Debut Orchestra, or Beginning Strings, is a starting-level class where children learn the fundamentals of playing a stringed instrument and reading music. No prior experience is required.
In class, we work on
1) Posture and form
2) Playing technique
3) Interval recognition
4) Reading notes
5) Rhythm and pulse
6) Following a director
7) Listening to other players
Private lessons are crucial for proper development of a young string player. Each participant will receive one private lesson per semester, included in their tuition. Additional private lessons can be purchased for $35 each, or a punch card of four lessons for $135.
Recommended minimum age for Debut Orchestra is 8 (3rd grade). Younger children are encouraged to meet with the instructor prior to class to evaluate readiness. They may be encouraged to seek private lessons instead of or along with the class.
Families are responsible for procuring their own instruments. Once you register, you will receive detailed suggestions on how and where to do this. PLEASE DO NOT GET YOUR INSTRUMENT until you have received this information. Most importantly, do not buy an instrument on Amazon or other general merchandise seller. You will most likely have to return the instrument.
Some trusted rental companies to check out:
Lasley Violins, U District (competitive prices, best place to build equity)
Henry Bischofberger, Kirkland
Hammond-Ashley, Issaquah (most convenient)
Sharmusic.com (best prices)
Ted Brown and Kennelly Keys are hit and miss but some people have had success there.
Most general music stores like Music and Arts are cheap but have lower quality. Not recommended for violin or vioa. Can still be fine for cello or bass but do not carry smaller sizes.
Rehearsal time and location
Rehearsals are Friday afternoons from 2:30-3:30. Most years we've had so much demand that we've added a 4:30 class as well for the first few months, and combine at 2:30 in the weeks leading up to the May concert. We will also combine at 2:30 occasionally throughout the year when scheduling demands it.
We meet at Snoqualmie Middle School in the choir room. On occasion we will meet at other locations.
Classes start the first Friday in October and end the first Friday in June. There is one concert in May. For 2023, the concert is on May 17.
Cost & How to Join
Snoqualmie Strings seeks to offer an orchestra experience at a very reasonable price. We are currently charging $300 per semester (15 classes plus one private lesson) plus a one time supply fee ($35 for violin, viola and cello, $20 for bass). Concerts are free. Auditions are not necessary for Debut Orchestra. To register for Fall 2024, please click: