Great choice! Orchestra is a great opportunity for middle schoolers to join a team, try something new, and develop self-discipline and responsibility. Onslow County students are fortunate to have the opportunity to play stringed instruments in middle school! Research has proven that learning music can
- Improve recall and retention of verbal information
- Advance math achievement
- Boost reading and English language arts (ELA) skills
- Increase average SAT scores (www.nammfoundation.org)
Joining an ensemble also helps our students develop important life skills, such as working together on a team, applying constructive criticism, developing confidence in auditions / interviews, and learning to critically evaluate their work. Plus, it's fun!
I'm getting ready to start 6th grade at Swansboro Middle School. What should I do to join Orchestra?
- Decide that you want to learn an instrument and that you're going to practice!
- Figure out what KIND of instrument you'd like to learn. In Orchestra, we learn bowed stringed instruments. If you'd rather play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument, you should join the band.
- Listen to the different instruments that are available. It's good to pick a couple and stay flexible.
- Please do NOT make a commitment to a particular instrument before school begins in August! Stringed instruments are available in fractional sizes, and it's important for me to help you with this process. Also, we may adjust plans a little bit in the interest of balanced instrumentation.
Generally, orchestra students are responsible for renting or purchasing their instruments. Don't worry! We'll make sure you have the information you need to get set up with a quality instrument that will allow your student to reach their fullest potential. And our school does own some instruments that are available to help individual familiies on a first-come, first-served basis if finances are an issue. We'll work hard to find an instrument for you to play!
In our district, all orchestra and band students begin instruction in 6th grade. Sixth grade is the only time for students to take beginning orchestra. If you're not already enrolled in Orchestra, email Ms. Zimmerman SOON and we'll get you started!
I'm moving to Swansboro, and I already play a stringed instrument. Can I join the Orchestra?
Students who are moving into our district as 7th or 8th graders are welcome to join our orchestra if they already have some experience playing a bowed stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass).
As always, please email Ms. Zimmerman with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.