Reply To: How to teach orchestra?
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All of the repertoire should be engaging for the students, though you want it familiar at the same time. The whole time of middle school orchestra offers so much for molding the children’s audiation abilities. Tonality and playing in tune is key. Having the students humming or singing melodies and pitches before they play, this will help them develop a better sense of tonality.
Keep studying the violin yourself though. Modeling will be a fantastic way to teach students, doing so will help tremendously with their bow strokes too. If on simple exercises you could walk around and play with proper bowing as well, then the students would be able to follow you for beats and pitch.
Just keep the students engaged, and they will be excited about orchestra. As stated above, keep the class relevant to the students and the concept of being “too cool” can be avoided.