Decatur Strings

Decatur Strings Orchestras

Decatur Strings is an extra-curricular program orchestra program for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Fifth Avenue UES and Talley Street UES in the City Schools of Decatur. The program provides an opportunity for students to learn a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass) and to play in an ensemble with other students.  

Start dates for Fall 2020
Intermediate Orchestra - mid-September, specific dates TBD. 
Beginning Orchestra - early October, specific dates TBD. 

The participation fee is $200 for all Beginning and Intermediate Orchestra students and covers classes for the full school year through May.  

Please sign-up on the Registration page (see menu bar above). 




Beginning Orchestra 

Beginning Orchestra is offered to 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students at  Fifth Avenue and Talley Street Upper Elementary Schools to any student without previous strings experience.

This year the first few weeks of class will be taught in an online format. The teachers (Ms. Daniel and Ms. Damrel) have been planning some innovative methods for teaching beginning students online and for building an orchestra community.    We strive to create a community-oriented environment where students work collaboratively and are encouraged to explore their individual musical creativity. In the first year of study, our primary goals are
(1) laying a foundation for healthy instrument set-up (playing position, posture and bow hold), and
(2) developing fundamental musicianship skills in the context of an orchestra classroom (such as feeling the pulse in a piece of music, identifying open strings aurally, and echoing simple melodic and rhythmic patterns with the voice and on the instrument).
By the end of the first year, students will be able to produce a characteristic tone on their instrument in a healthy playing position while performing beginner-level written music both solo and as a group.

Beginning classes will meet (online) in the morning BEFORE school two days per week, initially beginning at 7:15 and ending at 7:45am.  Specific class days at each school is TBD.  ​Classes will start the first week in October.



Intermediate Orchestra

Intermediate Orchestra is open to all students who have participated in Beginner Orchestra and to students who have at least one year of playing experience.  In Intermediate Orchestra we will build on the foundational skills learned in the first year with a continued focus on refinement of tone quality, technique, aural skills, and musical literacy.  Along with reinforcing of fundamentals, we will also introduce more of a "rehearsal” style to the classroom with the goal of growing ensemble and musical concepts such: as listening across the orchestra, dynamics (and other expressive tools), and learning to play songs with melody and harmony. 

Intermediate classes will meet (online) two days per week AFTER the end of the school day.
Fifth Avenue classes will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:45 - 3:30pm
Talley Street classes will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:45 - 3:30pm

Advanced members of the Intermediate Orchestra will be invited to play in a special Chamber Ensemble which will meet on an additional day of the week.  Students will work on more difficult music selected for their skill level.


A NEW Resource to help your students practice at home!

We now subscribe to Essential Elements Interactive which will allow your student to enhance their practice experience at home. To access Essential EssentialElements Interactive at home, please go to EssentialElementsInteractive.com. Enter the activation code that can be found on the first inside page of your student's Essential Elements book. Once you log-on your student can access play-along tracks for every exercise in their book.