• Welcome to 7th Grade Orchestra!

    Please check our Schoology class everyday for class assignments and announcements.

    We will investigate various styles of music, cultures, and orchestra repertoire. We will create and experience various forms of music and projects and will reflect on the skills learned and ideas discovered. 7th Grade Orchestra class meets every other day on an A/B day schedule.


    Essential Questions:

    • Why do we participate in and value music?
    • How can we expand and develop ourselves through music?
    • What does it mean to be musically and artistically creative?
    • What does it mean to be "one person" and "one group" at the same time?
    • How does practice impact your development as a musician? (think of technique, musicianship, and musical understanding) 
    • What is music?
    • How can we contribute to bettering ourselves and our classmates in our class?


    Instrument Care, Maintenance, and Physical Function

    How do our instruments function?

    How does this knowledge impact our care for them and our musical development?

    • What core fundamentals of our instruments do we need to maintain daily?
    • How do we keep our instruments in good condition?
    • How do our instrumentss work to produce sound?
    • How do vibrations translate to pitch and music?
    • How can we use our knowledge of how sound works to develop as musicians?
    • What technology is available today to help us maintain our instruments?


    Technique and Skills

    How can we manipulate our instruments to develop our artistry?

    • What does having good posture mean for playing instrument?
    • How does posture affect our ability to play our instrument?
    • How does posture affect our endurance and health?
    • How do we tune our instruments?
    • What do we know about how we learn that can help us practice and develop?
    • How does the bow hand and arm affect the tone and artistic sounds we can produce on our instruments?
    • What role does the left hand play in producing various tones and colors on stringed instruments? 
    • How can left and right hand technique be developed in and out of class?


    Thinking as an Individual and Ensemble Musician

    What does it mean to be "one person" and "one group" at the same time?

    • What are similarities and differences between playing music as an individual and as a group/ensemble?
    • How does our individual preparation impact the progress of a musical group?
    • What are desirable attributes of a successful musician? 
    • Are conductors necessary for music ensembles? What are their functions?
    • How do we play together?
    • How does a musician develop rhythmic counting skills to become independent? Why is this  important?
    • What is your experience like in music when you are by yourself vs. the social dynamic of being with other people?

    Relationship with your instrument, music, our lives, history, and our world

    Why do humans participate in and value music? How are we growing through music?

    • How can we connect the music we study in classes to our personal lives?
    • How can we connect the music from our personal lives to the study of music in classes?
    • How can we connect the music we study in classes to learning in our other classes?
    • What role does music play in shaping a society’s culture?
    • What role does music play in reflecting a society?
    • Who are some of history's musical thinkers (i.e. composers, performers, writers) and what can we learn from them?
    • In what ways are playing an instrument valuable to us as students?
    • Is music diverse? What is diversity in music?
    • What obstacles or challenges do you face as an instrumentalist? How will you overcome these obstacles?
    • What does it feel like to overcome obstacles on your instrument?
    • In situations where you are currently overcoming an obstacle, how is the problem best approached?
    • How has playing music helped to shape your development as a person?
    • In what ways can you carry your experiences in music out of the classroom and out into the world?
    • What is the relationship to music and other ways of being and knowing (i.e. art, science, math, physical education, etc.)?

     Musical Understanding, Creativity, and Aesthetic Judgment

    • How would you describe and evaluate the music we are studying now? What do you like and dislike?
    • What would you change in our pieces if you could? What note(s), rhythm(s)? 
    • How would you describe the relationship of pitch, rhythm, tone, dynamics, and other musical elements to each other?
    • How does the way we choose to interpret the elements of music alter musical meaning?
    • What are the benefits and drawbacks to standard musical notation?
    • How can listening skills develop or change through learning the elements of music?
    • How is your musicianship impracted by reflection and musical listening?
    • What happens when you try to create your own music? 
    • What makes learning an instrument and being in orchestra an artistic endeavor?

    Students must bring the following supplies to class:

    • Instruments - All string students at Scarsdale Middle School are provided with instruments to use during the course of the school day. You will be assigned an instrument for in-school use that you are responsible for. That instrument will stay secure in the orchestra room. If you have not yet informed Dr. Fung of what size instrument you play, please complete this form right away or ask Dr. Fung what size instrument you should be playing.
    • You are required to have an instrument at home to use. It is expected that you will commit yourself to playing your instrument (i.e. performing and practicing) on your own and for members of your household several times per week. Keep your instrument in good condition. If you need help with instrument maintenance, please contact me. If you need suggestions about where to rent an instrument or where to go for a repair, please let me know.
    • *Upon damages to school instruments, students are required to bring their instrument to classes.
    • Violinists and violists will be asked to bring their instruments to certain Early Morning rehearsals. I will communicate with you ahead of time about when that will be necessary.
    • Pencil - must have at least one (1) pencil. If you lose your pencil, bring another one from your pencil case.
    • iPad - be sure to charge your iPad overnight and during the school day.
    • Additionally, students will be provided with supplies, instruments, etc. in class regularly as appropriate for our units of study. 


    Social Courtesies and Guidelines:

    As your teacher, I aim to provide a safe and comfortable learning space for all students. We rely on the collective cooperation of all students for our education. You have a responsibility to yourself and others around you to try your best and contribute to our class. I am always here for you. Please feel free to communicate with me about any issues that impact your educational experience in our class.


    *Respect Your Classmates and Teacher

    • Contribute to the success of our orchestra.
    • Support the effort of other orchestra members. Be kind. Be positive.
    • Respond to teacher questions or indicate a wish to speak by raising your hand and waiting to be called on. Speak in a polite manner.
    • Stay focused on your specific task. Allow the class to work effectively.
    • Respect your classmates’ “space.”
    • Respect different learning abilities of your peers.


    *Respect Yourself

    • Be the best you can be – your best will get better!
    • Be ready to participate in orchestra by learning and practicing the music at home.
    • Avoid being a distraction to others.
    • Keep yourself tuned in to your playing and class work.
    • Apply what you learn. Share ideas.
    • Ask the teacher for help when you don’t understand.


    *Follow Directions and the Routine

    • Always participate with 100% effort starting with the warm-ups.
    • Listen actively; focus on the music.
    • Familiarize yourself with the location of the music folder, tuner, and rosin as a part of our daily routine.
    • At the end of each class, pack up neatly-- loosen your bow and store your instrument in assigned spaces.
    • Take good care of your assigned school instrument. String instruments require proper care and attention.
    • Share our orchestra accessories (rosin, pencils, tape, shoulder rests) with peers and return them when you are finished.
    • Put your instrument in the case when not in use.
    • Keep your backpack and other personal items under your chair or out of the way.


    *Be on Time and Be Prepared

    • Please sit in your assigned seat for accurate attendance.
    • Lateness reflects your effort.
    • Report to class in person first; a pass to the nurse, house counselor, youth outreach, or psychologist is granted only after checking in with the music teacher

    Be ready to rehearse - prepare yourself, your instrument, tune, and warmup. Only water is allowed--no gum, food, or other drinks.