May 13, 2020

Orchestra FAQs

…for parents!

Here are some brief answers to some of your Frequently Asked Questions…

  • How many concerts are there?
    • There are four concerts per year. The orchestras also perform at other venue / events (contests, field trips, etc.). 
  • Where can I find all the dates for orchestra?
    • You can find the dates in a number of places: district website, lzork.com, and Canvas.
  • How do I get my child’s instrument repaired?
    • Sometimes I can perform minor repairs. So have your child check with me first. 
    • If that doesn’t work, take your instrument to the shop from where you rent.
    • If you own your instrument, the following companies are nearby reputable repair shops: Hoffman Strings, Classic Violins, The String Project, Solo Classic, Seman Violins.
      • Please be aware, that many shops may not work on cheap instruments. Instead they will probably offer you a better instrument. 
  • How do I upgrade / purchase my child’s instrument?
    • If you are renting, simply go to your rental shop and they can help you upgrade to a bigger size instrument. 
    • If you are buying, do not go out and just buy an inexpensive instrument. Most likely, an inexpensive instrument is a cheap instrument. Generally, you should not buy anything on the internet. Read more about buying an instrument at lzork.com/how-to-purchase-an-instrument/
  • How do I get supplies for my child’s instrument?
    • Any of the above reputable string shops will have what you need. You can get what you need from the rental shop (rosin, shoulder rests, rock-stops, etc.).
  • Can my child be in Prima Musica? 
    • Any orchestra member may audition. 
    • Auditions will be on within the first few weeks of school.
    • Music will be made available the week prior to the audition.
  • How can I get a hold of a private music teacher for my child?
  • How do sectional classes work?
    • Sectional classes are once per week (on a rotating schedule) to work on instrument / grade level specific curricula. Much of what is learned in these lessons is not covered during regular rehearsal time. These classes are the heart of student success in music.
    • All research indicates that pull-out music lessons have no negative impact on achievement in other classes. So, you should not worry.
  • How often should my child practice?
    • In an ideal world, individuals find the time to do what they love every day! Our goal is to motivate your child to love playing their instrument. However, we know there can be many conflicts with other interests, so a traditional answer would be 4-5 times a week. Like a marathon runner, students should practice consistently (daily) rather than all at once right before a significant performance event. 
  • How can I help my child practice?
    • Set regular times for practice and then help your child stick with it. Learning discipline is a significant part of growing up. Parents should model it, and encourage their children as they slowly learn it for themselves.  
    • Get rid of distractions – phones, other iPad apps, TVs, etc. should not be with a child when they practice. Also – distractions can be siblings, or other chores that simply need to wait until the 20 minutes of quality practice time is up.
    • Listen to them. Have a mini concert once a week, or have them make a recording for you (or for grandparents). Help them get together with other students once in awhile to practice together.
  • How can I help the orchestra program?
    • Volunteer! There are lots of opportunities for parent help with the pledge drive, with concerts, with field trips. Do you have a special talent for decorating? Talk to Mr. Broach about décor for the concerts. A flair for organizing? Want to help keep order in the music library? This can be arranged!
  • What other musical opportunities are there for my child?
    • In addition to concerts, contests, performances, sectional classe, and rehearsals, your child might be interested in Prima Musica, Solo & Ensemble Contest, ILMEA, private lessons, or any number of outside school groups.
    • ILMEA = lzork.com/performance_events/ilmea/
    • Prima Musica = lzork.com/lzmsn-orchestra/prima-musica/
    • Outside Orchestras = Midwest Young Artists, Barrington Youth Orchestra, Schaumburg Youth Orchestra, and many more.
  • What is the best way to stay informed about orchestra?
    • Look out for emails (monthly newsletter, announcements, etc.). 
    • Visit lzork.com if you ever have any questions. The answer can probably be found there!
    • Join the Orchestra Canvas course…
      • go to lz95.org → Parents → Canvas for Parents
    • We are also on Twitter (@lzork), Facebook (@Lake Zurich MS North Orchestra), and YouTube (@lzorktv).