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WMHFA and FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions for WMHFA Orchestra

*How do I sign up for an audition or register for a class?
See our website wmhfa.org

*What do I need to play for my audition?
For returning/entering Intermediate Orchestra
    1) Scales:  C, G, F, and D Major scales--two octaves
      2) Prepared piece of your choice showing your highest level of achievement
    3) sight-reading to be decided by director

*For returning/entering Advanced Orchestra
The Advanced Orchestra is open to students who have played at least two years on the Violin, Viola, Cello or String Bass (No Beginning Orchestra students).  ALL STUDENTS MUST AUDITION TO ENROLL. 

    1) Scales:  C, G, F, and D Major scales--three octaves (basses 2-octave)
                       a and d melodic minor scales--two octaves
      2) Prepared piece of your choice showing your highest level of achievement
    3) sight-reading to be decided by director

*For returning/entering Chamber Strings Orchestra
The Chamber Strings is our most elite level of orchestra who have played at least three years. Students with ongoing private lessons are prioritized in the selection process.
   1) Scales:  C, G, F, D and Bb Major scales--three octaves (basses 2-octave)
                       a, e, b, d and g melodic minor scales--three octaves (basses 2-octave)
      2) Prepared piece of your choice showing your highest level of achievement
    3) sight-reading to be decided by director


*Where can I find a solo piece?
Check out the websites 8notes.com imslp.org or music-scores.com

*Where can I find fingerings for the scales?
Check out stringskills.com for 2-octave scale fingerings

*How can I practice sight-reading?
Check out the websites 8notes.com imslp.org or music-scores.com. You can also play pieces out of your class book Sound Innovations for practice.

*How can I help my child choose which instrument to play?
Playing a string instrument is a joy and a challenge. The first thing to consider is your child's coordination skills because strings use many movements that require precision and finesse. Generally speaking, kids with great hand-eye coordination have an innate aptitude towards strings. The second thing to consider is your child's ability to recognize pitch differences. This can be determined during the Instrument Fitting Quiz. Since there are no keys or buttons to push on a string instrument, finding the correct note requires a "good ear" and the ability to match a pitch.

*Where can we find a violin to rent or buy?
If you are new to the violin, you might be tempted to buy one of the low-priced violins advertised all over the Internet – by low-priced I mean anything under about $175-$200. Don't do it! Having a cheap violin will make an already-difficult skill even more difficult to learn and will cause persistent frustration in your practice. Your violin will refuse to be in tune, the angle and placement of the strings will be off, the tone of the instrument will be squeaky and unappealing, and the tuners will likely bend and break. It will inevitably take valuable time from the teacher to adjust each week.

*I use Shar Music in Ann Arbor for renatls and supplies. They ship everything out to your home, so there is no need to drive over there. www.sharmusic.com

*Is it OK for my child to use a bright colored violin?
We recommend natural, wood instruments for tone and uniformity. Sorry no colors.

*What if my child is already doing Prep Orchestra or Junior Symphony?
We don't necessarily see WMHFA as a substitute for these groups. WMHFA fulfills their requirement of school participation.

*Should my child do KJSO or WMHFA or both??
    Here are some benefits to remaining in Advanced Orchestra.
    - Christian fellowship with friends through music
    - Important strings-only orchestra repertoire and detailed string skills focus
    - Frequent leadership roles
    - Opportunites for student solos

*What is SmartMusic?
SmartMusic is an internet/web-based program that allows your child to play his/her part along with a recordng of the piece. The program gives them feedback about what things they need to fix regarding pitch and rhythm. You need a microphone to be able to use this app. All families enrolled in our program receive a free subscription to the service. Please ask Scott March for complete details on how to sign up for your subscription.



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