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Broken Arrow Public Schools

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Frequently Asked Questions


What instruments are in the orchestra?

The orchestra is composed of stringed instruments such as violin, viola, cello, and bass

I play the piano, is that a good thing?

YES! Actually, if you have music experience you would be great in the orchestra program. Not only would it be easy for you to learn your new instrument, however, NO prior musical experience or music reading is required to be in orchestra--95% of our students have never played an instrument before and started in the 6th grade learning how to hold the instrument and read music.

Is string double bass the same as an electric bass?

Yes it is! In fact, the string bass and electric bass have the same strings and note names. The only difference is that an electric bass has frets and you hold it horizontally, while the string bass is played sitting or standing vertically, or upright and is played with the bow.

Why should I choose to be in orchestra in the 6th grade and not another elective?

Great Question! Stringed instruments are played with a bow (the long wooden stick thing). The bow is our special voice and we can play lots of cool techniques with it. Starting orchestra in the sixth grade will better prepare you for all the fun and cool pieces you want to play later. If you know you want to play an instrument, play in the orchestra your sixth grade year, then in your seventh grade you can choose another elective to add.

I am involved in lots of activities outside of school and I don't think I will have time to practice, what should I do?

Well, practice time is important, but.it doesn't matter what elective you choose, you will need to put in some homework time for every class anyways and the cool part about orchestra is practicing is your homework! :)

I'm pretty small right now. How can I possibly play those big instruments?

Another great question! Actually, orchestra instruments are perfect for young students because they are made of wood and can fit any size person, unlike band instruments (they only come in one size). They make small versions of every instrument so you don't have to worry about orchestra instruments being too big. As you grow, you can get your instrument exchanged for a bigger one. Cool, huh?

Is orchestra expensive? I don't think I can afford it

Most students rent their instruments from area music stores. There are very affordable options for every instrument. Do NOT let cost stop you from playing. We will help every student/family find an instrument that fits their budget. Students that choose to play the Viola, Cello or Bass may rent a school instrument for $35 per semester/summer.  Violin students are asked to purchase or rent their own instrument. Your Middle School Orchestra teacher can tell you about area shops that rent and sell stringed instruments.

Is there orchestra in high school?

Yes, Broken Arrow High School has a great orchestra program, but you have to have already been playing in middle school to be able to play
in high school, so make sure to sign up in 6th grade!