Elementary Orchestra

5th Grade Orchestra Class

Orchestra is a curricular class in grade 5 and continues through grade 12. The 5th grade orchestra class utilizes violins, violas, cellos, and upright double basses to continue students’ elementary music education.

Elementary students who enroll in orchestra class will learn:

  • The fundamentals of their instrument
  • How to perform as an individual and as part of an ensemble
  • How to improve their music reading skills

Students will also be challenged to improve their skills and knowledge in:

  • Listening
  • Collaboration
  • Independent Work
  • Creativity

The orchestra schedule and expectations include:

  • One small group lesson, once a week, during the school day
  • Three large group rehearsals every two weeks, during the school day
  • Three co-curricular concerts throughout the school year, usually in the evenings
  • A solid at-home practice routine, which is essential for student learning

    Contact Us

    Clear Springs: David Davis, david.davis@minntonkaschools.org
    Scenic Heights: Mary Beth Huttlin, marybeth.huttlin@minnetonkaschools.org
    Excelsior & Minnewashta: Lindsey Lamb, lindsey.lamb@minnetonkaschools.org
    Deephaven & Groveland: Monica Hahn, monica.hahn@minnetonkaschools.org

    Orchestra students playing


    If my child was not in 4th grade orchestra, can they still join 5th grade orchestra?

    Yes, however most students in 5th grade orchestra will have already had one year of orchestra lessons, so it is recommended that you enroll your child in private lessons, if possible, to help them catch up. Your school’s orchestra teacher can help you find a local private lesson instructor.

    What instruments can join?

    The program includes violin, viola, cello and upright bass.

    What instrument will be best for my child to learn?

    The instrument that your child is most excited about and motivated to practice is the best instrument for them to learn. Please note that most bus drivers do not allow cello and bass on the bus.

    How do I obtain an instrument for 5th grade Orchestra?

    Most families rent or purchase from one of our recommended music stores: All Strings Attached or House of Note, or online at Sharmusic.com or SWstrings.com.

    What if I can't afford an instrument?

    Don’t let that stop your child from learning! The district can loan instruments at a reduced cost or free for families with financial difficulty, just contact your school’s orchestra teacher.

    Can we use a family instrument?

    Yes, as long as it is the correct size for your child and in good repair. If you aren't sure, please contact your school's orchestra teacher.

    My child might be interested in orchestra later; can they join in middle school instead?

    In Minnetonka, 4th grade is where beginners start and lessons are provided. The later a student joins, the more challenging it is to catch up since peers will be at a more advanced stage, so we recommend joining as early as possible!

    What materials are needed for 5th grade Orchestra?

    An instrument, a music stand, and the music book “Essential Elements 2000 (Book 1)”