Frequently asked questions
Here are some commonly asked questions about our strings program. Please review the information and decide if this is a program your child would like to pursue. The orchestra paper has directions for online sign-up.
- Who is the strings teacher and how do I contact her? Mrs. DeBella is the strings teacher at Deep Run Elementary School. The best way to reach her is via e-mail Jacquelyn_Debella@hcpss.org.
- Is strings program required for all 3rd graders? No, it is not. You may sign up if you are interested in learning to play the violin, viola, cello, or bass.
- When are the lessons? A lesson schedule will be sent out . My scheduled days at Deep Run are Monday afternoon, Wednesday, and Friday. The lessons will rotate so the child will not miss the same classes every lesson or ensemble time.
- How many times per week will my child have lessons? Two times per week for 30 minutes. Third grade and beginners will have two small group lessons per week. Advanced strings will have 1 lesson with like instruments and the second lesson with be an orchestra rehearsal.
- How /Where do I get an instrument? Rental information is attached to this paper & additional stores are listed on my website.
- Should I rent or buy an instrument? Students are still growing and will need a bigger instrument in the upper grades. Check with the music store about trading up as your child grows.
- I already have an instrument from a relative or friend. Can my child use it? Please have Mrs. DeBella check it out before lessons start.
- What is a VSO/CSO and why is it discouraged? A VSO/CSO is a violin/viola/cello shaped object. Although, it may look like a string instrument, it may not play like one. Please refer to website of The Loft in Ohio, http://www.theloftviolinshop.com/educationalresources.html for an interactive explanation of how a string instrument is constructed why a properly constructed instrument is so important. Scroll to the bottom to read the "Why Not to Buy a Cheap Violin" Document. I want your child to be successful and have a fully functional instrument.
- How often should my child practice? For the best results, I recommend 15 minutes (or more), 5 times per week.
- Is this a graded class? Yes, the students get an instrumental music report card.
- When can my child be in the band? Band starts in 4th grade. Mr. Lea is the band director for Deep Run Elementary.
- How many concerts do the students perform in? We have 2 required concerts (daytime & evening) in the Winter and 2 required concerts in the Spring. Additional opportunities such as the Howard County Solo and Ensemble festival are not required but available for enrichment.
- What materials will my child need? Your child will need a rosin, shoulder sponge, tag for the instrument, Essential Elements 2000, Book 1, a soft cloth, and a rock stop (cellos only). Please bring in instruments/materials on lesson/ensemble days only.
- I am a non musical parent. How can I help my child to be successful? If your child has a working instrument, comes to lessons prepared and ready to work, and practice is encouraged at home, you are on the road to success. The Essential Elements book provides excellent videos about instrument care and playing technique. Attending concerts at the feeder schools and in the community can inspire your child as well!