What happened to StringTime?

The StringTime program was originally funded through a private grant. Unfortunately, that grant no longer exists. We thank Rita Berkowitz and her family for their incredible generosity.

Why did the name of the program change from StringTime to Allendale Youth Orchestra?

BHMAA changed the name to better represent the new direction and larger scope of the program. Now, in addition to violin, the new program offers an opportunity to learn viola and cello! The new program is designed to align with Hillside and Brookside’s current music curriculum to enhance what the children are being taught during the day and allow students an easier transition to the Brookside Orchestra program.

How can my child join the program?

Registration for 2019-2020 will begin in May 2019.

Can you summarize the program for me? 

The Allendale Youth Orchestra (AYO), brought to you by the BHMAA, is an after school program currently aimed at 2nd and 3rd grade students interested in learning the violin, viola or cello and interested in 4th an 5th grade. The program is designed to build upon the materials they are already learning in the music program at Hillside and is structured to create a bridge into the Brookside Orchestra program. The AYO program seeks to enhance the children’s musical experience here at Hillside and to help provide them with a strong foundation in, love of, music. All lessons will be held at Hillside.

We welcome any families who would like to give their child an opportunity to take group lessons on one of these instruments to apply for enrollment. The AYO is a 27 week program that begins in September and culminates with a concert in June. Students will participate in weekly 45 minute lessons that will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays when school is in session. Classes are comprised of 6-8 students who are grouped initially by experience level and may be regrouped by the instructor if appropriate.

There will be an AYO information session and meet and greet held on September 24th prior to lessons beginning the week of October 1st.

You mentioned payment. How much?

We are looking to create a financially viable program that doesn’t rely on grants and is still affordable for most. This year you will be able to pay by credit card online and you will be able to reach out to the superintendent’s office if you need financial assistance. The fee for the lessons will be $250. Families will arrange for their own instrument rental, which starts at $99 for the school year.

What do I get for my money?

27 weekly lessons of 45 minutes each with a small group of 6-8 students, at least one performance opportunity and an instrument that is in great shape, sized for your child, repaired for free and delivered to the school.

Why are you making me rent an instrument?

Buying, storing and caring for over 60 strings instruments does not make financial or practical sense for the program. By renting, you have a guarantee that someone can fix your instrument in a timely manner, that it’s easy to switch sizes as your child grows and that the instrument sounds great. Rental information can be found here.

What kind of time commitment does the Allendale Youth Orchestra require? 

For students, it’s a weekly class and at least 10-15 minutes of practice a day. For parents, there’s making sure the above happens plus taking a turn chaperoning the class every 6 to 8 weeks. Chaperones arrive a few minutes early to make sure all the students are lined up and ready to enter, plus they handle taking any students to aftercare after class and waiting until all students are picked up.

I’ve never played any of these instruments. How can I help my child?

Parents are welcome to observe classes so they can hear the critiques and recommendations from the teacher. There will also be regular communications  giving practice tips and help.

I have more questions. Where can I get answers?

Please email us at bhmaaAYO@gmail.com