Elementary FAQs

Note:  all changes are marked in blue italics - the major change being MEAD and BOOK

My child does not have any music experience. Can they still play in orchestra?
Yes. The beginning class is for students with no experience.
My child is in 4th grade and already plays violin/viola/cello. Which class should they be in?
If your student already plays a stringed instrument, they should probably be in the intermediate class, but should first email Mr. Rath.
What days does my child have orchestra?

Beginner violins/violas meet on Mondays and Fridays. Beginner cellos and basses meet on Wednesdays on Fridays. All intermediate orchestra students meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All classes are from 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Connection Time for Orchestra meets Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, we look forward to seeing you there! Links will be sent out via Teams once a Teams page is complete.


Where are orchestra classes held?

Elementary orchestra classes are held at MEAD Elementary. We will meet in the Commons.


How much do orchestra classes cost?

The classes are free. We are teachers employed by the school district just like your child's elementary teachers.


I am late registering my child. Is there still room in the class?

Yes. We take any 4th/5th grade student that would like to play.


What does my child need for class?

  • A stringed instrument and bow of the appropriate size.
  • A shoulder rest for violins/violas or a rock stop for cellos/basses.
  • Rosin
  • A music book: 
  • A pencil
  • A music stand is required this year, here is a link to a good brand: ChromaCast Music Stand


Where do I get an instrument, music book, etc.?

We strongly recommend that you rent an instrument for a while before purchasing. At this age, most students are not ready for a full-sized string instrument. It is also a good idea to make sure orchestra is something your child wants to stick with before investing in an instrument of your own. Some local rental/music supply shops are:

  • Hammond Ashley Violins - Issaquah
  • Moore Brothers Music - Sammamish
  • Henry Bischofberger Violins - Kirkland
  • Kennelly Keys - Bellevue
  • Music and Arts- Issaquah and Redmond


How does my child get to Mead?

  • You can drive your child to Mead and drop them off.
  • Carpool.
You may check with LWSD transportation to see if the Mead bus route in your neighborhood has space.  If so, your student may ride the elementary school bus to school.

Where do I drop my child off at Mead?
Please familiarize yourself with the traffic flow map below and the instructions.  Traffic must keep moving so that all elementary orchestra students can get where they need to be safely and on time.  As we get used to the new situation and the addition of our students to a new school, we ask that you please be patient and considerate at a crazy time of morning. Mead administrators, as well as Mrs. Rath and I, will be on hand the first week or so to try to make the arrival of all kids as painless as possible.


Green Line/Arrow - Traffic flow direction.

Red Line/Arrow - Drop-off zone.  Please pull as far forward as you can. NO PARKING.

Orchestra Entrance - Students go down the exterior stairs and into the building.

Parking Area - Where you can park if you wish to escort your child into the building.

How does my child get back to their elementary school?

We have bus transportation that will deliver your child to their home school for the start of the school day. We will walk Mead students to school.


My school starts at 8:55 a.m. Will my child be late/penalized?

The early start elementary schools are accustomed to beginning band/orchestra students coming to class a few minutes late. We do our best to make sure we get students out on time, but we cannot control traffic patterns or weather difficulties. The first couple weeks will be rough as we get the students used to the bus routine, but then things should straighten out and kids will get to school faster.


It is against state law to take a cello/bass on the bus. How do I get the instrument to/from class?

Cello and bass players do not need to transport their instrument to/from class. We have school instruments that they may use during class for a yearly maintenance fee of $100 made out to "Mead Elementary School". You will still need an instrument for use at home. Violins and violas may be transported on the bus. Please let us know if the fee creates a hardship for your family.


My child plays the cello/bass. Do I have to use a school instrument at school?

No. If you wish to drive your student's cello or bass to/from Inglewood in the morning, you may do so.

My child is playing violin/viola and I noticed they are supposed to leave their instrument with the teacher for "taping" on the first day. Why?

Stringed instruments do not have frets or other markings that tell the student where to put their fingers. In order to help the students be successful, we put tapes on the fingerboard so that they know where to put their fingers for the notes. Due to the high volume of students, it is impossible for us to do this task during class time so we keep the instruments until the next lesson so we can set them up while the students are not in class.

Why do I need to bring a music stand each day, where do I store the music stand?

Students will not be leaving music stands at the school this year.  Mead is short on space for storage and we are requiring students to bring a stand and then to take it to school with them each day.