Strings Orchestra

Ms. Rena Blazek
262-796-3942 ext. 262
Private or Group Lessons

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced: Private lessons will start the week of September 30th, for all who have signed up to take private lessons with me!

Each students that has signed up for private lessons will have a weekly lesson that is 20 minutes in length. Weekly lessons will be private or group lesson in Ms. Blazek’s office (P007). These lessons will be scheduled by Ms. Blazek and the homeroom teacher and will be given during school hours. Each student is responsible for making up all class work that he/she missed due to a music lesson.

Group Rehearsals
  • Beginning Orchestra

    • This orchestra is for students who are learning their instruments for the first time. This orchestra typically consists of 1st and 2nd grade students.
    • Beginning Orchestra rehearses on Tuesdays from 3 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Intermediate Orchestra

    • This orchestra is for students who have been playing for at least one full year, and is the largest orchestral group.
    • Intermediate Orchestra rehearses on Thursdays from 3 pm – 3:45 pm.
  • Advanced Orchestra

    • This orchestra is for SJV’s most advanced players. Students must have at least two years of playing experience.
    • Advanced Orchestra rehearses on Wednesdays from 3 pm – 4 pm.
Dress Code for Concerts

Maintaining a professional and uniform look is very important when performing in an ensemble.  Dress code for all performing string orchestra students will be enforced.  Beginning and Intermediate students are required to wear a white top with a navy or black bottom for all formal performances unless otherwise stated (for school performances, SJV school uniform may be acceptable).  Advanced students are required to wear all-black for performances, meaning black on the top and also black on the bottom, which includes black shoes.  Wearing this attire will showcase students in a distinguished way which will also best prepare them for concert dress and etiquette in their coming years as musicians.

  • Practicing: You will not improve and advance on your instrument if you don’t practice at home. What I expect from my students is that there is practice sprinkled in throughout the day. For example, you do not need to do 30 minutes or an hour all at once. You may break it up throughout the day! Five minutes here and there. Remember to “sprinkle!” Don’t focus so much on putting a certain amount of time limit into your practice session. Just focus on your goals and sprinkle in your practice daily.
  •  Students are required to keep track of practice time on a practice assignment sheet which is provided.  Parents then initial the practice sheet at the end of the week before each lesson.  Parents should check in with their children throughout each week and help to make sure that students are practicing what is assigned and is circling the days practiced.  For beginners especially, it is important that parents are helping them to read and follow their practice sheet.   Weekly practice assignments are specially designed for each individual child, and will help him/her to progress with a personalized practice plan set up at school and supported at home.
Materials Required for the String Program

Needs to be rented from any music store and must include a cleaning cloth and your own rosin.  The fee for the instrument rental is separate from the fee for lessons.  White House of Music and Cascio Interstate Music are great places to start renting instruments!

Violin and viola kits have a sponge, rosin and a cleaning rag. Cello kits have a rock stop, rosin and a cleaning cloth.
Needed for practice at home only (you do not need to bring it to school).
1. Suzuki Violin / Viola / Cello School- Volume 1 with CD optional
2.  Essential Elements 2000 (plus DVD) – Violin / Viola / Cello- Volume 1 (as student advances, later books will need to be purchased.)
3. Other music books during the year as needed: Christmas, Disney or other movie books, fiddle, etc.
Advanced Orchestra Only:
Please have a metronome/tuner at home. We will be working on turning our own instruments. This will help ear training with students, as well as being a more independent and advanced musician with correct rhythm and intonation.
1. “Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome” can be found in many music stores and Amazon. Finding a metronome/tuner app on your phone is fine as well… BUT phones can be very distracting during practice time.

Other Important Information:
  • Make sure to bring your instrument and all materials (folder, rosin, music including both books and sheet music, pencil) to school with you on the days of your private lesson and orchestra rehearsal.
  • Try your best to remember when your lesson is and to arrive on time.
  • Wash your hands every time before playing your instrument.
  • Never eat, drink, or chew gum while your instrument is out of its case.
  • Never set your instrument down in a place where it could be damaged (like on a couch, on the floor, near pets, near a heater, etc). Also, never leave your instrument in the care for any length of time – hot or cold weather.
  • Please keep your left hand fingernails short!  This greatly affects the technique of playing and the learning process.
  • If the instrument is badly out of tune or something does not work, bring it to school or to the music store.  Do not try to repair it on your own.
  • If a string on your instrument breaks, please buy the same string on the day that it breaks.  Most stores can put it on while you wait.
  • Do not give up!  While learning an instrument is very fun, at times it can be frustrating.  Always keep in mind that “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”