Joining OrchEstraCada

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Whether you are an experienced player or a complete beginner, we invite you to join our orchestra. Students pay just $50.00 per term. We make this program affordable because we know that many families will participate with several students at once and that some will want to take private lessons in addition to the orchestra. 

Experienced adults are not charged to participate. They join as teachers, ready to share their expertise and model excellence for our students.

You need to do a few things before your first rehearsal.

1) Find an appropriate instrument. We recommend Manselle's Music in Milwaukie for stringed instruments. We also have a few friends with instruments to loan, and some connections to get inexpensive string instruments, so contact Elaine if you have problems finding an instrument. You will want to be sure it is the right size, and that you have all the right equipment for it (bow, rosin, case, cotton cleaning cloth, chin rest, shoulder rest). Usually they will all come together. It's also helpful to get an electronic tuner. It won't tune the instrument for you, but it will tell you if you've tuned it correctly before you practice.

2) Get a music stand. You will need this for most performances and for practicing at home. Proper posture is crucial to your long-term health and enjoying your instrument, so make sure music is up where you can see it while holding the instrument correctly.

3) Complete a registration form, so we can contact you in case of changes to our rehearsal or performance plans.  

4) Be prepared to make new friends, learn new things and do more than you thought was possible. Music is a powerful brain organizer, and you may find it has a positive influence on many areas of your life. You will make mistakes, but that's true for everyone, and by facing mistakes head-on, we learn from them and move on to bigger and better things.

If you are a brand-new beginner, you should expect to practice about 2 hours each week outside of rehearsals. This will take some discipline to start, but the more you practice in the beginning, the more you will enjoy playing and the faster you will progress. Many students move into the intermediate orchestra after just one year as a beginner, but that is unlikely to happen unless you are diligent about practicing.

See our calendar.

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