Dunbar Middle School of Innovation offers an orchestra program for students grade 6th through 8th. The Dunbar Middle School Orchestras have performed on many different occasions in the schools and in the community. Some of the performances have included: Day in the Park, our annual Winter and Spring Concerts, Mall Marathon, Suzuki Festival and Pre-Concert and Concert Assessment. Selected students have also had the opportunity to perform at community and school-wide events. 

The focus of the DMS Orchestra program is to develop the playing skills necessary to become a competent performer. Correct playing posture, the development of a proper bow hold, tuning of the instrument, playing with beautiful tone, vibrato, shifting and advanced bow strokes will all be addressed.  Students will become independent readers and improve their musicianship skills in counting, pitch recognition and sight-reading. All students are taught and tested on fundamentals of basic music theory. The experience of teamwork, following the conductor and overall musicianship are emphasized.

Concert and class participation - Orchestra class is a performance based class. Grading is based on a total point system in which mandatory concert performances receive 200 points.  A class participation grade is given weekly. The grade is based on preparedness, attention to and respect for the conductor, volunteering to demonstrate, maintaining focus and responding to questions. Extra credit is given for outside performances and attendance at area musical venues.

Tests - Both playing tests and written tests are given throughout the year. Students grow musically from graded evaluations and feedback. All students benefit from hearing others play and from performing in front of their peers. Students are expected to sit quietly during individual playing tests. All tests are worth 100 points.

Practice Logs - Students are required to practice at least 100 minutes per week to receive a 100 for outside practice each week. Signed practice logs are to be turned in the first day of class each week.