Oakwood Orchestra News

May 2016-6th Grade Edition

From Ms. Read and Mr. Urban

Can it really be May already?!? We want to start by saying how much we've enjoyed working with your students this year. They have come so far and we are excited to show what they can do! May is a really busy of time of year so grab your calendars and here we go:

Upcoming Events

May 9-10: 6th Grade STAAR Tests

May 17: Scale Karate Pizza Party

  • Students who received their black belts are invited for pizza during 5th Period.

May 19: After School Concert Rehearsal @ 3:50-5:30 pm @ Oakwood

  • All students are required to attend.
  • Please arrange to pick up your student by 5:35 pm.

May 24: Spring Concert @ 7:30 pm @ AMCHS Gym

  • Tune @ 6:30 pm @ AMCHS Orchestra Room (Door #17)
  • We will open the gym doors for the audience at 7:15 pm.
  • Uniform: Polo, black pants/skirt, black socks/hose, and black dress shoes
  • Students will need their instruments for the Field Trip, but will not bring them back to Oakwood.

May 25: Field Trip to Pride of Texas Music Festival & Hawaiian Falls

  • Pink permission slips and schedules were distributed last week and are due back by 5/19.
  • We will be leaving from Cypress Grove at 8:30 am and returning to Cypress Grove about 6:00 pm.
  • If you have not already done so, please complete the online Health & Travel Form on the orchestra website.


Summer is coming soon! We've had several parents ask about keeping students motivated to practice during the summer months. Here are a few ideas:

  • Orchestra Camp: Orchestra camps are a lot of fun and your students will come home fired up and excited about playing. We're including a list of the camps that we know about in Texas this summer.
  • Private Lessons: Private lessons are a great way to encourage your child to practice over the summer and for them to receive some one on one instruction. We're including a list of private lesson teachers in our area. We don't know for sure which ones will be teaching over the summer but please give them a call and ask.
  • Music Packet: We will be passing out large music packets to each students this week. The packets contains new music for the students to work on during the summer. The songs include movie music, pop hits, and classic orchestra literature.
  • "Jam Sessions": Students have more fun practicing when they are surrounded by their friends. Invite other orchestra students over and let the students play through old songs and/or music from the packet.


The instruments will get out of tune during the summer months. Here are some ideas of ways to help your child tune themselves and/or get help tuning:

  • Tuning Apps: Most platforms have tuning apps available. The free apps are usually not very accurate but they are better than nothing. (We recommend the Cleartune app which is only $3.99.)
  • Electronic Tuners: Electronic tuners can be purchased at any of the local music stores. The students already know how to use these devices because we use them in class on occasion.
  • Music Stores: If your child is uncomfortable tuning themselves or they need help, you can take their instrument to any of the local music stores and they will tune if for you (usually free of charge).

New Sizes:

We will be measuring students again during the last week of school to make sure they are on the correct size instruments. The new instruments will need finger tapes. The process takes about 5 minutes, and we will be at Oakwood on the following days if you want to stop by:

  • June 1st: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • June 2nd: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Students Who Have Chosen a Different Elective:

If your child has chosen another elective for next year, we are sad to see them go! You should be receiving information from your rental companies shortly about returning the instruments. The String and Horn Shop and Thorn Music Center usually request that you return instruments to the store directly. Lisle Violin Shop will collect instruments from Oakwood the week after school ends.

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Mr. Travis Urban