All students should be taking home instruments and music after each orchestra class to practice. Cello and Bass players should bring their music folder to each class,
then take it at the end of class.
Violin and viola players have enough time at the end of each day to retrieve instruments from the orchestra classroom. If a student is checking out early, they should take the instrument home before leaving the school.

What we have learned this year: 8th Grade Orchestra pacing guide

Note-reading & Music Theory

Scales & Technique

Ensemble Skills

Practice Strategies


1st Quarter

Review D, G, and C major key signatures and notes (quiz). Review note-reading on all strings (quiz). Start 6/8 time.

D major, G major, C major.
E harmonic minor. Posture review. Hooked bowings, slurs across strings.

Rehearsal readiness: materials, directions, rest/ready/play positions.

Change bows together.

‘take apart’ the rhythm for 6/8 time. Working with a metronome.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home (JACO) Storm
Toonlight Mango (November Concert)

2nd Quarter (sub)

Read and count 6/8 time.

D, G, C major scales. E minor, a minor. Produce deeper tone with bow across strings.

Matching bow technique, unified sound.
Follow conductor through time changes.

Isolate the problem, eliminate ‘extras’ to practice the challenge. Using a metronome to maintain steady tempo.

When Johnny... Swan Lake

Orchestra learning at Home

- Try tuning your instrument: use a tuning app! (See website for recommendations)
- Play through D, G, C, e minor, a minor scales: try using different parts of your bow! Can you slur the scale notes?
- Listen for echoing notes: violin/violas: 3
rd finger, cellos: 4th finger, bass: 1st finger
- Check out the new music (available soon) in the “files” section.
- Watch videos (on website) and practice B-flat, E-flat, and G-sharp.
- Record yourself playing the new minor scales on Flipgrid! Your code is tnsorch8
- Try any of the play-along songs (see website!). There’s a new one every week! Email requests to Ms. Henke
- Play note-reading games: see the orchestra website
- Watch performance videos and respond to questions! 

What if I don’t have my instrument?
- Watch performance videos (check the orchestra website each week!)
- Play note-reading games
- Write letter names or finger numbers in your music
- Play an air-instrument for a few minutes each day (this seriously helps!)