• Distance Learning in Orchestra

    Dear Orchestra Students and Parents

    For the foreseeable future, I will be posting weekly assignments on Google classroom and my website. Office Hours will be from 8am -3pm. During this time feel free to send me an email at jovialis.gricius@wcsdny.org and I will respond as soon as possible.  

    All of the orchestra students have been invited to join the Orchestra Google classroom. You can access my google classroom by emaiing me for the code. All students were invited to join already.

    Directions for accessing Google Classroom:

    • Start at Google.com
    • Have your child sign in under his/her account:

    Username: firstname.lastname@k12.wcsdny.org

    PW: FirstnameID# 

    Once onto Google, have students find the + symbol, and add his/her teacher’s code.


    For now, in string lessons, our main goal is to prevent regression. If we were at school we would be using this month to really perfect the pieces we already know for the concert. If distance learning continues I will be posting instructional videos on new topics and skills. But for now our goal is to try to practice 4 times a week for about 15/20 minutes.    

    Thankfully all the students have a method book and if they want to challenge themselves and move ahead in the book then this is a perfect opportunity to try that.. 

    For 5th grade students the next two weeks will be focused on page 27. I will assign new assignments on google classroom and on my website. 

    For sixth grade orchestra students they should have simple gifts on page 45 down completely and I would encourage you to have them play it at home for the family. If they feel ready to move on to page 46 this is their typical 4th quarter solo and playing exam. 

    Hopefully orchestra and playing their instrument will be a release and a creative outlet during these strange times. I do not want them to get stressed out so if they get frustrated please help them take a break and perhaps have them play something that they enjoy. 

    My email is jovialis.gricius@wcsdny.org  and please email me any questions you might have.


    Ms Gricius



    All Assignments can be found by grade in the left hand menu on this page. I included audio/video of assignments to help students listen and learn their songs.  




    Important Dates (may be subject to change)

    Spring Concert for 5th Grade Orchestra
    Date: May 13, 2020
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: Roy C Ketcham High School
    Dress: Dark/Black bottoms & White/light top. Or dress in All-Black

    6th Grade Orchestra 
    Spring Pyramid Concert
    Date: May 6th, 2020
    Time: 7:00 P.M. (arrive between 5:20 to rehearse with other schools) 
    Parents can drop off Students at Main Lobby, students can enter the auditiorium.
    Location: Roy C Ketcham High School
    Dress: All Black (gentlemen can wear white button-up if they do not have black)


    Festival of the Arts
    Date: May 16th, 2020
    Time: 10:00-4:00


    How playing an instrument benefits your brain

    When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What's going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians' brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.







    String instruments have quickly found their place in popular and modern music, and as you can see in the below video, a beat-boxing, hip-hop artist transforms the cello into a meaningful modern day instrument. 



  • Elementary Orchestra - Parent Information
    A Guide to Aid in the Success of Your Child’s Musical Experience

    A Letter from the Director
    Jovialis Gricius
    Orchestra Director
    Kinry Road Elementary School (845) 463-7322
    Oak Grove Elementary School (845) 298-5280
    Sheafe Rd Elementary School (845) 298-5290

    Materials and Supplies

    All 5th Grade orchestra students need the book, “Essential Elements 2000” book 1.  If you rented your child’s instrument, this book came with your child’s rental.  If not, you will need to purchase this book.

    Each instrument has its own needs. They are listed below and I included a link to purchase them online if you desire:

    Shoulder Rest  
    Essential Elements Book 1 for Violin

    Shoulder Rest
    Essential Elements Book 1 for Viola

    Cello Anchor or Rock Stop
    Essential Elements Book 1 for Cello

    Rock Stop 

    Essential Elements Book 1 for Bass


    All String Instruments will need:

    • Rosin
    • Folding Music Stand – I also ask that you please purchase a music stand. That helps promote proper posture when playing. The music stand will stay at home for students to use during practice.
    • Strings – If your child’s string breaks, please purchase a replacement string and I will put the string on your child’s instrument at the next string lesson.


    There are local dealers of these supplies:
    Amadeus Strings                    486-7617
    Paul Effman                           452-8528
    D&M                                       635-1120
    Joseph Regh Violins                 297-2521

    Additionally here are some online dealers with whom I have dealt personally that have shown to offer reliable instruments and materials:
    Shar Music                  www.sharmusic.com
    Southwest Strings       www.swstrings.com

    Orchestra/String Lessons
    Each orchestra student will be assigned a 30 minute small group lesson time during the six-day cycle. These lessons occur on a pull-out schedule. Classroom teachers will have a schedule of string lessons, and students will be excused from class to attend their lesson. During lessons, your student will learn specifics about playing his/her instrument that cannot be taught during the full orchestra rehearsal. Therefore, small group lessons not only contribute greatly to the individual's musical achievement but to the entire ensemble's as well.

    Orchestra Class/Rehearsal
    Every Fifth Grade Band student will have orchestra class/rehearsal for 40 minutes once in the 6 day cycle.  Students who are not in orchestra will remain in their regular classroom during this time.

    Securing an Instrument For Your Child
    Your decision to provide your child with a quality musical instrument is an investment in your child's future. In making it possible for your child to play a musical instrument, you are providing the opportunity for self-expression, creativity and achievement.  Numerous studies indicate parental attitude, support and involvement are important factors in a child's ability to successfully learn to play and to enjoy music.

    Please take this opportunity to secure an instrument for your child for the fall.  If you use one of the local vendors, you should complete one of their contracts and send it to them by early July.  That will insure delivery to the school by early September so that your child will not miss having an instrument on that all important first lesson.  Please be sure that your rental includes the book we will be using in 5th Grade.

    Please proceed with caution if you are buying an instrument on the internet.  There are many instruments advertised on the internet that have enticing low prices.  Very often, these instruments are of low quality.  I have had instrument repair technicians actually refuse to work on some of these because the cost of repair would be greater then the actual worth of the instrument. Please if you have a question about an instrument make or model, do not hesitate to ask!

    Instrument Transport & Storage
    Students are always allowed to bring small instruments to and from school on the bus.  Each student is expected to bring his/her instrument home at the end of each school day, over weekends, and before long vacation breaks or absences. This will allow them the opportunity to practice and develop their musical skills. Please remind your children to take their instrument home so there are no damages resulting from instruments left at school. Larger string instruments, such as the cello and double bass are not allowed on the bus. These larger instruments may require you to drop them off before school and pick them up after school.

    Curriculum will focus on learning proper fundamentals for performing on an instrument both physically and technically. Students will learn a solid foundation of performance fundamentals including tone production, rhythm, blend, balance, intonation, dynamics, articulation, musicianship, rehearsal behavior, and practicing.

    Home Practice Support
    Every good musician must practice his or her instrument regularly. Each week, your child will receive a practice sheet where their assignment will be recorded and the student is to write down their practice times each day.  At the next week’s lesson I will collect the completed practice sheet, make comments and an assessment, and hand the sheet back to your child at the end of the lesson.  Take a look at your student’s practice habits. Do they have a regular routine? They should be coming to you asking for your initials as verification of the total time they practiced each week. Some students naturally make time for practicing. Others may need to have a parent help schedule their time.







    Need a Tuner?
    Try these tuners: 

    Snark Tuners

    Please check the website for your grade level in the left menu

    Ms. Jovialis Gricius
    5th and 6th Grade Strings & Orchestra

    Email: jovialis.gricius@WCSDNY.org 

    Phone Numbers:
    Kinry: 463-7322
    Oak Grove: 298-5280
    Sheafe  298-5290

     Listen to an amazing performance by Kevin "K.O." Olusola