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PRIVATE LESSONS also available during the day
Call 804-442-6158 for details.
Greater Richmond Homeschool Bands
The Beginning Band is a beginning level group for students who are learning to play a band instrument for the first time. Instruction is focused on developing a solid foundation in note reading, tone production, rhythm, articulation, proper posture/hand position, and instrument care and maintenance. Students also learn basic music theory concepts and ensemble skills, such as balance and blend. Beginning Band members receive a group lesson each week. The students are grouped with others who play the same instrument. As a performance date nears, the beginning band lesson groups join together and rehearse as a full ensemble. The minimum age to participate is 9 years old. No previous music experience is necessary.
The Concert Band is an intermediate level group for students who have had 1-3 years of experience playing a band instrument. Concert Band members receive a sectional rehearsal as well as a full ensemble rehearsal each week. In addition to continued development of basic instrumental music foundations, instruction focuses on the finer details of playing in an ensemble. Students in the Concert Band receive instruction on music theory and learn scales to improve technique and expand range. The sectional rehearsals offer the opportunity for the students to learn and perform chamber music or small ensemble pieces.
The Symphonic Band is an advanced level group comprised of students who have had 4+ years of experience playing a band instrument or have demonstrated a high level of proficiency on their instrument. Symphonic Band members receive a sectional rehearsal in addition to a full ensemble rehearsal each week. Students in the Symphonic Band rehearse and perform high quality music in many styles and genres. In rehearsals, instruction is focused on balance, blend, intonation, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, and accuracy of pitch and rhythm. Students learn all 12 major scales and music theory concepts. The sectional rehearsals offer the opportunity for the students to learn and perform chamber music or small ensemble pieces.
BAND DIRECTOR – Robert W. (Bob) Ellithorpe
Our Homeschool Band director is Bob Ellithorpe who, having attained his B.M.Ed. at VCU and M.M. from University of Richmond, has accrued over 30 years of experience in instruction and band direction at elementary, middle and high school levels in Hanover and environs as well as instructing at VCU, Randolf Macon, University of Richmond, Garwood Whaley and his own private studio. He has guest conducted with numerous bands, and his performance repertoire is very long including 18yrs with the Richmond Symphony. He has also been on a number of adjudication teams and has a long list professional affiliations and recognitions including being listed in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and more recently was elected to Phi Beta Mu Virginia Band Director’s Hall of Fame-2013.
Greater Richmond Homeschool Choirs – Ward Center of Richmond
The St. Gregory Choir is based on Ward Book I That All May Sing, and is open to children who are mature 4 year olds through mid-elementary school.
The Schola is based on Ward Book II Look and Listen, and is open to children in mid-elementary through early high school, with the prerequisite of having completed Ward I or with the permission of the Director. Schola will be a featured ensemble demonstrating the Ward Method this summer at the 2016 SACRED MUSIC COLLOQUIUM in Saint Louis. HERE IS A SAMPLE of the Ward Schola from May 2016.
For descriptions of what is covered in the above ensembles please visit Homeschool Choir page.
Colleen Crafton is the Director of the Ward Centre of Richmond, VA. As an organist, pianist, and choral director, Mrs. Crafton has served church programs in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York. Most recently she served as the Interim Director of Music and Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA. As a trombonist, she has performed with The Syracuse Symphony, The Rochester Philharmonic, The Baltimore Opera Orchestra, and The United States Army Field Band. She has been a featured concerto soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and The Army Field Band. She has taught music at Ithaca College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, as well as public and private schools in Maryland, New York, and Virginia. In summer, 2016, Mrs. Crafton will be on the Church Music Association of America Colloquium faculty. Mrs. Crafton holds music degrees from The Catholic University of America (BM) and The Eastman School of Music (MM), with post-graduate accreditation in the Ward Method Level I, Ward Method Level II, and Gregorian Chant Practicum I at The Catholic University of America. She is the co-author of “A Brief History of the Ward Method and the Importance of Revitalizing Gregorian Chant and the Ward Method in the Music Classrooms of Parochial Schools,” found in the Winter, 2015 edition of the Sacred Music Journal. Mrs. Crafton also assists her musical husband, Don, with his business, SightReadingFactory.com, and enjoys spending time with both him and their five children.
Greater Richmond Homeschool Strings
The String Ensemble is a beginning/intermediate level group for students who have had 1-2 years of experience playing a string instrument. String Ensemble members receive both sectional and full ensemble rehearsals. In addition to the development of basic instrumental music foundations, instruction focuses on the finer details of playing in an ensemble. Students in the String Ensemble receive instruction on music theory and learn scales to improve technique and expand range. The sectional rehearsals offer the opportunity for the students to learn and perform chamber music or small ensemble pieces. The minimum age for taking part in this ensemble is 7 years, although the director would consider younger students depending on the outcome of a formal assessment.
The String Orchestra is an advanced level group comprised of students who have had 3+ years of experience playing a string instrument or have demonstrated a high level of proficiency on their instrument. String Orchestra members receive both sectional and full ensemble rehearsals. Students in the String Orchestra rehearse and perform high quality music in many styles and genres. In rehearsals, instruction is focused on balance, blend, intonation, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, and accuracy of pitch and rhythm. Students learn major scales and minor scales and music theory concepts. The sectional rehearsals offer the opportunity for the students to learn and perform chamber music or small ensemble pieces. The minimum age for taking part in this ensemble is 7 years, although the director would consider younger students depending on the outcome of a formal assessment.
Our Homeschool Orchestra director is Virginia Flores who, having attained her Bachelor of Music in Performance at Shenandoah University and Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy at Temple University has accrued over 18 years of experience both private instruction and Suzuki group instruction, in addition to working with youth string orchestras. She has performed as a chamber musician at the Kennedy Center, and at various locations in the Washington DC and Philadelphia metro areas. She was a soloist for the Italy Show at Busch Gardens, and has performed with a number of professional orchestras, including the Roanoke Symphony, they Maryland Symphony, the Haddonfield Symphony, and the Harrisburg Symphony.
Group Guitar Class
This course is for beginning guitar students and functions as a general introduction to the guitar. This class will be held shortly after the school day in order to incorporate homeschoolers and along with other students. Students will learn proper left/right hand techniques, rhythm, musical notation, chords, improvisation, and tuning. Literature will be selected from various genres both for the solo guitar as well as the guitar ensemble. Students must provide their own instrument, and recitals are included in tuition.
Uke ‘n’ Roll (r)
Learn to play classic songs on the ukulele in just a few lessons!! Play and sing along with your new uke buddies in this fun and energetic class! Learn the basic concepts of uke history, chords, rhythm, time, Orff arrangements, improvisation and perhaps, most importantly, reap the benefits of being successful at a new instrument!! (50 minutes)
Group Piano Class
The Greater Richmond School of Music group piano classes for homeschool students are designed to start beginners in a group setting. These classes are held during the school day. Classes will focus on incorporating good piano keyboard technique along with listening skills, rhythm, relative pitch through singing, consistent practice routines, theory, and history. Emphasis is placed on good habits from the start. Recitals are included in tuition.
Introduction to Violin
This eight (8) week course for students ages 5+, is designed to give a basic introduction to the violin. Students will learn proper left/right hand techniques, anatomy of the violin, how to produce a sound, and simple musical concepts. Students would also would work on rhythms and simple songs, in addition to the basic instrument posture/bow hold. This would be considered a Pre-Twinkle course. After the course, students would be ready to learn the Suzuki Twinkle Variations. However, students would not have to continue into a Suzuki based curriculum, the course would give any student a good foundation for study.
Private lessons provide focused, one-on-one instruction with a master teacher. Weekly private lessons can be scheduled during the school day for the convenience of homeschool students and are offered in 30, 45, and 60 minute sessions. Recitals are included in tuition. Intermediate and advanced students are encouraged to pursue additional performance opportunities such as chamber music and competitions.
Private Instruction is offered on the following instruments: Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Voice, Violin, Viola, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone and all Brass instruments. Beginning ages for each instrument varies.