Course Overview

String/orchestra performance classes can offer students unique and profound education opportunities because of the aesthetic, skill, cognitive, and social learning experiences that they combine.

  • Aesthetic: Music, as art, has tremendous intrinsic and expressive values. Guiding students to recognize these values through performance should be a fundamental principle of a comprehensive curriculum.
  • Skill: String/orchestra playing is an extremely complex physical activity. The study of string instruments provides students with unique motor coordination, dexterous, and sequential developmental skills. Furthermore, these physical activities are applied for expressive purposes. Also, these physical activities are readily adaptable to other areas, particularly on a small muscular level, rarely cultivated in other areas of the curriculum.
  • Cognitive: String/orchestra playing requires simultaneous recognition and understanding of a multitude of stimuli: language and non-language, tactile, visual, and aural. The student employs both inductive and deductive reasoning in assimilating these stimuli. Furthermore, the student must instantaneously translate the stimuli into specific and complex motor skills.
  • Social Learning: String/orchestra participation, as in other performance groups, provides students with an enterprise resulting from the combined, guided effort and cooperation among its members toward an expressive goal. Music performance training can also be an important vehicle for reducing social disparity by providing a common cultural base simultaneously with cognitive, skill, and aesthetic learning. And, students can gain socially by sharing a specific long-term learning process. They are in the same orchestra class for several years, thereby building friendships and a commonality of purpose that can last a lifetime.