You’ve Finished Your First Year In Orchestra… Now What?
Congratulations on completing your first year in orchestra! Learning an instrument isn’t easy – it takes practice and perseverance. It’s rewarding to take a step back and see how far you’ve come! You also may be wondering now what? Here are some helpful things to consider...
CONSIDER SIZING UP
If your student is growing out of clothes, it’s probably time for a bigger instrument too. Check on sizing every semester or two.
Violins and cellos stop increasing at 4/4, or “full” size. Viola sizing is a little different – it’s a good goal to reach a 14-15” instrument, though there are larger instruments available for advancing students. Double bass students typically only size up to a 3/4 unless they are quite tall. Ask your teacher for recommendations.
Although we highly recommend being sized in person and getting a recommendation by a school or private teacher, we are quite happy to help you in store. We have also compiled a guide to sizing at home.
EXAMINE YOUR INSTRUMENT FOR BASIC MAINTENANCE
Summer is a good time to check on your strings, which lose their vibrance after hours of playing time. If it’s been an especially long time, they lose their tone center and greatly impact the sound of the instrument.
It’s a good idea to consider a bow rehair too. To produce sound, the hair has fibers that grab the string – after hours of playing, the fibers wear down and start affecting the bow’s traction across the string. Hairs naturally come out and break over time, plus hair gathers oil and dirt that can’t be washed out.
Small repairs can fly under the radar during the school year, like an open seam or a warping bridge. We’re happy to take a look at no charge to check if your instrument is in solid working order.
Enjoy some well deserved down time, but don’t wait three months to play your instrument again. One-on-one lessons are a way to visit skills that might have been a little tricky to understand in a group setting. Or maybe your student wants to pick some fun songs that they want to play!
We keep a list of teachers in our KCS studio, as well as a list of area teachers in case there’s a better fit closer to you. Reach out for more information, we would be happy to give you contact info!
ATTEND A SUMMER CAMP
There are quite a few programs in the summer for all skill levels. We have compiled a list in the Kansas City metro and surrounding areas.
ATTEND A CONCERT
We keep a running list of string performances on our blog. We have so many talented artists, ensembles and orchestras in our city!
KEEP YOUR RENTAL CONTRACT OPEN
Remember, all rentals with K.C. Strings are rent-to-own as long as the contract remains open. You’re continually building up credit! Your rental contract also includes basic maintenance (except for strings), as well as accidents.
EXPLORE A STEP-UP INSTRUMENT
As students work hard and advance in their skills, the need for an instrument to match their skills becomes extremely helpful. We call these instruments "step-up" instruments. We have various levels and serve beginner students through advanced professionals. How does a student know which one to choose? Come in the shop, let us know and let your student pick as many as they like and try them out in the practice rooms. Most likely they will find it quite fun too!
DIDN'T LOVE IT?
Try a different instrument. Summer is a great time to explore your musical voice. Our rental credit can be carried to another instrument contract.
OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES:
- Purchasing a New Instrument
- Purchasing a New Bow
- Trash or Treasure?
- A Complete Guide to Tuning Your Instrument
How to Clean Polish Sanitize
We hope this blog was helpful!
If you have any additional questions,
as always, please feel free to come on in or contact us.