How do I choose an instrument to play?
Choose the sound that you love most. If you like low sounds, choose to play string bass or cello. If you like higher sounds, choose viola or violin. You need to look forward to playing and making a great sound. Instrument Choices
What instruments are in orchestra, and what do they sound like?
The four instruments in orchestra are string bass, cello, viola and violin. One website to hear instruments is BeginBand.com
When can we listen to all of the orchestra and band instruments? Parent Night!
Students will hear the instruments during school. There will also be two Parent Nights, where families are invited to hear a concert featuring the instruments. Come to one of them if you can (though it's not required)!
Meet music store vendors for instrument rental information, and meet your band and orchestra teachers.
Eagle River Parent Night - Gruening Middle School, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 6:30-8:30 PM
Anchorage Parent Night - West High School, Thursday, Sept. 3, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
If a student is short, can he or she still play any of the stringed instruments?
Yes. Luckily all orchestra instruments come in smaller sizes. You can figure out what sized instrument you need by asking your orchestra teacher, or checking at a music store that rents stringed instruments.
Should we find an instrument right away?
No. Please come, if you can, to one of the Parent Nights to learn more about instrument choices, and to get instrument rental information from music stores. Students don't need to have an instrument until the beginning of October.
Where can we find an instrument?
We suggest renting an instrument. This year your student can experiment with learning an instrument. If they would like to continue, then they can buy one. Many music stores have a system of rent-to-own, so that your rental money can go towards buying the instrument, if you decide to do that. Finding Instruments
Are there places that we should NOT get an instrument?
Be very careful about ordering instruments from the internet, or buying an instrument from a store that sells food, etc. and not just musical instruments. Sometimes the instruments look pretty but can not really be played. Music stores refuse to repair these cheap products, and they break easily. Best bets and things to avoid.
We can't afford to rent an instrument from a music store. Can our student still be in orchestra?
Please contact Mrs. Elder. We will do our best to find a way for you play. There are a few Anchorage School District instruments set aside to rent for those who can't afford music store rentals. If you choose to play string bass, we will do our best to rent a bass to you for $40 for the entire year, since they aren't available to rent from music stores.
What supplies do we need to buy?
You can find an orchestra supply list at Orchestra Supplies.