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Incoming Students - New to Orchestra

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Would you like to get a head start on your preparation and playing? Check out Miss Dane's YouTube channel and visit the playlists to see the videos about your instrument!  MISS DANE'S ORCHESTRA YOUTUBE CHANNEL

10 Tips for NEW Orchestra students:

RENT an instrument from a reputable string shop or from Georgetown ISD. DO NOT PURCHASE off of Amazon or Craig's List. Do not purchase Cecilio or Mendini brands instruments, they are very inexpensive and do not stay in tune, not worth your money! See the Files and Forms page for recommended rental shops. If you are interested in purchasing an instrument wait until your teacher can size you and determine if you are ready for a full size. Students grow very fast and often have to change sizes of instruments within 6 months.This is why rentals are recommended for the beginning years. Many have rent-to-own programs and offer great discounts on their monthly rates. Make sure you know what is included in the rental and if there is an incentive program with your rental.
Come to 1 of our 4 sizing days! Try out every instrument and see which one you like the best, sounds the best or is fun to play! Stringed instruments are unique in that they come in a variety of sizes to fit each student perfectly. Having an appropriately sized instrument is the most important aspect of a child's initial success. String teachers tend to have their own philosophy on instrument sizing so check with your director if you do not know what size instrument your child needs for class.
Every rental should come with some accessories including the instrument, bow and a case. Rental instruments are often insured, so some basic maintenance will be included if there are issues with any physical aspects of the instrument. Beyond the initial set up from the rental company, you will need to purchase a couple supplies that MAY not be included in your company's rental. 
  • Violin/Viola: Rosin, Shoulder Rest or Sponge
  • Cello/Bass: Rosin, Rock Stop, or Cello belt
  • Additional supplies to purchase for home: Korg Tuner (clip on for tuning at home before you practice), a soft cloth for cleaning off rosin

   Black 1" Binder - provided
   Pencil & Highlighter - provided
   Note-book paper & a couple sheet protectors - provided

Recommended Level 1 book for at home practice
   Essential Elements 2000, Book 1
   Suzuki, Volume I, REVISED EDITION
   Measures of Success, Book 1 (we use this at Benold for the first year, then move onto Book 2 for the second year)

*You may purchase these books at most music stores or instrument rental shops. You can also purchase online at


Students must trim their fingernails frequently and keep their hands clean when handling their instrument. Long nails make it impossible to place fingers on the strings correctly. It also causes the strings to wear away quickly, costing parents money. Dirt on the hands makes the instrument sticky and difficult to play.


All Orchestra students will be able to purchase an orchestra t-shirt or hoodie. Students will wear these shirts at a few of our performances and all of our trips throughout the year. Additionally, we wear 'Concert Black' which is individuals wearing dressy black clothing like you often see in community and professional Orchestras. All black on bottom, and solid black on top (no jeans or t-shirts). Concert Black is worn 2-3 times per year.


Fall Kick off party at Pin Stack  (Laser Tag, Climbing Wall, Bumper Cars, Bowling) AND Six Flags Fiesta Texas in the Spring! Plus....doughnut parties, and holiday parties!


Students will perform 4-5 times throughout the school year. Dates are set in August for early planning and arranging of schedules. All performances are required and count as a test grade (or two) and typically happen once every grading period (9 weeks). Orchestra Concerts are all in Georgetown ISD. Dates are on the school calendar, our google calendar, and the GISD Fine Arts Calendar. NO ADDITIONAL AFTER SCHOOL REHEARSALS, only evening concerts once every 9 weeks.


Our Orchestras in GISD will always need extra help! Please sign up to be a volunteer in GISD and consider volunteering at our events! Your help makes our program run smoothly.