Students will learn music from several genres (classical, traditional fiddle, “old-time”, bluegrass, jazz, etc.), engage in
composition and improvisation exercises throughout their experience, and have the opportunity to perform alone and as part
of an ensemble.
Classes will teach music through written notation and by rote (“by ear”).
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 year recital as part of the “ Mountain Strings School Ensemble.”
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.
Level 1/2 Ensemble All students who are registered for Level 1 and Level 2 classes will participate in the ensemble. In this class students will play a variety of melodies from different genres in two and three parts with other string instruments from sheet music and by rote. This ensemble will culminate with a performance at the end of the semester with a recital.
Level 3/4 Ensemble All students who are registered for level 3 and students who are level 4 and not in the chamber group will participate in this ensemble. This class will learn more advanced melodies and orchestral music in three and four parts. This ensemble will culminate with a performance at the end of the semester recital.
Level 4/Chamber Ensemble “The Loose Pegs” Students who participate in this ensemble are admitted by the instructor by audition. This group will play more advanced music and will be expected to perform in the community as well as the end of semester recital.
Guitar I 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.
Guitar II Students who have taken Guitar I can register for this class. In this class, students will further their knowledge of the fretboard, learn barre chord shapes, play in several keys, and play ensemble music consisting of several different parts.
Songwriting/Composition I 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. Students will have the opportunity for their compositions to be performed as part of the end of the year recital.
Songwriting/Composition II Students who have taken a semester of “Songwriting/Theory I” can register for this class. In this class, students will further their understanding of the above listed topics and be required to compose/arrange a piece that will be performed at the end of the year recital.
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.
Kindergarten Music Appreciation This class is intended to be fun and engaging for younger students incorporating games and activities to spark an interest in music. They will learn about different types of string instruments, what they sound like, how they work, etc. In addition, they’ll be introduced to a variety of types of music that incorporate string instruments and learn to identify their sound.
Adult Class This 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.