500 Cumberland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
When will my child receive his/herinstrument? - Firstyear students will receive their rented instrument during their firstlesson. If you did not send in thepaper work to a rental company (Brighton,Volkweins, Johnstonbaugh, Center for Young Musicians or Noteworthy) the instrument willnot be at the school. If you picked upan instrument over the summer please have your child bring it into schoolduring the first week so I can tune and prepare the instrument for the firstlesson.
What does my child need for his/herlessons? In thesecond lesson students will receive a: FOLDER– to protect their book and practice card. Each folder will have your child’s name on it. BOOK-(Essential Elements 2000 Book I) - Most students ordered the book with therental of their instrument. If you didnot order the book then you will need to purchase it before the next lesson. MusicInnovations (across the street from Walgreens) should have this bookavailable. Please make sure that yourchild puts his/her name in the book. Ifyou are a 4th grader we will review book I for the first part of theyear and move to book 2 when we are ready. PRACTICE CARDS - Everystudent will receive a practice card that he/she should bring to each lessonwith his/her folder. Please help yourchild fill in the practice card and initial your name each week. Students will receive a stamp each week ifthey practice a minimum of 1 hour a weekand the parent initials are onthe practice card. When the first sideof the card is complete students can pick a prize from the gift box for theirhard work. Each month we will select astudent to be on the Practice Card Hallof Fame. The student that practicesthe most time during the entire month will have their picture on the practicecard hall of fame and their name will be noted in the winter and springprogram. Students can receive a secondprize at the end of the year if they are able to complete the practicechallenge by filling in allslots by the end of the school year without missing one week of checkedpractice cards. (It would be greatlyappreciated if you could donate anitem for the gift box. When you visitthe dollar store please pick a pack of pencils, toys, stickers or anything thata student might enjoy for a prize. Thanks in advanced for any donations you give.) ADDITIONAL MATERIALS - Some students this year bought ashoulder rest or a stand with their rental instrument. These are fantastic tools to help studentswith their playing position. If you didnot get a shoulder rest, a sponge will be provided to pad the bottom of theinstrument.
How can I find information aboutconcerts and what is going on in the orchestra?
Each year Icreate an e-mail distribution list for each grade level. I will use it to e-mail concert information,after school rehearsals, progress reports, dates, information on other concertsgoing on around the community and more. I will always use BCC so no one can see your e-mail address. If you are already receiving e-mails thenyou are on the list. Please e-mail me ifyou do not want your name on the list. My web page also contains all of theinformation regarding concerts, videos, pictures, recordings, lesson plans,dates, times and more. You can find it at www.northallegheny.org then click:school, staff, Dennis Morton, and elementary strings.
What if my child’s instrument orstring breaks? In most cases an instrument with minor problems or string replacementcan be repaired at school. If aninstrument needs to be repaired, please have your child bring it to the stringroom in the morning. Attach a note tothe case and place it on my desk so I can fix it before their lesson. Allother major repairs should be taken to the rental company. If you call the company that you are rentingfrom they should be able to exchange the damaged instrument for a new one atthe school. With careful treatment mostinstruments will stay in tunebetween lessons and orchestra rehearsals. Only experienced students/parents should attempt to tune the instrument.In the event of a broken string orfraying string you will need to replace the missing or damaged string. Music Innovations sells strings at areasonable price. You can also checkvarious web sites for string prices: http://www.swstrings.com or http://www.sharmusic.com Once you get the string I can put it on foryou. When your child grows, they willneed to exchange instruments. During the school year I will advise you ofthis change. You should call the rentalcompany and they will deliver the new instrument to the school and retrieve theone you are exchanging.