Welcome Carroll, Corbell, and Fisher 5th Graders!
Are you thinking about joining the Cobb Orchestra? Fantastic! Let us tell you all about it...
Orchestra is awesome:
· You’ll make new friends! As a member of the Cobb Orchestra, you will make long-lasting friendships and develop a sense of camaraderie that’s unique to our musical organization.
· You’ll be a better student! Many articles like this one talk bout the benefits of joining school music programs. On average, band and orchestra students have higher grade point averages (GPAs) than kids not participating in music programs.
· You’ll be better prepared for college! Research has shown that students who are involved in music programs receive higher SAT/ACT scores and higher grades overall.
Our instruments rock:
· The orchestra includes the following string instruments:
o Violin – the soprano voice in the string family with a brilliant sound
o Viola – the alto voice in the string family with a warm sound
o Cello – the tenor voice in the string family with a resonant sound
o Harp – an instrument uniquely its own in the string family with 45 strings
o Double Bass – the beat of the string family with a deep sound
· Come to our Try the Instrument Day on Saturday, February 6th from 9:00am - 3:00pm, and this will definitely help you decide which instrument to pick. You’ll get hands-on experience with every single instrument. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to play the harp? Now's your chance! It’s a super-fun day we look forward to all year.
FAQs/Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I’ve never played an instrument and can’t read music. Will it be hard to learn?
A: Don’t worry; you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll learn to play your new instrument. Ms. Hesson and Mr. Walters will teach you everything you need to know. In fact, by the end of September, our beginner students will have already learned enough to participate in their first concert.
Q: I’ve taken piano lessons; will this help?
A: Yes, piano, or any musical experience for that matter, will help prepare you for the orchestra. While being able to read music will give you an advantage at the beginning, it's not required. The only exception is for harp players; they must have prior piano playing experience.
Q: What about other electives like athletics? Can I do both?
A: Absolutely! As a 6th grader, you’ll only take one elective and cannot yet participate in athletics. As a 7th grader, you can participate in orchestra plus a second elective. We have many students who are involved in both orchestra and athletics and excel in both.
Q: Does the orchestra do any fun activities together?
A: Yes we do! We’ve hosted after-school parties, movie night, Urban Air night, and our end of year party – last year’s was at Main Event. We wear our orchestra t-shirts on spirit days and proudly display our orchestra magnets on our school lockers. Check out the Events section of our website to see pictures from some of our fun events this year.
Q: Are there different orchestras?
A: We have three orchestra sections: Beginner, Philharmonic (Intermediate) and Symphonic (Advanced). At the end of sixth grade, our beginner students will register for Philharmonic or have the option to audition for Symphonic.
Q: I’m worried I might not have enough time to practice. Is there a big time commitment?
A: To improve in anything you do, practice is important, whether it’s learning a new language, new sport, or new instrument. Beginners average 15-20 minutes of practice a night while our philharmonic and symphonic students average about 25-30 minutes. Some students practice during morning tutorial time to knock out their practice minutes. In any class at Cobb you’ll have homework, so orchestra is no different.
Q: I don’t listen to classical music; will we only play classical music?
A: Not at all – we play a variety of pieces, from traditional to international to music you’d hear on the radio. You never know what music Ms. Hesson and Mr. Walters will pick next – they always keep us guessing!
Q: Will I need to take private lessons in addition to my school lessons?
A: Private lessons are optional but recommended. You can take private lessons at Cobb during orchestra period once a week, or you can take from a private instructor or music school in the area. Find out more information on our Private Lessons page.
Q: Should I buy or rent my instrument?
A: For beginners especially, we strongly recommend renting your instrument. Unlike most band instruments, string family instruments are sized for the player, so as you grow, your instrument will grow with you. For example, as a violist, you might start with a 14” viola. Then six months later, if you have a growth spurt, you might jump to a viola that’s an inch longer, you never know!
Q: Cellos and double basses are gigantic! How am I supposed to carry mine home every day?
A: Don’t worry – you’ll have a school instrument and a home instrument for practice. In the orchestra room you’ll be assigned a locker to store your instrument.
Q: I’ve always wondered…why is “bass” in “double bass” pronounced like “base?”
A: Many musical terms are taken directly from or influenced by Italian, and this is the case with the word “bass.” While the word’s meaning has its origins in the word “base,” its spelling was influenced by the Italian word “basso.”