We offer group strings classes from beginner to advanced, orchestra ensembles, and music production.
Information about class tuition and instrument rental fees.
Register for 2021-2022 classes.
***Registration is now closed for orchestra classes***
Find out about our scholarship program and apply for a scholarship.
We offer low-cost, quality rentals to our students.
Wondering if your child is ready for orchestra?
Oct. 4 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Nov. 11 NO CLASS (Veteran's Day)
Nov. 24-26 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving break)
Dec. 20-31 NO CLASS (Winter break)
Jan. 17 NO CLASS (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
March 21-25 NO CLASS (Spring break)
May 27, 2022 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 Browsers' Bookstore will take place on no-school days. Link to GAPS Academic Calendar.4
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 state, local, and district measures override this list. Here are our planned measures for 2021-2022:
It is the inherent nature of string instrument study that it is a person and an instrument in their own little "bubble" of space. We do not physically interact with each other to make music or use shared objects. It is fully possible to play with a medical grade mask, unlike singing and wind-driven instruments. We believe that if we follow health regulations and these guidelines that we can learn safely in a group environment.
We are scheduling classes with the hope that we will be able to offer them as planned. Each school's situation and environment is different, and we all know that things can change quickly. Our schools are supportive and excited to have our classes back, but there are no guarantees at this point. Please register for the class you want so we can let you know if there are delays or we need to go with a backup plan.
We ask for your patience and understanding. Thank you!
We teach students in group classes of 8-25 students. Classes include violins, violas, cellos and basses all together unless otherwise noted. Most classes are before or after school. For 2021-2022, we have classes at North Albany Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, and South Shore Elementary. We are adding a new location at Browsers Bookstore at 1425 Pacific Blvd, and offer a full range of classes there as well.
We will accept registrations through October 15 (second week of class).
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. Using the first Essential Elements 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, 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 series, you will finish learning all 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 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 ensembles for our students. These include all instruments, 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. NEW: 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 this music at a slow pace, you would be ready for Junior Orchestra. But remember, new for 2021-2022, there will NOT be any audition or playing test for Junior Orchestra. Conductor: Jasmine Lumpkin.
NEW DAY! Tuesdays 6:15-7:45pm at Browsers' Bookstore
Chamber Orchestra is for the most advanced players. The repertoire is challenging and FUN. Players must have prior experience in a mixed ensemble such as Junior Orchestra. An audition is required to join, and all players must audition each year for placement. Conductor: Denver Speelman.
NEW DAY Thursdays 6:30-8:00pm at Browsers' Bookstore
We are VERY excited to add some totally new Music Production classes to our lineup, taught by our dynamic new instructor, Jasmine Lumpkin, who just completed her music production degree at OSU and has an extensive music background.
Learn how to make your own music! 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 classes 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 classes to fill quickly. Each class is $156 ($78/month) which includes tuition and a lab fee.
There will be three 8-week courses. They can be taken in sequence, but a student does not need to take a previous course to register for a later one. Location: Browsers Bookstore.
Music Production 1: Connect to Your Inner Artist. Oct 4 - Dec. 3, 2021 (no class Thanksgiving week)
Music Production 2: Build the Technical Foundation. Jan 10 - Mar 4, 2022
Music Production 3: Push Your Boundaries. Mar 28 - May 20, 2022
Tuition for 2021-2022 will be billed monthly at least for the first semester in case of unexpected closures or a delayed start. Registration will not include payment; we will bill you only once classes actually start.
***South Shore Elementary classes are supported by grants and donations and are free to South Shore students.
All Orchestra Classes
$60 per month tuition only (no instrument or school-provided instrument)
$78 per month including a rental instrument
Music Production Classes
$78 per month, includes a required lab fee
2 for 1 Orchestra class deal: students who are enrolled in Level 2 and Level 3 can join Junior or Chamber Orchestra for FREE.
We have quality rental instruments available to our students. If you need to rent an instrument, please choose the $78 monthly option. If you have your own instrument or your school provides instruments, please choose the $60 tuition only option.
All instruments will be the same rate this year, including cellos and basses. Our goal is to make instrument choice as equitable for each student as possible.
Instrument outfits include instrument and bow, rosin, shoulder pad (violins and violas), endpin stop (cellos and basses), and case. You are responsible for all these items. When instruments are returned with missing items, we will charge you for replacement. If you break a string or lose something, we have affordable replacements available.
MVPS believes 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 the Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia and music in general, and by many other individuals who believe in the power of music for children. The scholarship provides a 50% discount on tuition and rental fees for the school year September-August, including the summer session. Scholarships are awarded to those demonstrating financial need and a motivation to learn.
Stay tuned for more information about picking up your rental or school instrument in late September.
When you get your school or MVPS 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 MVPS, 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 $500 for a cello. Quality used instruments can be found, but they should be checked out by a knowledgeable repair person 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 fairs and bazaars, major retail stores and online (i.e. violins/violas for $30-$100 or cellos under $300). There are too many brand names to list. Most are not 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.
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.