About the String Program
String students from the School District of Clayton begin instruction on the violin in the fourth grade with the Suzuki method. Suzuki students are given instruction twice weekly during the day for a combined total of 70 minutes. Students are encouraged to master the Twinkle Variations through Minuet 1. Each student works at their own pace in order to allow for individual differences. When a student completes the final piece of the fourth grade repertoire, they are immediately introduced to the fifth grade reading book, “Learn to Play in the Orchestra” by Ralph Matesky. Students continue the 5th grade book at their own pace, some completing the repertoire by the end of their first year of instruction.
Once students reach the 5th grade, they are given the choice of remaining on violin or beginning viola, cello, or bass. Violin and viola students meet twice weekly during school for one half hour. The same schedule applies for cello and bass students.
At the point of mastering the fifth grade music, students are then invited to participate in the ViBravo String Ensemble. Middle school students are invited to join the orchestra following teacher recommendation and an audition. Students are selected based on note reading ability, intonation, and overall musicianship.
Wydown Middle offers three grade level orchestras and Clayton High School enjoys both a Concert and Symphonic orchestra.