Making music not only nourishes the soul but also the mind. Recent studies indicate that playing a string instrument not only increases brain power, but also improves spatial-temporal reasoning which is the foundation of later success in math and science.
Beginning in the 3rd Grade, students may elect to play in Northland's string orchestra which can continue through 12th Grade. Elementary students will learn basic music theory and music reading as well as play rote music. When the orchestra students enter Middle School, the focus will turn more to ensemble playing with an increased difficulty of music. By High School, the orchestra student will be well versed in music theory and continue to advance their own skills to play at a higher level. Students will have many opportunities to perform! Besides playing in our annual concerts, all secondary students will perform solos and chamber music in the spring; students can also audition to perform side by side with professional musicians in the musical pit, or audition for TPSMEA events, such as honor orchestras and All State.
Please explore our programs for Elementary orchestra, Middle School orchestra, and High School.
Orchestra Director: Kelly Hearn
Students have the opportunity to learn a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello and bass) starting in 3rd grade. Orchestra class is a part of the school day, as opposed to a pull out class or before/after school like it is in many other schools. In 3rd grade, the focus is learning to pluck and bow the instrument, with 2 concerts during the year. In 4th and 5th grade, students continue to expand on instrumental technique, as well as to learn the foundations of music theory and ensemble playing. These students have the opportunity to perform multiple concerts, as well as performances during chapel and in the community.
Currently, we have a 6th grade orchestra (Philharmonic) as well as a 7th/8th grade orchestra (Symphony). These classes are designed to continue the foundation set in elementary orchestra, but if students are new to Northland, they can join orchestra with teacher’s approval. Emphasis will be placed on musicality, the ensemble setting, and performance practice. All middle school students have an iPad, and they use Smart Music to practice and assess assignments. Example performance venues might include chapel, a Christmas concert, Solo and Ensemble Recital, spring concert, etc. Qualified students may be invited to participate in quartets or small ensembles outside the overall group. Students can also audition for TPSMEA groups such as honor orchestra (6th-8th grade).