There are many important inner skills to be learned in the study of music. The discipline of practicing with an instrument helps a child find the inner discipline to face other challenges in life. Group music lessons offer a wonderful opportunity for a child to practice listening to others and working cooperatively. It is quite a challenge for a group of children to work completely in unison in any realm, be it social, academic or physical. In trying to play their instruments as a group, with the same timing and pitch, the result of a harmonious sound allows them to directly experience the value of working well together. Playing an instrument is a wonderful means of self exploration, self-expression and creativity that allows the student to grow into a well-rounded human being. Beginning in the first grade, the children at the Eugene Waldorf School are taught to play the recorder, and singing is a regular part of the school week in many classes. First grade children will be provided a pentatonic flute and third grade children a diatonic flute. In the fourth grade, beginning level strings lessons are offered to the whole class on a fee basis. The lessons take place three times a week for forty-five minutes during the school day. Instruments are available for rental, or children may bring their own. The children are taught the basics of how to hold the instrument properly, how to play by ear and how to read music. Intermediate level instruction in stringed instruments is offered twice a week during the school day for fifth grade and above. The school orchestra is open to fourth through eighth graders. The orchestra provides an opportunity for strings students to learn to play in an ensemble. Rehearsal is scheduled twice a week during the school day. Those who do not choose the string orchestra join a recorder ensemble class two times a week which combines 6th, 7th and 8th graders.