Thurman Francis Arts Academy

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Thurman Francis Arts Academy  String Orchestra 


Directed by Jay Eric Swaim



Distance Learners - Please access your Kiddom platform via Clever for all learning content



Time Class
7:45-8:25 7/8th Grade Strings
8:30-9:10 6th Grade Strings
10:20-11:00 Office Hours
11:45-12:15 4th Grade Strings
1:45-2:25 5th Grade Strings
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assignments in Kiddom!
Check your grades regularly through Skyward using your assigned username and password. If you need assistance with your login information, visit or call our attendance office.
Contact me to obtain online textbook information for this class. You can access your Office 365 account by clicking here, the username and password are the same as your computer login at school.
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 Essential Programs
Clever Nearpod flipgrid
Playposit seesaw Padlet


BOSS tuning video link (also at the bottom of this web page):







History of the Program


Presently we are the only Elementary/Middle school in Rutherford County that offers string orchestra. Students start string orchestra in the 4th have the opportunity to learn how to play music for the first time for most students. The Program was established in 2000 and started with just 21 students. In the 2007-08 school year we had as many as 150 when strings was offered to third grade. Today we have 127 students from grades 4-8 involved in the program.


We Are Working On The Following



              7th & 8 th Grade =

    6th Grade =  

5th grade=

  4th Grade


Books and Grading

I use the following books for my classes for 2020-2021:

4th Grade = Essential Elements for Strings Book 1

5th Grade = Essential Elements for Strings Book 2

6th Grade = Essential Techniques for Strings Book 3 

7th & 8th Grade = Sound Innovations Sound Development & Suzuki Book 2 for 7th grade, Book 3 for 8th grade



Performance Test = are test the students have to perform a prepared piece .

Written Test = these test will be matching, fill in the blank and or multiple guess.

Sight Reading = the student is responsible for practicing with a metronome daily. This will help them be comfortable with reading music to an exact tempo. Sight reading also involves being able to recognize key signatures and play the music with reasonable intonation and tempo, musicianship (advanced players= style & technique)..



 Primary Rules of the Classroom
I)                 The first 2 minutes for 5th-8th is dedicated to tuning, no talking, playing or making noises during this time, especially when Mr. Swaim is tuning.
II)                No Talking when Mr. Swaim is teaching, and talking/playing between musical selections
III)             Have your instrument, music book, rosin and tuner, and a pencil everyday for class, no excuses.



Concert Attire

Students are required to wear black and white for all formal performances. 

The breakdown is as follows:


Boys= 100% solid black pants, dark shoes (no tennis type shoes unless they are all black) solid white button up shirt and a dark tie

    Girls= 100% solid black skirt, solid white blouse or top, dark shoes, solid black pants or gouchos may be worn or an all solid black dress.


**No student will be allowed to perform who is not in concert attire**

If a student is unable to afford the concert attire they need to let Mr. Swaim know 72 hours prior to any concert so he can try and find resources to provide proper attire for that student.





Rock Band

Rehearsal every Monday Rock Band 2:40-4:00



 If you have any questions feel free to contact me at the following email address

Important music or instrument contact information:

Yang's Violin in Brentwood (615-309-9285)

The Music Stop in Murfreesboro (615-217-6165)




*This Page is presently being updated.  More information will be posted soon*