Crestdale Strings Updates

September Happenings

6th Orchestra

The 6th grade orchestra has been working diligently on their beginning skills and knowledge. At this point the students should know all the parts of their instrument as well as how to care for their instruments. Go ahead and ask them about the different parts! This week we will be working on beginning position and bow hold to get started playing! I am hoping to bring in a couple of musicians to work with our students as well! Videos can be found on Canvas and there will be a handout with pictures and descriptions for each student to help them practice!

The students will need to practice their newfound skills. The general recommendation is to practice the new skills at least four times a week, if not more.

Here is the slideshow with videos and images on how to get proper position. Please feel free to review with your child after this week to help them better understand their instruments!

Students also received forms if they are in need of a school instrument. Those forms need to be filled out and returned before they will be able to take their school instruments home.

7th Grade Orchestra

The 7th grade orchestra is currently working on reviewing last year's material. There is a lot to review and cover over the next couple weeks! The first steps are posture, position, and bow hold. You can find those items above in the 6th Grade section. We will also be reviewing the processes of how to read music and rhythm as well as playing together and in tune.

Each student should be practicing about two hours total a week spread out over multiple days.

All students have been assigned their instruments and they should be able to take them back and forth to school. Let me know if you have any questions!

8th Grade Orchestra

The 8th grade orchestra has gotten off to a strong start! we are moving into the skill of shifting on their instruments to introduce new notes and positions.

Students have been provided books for practice and should be working about three to four days a week on improving their skills.

Beginning Guitar Classes

All guitar classes are finishing up with their posture and position units and have moved into the first notes and chords on their instruments. We have learned the E and A minor chords and will be moving into other shapes and movements soon.

Students who needed a school instrument received the loaner forms last week and once they are turned in students will be able to transport the school instruments back and forth.

Again, students should be practicing 3-4 times per week for up to 20-30 minutes each session. Students will need to build the calluses on their fingers gradually, so building up to that length of practice is optimal. Have your child play something for you sometime!

Changes in Concert Dates

The Winter concert has had a change in date due to a conflict with athletics! The 7th and 8th grade orchestras will perform on December 9th and the 6th grade and ALL Guitar classes will perform on December 14th.

More information will be coming in the coming weeks as details are finalized.

Beginning of Year Forms and Fees

Some students have not filled out their Beginning of Year form for the Strings Program, their forms for Crestdale Middle School, or have paid their student fees for Crestdale/Orchestra! Please make sure that you have filled everything out and are up to date on your fees so that we can have the most current contact info as well as providing the best experience for your child! Let me know if you have any questions or if you aren't sure if you are up to date!
If you do not currently own your instrument, check out the link for our suggested instrument page as well as our local music dealers!

A quality working instrument is extremely important to the success of your student. An instrument that does not stay in tune or that has poor tone will not be fun to play or to practice. Please avoid purchasing instruments online...especially from or eBay. I have seen many students bring these instruments to school and quit playing because of frustrations involving an unresponsive instrument. A quality instrument makes all the difference! I always recommend renting or purchasing the best instrument you can afford. Your student will love playing and love to practice if they hear pleasant sounds coming from their instruments. Please let me know if you need any help deciding on an instrument.

Suggested Brands

These instruments can be found at music stores in the area. I HIGHLY recommend going to a string specialist to purchase/rent your instrument! You can also find these instruments used on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Used instruments may need new strings, bridges, pegs, etc. Please feel free to email me if you have questions about a used instrument!

Franz Hoffmann

Core Academy


Eastman String instruments

Scherl and Roth




Klaus Mueller

Guitarists will need an acoustic guitar that fits them. I suggest the Yamaha C-40 or Yamaha Folk Guitar Series. Other great brands are Epiphone, Fender, Guild, Gibson, Breedlove, etc. Pretty much anything you can get at a reputable music store listed below.

Please contact me before buying an instrument that you think is a "great deal." These "amazing deal" instruments are usually found on Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, or Ebay and go by the name of Mendini, Cecilio, Lico, Windsor, First Act, etc. In the string world, you really do get what you pay for!!

Local Music Stores

Music Stores

Davidson Violins

102A S Main St, Davidson, NC 28036

(866) 291-0321

Music and Arts

8653 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, NC 28027

(704) 979-5260

The Violin Shoppe

2112 East Seventh Street, Charlotte, NC 28204

(704) 373 - 0551

Sam Ash Music

5533 Westpark Drive,

Charlotte NC 28217

(704) 522 - 9253

Guitar Center

10408 Centrum Pkwy, Pineville, NC 28134

(704) 544-7934

Music and Arts

8046 Providence Rd C, Charlotte, NC 28277

(704) 341-0000

Howren Music

4209 Park Road

Charlotte, NC 28209

(704) 525 - 5073

Online Shops

Shar Music

(866) 742-7261

Johnson String Instruments

(800) 359-9351

Baroque Violin Shop

(866) 846-5469

Woodwind and Brasswind

(800) 348-5003


We can always use donations and help to build our program! If you are feeling generous, feel free to send some love our way!

About us

Jonathan K. Todd
Director of Strings
Crestdale Middle School
980-343-5755 – School Phone
980-223-5863 – Business Phone