Willow River Elementary
Elementary Orchestra Program

Welcome to Hudson’s Elementary Orchestra Program!

Our program is open to students in grades 4-5. After elementary school, our program continues through Middle and High School.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Elementary Orchestra Program work and how often do students meet?

  • Schedule for Mrs. Peterson
    • Large group lesson – students meet one day a week at 8:00 AM
    • Small group lesson – student meet during the school day (the same day as their large group lesson)
    • Weekly orchestra schedule:
      • Hudson Prairie Elementary – Monday
      • River Crest Elementary – Tuesday
      • EP Rock Elementary – Wednesday
      • Willow River Elementary – Thursday
      • Houlton Elementary – Friday
  • Schedule for Ms. Van Veen at North Hudson Elementary
    • Large group lesson – students meet on Day 4 for 4th Grade
    • Large group lesson – students meet on Day 5 for 5th Grade
    • Small group lesson – students are assigned to various days of the week

Students need to bring their instrument to school the morning of their lesson and bring it back home on the same day.

Are there concerts?

  • Yes – we have a concert in January and one in May.

How much practicing is recommended?

  • We recommend 10 – 20 minutes per day.

What instruments can my child play in orchestra?

My child has never played an instrument before. Is this a problem?

  • Our program is designed for the beginner! We teach students how to read music as well as play their instrument.

My child has played a stringed instrument for a while. Is this the right place for my child?

  • Of course! We love having experienced players participating in our program.
    • More experienced players can play with the more advanced 5th grade group.
    • Less experienced players can play with the 4th grade group and help other students.

My child is going to be in 5th grade next year and did not participate in orchestra in 4th grade. Can my child still join?

  • Yes! Students that are joining orchestra for the first time in 5th grade will begin learning with the 4th grade students. They will have the same before-school lesson schedule. These students are given extra practicing assignments in order to help them get caught up with their 5th grade peers. Usually these students are caught up by March, at which time they join the 5th grade students and their lesson schedule.

What are the rental costs?

  • All rental programs begin with a 4-month introductory period:
    • Begins in September
    • Violin and viola: $45
    • Cello: $65
    • Bass: $95
      • Cellos and basses cannot ride the bus – students who ride the bus will need alternate transportation on lesson days.
  • After the 4 month introductory period, instrument rental is charged monthly. Costs vary by store.
  • Click here to read our Rent vs. Buy information to understand why we recommend families rent instruments.

I already have an instrument for my child to use.

  • Please arrange a time with one of the Orchestra teachers to have her check out the instrument. We want to make sure it is in good shape and the correct size for your child.

Is there anything I need to purchase?

  • All students must purchase an Orchestra Expressions Book 1 for their instrument.
  • Music stands are available to purchase for home practice. Having a music stand at home is not required but strongly suggested.

What do we do next?

  • Fill out the Registration Form by clicking here. Return the form to your child’s classroom teacher or to the school office.
  • All string instruments come in different sizes! Your child will need to be sized for the correct instrument. We can arrange to have this done at school (see the weekly schedule above) or you can bring your child with you to the music store you plan to rent from.
  • Set up a rental plan (click here to view the rental plan from Eckroth Music – the music store we work with www.eckroth.com). You may choose to rent from another store.
  • Orchestra lessons will begin the week of August 28th. A reminder will be sent home the first week of school notifying you of this first lesson. Students who set up their rental prior to August will receive their rental instrument and book at their first orchestra lesson!