Information on Renting vs. Buying an String Instrument

Dear parents,

Besides selecting the best private lesson music teacher for your child, renting vs. buying a string instrument is an important decision that can have an impact, not only on your pocketbook, but also on whether or not your child stays with, and enjoys their instrument for years or quits in frustration after a few months.

For beginners, especially young children, most teachers recommend renting an instrument rather than buying.  They can start with a smaller size instrument and will change size as they grow.  Most rental programs allow size exchanges at any time which would eliminate the need to frequently buy another instrument every time your child is ready for the next size.  Also, most rental programs have a damage protection plan (insurance) that covers the cost of repairs due to accidental damage, normal wear and tear, and adjustment maintenance.  Please note that these benefits are not available when buying.

If you already own an instrument or borrow from someone, that spare instrument may be a good choice for you.  However, please double check if the available instrument match to your child’s current size.  It is important to have me as your child’s music teacher or private lesson music teacher inspect the instrument. 

Buying vs. renting a band instrument is an important decision.  Please consult with me if you need my assistance in making the proper instrument selection for your child.

Grade 5: Ardsley Instrument Return

Dear 5th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.

If you rented an instrument from Ardsley and plan to return the rental instrument:

  1. Have your child bring the Rental Renewal Invoice to school
  2. Place it in the instrument case 
  3. Leave the instrument in the music classroom BEFORE Friday, June 8th.
    • If you never received your Rental Renewal Invoice from Ardsley, I can still return it to Ardsley.  The serial number was assigned to each instrument for this reason.

The PICKUP DATE at our school is Monday, June 11th (no school for students).    If you miss the pickup date, you will need to return the instrument directly to Ardsley.

I would like to make sure that no students leave their instrument in the school over the summer.   Please contact me at jkim@lowerlab.org if you have any further questions.

Thank you for your great support this year!

Musically yours,

Ms. Kim

 

Grade 4: Ardsley Instrument Renewal

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Dear 4th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd., except those students who own their own instrument.

I highly recommend that you RENEW and keep an instrument over the summer.  This way, they are ready to begin music classes when school begins in September.  Any exchange to the next size larger or repair will be done at no additional cost as the need arises between September and October in the school year 2018-2019.  Summer is FREE if you renew your rental by June 20th.

To renew your existing rental, click here or call 914-693-6639.

I would like to make sure that no students leave their instrument in the school over the summer.   Please contact me at jkim@lowerlab.org if you have any further questions.

Thank you for your great support this year!

Musically yours,

Ms. Kim

 

Annual Orchestra Concert on Wednesday, May 16th at 6 p.m.

Dear 4th and 5th grade Parents, 

Happy Spring! 

Our fourth and fifth grade orchestra students and fifth grade girls’ chorus group are pleased to present a concert on WednesdayMay 16that 6:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.

 Students who perform in the evening concert should report to school by 5:30 p.m. for tuning and getting ready on the stage.  In addition, all students are expected to dress in appropriate clothing for the evening performance:

  • Boys: Black pants, white collared dress shirts (black ties/bowties are encouraged), and dark dress shoes
  • Girls: Black skirts (or dresses), white blouses/dress shirts, and dark dress shoes

I would like to encourage that all fourth and fifth grade students participate in this great performance experience and opportunity.  However, if your child is unable to attend the concert, please notify me prior to the concert date.  

I am proud of the students’ hard work and appreciate your parental support in their music making journey throughout this school year.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at jkim@lowerlab.org.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kim

Music: Grade 4 Orchestra Class

Dear 4th grade parents,

ALL 4th grade students will have PE next Monday, April 13th, due to the Spring Sing concert rehearsals for K-3 students.  On Tuesday, April 14th, ALL 4th grade students will have music.  Any violin students who wish (or need) to bring their instrument to school next Monday, please feel free to leave the instrument in the music classroom for Tuesday’s music class.  

Thank you!

Ms. Kim

Spring Sing Concert (K-3), April 18th

Spring Song
Spring Song (2011), David Lobenberg 

It seems as though we have just completed our Winter Sing Concert, and yet it is time to present our Spring Concert. We are pleased to present our Spring Concert on Wednesday, April 18th at 8:30 AM for Kindergarten and 1st grade students, and 9:15 AM for 2nd and 3rd grade students in the Auditorium.  Please mark your calendars!

 We are proud and pleased with the hard work of the children in bringing you this wonderful performance. Please make every effort to remain for the entire concert as all the children have worked very hard to perform for an audience. Out of respect and caring for all of them, I am asking that everyone remain until the end of the concert.

 For 3rd grade students, please remind your child to bring his/her recorder to school on the concert date.

 I am certain everyone will enjoy the fine performances of our students!

 As always, I thank you for supporting your child’s music education.

Music: Tips to Keep Your Stringed Instruments in Tune

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Illustrated by Gemma Correll (www.gemmacorrell.com)

A stringed instrument is a living thing. It is crafted from organic materials, the woods, strings, and glues employed during its creation interact with the atmosphere around them.  While these materials work together, they are also responsible for the reason that stringed instruments go out of tune.

Especially, wood is material in motion. When changing temperature and/or humidity, wood shrinks and expands.  In the winter, your instrument will go out of tune more often.  The temperature difference between inside and outside is higher (especially when you have the heating on).  Moreover, the humidity in the winter is very changeable. Everywhere you go, your instrument has to adapt to the climate of your home, car and the new location.  Therefore, any severe changes in temperature or humidity will affect its tune.

Here are some tips to keep your stringed instruments in tune:

  1. Avoid changes in temperature and humidity as much as possible. Don’t leave the instrument in a cold room, that you heat up quickly when you have to be there. Take care of conditions so that it can be as stable as possible. The different hardwoods, metals, and softwoods used to craft the instrument absorb moisture in different amounts, so when the location or conditions change, re-tuning is required.
  2. Are your strings in good condition? Strings are designed to stretch, but after a while they can lose their ability to maintain integrity. In addition, strings get weaker with frequent changes in tension: they snap, go waddle in tone, or go out of tune a lot. I let the students know if any string is in poor condition or needs to be replaced.
  3. Is the room of your instrument usually too dry? Drought can cause cracks in your instrument. If the environment is too dry, keep it in a room with a humidifier. With stable humidity between 40% and 70%, you do not have to worry.

Keeping your stringed instruments in tune for longer periods of time is possible, students just need to make sure that they protect it, and replace the strings as often as needed.  The way the care for their instruments have a big impact on how well it retains its tune.

How to Listen to Music (K-5)

Our K-5 music students have been developing their ears as musicians since the beginning of the school year.  Our music students are encouraged to listen to each other as they sing or play.  By listening to each other’s voices or playing, not only the students become more socially conscious, kind and respectful citizens, but also they learn “how to listen” to music. 

Different styles or genres of music have also been introduced into all K-5 classes.  Our students have been encouraged to enter different times and places by singing (grade K-3) or playing (grade 3-5), and listening to songs from history and other cultures (all grades), which even helps them build some knowledge about the other subjects.

After the students listen to a song, they fill out a listening worksheet to identify the key elements of music and to share their responses to music.  This particular type of activity is tremendously effective to boost their internalization and critical thinking.  Many students also exclaim about how fun our music listening activities are!

Here are some examples:

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4th Grade Music, Next Tuesday, January 23rd

Dear 4th grade parents,

ALL 4th grade students will have gym next Monday, 1/22, due to the Winter Sing concert rehearsals.  On Tuesday, 1/23, I plan to have the Violin group, instead of the Viola/Cello group, since the Violin group will miss music for two consecutive Mondays.  Please make sure that all violin students bring the instruments and viola and cello students do NOT need to bring the instruments next Tuesday, 1/23.  

Thank you!

Ms. Kim

Dear parents: 

I would like to inform you of our Winter Sing Concert which is fast approaching! The concert is on Wednesday, January 24th. Lower Lab will be presenting our Winter Sing concerts in the Auditorium: 8:30 AM for Kindergarten and 1st grade students, and 9:15 AM for 2nd and 3rd grade students.

 

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Our students have been working hard to prepare this program for everyone to enjoy! I know the students will give their best efforts as performers. In order to heighten the experience for you as a listener, I would like to ask that both students and audience members use proper concert etiquette at all times during the concert. I encourage you all to stay for the entirety of the concert.

Thank you in advance for helping make the students’ experience the best possible. I know that you will be proud of their work and hope to see you all there! As always, if I can answer any questions regarding the program, feel free to email me. 

Sincerely,

Ms. Kim