4th Grade: Elementary Beginning String Orchestra
This class provides an introduction to the instrument and establishes basics, including music reading, tone production, correct playing techniques, and basic performance techniques. The first meeting of this class will involve an instrument selection process to establish a balanced ensemble. There will be a minimum of two concerts, one in the Winter and one in the Spring. Class meets at Hopkins Junior High School once per week for 1 hour, and involves students from the elementary schools of the Mission Attendance Area (i.e. Chadbourne, Gomes, Mission San Jose, and Mission Valley).
5th Grade: Elementary Intermediate String Orchestra
This class is a continuation of Orchestra, picking up from the end of Beginning Strings. It continues with more advanced topics related to music reading, playing techniques, and tone production. There is also a focus on harmony and musical independence. There will be a minimum of two concerts, one in the Winter and one in the Spring. Class meets at Hopkins Junior High School once per week for 1 hour, and involves students from all Mission Attendance Area elementary schools.
6th Grade: Elementary Advanced String Orchestra
This class is a continuation of Elementary Intermediate Orchestra, picking up from the end of Intermediate Strings. It continues with more detailed refinement of skills including music reading, tone production, and more advanced playing techniques. There is continuing focus on harmony, musical independence, and musicality. Students in this class are expected to perform at a high elementary level. There will be a minimum of two concerts, one in the Winter and one in the Spring. Class meets at Hopkins Junior High School once per week for 75 minutes, and involves students from all Mission Attendance Area elementary schools.
7th Grade: Hopkins Junior High School Intermediate Orchestra
This class represents the first opportunity for students to have music classes as part of their daily school schedule. Classes meet as part of the regular school schedule for 48 minutes per day. Continuation and refinement of skills such as tone production, ensemble balance, blend, and intonation are the points of focus. Also, students learn and master an advanced level of music reading, notation, and theory. This ensemble performs at a very high level, and requires a lot of musical growth during the year. This class is not to be confused with Elementary Intermediate Orchestra, as they are not the same! Hopkins Intermediate Orchestra performs in a minimum of 3 evening concerts per year, and travels to the local CMEA Orchestra Festival, and a Music in the Parks Festival at Great America in the Spring.
8th Grade: Hopkins Junior High School Advanced Orchestra
This is the second in the comprehensive Orchestra sequence at Hopkins Junior High School. Classes meet as part of the regular school schedule for 48 minutes per day. This class continues refinement of all previously-learned skills. There is also an introduction of more advanced performance and music reading concepts.
This class is designed to prepare students to participate in the orchestra at Mission San Jose High School, and performs at a very high level. Hopkins Advanced Orchestra performs at a minimum of 3 evening concerts during the year, including the Mission Attendance Area Concert at Ohlone College. This ensemble also participates in the CMEA Orchestra Festival in the Spring, and travels to Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) to participate in the Music in the Parks Festival in May. Selected students in this class are part of the Hopkins Full Orchestra, where members of Wind Ensemble are brought in to rehearse with the string players.
* There are exceptions to this sequence, and students always have the option of testing into a higher level if there is space in the class. Students may also begin the sequence at any time in elementary school. However, starting an instrument in 4th or 5th grade is strongly recommended.