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My school has an orchestra, jazz band and a band. There's like 200 people in band and jazz, but there's like 40 in orchestra. How come?

Also, the school asked the jazz band to play in the 5th grade orientation but never asked the orchestra. How come?

They had 4 performances for the jazz band in the 6th grade orientation and only 1 for orchestra. How come?

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Too bad. Ithink some schools don't even have strings so you are considered lucky by some people. My son's school has a 9th grade orchestra, A 9th grade fiddle group, a 10 - 12 grade orchestra and a chamber orchestra that you can join only by audition. They also have a few quartets and trios. But they have a stage orchestra, a wind ensemble, a band, a symphonic prchestra and a jazz band. I might have left some out.

However, the strings are the ones that play more often than band instruments. Last week when my son was inducted into the music honor society, they had a string quartet play, then a pianist and then a small chamber group that played Mozart's Concerto for Violin amd Oboe. They were all wonderful.

Be happy that you have a string orchestra, too many schools no longer do. Why not get together with a few others to form a quartet or quintet. Make your own opportunities to play.

Have fun.

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Unfortunately, I think that jazz probably appeals to more people than classical. It's got more beat, probably a drummer or two, and a swing, and is generally more exciting. Sometimes we love something so much and we don't understand why EVERYONE isn't loving it.

I have that same sort of wonderment about celtic music. I was watching the Dixie Chicks today and wondering, has there ever been a celtic group that can draw that kind of crowd in a stadium? The answer is no. There are some huge celtic artists, but they can never draw the crowd of any of these mainstream artists. The truth is that country and pop music just appeal to the majority of people out there!

They probably also feel that they can attract more students to the wonderful world of music, if they show them how "fun" it is. Jazz is generally thought of as fun and also "cool". To most students, classical music is stuffy.

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quote:

Originally posted by Desert Rat:

Wind instruments and percussion are simply easier than strings.

Rat

You think so huh! Go try to play the french horn beautifully or the English horn with charm and tell me that. All musical instruments have their difficulties.

I think in some ways the strings are much easier than winds. With strings you never have to master the breath control which is a requirement of all winds.

All instruments handled skillfully are beautiful and unique in character, and all have their unique challenges.

Respectfully,

Don Crandall

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quote:

Originally posted by MrWoof:

I think in some ways the strings are much easier than winds. With strings you never have to master the breath control which is a requirement of all winds.

Oh, I dunno. It's a bit tough to play violin and hold your breath at the same time laugh.gif Not to mention that you have to play with both your arms in the air!

But as to the original topic, yes as said above, be grateful for even having a string program in your school district. It's a real novelty around here, though those of us who do play actively in the community and are involved in the various arts/music organizations are pushing hard for that to change.

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quote:

Originally posted by crystal:

I have that same sort of wonderment about celtic music. I was watching the Dixie Chicks today and wondering, has there ever been a celtic group that can draw that kind of crowd in a stadium? The answer is no. There are some huge celtic artists, but they can never draw the crowd of any of these mainstream artists. The truth is that country and pop music just appeal to the majority of people out there

The only "celtic" group I know that can pack a stadium like that is Great Big Sea ... they've played to huge crowds in Canada and even a few of the bigger venues here in the States. With the release of their new album, which has some more "pop" tunes they might be getting ready to break into the US market in a big way. They really are great!

Len

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The answer is fairly simple in most school systems.

Remembering my own elementary school. The band program started in 5th grade. Though my brother's 4th grade class, a year after me, got to play violin for the year (was so jealous). That was how long the "string/orchestra" program lasted. By his 5th grade year he was playing Cornet in the band program.

Most middle/high school "bands" receive their folks from these elementary band "feeder" programs. Unfortunately, these band programs mostly only include woodwinds, brass and percussion. Therefore, the number of students coming into the upper grades with a string background is generally minute. As such, that is how much is spent on them.

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It is indeed unfortunate that string programs are not available or have been cut in a lot of schools. However, most of the districts near here, including ours, start strings in 3rd grade and band instruments in 4th. Music is stressed here and is mandatory through 8th grade. In 9th you must choose between art or music. Starting in 10th grade music is an option but if you choose to continue you have orchestra every day. My son is lucky to have orchestra daily 1st period and music theory 2nd period.

Too bad that economics forces some children to miss out on a wonderful opportunity.

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quote:

Originally posted by phantom:

Originally posted by lynzi:

Ahhh...not grammer lessons again...

Grammar, not grammer. Grammer is the old lady married to Grandper.

OHHH...I try to say something and it never turns out right. Man, you are good I only wish I could get you back smile.gif

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Cutting string programs in schools forces students into the hands of private teachers like ME.

That's fine for the kids of those parents that have the money for private instruction, sheet music, instruments, etc., but a perfect example of why violin should be in the schools can be found in NYC. Not only are the kids of Harlem benefitting from the Opus 118 program, but the human whirlwind who founded the program is also a "school taught" violinist. Probably everyone on this board saw Music Of The Heart, but have a look at Small Wonders, the documentary on which it was based. That alone should be enough to inspire string programs in every school in the country. Sorry, I'm preaching and its only 7:50AM!

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

But not everybody is that fortunate to have a "Music in the Heart" school system.

You've missed my point entirely. IF there were programs in the schools more kids would have the opportunity to learn the violin. The original question of this post was "How Come" there aren't more string programs, not that a private teacher is available (paid or charity lessons). Misplaced priorities in our society.

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grammer married to grandper, ROTFLMAO

I've noticed that people tend to view the music programs at schools as easily expendable and the strings part the most expendable and the first to get ditched. Perhaps it goes back to a perception that strings are an elitist type of activity, not permitted by social norms for Joe Sixpack and his kith. I also think it might have to do with the learning curve of string instruments, in that it takes a long time to get even a mediocre tone out, so going with something a little easier to learn at first is a good quick fix solution. Maybe people remember the Stradavari instruments cost millions of dollars and think to themselves, a violin is just way to expensive for me to afford one for my kid.

My school district had a strong string program, from 6th through 12th grade. Everybody got to choose which instrument they wanted to play. Most choose the band instruments. Why? Perhaps because the brass instruments are loud and obnoxious, like most early teens, thus a good match of instrument and personality?

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But that's my point exactly, Gray Violiner - there ARE lots of programs out there that teach violin and provide opportunities that aren't in school.

Any violin teacher, no matter how young or unfamous, is doing his part to provide opportunities for students of ANY age to enjoy music and shine.

Besides, a bad orchestra teacher (and I've dealt with a few of those) can be even more discouraging than no teacher as all. Kids rejected by those teachers eventually find their way to me and thus back to the violin.

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