Dear Parents,

Charleston County School District is pleased to offer strings instruction to students for the 2016 – 2017 school year.  Classes will meet during school and will be free of charge.  Instruction will be offered on violin, viola, cello, and bass.  The choice of instrument is up to the parents and student.  If your child is a bus rider, they are not always allowed to bring a cello or bass on the bus due to its size.  However, if you are able to drop the instrument off at the school by the first class of the week, they may store the instrument at the school throughout the week.

Learning to play an instrument and participate in the orchestra opens up a whole new world of opportunities, challenges, friendship, and fun.  Your child will be able to take advantage of musical performances and competitions at the local, state, and regional level through middle and high school.  Strings students can audition for the following:  Charleston School of the Arts, district level orchestras, artistic gifted and talented identification, and the summer SMAART strings program.  The opportunities for playing a string instrument after high school are abundant, with many universities offering scholarships for musicians.  Orchestra provides a great foundation for your child in all aspects of life.  In addition to music, students learn self-discipline, problem-solving, goal-setting, self-expression, memory skills, concentration, poise, enhanced physical coordination, high self-esteem, and the importance of teamwork—skills in great demand in almost every aspect of life.  Like all the arts, music has a profound effect on the academic success of students.

Students enrolling in strings must understand that they are making a commitment to practice at home and be a team player.  The orchestra is a team of musicians, and when every student puts forth their best effort, the team will shine.  Good practice habits and a positive attitude have a great effect on the success your child will achieve.  You do not have to know anything about music to assist your child in this new endeavor.  Arrange a time and place where practice can be done without interruptions.  This practice should become a part of each child's daily/weekly routine.  A suggested amount of practice time is fifteen minutes daily.

I have two simple rules in strings class:  Only one person is talking at a time, and show respect to everyone and everything.  Failure to follow these rules will result in one verbal warning.  If problems persist, consequences may include: silent lunch, no recess, parent contact, office referral, and in extreme cases removal from class.