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North Palm Youth Symphony
Ensemble requirements

The goal of ensemble placement is to have all pupils in an environment where they will be successful. Promotion to the next ensemble is based on meeting the competencies and curriculum expectations for each group, and made at the discretion of the director. Consistent daily practice, private lessons and regular attendance will significantly increase musical growth on the instrument.

Come as you are, and grow from there...

beginning strings

Entry Requirements:

  • Age 7 and above (under age 7 please reach us via email at artisticdirector@npys.org)

  • Appropriately sized, properly fitted quality instrument

    • If you are getting an instrument for the first time, we highly recommend renting from a reputable local dealer such as Barnes Violins or Music Man. Avoid inexpensive eBay or Amazon violins as these are often unplayable and do not set up the child for success. Always e-mail should you have questions.)

  • Brand new students should:

    • Not "practice" with their instrument until after the first lesson. First time case opens should be in class because this will immediately start teaching bad habits that will be harder to break later on.

    • Contact us to help you determine the correct instrument size and reach a reputable vendor.

  • Supplies:

    • Violin and Viola: Kun or Everest “shoulder rest" (In the size of the instrument), 100% cotton cloth, Rosin and music stand. Music Sand Peak SMS-20 or SMS-40 highly recommended, as it is the one we use in Youth Symphony.

    • Cello: Adjustable Cello endpin Anchor, 100% cotton cloth, Rosin and music stand. Music Sand Peak SMS-20 or SMS-40 highly recommended, as it is the one we use in Youth Symphony.

    • Bass: Rock stop, 100% cotton cloth, Rosin and music stand. Music Sand Peak SMS-20 or SMS-40 highly recommended, as it is the one we use in Youth Symphony.

  • Do not purchase a method book, I will provide all printed materials.

Curriculum Overview:

  • Instrument hold, bow hold and posture

    • Instrument is held in a relaxed, fluid manner without tension

    • Bow hold has correct finger placement and shape, is tension free and bowing motion is fluid, without tension where the elbow and wrist aid in a fluid, smooth bowing motion.

    • Left hand placement supports correct finger action and shape while playing. Relaxed thumb and wrist aid in the correct placement and action of the left hand.

  • Instrument handling & care

  • Case Handling & care

  • Home practice & set up

  • Ear training, singing & development of the inner ear

  • Rhythmic training & development of the inner motor

  • Fine & gross motor skill development

  • Parts of the instrument, names of the strings, functions of the various parts of the instrument

  • Beginning string repertoire

  • Introduction to music reading:

    • Early repertoire in D major introduced

    • Basic music theory

    • Successfully identify notes on the musical staff and location on the instrument

  • Independence of the left and right hands

    • Successful combination of left and right hand technique, maintaining proper form in both.

The main goal of the beginning orchestra class is to develop players who exhibit freedom and ease in playing through the use of good motion patterns free from excessive tension. 

No audition is required to enter beginning orchestra. 

prelude orchestra

Entry Requirements:

  • Age 7 and above

  • All skills taught in beginning orchestra.

    • New students external to the organization will need to pass an audition to determine eligibility and placement in the North Palm Youth Symphony. 

    • Current students will be moved based on director recommendation and be based on student attendance, skill level and satisfactory execution of skills outlined in the beginning skills curriculum overview.

    • Student must have a basic understanding of reading music and note identification. 

Curriculum Overview:

  • Basic music theory:

    • Clef, key signature, time signature, repeat signs, dynamics articulations and other musical nomenclature.  ​

    • C Major, G Major and D Major Scales and arpeggios taught (1 octave)

    • Orchestral music in G Major, C Major and G Major 

  • Fundamental orchestral skills such as listening, playing together, playing while harmonizing will be taught.​

  • Continued development of playing ability, fine and gross motor skills & coordination. 

An Audition is required to enter Prelude Orchestra - the audition process can be found here.

chamber orchestra

Entry Requirements:

  • No age requirement

  • Mastery of all fundamental skills taught in beginning and prelude orchestra

  • Strong music reading abilities.  

  • Ability to read music across entire range of the instrument in at minimum first position.

  • Ability to read and play C, D and G Major scales and arpeggios with proper intonation and good tone production. 

  • Developing mastery of all skills taught in beginning and prelude orchestra.

    • New students external to the organization will need to pass an audition to determine eligibility and placement in the North Palm Youth Symphony.

    • Current students will be moved based on director recommendation and be based on student attendance, skill level and satisfactory execution of skills outlined in the beginning and prelude curriculums.

    • Will participate in Chamber Orchestra can last between 1-3 years depending on the student's level of growth on their instrument over time, mastery of course content, maturity, competence and readiness to engage in a more challenging setting.  

Curriculum Overview:

  • Music theory:

    • Clef, key signature, time signature, repeat signs, dynamics articulations and more advanced musical nomenclature.  ​

    • All scales up to three sharps and three flats with major arpeggio in 2 octaves with slurs

    • Orchestral music in a variety of musical styles, keys and genres. 

  • Shifting, Vibrato, Trills​, Slurs and other instrument specific technique and articulations. 

    • 1/2 position on cello and bass​

    • Up to third and fourth position across all instruments

    • Forward and backward extensions on cello and bass

  • Refinement of fundamentals, playing technique, tone quality, intonation and other skills.

An Audition is required to enter Chamber Orchestra - the audition process can be found here.

youth symphony orchestra

Entry Requirements:

  • 8th grade and above. Younger students of highly advanced ability please contact us. 

  • Strong music reading / sight reading / rhythmic abilities.

  • Excellent intonation, technique & tone production.

  • Vibrato, shifting up to 3rd and 4th position, 1/2 position on cello and bass, forward and backward extensions on cello and bass. 

  • Scales up to three sharps and three flats with major arpeggio

  • Two - three octave scales and arpeggios across three sharps and three flats.

  • Understanding of the chromatic layout of the instrument 

  • Ability to rehearse / maintain focus for an extended, intensive period of time

  • Full mastery of all fundamentals taught in previous ensembles. 

    • New students external to the organization will need to pass an audition to determine eligibility and placement in the North Palm Youth Symphony.

    • Current students will be moved based on director recommendation and be based on student attendance, skill level and satisfactory execution of skills outlined in the beginning and prelude curriculums.

  • Private instruction is not required but highly recommended. ​

Curriculum Overview:

  • Music theory:

    • Clef, key signature, time signature, repeat signs, dynamics articulations and more advanced musical nomenclature.  ​

    • Uncommon meters, syncopation and other rhythmic elements

  • All scales up to seven sharps and seven flats with major arpeggios in 2 octaves and 3 octave varieties.

  • Right hand bowing technique including spicatto, stacatto, martele, ricochet

  • A continued focus on maturing the sound of the player for a richer and fuller tone with excellent intonation. 

  • A continued focus on developing a relaxed, fluid and consistent style of playing to create better individual players and a better orchestra. 

  • A strong focus on developing ensemble, listening and other orchestral skills.

  • ​Mature repertoire in a variety of musical styles, keys and genres. 

  • Music history, musical time periods & established well known composers. 
  • Numerous opportunities to learn additional repertoire for community enrichment events. 
  • Numerous opportunities to mentor, coach

An Audition is required to enter Youth Symphony - the audition process can be found here.

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