using quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, eighth notes, quarter rests, half rests, and whole rests.

    ·       Students will be able to access all first position notes on the E, A, D, and G strings. They will be introduced to the keys of D and G.

    ·       Students will begin to develop awareness of pitch and intonation.

    ·       Students will be introduced to the pizzicato technique and will be able to pluck each string.

    ·       Students will be introduced to the basic bow hold and bowing techniques.

    ·       Students will be able to perform basic 2 note slur patterns.

    ·       Students will be introduced to bowing direction and bow lifts.

    ·       Students will develop the facility to successfully execute music on Grade ½ and Grade 1 music.

    ·       Students will be introduced to signs and signals communicated by the conductor.

    ·       Students will be introduced to dynamic markings and will be able to define piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte, crescendo, and decrescendo.

    ·       Students will be introduced to time signatures including 3/4 and 4/4 time.

    ·       Students will begin to develop the means of sight reading basic repertoire on the D and A string with quarter notes, half notes, and their corresponding rests.


    Units of Study

    The selection of repertoire for the various performances throughout the year will be taken from the styles and periods below. Choices of repertoire from the list rotate so that students are exposed to a wide variety of music.




    Modern (tonal)


    American Standards



    American Spiritual

    American/English Folk Music


    Major Resources

    Music Scores and parts

    Measures of Success for String Orchestra Book 1