At Prairie Elementary School, students have the opportunity to choose to play a string instrument in fourth grade. The orchestra program is growing rapidly, with 94 fourth graders in the program during the 2014-15 school year.
Orchestra students have two 30-minute orchestra classes each week with Ms. Dwan. During the beginning of the school year, students learn the parts of their instruments, and how to hold their instruments and bows, pluck and bow on the strings, finger to create different pitches, keep a steady beat, and perform with other players. By late fall, students begin playing with the bow, and they work to improve their tone, intonation, rhythm, and posture throughout the year. At the May All-School Orchestra Festival, scheduled for May 11, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Worthington High School this year, 4th graders join 5th-12th grade orchestra students to celebrate the progress they've made during their first year of playing a string instrument.