September 19, 2018
To: Parents of the Riverwood Elementary Strings Students
Shoulder Rest Day was today. The students were taught several important concepts concerning proper use of the shoulder rest. Here’s a quick list that you should have your student review with you. Have them teach YOU how to do these steps.
1. To prepare to attach the shoulder rest- hold the instrument face down, on their left side, pegs behind them.
2. How to attach one shoulder rest “foot” on the “chin rest lower bout” first, then pivot the shoulder rest and slide the other “foot” until the shoulder rest securely on the lower bouts.
3. When holding the instrument with the pegs toward the sky, the shoulder rest should curve in a “frown.”
4. How to remove the shoulder rest (rubber bands can stay on, but the sponge and shoulder rest must be removed).
5. How to store and carry the shoulder rest. Unless there is a specific compartment for the shoulder rest, it must be carried with the book, and not crammed next to, or on top of, the instrument in the case.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time before I could teach the students how to properly place the instrument on their shoulder. Some students were more interested in other things in the room (strumming, talking, a friend’s rosin, etc.). I was frustrated that we did not complete the lesson.
If they try to fit the instrument on their shoulder this week, there is a very strong chance that they will do something incorrectly, and then it will take even longer to learn how to properly use the shoulder rest. Have your student practice attaching and removing the shoulder rest, but remind them NOT to place it on their shoulder yet. It is essential that the students now bring their shoulder rest to every class.
All students are expected in Strings next week, September 26. That will be the last day to turn in a school instrument loan request form and show their supplies to me. After September 26, only students WITH instruments and materials will be allowed to participate in Strings.
Dr. Palmer, Strings Specialist
REMIND: “rmd.at/rwstring18” or text @rwstring18 to 81010 (or 901-881-9447).
To: Parents of the Riverwood Elementary Strings Students
From: Dr. Palmer, Strings Specialist
Re: Shoulder Rest (No Cellos) Day
Date: September 12, 2018
The Strings class at Riverwood Elementary is going well. Many students now have an instrument and we are getting ready to move past the open string lessons (pages 4 & 5). If you still need a school instrument, please remember to obtain all the supplies necessary for that instrument and complete the instrument loan application. There are just few instruments still available. There are no more cellos, 13' violas, and 4/4 violins. Of course, you can still rent or purchase one from a store. All of the supplies, forms, and a list of local music stores can be found on the website, www.drpalmerstrings.weebly.com .
I have been asked to remind you that the bus lane doors open at 7:45. Students are not supposed to be dropped off at the door before 7:45. There is no early adult supervision at the doors. If you arrive after 7:50 a.m., please use the regular carpool lines to let your child into the school. Thank you.
During our next class (September 19) I will be teaching the violin and viola students how to attach, adjust, and use their shoulder rest. This lesson usually takes the entire class period (especially with 40 students!). It is essential that your child brings their shoulder rest to class. In the future, students who do not have a shoulder rest will not be allowed to play their instrument with the bow.
CELLO students DO NOT need to come to Strings class on September 19. ONLY violin and viola students will meet this week.
This adjustment is only for one class, so we will ALL continue in full group lessons on September 26. We will add the left hand to the instruments, which means the students will learn how to play E, F-sharp, and G on the D string (pages 6-7). The students should not practice these pages yet, as poor left hand shape can hinder their progess down the road.
Here is my contact information:
1. My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. REMIND at “rmd.at/rwstring18” or text @rwstring18 to 81010 (or 901- 881-9447).
3. My website for elementary strings is www.Drpalmerstrings.weebly.com
Dear Parent/Guardian: Riverwood Elementary
August 22, 2018
Welcome! You and your child have expressed an interest in beginning instruction in the Strings Music Education Program. I hope that it will be an exciting experience for your child, both now and in the years to come.
I ask that you agree and commit to participation for the entire school year. There will be challenges that are not automatically solved, times of frustration, and "bumps" in the road. However, these are only minor difficulties when compared to the excitement of the first performance, the sound of applause, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
We all have responsibilities in helping your child succeed in this class. I accept the responsibility for classroom instruction which will guide the students in both playing the instrument and in reading music. The student's responsibilities include practicing at home and having all of their supplies in class. Your responsibilities include supporting your child in home practice, properly caring for the instrument, and attending your child's concerts and programs.
We will meet on Wednesdays, from 7:45-8:45 a.m. in Ms. Powell’s music classroom. Please enter Riverwood through the front doors. Throughout the year, it wil be imperative that you be on time, ready to enter the building at 7:45 a.m., and come directly to the music room. During the first lesson, we will discuss instrument selection(s) and size(s), the loan procedure for school instruments, and the parts of the instrument.
Instruments may be rented from several music stores in Memphis. The rental fees and agreements vary from store to store, and school policy prohibits me from any specific recommendations. These stores will also carry the instruction books and supplies. I strongly recommend that you do not purchase an instrument from a pawn shop, thrift store, or super store, or online sites that are not Strings merchants. The “bargain” instrument you may find will certainly contain inferior parts/strings/bows that will require attention and repairs. If it is necessary to use a school instrument, you must have all supplies for that instrument before one will be issued.
If you need assistance, please feel free to contact me through the school office. My school e-mail address is email@example.com. I use REMIND.com to send occasional updates and reminders, and you can contact me through this service. If you have not yet done so, please enroll in REMIND at “rmd.at/rwstring18” or by texting @rwstring18 to 81010 or 901-881-9447. My website is www.Drpalmerstrings.weebly.com. I’m looking forward to an exciting year of music-making with our strings class.
Dr. Palmer, Strings Specialist
Do you want to learn how to play the
Violin? Viola? Cello?
Beginning Strings class instruction is offered at Riverwood Elementary school as part of the Shelby County Schools curriculum for fifth grade students. This class will prepare your child for the Strings and Orchestra classes which are offered at the middle and high school levels in many of the Shelby County Schools.
When is it taught?
Class will meet once each week, on Wednesday mornings, from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Our first official class will be Wednesday morning, August 22nd.
What does it cost?
There are no instruction fees or lesson payments. You will need to purchase–at a local music store–your own method book and supplies, which will cost about $25. Renting an instrument from one of the local music stores will cost $100-$150 for the year. The school has a limited number of instruments for loan, based on need. A student must have their supplies to be eligible for a school instrument.
So how do I enroll?
Complete the online application at https://drpalmerstrings.weebly.com/ You can also scan the QR code at the bottom of the page. Registration should be completed by Tuesday, August 21.
What happens next?
Dr. Palmer will collect the applications online, and email acceptance letters by August 21. During the first official class (August 22), he will make recommendations concerning the specific instrument for your child. This recommedation form will also include a list of necessary supplies, a list of local music stores, and other important information.
I use REMIND.com to send occasional updates and reminders, and you can contact me through this service. Please enroll in REMIND at “rmd.at/rwstring18” or by texting @rwstring18 to 81010 or 901-881-9447.
Dr. Andrew Palmer teaches Fifth Grade Beginning Strings at four Elementary Schools, directs the Honors Orchestras at White Station High School, and travels throughout the school district as a Double Bass Specialist.