Assessments and Grading

Orchestra is a graded class that meets before school. Sectionals meet as a pull-out program with a rotating schedule: students miss the same class every 6 weeks.


Students receive a semester grade in orchestra based on their progress, home practice, attendance, attitude and concert performance. Performances are graded as unit tests.

There are three Marie Murphy string orchestras which are grouped by ability. Students are placed in Concert Strings or Senior Strings at the beginning of the year but can change orchestras at any time during the school year. Students need to be placed in the group that best suits their level. 



Concert Strings works on basic skills including:

     music reading 


     key signatures

     hand positions

     bow hand

     left-hand position


     sound production

Concert Strings meets on Tuesdays and Fridays 7am - 7:40 am

Senior Strings continues to work on the above skills plus advanced skills including:



     chromatic scales

     advanced bow strokes


Senior Strings meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 7am - 7:40 am

Strolling Strings works on performance skills including:


     rote learning

     adjusting to performance conditions

Strolling Strings rehearses during Senior Strings morning rehearsals and also during sectionals.