Make Friends! Play Music! Field Trips!
Join the Heatherwood Middle School Orchestra!
Being in Orchestra is so much more than just taking a class. The Heatherwood Orchestra is a family (#orchfam), a team, and an instant friend group every year! Orchestra means making fantastic memories together of exciting concerts, epic field trips, fun parties, and TONS of silly moments every day in rehearsal with your friends. And the best part? ANYONE can join - no experience needed! (If you DO have experience as a violin, viola, cello, or string bass player, scroll down to the FAQ's to learn how to audition to a higher level ensemble!)
The Benefits of Orchestra
- Time Management
- Motor Skills
- Higher Thinking
AND colleges love seeing orchestra on resumes!
Frequently Asked Questions About the HMS Orchestra
What instrument can I play?
There are four different instruments in orchestra: violin, viola, cello, and string bass. These instruments come in multiple sizes, so ANYONE can play any instrument!
I've never played an instrument before. Is that alright?
ABSOLUTELY! We teach everything you need to know in Prelude Orchestra. No experience required!
What if I have a year or more of experience on my instrument, or I take private lessons?
If you have experience already as a violin, viola, cello, or bass player, we want to work with you to find the best placement for your current skill level. We have three levels of orchestra at Heatherwood: Prelude Orchestra, Intermezzo Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra. Please send Mrs. Camp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms. West (email@example.com) an email as soon as possible so we can arrange to hear you play and determine which level of Orchestra is right for you!
Should I join Orchestra in 6th grade, or wait to join a different year?
Yes - you should join Orchestra in 6th grade! It is important to take advantage of Orchestra in 6th grade. While we do have a handful of 7th and 8th graders who join Prelude Orchestra later on in middle school, they have to put in extra work to catch up with their peers who joined in 6th grade. High school orchestra offers EVEN MORE opportunities for big concerts and overnight field trips (they even go places like Disneyland and New York City!), but there is no "beginning" orchestra in high school, so NOW is the time to join!
Where can I find answers to my other questions?
See what students and families are saying about Orchestra:
"I love being in Orchestra because the music is so awesome! When you get to go to concerts, you get to hear all the orchestras at your school. Then you think to yourself, 'I get to do that next year!'" -6th Grade Violin Player
"I like being in Orchestra because you always have an instant friend group. When I started middle school, it was really overwhelming and I barely knew anyone, but in Orchestra you have this group of friends you'll always have. And you get to go on field trips with them, perform with them, and those memories last you a whole lifetime." - 6th Grade Violin Player
"The Heatherwood Orchestra program is great because it allows my child to be creative and thoughtful and brave in ways that are unlike a regular school class. I have watched my daughter find a passion in music. I love that as a 13 year old she cares about things like cello music and chair try outs. This class is allowing her to find herself. I love how brave she is becoming - she puts herself out there every time there are tryouts - something my 13 year old self surely wouldn’t have done. But then again, I didn’t have a teacher as amazing as Ms. Camp! :) We love it so much that next year we will have 2 kids in the program. We would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in growing in a unique way in 6th grade!" -Orchestra Parent
"Y'all should join orchestra because it is the best elective. You will make so many friends and also learn how to do things that not may people can do." -7th Grade Bass Player
"I really like being in orchestra because it feels like my safe place. Every day after lunch I look forward to going to Orchestra because I have so many friends in Orchestra, and it's so fun to play an instrument. Mrs. Camp is super nice and really funny... I think you should join Orchestra because you can make so many good memories and friends." -6th Grade Violin Player
"Orchestra is the best class. After three years of orchestra, I feel confident playing the violin. I can tune my own violin and read music. It is also fun to be in class with friends and play in concerts... The best part of Orchestra is Mrs. Camp. She is a great orchestra teacher and makes class fun." -8th Grade Violin Player
"I love going to Orchestra because you get to see your fellow musician friends every day and hear how well we all sound together. It's also fun to see what new ways Mrs. Camp will find to make every Orchestra day different." -7th Grade Viola Player
"I am so grateful both of my children have participated in Mrs. Camp's orchestra program. Through their experiences, they have had the opportunity to grow as musicians and humans. They have risen to the challenge of high expectations, enjoyed the community and fun of being part of a group, and experienced the benefits of discipline and hard work turning new music into something amazing to share with others. Mrs. Camp and her program are incredible and I cannot recommend it highly enough." -Orchestra Parent
"The orchestra program is full of fun activities and amazing opportunities. Everyday you get to play awesome music with your friends and at the end of the year you even play in a super fun blacklight concert with movie music!" 8th Grade Violin Player
"The Orchestra program is amazing not only because you get to learn a new instrument, but also because it helps teach you lifelong skills like persistence and discipline. I have learned so much about playing a stringed instrument in the course of one year in this program, and I have found that I love playing the viola. Orchestra is my favorite class of the day, and the teacher is absolutely amazing as well. -6th Grade Viola Player
"The Orchestra program is great because you can make so many friends. You also get to go on a field trip and have concerts you can invite your friends to. You also get to experience playing your instrument with other musicians. Overall, orchestra is a great experience." -6th Grade Bass Player
"The Orchestra program is great because I've met so many people and have made many new friends. Also, I enjoy playing my instrument every morning, learning new music, and I always look forward to the performances." -7th Grade Violin Player
"You should join orchestra because it's such a dynamic group of people that can be polar opposites but still you all make beautiful music. In orchestra, you meet people you wouldn't think of talking to, and then when you play together you bond with everyone - making lasting friendsips all because you joined orchestra." -8th Grade Cello Player
"A lot of people think orchestra is super hard... That's probably the most common misconception about orchestra. It's actually super easy because we have a great teacher! It does require home practice, but there are lots of fun and rewarding ways to practice so you can go on field trips, play in concerts, hang out with your friends, etc! Orchestra is definitely worth it! -7th Grade Violin Player
"I like being in Orchestra because of the different types of music you get to play. The songs are different every year and there are different styles of music every time so there will most likely be at least one piece of music that you really enjoy playing." -7th Grade Cello Player
"Overall, I think Orchestra has been a life-changing experience for me and has not only grown my knowledge but also inspired me to continue playing throughout high school and beyond. I encourage all types of 5th graders to try out orchestra - even you are not a "musical" person - because I didn't think I was one either. And persuatde a friend to try it also!" - 8th Grade Viola Player