We offer group strings classes from beginner to advanced, orchestra ensembles, group piano, and music production.
Registration is closed for the rest of the 2022-2023 school year. We will have summer classes.
Information about class tuition and instrument rental fees.
Find out about our scholarship program. We want every child to have an opportunity to study music.
We offer low-cost, quality rentals to our students. We also take care of school-owned instruments for some of our school-based programs.
Read here for information about indicators of a child's readiness to study stringed instruments in a group setting. We find that 3rd-4th grade is about right for many children.
Oct. 3 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Nov. 11 NO CLASS (Veteran's Day)
Nov. 24-25 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving break)
Dec. 19-Jan. 2 NO CLASS (Winter break)
Jan. 16 NO CLASS (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
March 27-31 NO CLASS (Spring break)
May 26, 2023 LAST DAY OF CLASS
**NOTE: the classes held on school campuses will not take place on no-school days such as grading days and conferences. Classes held at the AYO Music Center will take place on these district no-school days. Link to GAPS Academic Calendar.
In harmony with the school district and local and state guidelines, we do not require masks in our classes. We respect the choice not to wear a mask and we fully support those who choose to wear one. Under no circumstances will we tolerate anyone bullying another for the choice to wear or not wear a mask.
Please continue to follow the common sense disease prevention measures below.
We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students and instructors. Because we work in a variety of school environments and a local business, you may be asked to follow additional safety measures. You will sign a COVID waiver when you register. Any additional or new state, local, and school district measures override this policy. We believe that if we follow health regulations and these guidelines that we can learn safely in a group environment.
We ask for your patience and understanding. Thank you!
We teach students in group classes of 8-25 students. Students must be 3rd grade or higher. Classes include violins, violas, cellos and basses all together unless otherwise noted. Each level goes for eight months (October-May) and new students are accepted only at the beginning of the year. Most classes are before or after school.
For 2022-2023, we have classes before and after school at Liberty Elementary (library), North Albany Elementary (music room), Oak Grove Elementary (music room), and South Shore Elementary (music room), and our AYO Music Center at 1405 Pacific Blvd next to Browsers' Bookstore in Albany.
For students 3rd grade and above who are just starting out, and for students who want to strengthen and improve their skills before advancing to the Level 2 class. Due to high demand in some schools, 3rd graders will be accepted on a space available basis.
Using the first Essential Elements for Strings book, you will learn the basics of playing your instrument, from correct posture to how to hold the bow, to forming notes on the fingerboard. Learning how to read music is introduced once students learn the basics of playing the instrument. Daily study of the class material at home is necessary to acquire the skills needed to play well. Instructors: Denver Speelman, Isaac Andrew, Julie Ritchey, Amber Bennion, and Jasmine Lumpkin.
For students who have successfully completed Level 1 and are ready for new challenges. Using the second book in the Essential Elements for Strings series, you will finish learning the notes on the fingerboard in first position and playing in several different keys. Other techniques include more advanced slurring, complex rhythms, and a variety of time signatures. Students who complete Level 2 successfully are ready to join Junior Orchestra to learn ensemble playing. Instructors: Julie Ritchey and Denver Speelman.
Level 3 class is for students who have successfully completed Level 2. Using the third book in the Essential Elements for Strings series, we will continue position work, advanced bowing techniques, and more challenging ensemble playing. The techniques learned in Level 3 are essential to preparing for Chamber Orchestra. Instructor: Denver Speelman.
We have two large string ensembles for our students. These include violins, violas, cellos, and upright basses, and each instrument plays a different part. These ensembles complement our group classes by focusing on ensemble playing skills such as listening to other instruments, playing differing notes and rhythms confidently, and following a conductor.
We have a 2 for 1 deal for our ensembles. Students who are enrolled in Level 2 or Level 3 can join JO or CO for free!
In Junior Orchestra, students learn and develop ensemble playing skills and continue to advance their technical skills on their instrument. NO AUDITION is required to join this group, but you need to have skills equivalent to those acquired in Level 2 to be able to play the music in this group. If you can understand and play most of the level 2 book at a slow pace, you would be ready for Junior Orchestra. Follow the link for a sample of the music. Conductor: Jasmine Lumpkin.
Tuesdays 6:30-8:00pm at AYO Music Center
Chamber Orchestra is for the most advanced players. The repertoire is challenging and FUN. Players must have prior ensemble experience in a group such as Junior Orchestra. An audition is required to join, and all players must audition each year for placement. Conductor: Denver Speelman.
Thursdays 6:30-8:00pm at AYO Music Center
Auditions for Fall 2022 will take place 6:30-8:00pm Thursday Sept 29 at the AYO Music Center, 1405 Pacific Blvd. Auditions are heard on a first come basis.
Our summer piano classes were a smash hit, so we have decided to offer group beginning piano classes this year! These classes go through the whole school year, from October through May. We offer two age-based classes, one for younger students from 3rd-6th grade and another for older students from 7th-12th grade. Classes are 45 minutes, once a week, at the AYO Music Center at 1405 Pacific Blvd. Our instructor is the dynamic Jasmine Lumpkin. Tuition: $40 per month.
Instruments are provided during class, but students will need to have their own keyboard at home for practicing on. There are many affordable and adequate keyboards available. Please make sure the instrument has full-size keys and at least 61 keys total (of a possible 88 for a full-size keyboard).
Beginning Piano 3rd-6th grade Tuesdays 2:00-2:45pm
Beginning Piano 3rd-6th grade Tuesdays 4:30-5:15pm
Beginning Piano 5th-8th grade Thursdays 4:30-5:15pm NEW CLASS SPRING TERM
Beginning Piano 7th-12th grade Thursdays 2:00-2:45pm
Do you want to learn how to make music using electronic tools? Most of the music you hear now uses these techniques to create music in a whole new way! This is called MUSIC PRODUCTION. We call our course Music Creator because that's what you're doing using the techniques of music production.
In class, you will record tracks and use sampling, looping, and effects to express yourself artistically. Students will produce a finished, professional piece of music. Each course begins with a basic introduction to the tools and theory, then dives into project-based learning. These courses are open to any middle or high school student and you do not need any musical experience. Classes are held in a lab setting and we provide the equipment and software. We expect these courses to fill quickly. Each class is $78/month which includes tuition and a lab fee.
We plan to offer Music Creator classes in the spring of 2023.
You can choose to prepay the whole year, by semester, or be billed monthly.
Orchestra Classes and Ensembles
$60 per month tuition ($240/semester, $480/year)
Group Piano Classes
$40 per month tuition ($160/semester, $320/year)
$20 per month ($80/semester, $160/year)
We believe that music should be available to every child, regardless of that child's current family resources. Our scholarships are funded by generous donations from Gerald and Margery Koll, major supporters of Albany Youth Orchestra and music education, and by many other individuals who believe in the power of music for children. The standard scholarship provides a 50% discount on tuition and rental fees, and extended scholarships may be available for those with greater financial need. The scholarship applies for the current school year September-August, including the summer session. Scholarships are awarded to those demonstrating financial need and a motivation to learn.
Families who receive assistance such as free and reduced lunches, Oregon Trail/SNAP/WIC, and Oregon Health Plan automatically qualify for our scholarship. Other qualifying conditions include major changes in employment, family healthcare challenges, COVID impacts, and family income under 300% of federal poverty guidelines, as well as other possible conditions. The request for financial assistance is contained in our class registration form. Please reach out to us -- we are here to help your child get the music education they want!
We have quality rental instruments available to our students for very affordable rates. All of our rental instruments are the same price to help make sure the cost of a particular instrument, such as cello or bass, is not a barrier to a child's choice. We encourage you to rent rather than buy low-quality instruments, at least until your child is ready for a full-size instrument.
We also manage the school instruments that are used in our programs. These are the same kind of high-quality instruments in our own rental program.
Stay tuned for more information about picking up your rental or school instrument in late September.
When you register for class and indicate that you will be using a school or AYO instrument, you will sign a contract stating that you are responsible for your instrument. Please tell your instructor immediately if something breaks. You will need to pay for replacing or repairing the instrument or bow. We do many repairs in-house to keep costs down, but be aware that the standard replacement cost for a violin or viola is $200 and a cello is $600. If you break a string, you will need to purchase a replacement string.
Bows which are dropped or overtightened and snap off the tips will need to be replaced. Bows regularly "shed" a few of the horsehairs, but if you break most of the hair, you will need to pay for a replacement bow from AYO, which ranges in price from $20-$40 depending on instrument and size.
Please contact us about repairs for our instruments. We will do our best to get the most affordable repair done. If you rent an instrument from a music store, you must take it to that store for repair.
Because most elementary students play on smaller-sized instruments, we recommend that you rent rather than purchase an instrument until the child has grown into a full-sized instrument.
We recommend purchasing only from a reputable music store or dealer. Expect to budget at least $300 for a violin or viola and $600 for a cello. Quality used instruments can be found, but they should be checked out by a knowledgeable repair person or a teacher before you purchase. We are happy to recommend local and online resources if you contact us!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not purchase the cheap instrument outfits found at major online and retail stores and at fairs, eBay, Facebook marketplace, etc (i.e. violins/violas for $30-$100 or cellos under $300). There are too many brand names to list. Most are not even playable due to poor quality and improper setup, you will spend more than what you bought it for to have someone make it playable, and these instruments have zero trade-in or resale value. In addition, your child may acquire poor playing habits trying to avoid bad sounds that are the fault of the instrument.
301 SW 4th Ave., Suite 140, Corvallis OR 541-231-1724 Rentals, repairs, instrument sales, all accessories
Beacock Music Albany (OPENING SOON)
805 Burkhart St. SE, Albany
Albany Music and Sound will soon be Beacock Music, offering full band and orchestra instrument support. We will add more information when it is available.
Our program is open to children beginning in third grade. Traditional orchestra programs often start in fourth grade. Many children have acquired skills by third grade that they need to succeed in orchestra class, but some children acquire them later, even into fourth or fifth grade. Many fine musicians didn’t start until sixth or seventh grade. Here are some characteristics of children who are “ready” for orchestra:
Obviously, that would be the mythical perfect child, and we understand that kids are kids. However, if a child is still just developing several of the “ready” characteristics, we recommend waiting a year and reassessing. If a child is having difficulty consistently managing behavior and following directions, we may ask the parent to attend class.
We want to emphasize that our program is open to ALL students, not only the highest achievers!! Music has been proven to improve learning skills while providing an enriching personal and social experience. We ask parents of children who benefit from educational assistance at school to talk to us about what helps your child learn. Due to privacy laws, the school cannot release information unless the parents authorize it. It has been our experience that the accommodations that help a few students are often beneficial to many others as well.
Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide affordable strings education to youth in the greater Albany area. Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts and is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon's arts, humanities and heritage and by the Linn County Cultural Coalition.
Copyright © 2022 Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
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