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Getting Started

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Getting started in the Program

If you are interested in joining the Prep Program, below you'll find some information you will need to know. To register contact the CWU Continuing Education Department at www.cwu.edu/ce. Download the 2014-15 registration packet HERE. Please also download and complete these Release Forms.

Tuition 
Tuition for participation in any of the Prep Orchestras is $90/quarter (approximately 10 weeks).

Instrument Rentals
Instruments may be rented through the Prep Program or a number of local music dealers. Rentals through the Prep Program will be made on a first come, first serve basis as instruments are available. The rental fee for all instruments is $40.00 per quarter. Instruments are due at the end of every quarter, or you may fill out a new rental agreement form to hold on to it over vacations. You can rent an instrument on the first day of classes. 

Meeting Times

  • Early Beginners: Tuesdays 4:00-5:00 PM
  • String Cats: Tuesdays 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Beginning Strings: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-4:45 PM
  • Kittitas Valley Young Artists: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-4:45 PM
  • Kittitas Valley String Ensemble and KVYO: Thursdays 6:00-8:00 PM
  • All rehearsals take place on the first floor of Central Washington University's music building.

Transportation
Parents/guardians are responsible for arranging transportation to and from Prep Strings. Please arrange for prompt arrival and pick-up as our rehearsal areas are in a public building.

Registration
Each fall, we have a registration day where students may fill out paperwork and check out instruments. Students who have no prior experience playing an instrument are encouraged to join the program during fall quarter as the class progresses throughout the year. Students who have played a stringed instrument before may be able to join a group at any time during the academic year. Group placement is dependent on an audition for Gold, Debut and KVYO (see below). Placements in Early Beginners, Beginning and Silver Strings is dependent on age and playing level. If you are new to the program or have any questions please contact the Program Director at prepstrings@cwu.edu or (509) 963-1498.

Auditions
Students must audition for Gold, Debut & KVYO. 

2013-2014 Audition Materials

Auditions are not meant to intimidate. They take place to ensure that the student is placed where he or she will best benefit and contribute. Students may opt to remain in the same level as the previous year without an audition. Auditioning students must prepare a scale and a short piece or excerpt that demonstrates their highest level of technical proficiency. Students may also be asked to sight-read.

Debut Orchestra students must demonstrate the ability to shift out of first position (for example, a 2- or 3-octave scale that shifts into 3rd position). Students auditioning for KVYO should be comfortable with higher positions, demonstrate a full and controlled tone, and have a developing vibrato. Pieces equivalent to works from Suzuki Book 4 or higher are generally suitable to demonstrate these abilities. Interested wind, brass, and percussion students should contact the 2013-2014 KVYO director, Alisyn Christensen at christensa@cwu.edu. KVYO specific audition materials are posted here. Please read more about the ensembles on our About Us page.

Private Lessons
Private instruction for all ages and abilities is highly encouraged as a supplement to participation in a Prep Orchestra. Individual guidance by highly experienced musicians allows students to progress at a much faster rate. The Preparatory Program does not offer private lessons, but recommends certain local private teachers. Many of these teachers are part of the Prep program staff and have many years of experience as music educators. For inquiries regarding private lessons, please contact the Program Director at prepstrings@cwu.edu.