Q: What’s the difference between band and orchestra?
A: In orchestra, students learn instruments from the string family: violin, viola, cello, and bass. In band, students learn wind, brass, and percussion instruments.
Q: How do I sign my child up for orchestra?
A: Your student will receive a Choice Card from their elementary school. Please list “Orchestra” as your first elective choice, then fill out this RMS Orchestra - Beginner Instrument Form by May 21st.
Q: How can we decide which instrument to pick? How do we order it?
A: In the spring semester, there is an Orchestra Night at Riverwood. We have an “instrument petting zoo” for students to try out the different instruments, followed by a parent meeting. Rental companies will be present to help you set up rental agreements and purchase supplies.
*event subject to change due to COVID-19*
Q: How much does orchestra cost?
A: On average, most families pay $20-30 a month for instrument rentals; there are also two yearly orchestra trips that total about $65. We understand that families have different levels of financial responsibility, so we work with our booster club and other sponsors to make sure that students can participate in all orchestra activities. If you feel finances may be a barrier to participation, please let us know.
*yearly trips subject to change due to COVID-19*
Q: Should I buy an instrument?
A: No. Because the instruments come in different sizes, we advise beginners to rent their instruments at the start and “size-up” as they grow; our instrument vendors work with you on this and have rental programs that allow you to keep the instrument once you have reached full-size.
Q: What about buying an instrument online?
A: As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. Instruments purchased online might be cheaper, but quality varies, and you may not get the correct instrument size for your student. It’s important for beginners to learn on quality instruments, so we highly encourage you to rent through our instrument vendors.