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Through Centennial Middle’s specialized teaching methods, their orchestra program helps students of all levels reach their potential as musicians.
During rehearsal, Mr. Voght had the students split up into three groups, a main group and two smaller side groups. The main group, practiced in a more traditional setting, works on mastering specific songs together, such as “Apollo Suite”. This group is the most advanced group of the three. The other two groups work on songs from their practice books, which are books that range in difficulty, with each new song adding different techniques to master. Mr. Voght visits with each of the three groups, giving them instructions and letting them practice while he works with other groups.
In this orchestra class, Mr. Voght has a unique situation. Like most orchestras, there is a mix of experience and ability within the group. However, rather than struggling to balance the variety of student levels, Mr. Voght works on bringing everyone up to the same level of technique. Utilizing small groups gives Mr. Voght the opportunity to understand what each student’s struggles are and then work with them on the skillsets that will help them improve. Through persistent practice and instruction, the students’ playing will gradually start to improve. Once these students reach a certain level, Mr. Voght invites them to join the main group while he continues to ensure the success of all of his students.
When faced with varying levels of talent, Mr. Voght does not just settle for a mediocre orchestra. He understands that, if he takes the time to help individual students understand their potential, the orchestra can be an exceptional one. With Mr. Voght at its command, Centennial Middle School’s orchestra is developing great musicians and instilling confidence in their students.