Grade 4 Strings Enrollment
01 September 2022

Grade 4 Strings Enrollment

Registration is open for the Belmont Public Schools

Grade 4 Strings Program (2022-23)  

The following message contains information about the Grade 4 Strings Program, with enrollment instructions below. 

Please read through this message carefully, and feel free to contact Arto Asadoorian (Director of Visual & Performing Arts, aasadoorian@belmontschools.net) with any questions.

All Belmont 4th Graders are encouraged to learn to play a string instrument - violin, viola, cello or bass - in school this year. Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of this important opportunity for your student. 


Ready to Enroll in the Grade 4 Strings Program?

CLICK TO ENROLL NOW!

Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.


Why Should We Learn to Play a String Instrument?

Learning to play an instrument is one of the most rewarding experiences we can offer to our students. For decades studies have shown correlation between participation in music - and particularly playing an instrument - and numerous academic, cognitive, social and emotional benefits. 

Through learning to play an instrument, students learn to persevere through difficulties and overcome challenges. They will see firsthand the benefit of consistent practice and effective effort. They will develop the technical and artistic skills that allow them to be expressive and make music that connects them to their communities and with people and cultures around the world. And the beauty of our in-school program is that they get to do this as a part of their school day, with their friends and classmates, and with the support of their entire school community.

The Grade 4 Strings Program serves as the bridge between the Elementary School Classroom Music curriculum and the Middle and High School Music Programs that students will participate in for the next several years.


Information About String Lessons

These lessons are intended for beginners with no prior experience. Students who have played an instrument before are welcome to enroll, but the focus of instruction will be on beginners who have never played before. More experienced players will surely benefit from the experience of making music with their classmates, and often can serve as excellent role models and “helpers” for their classmates.

40-minute group lessons take place once per week in each elementary school:

  • Burbank - Mondays

  • Wellington - Tuesdays or Wednesdays

  • Butler - Thursdays

  • Winn Brook - Fridays

Students attend string lessons with all of the other string players in their classroom. They will not miss any new classroom instruction, since most - if not all - of the students in their classroom will be in string lessons together. Students who choose not to play a string instrument stay in  the classroom to complete independent work or other activities with their teacher.

There may be a small number of informal performances that take place durings school, and there will be one evening performance at Belmont High School for all 4th Grade String students on Wednesday, April 12. Other than that, the entirety of the Grade 4 Strings Program takes place during the regular school day.


How Do Students Select an Instrument?

Meg Dagon (Grade 4-5 Strings Teacher) will visit each school during the first weeks of September. She will talk to students about their options and answer any questions they have about the instruments and the lesson program. Students and families will decide together which instrument they would like to play, and then complete the enrollment process outlined below. 

Students are not required to play an instrument this year. While it is our sincere hope that 100% of students will participate in the program, it is an optional program that students can choose not to participate in.


What Does it Cost? What If We Can’t Afford It?

The Belmont Public Schools will ensure that every student who wants to play an instrument will have the opportunity to play an instrument, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Our partners, David French Music and Powers Music School, are equally committed to making this possible.

There are two costs associated with the Grade 4 String Program:

1. Belmont Public Schools Participation Fee ($250)

2. Instrument Rental Fee ($25-60/month, depending on the instrument)

The BPS Participation Fee is a one-time fee that is required for Grade 4 Strings, and for Grade 5 Band/Orchestra. After that there are no Participation Fees required for our in-school music programs.

Fee Waivers/Reductions and No-Cost Scholarship Instruments are available by application, with instructions included in the enrollment form. 

If you have any questions about applying for a waiver, please contact Arto Asadoorian, aasadoorian@belmontschools.net.

Instruments are not provided by the Belmont Public Schools, and are not included in the $250 Participation Fee. 


How Do We Get an Instrument?

Families may choose to purchase or rent an instrument from any vendor they choose, but we strongly encourage that you rent through our selected vendor, David French Music. If you want to know more about why we suggest that you rent an instrument rather than buy one on your own, check out the information at the bottom of this message.

Once you are ready to rent your instrument, if you choose to rent through David French Music you can rent through their website. Your instrument will be delivered directly to your school. Rent by Friday, Sept. 16 to receive your instrument in time for the first week of lessons.

If you are applying for a Participation Fee Waiver you may also request a Scholarship Instrument through David French Music, which will be provided free of charge as long as your student remains in the BPS Music Program.


Ready to Enroll in the Grade 4 Strings Program?

CLICK TO ENROLL NOW!

Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.


Supplemental Opportunities

Saturday Morning Music School (SMMS) has been a Belmont institution for 40+ years, providing supplemental music instruction to beginning instrumentalists and teaming them with professional music educators and  mentors from Belmont High School. For the past several years, the Belmont Public Schools have partnered with our neighbors at Powers Music School to provide this incredible opportunity exclusively for Belmont students.

SMMS takes place on Saturday mornings at Chenery Middle School from October-April for a very low cost per student. Students who qualify for BPS Fee Waivers are eligible for the same waiver or reduction towards SMMS tuition. Use the link above to learn more about a Saturday Morning Music School.

Belmont High School Music Mentors volunteer each year to work with the younger music students in our school program. Later this fall we will send you information about how you can enroll in the Music Mentors program, to pair your student up with a musical role-model to help them practice at home.

Private lessons with a professional music teacher are always a fantastic idea for students who are interested in more focused, individualized lessons on their instrument. There are a number of excellent teachers in our area, including those who teach at Powers Music School. Families who qualify for BPS Fee Waivers are also eligible to enroll in the Belmont Scholars program at Powers, which provides them with free or reduced tuition on weekly private lessons. This is an amazing opportunity that Powers Music School has generously provided to Belmont students for the past several years, and one that we hope families will continue to take advantage of this year.


Do You Still Have Questions?

  • Come to our Music Information Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Chenery Middle School, 6:00pm. 

  • E-mail Arto Asadoorian, aasadoorian@belmontschools.net

  • Call our office, 617-993-5990


Why Should We RENT an Instrument ?

Beginners do not start on full-size instruments.

4th Graders will start playing on ¼ or ½ size instruments. As they grow, they will need to “size up” their instruments until they reach middle or high school, when they will begin playing full-size instruments.

You can purchase ¼- or ½-size instruments if you would like to avoid renting, but you will need to purchase a new instrument at each increment as your child grows. Your rental agreement with David French Music includes “size-ups” as your student grows, at no cost to you.

Your rental agreement includes school delivery and repairs.

This means that everything your child needs for their lessons will be delivered directly to their school. And should you need repairs to your instrument, David French Music will pick up/drop off the instrument at school, and provide your child with a loaner instrument to use in the meantime.

It is interest-free, rent-to-own towards your full size instrument.

Once your rental period is complete, you will own a full-size instrument that your student can play throughout high school and even beyond.

David French Music provides high-quality instruments.

You can do a Google Search and find ¼-size string instruments available for purchase online at a very low price. Keep in mind that “you get what you pay for.” Most of these low-cost instruments are not durable enough to get your child through their first months of instruction, and they are also not able to be repaired by most technicians. They may also be more difficult for students to play due to poor construction and design. You can help your student be successful by putting a high-quality instrument in their hands as they begin learning to play, and renting through David French Music (or another reputable vendor) is the best and most cost-effective way we can advise you to do that.


Ready to Enroll in the Grade 4 Strings Program?

CLICK TO ENROLL NOW!

Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.