Q: Why is orchestra starting in the 6th grade?
A: In the past, Findlay students joined the orchestra in the 4th grade. However, recent schedule changes have made it more advantageous to start orchestra in the 6th grade.  The middle schools have allotted a daily, 40-minute instructional period for orchestra for the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. This increased instructional time enables students to learn skills at a much faster rate, and eliminates the need for before or after school rehearsals.

Q: Can my student join both orchestra and band?
A: Students can join both programs, however, we ask that parents carefully consider the implications of this decision.  The cost of renting two instruments, and the difficulty of learning two instruments at the same time, need to be considered. In addition, unlike in the past, orchestra and band now share the same class period at the middle school level. This means students need to split their time between both groups, which results in less instructional time. If your student decides to join both groups, we strongly recommend that he/she take private lessons on both instruments in order to keep up with their classmates who are focusing on one instrument.

Q: What is the after-school time commitment?
A: Orchestra is a co-curricular program, which means that most activities take place during the school day, with minimal after-school requirements. Students will need to participate in approximately 3 concerts per year which take place in the evening. Most orchestra students participate in a wide-variety of other activities, including sports, with very few conflicts.

Q: We can't afford to rent an instrument. Can my student still join the orchestra?
A: We have a limited number of school instruments that students can use. If you can't afford to rent an instrument, we will work with you to find a solution so that your student can take advantage of this wonderful musical opportunity.

Q: Does my student need to practice at home?
A: Your student should practice at home to reinforce the lessons learned in class. We recommend practicing for 15 minutes at least three times a week at a minimum. Students playing the cello or bass may have the option of keeping their rented instrument at home for practice and using a school instrument during class so they don't have to transport their large instrument back and forth. Cello and bass students should ask their director about this possibility.

Q: Should my student take private lessons?
A: Private lessons are not necessary, but are beneficial. We can provide you with a list of local instructors if you are interested in pursuing private lessons. 


Didn't see your question here?  E-mail Mr. Pressel at and he'll get back to you ASAP.