Beginner This class is meant for students who have no prior experience on their instrument. Students will focus on proper care for their instrument, body posture, holding the instrument in a “rest” and “playing” position, playing the instrument pizzicato (plucked) and arco (bowed), 1st position left hand finger placement, developing an effective bow hold, learning musical passages both by ear and note reading. Beginner classes are best suited for students six years old (or 1st grade) through adults. Students in these classes are expected to participate in the end of the semester recital as part of the “ Mountain Strings School Ensemble.”

Technique Group Classes

Level 1 These students have had at least one prior semester of instruction. Students will continue to develop their bow hold, left hand finger placement and overall body posture while playing. Students will begin to develop a basic repertoire of melodies in various genres learned both by ear and notation. Students will primarily learn songs that consist of notes within a one octave D Major scale such as Boil ’em Cabbage down, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the Can Can. Level 1 students will participate in the level 1/2 ensemble.

Level 2 These students have had a year or more of instruction and can play melodies in simple meters in 1st position. Students will continue to broaden their repertoire learning songs that require several first position finger patterns across all four strings of the instrument. Students will read music that consists of three to four different parts (melody, harmony, bass, etc.), includes a wide variety of rhythms, new key signatures, and more simple time signatures (3/4, 2/4, etc.). Level 2 students will participate in the level 1/2 ensemble.

Level 3 These students who are at an intermediate skill level with at least two years of experience. Students should be able to read in several keys, in both compound and simple meters. These students will learn to play repertoire in major and minor modes that cover most keys, two octave major and minor scales, and more advanced bowing techniques. Level 3 students will participate in the level 3/4 ensemble.

Level 4 These students are the advanced students of the program that can play and read in most keys consisting of notes played in first-third positions. These students will learn advance bow techniques, further their repertoire to include more advanced melodies, learn mixed meters and have the opportunity to perform more often. Level 4 students will participate in the Level 3/4 ensemble or the chamber ensemble. Chamber ensemble students will be admitted under the instructor’s permission.

Guitar Students of any skill level are allowed to join this guitar class. Students will learn to play music using single notes as well as chords. Students will play music alone and as part of the group. Students will learn to read music and chord symbols. The class will culminate with a performance at the end of the semester recital.

Theory/Composition Students of any skill level are encouraged to register for this class. Students will learn the skills required to write songs/compositions for instruments of their choosing. Students will study topics such as harmony, melody construction, form, orchestration, etc. Students are not required to play an instrument to be a part of this class however it is strongly encouraged.

Ukulele All skill levels are welcome. Students will play as a group, incorporating ear training and note reading with songs from various genres and time periods. A balance between creativity and group awareness will be encouraged.

Alternate Styles Class will focus on music other than classical music (e.g., jazz, fiddle, bluegrass, rock). Students will learn at least one new tune a week and will have the opportunity to perform in a “jam” setting with several other musicians. Skills learned in this class would allow you to participate in “picking sessions” and “;jams” throughout the community. The class is open to all instruments and students, although some previous instruction is preferred.

Adult Class Class is open to adults who wish to learn a string instrument. Instruments can include violin, viola, cello, bass and guitar. If there is another instrument desired please contact us and we will see if we can make it work. Parents of students in the program are encouraged to take this class so they can better assist in their child’s learning process.