Phone: 651-325-2558


Degrees and Certifications:

John Middleton

Welcome to Middle School and Elementary Orchestras at Capitol Hill.  My name is John Middleton. Our students and I hope you consider joining us. Please watch the welcome video and other information below, to learn more about our Orchestras.  Please contact me:

Orchestra at Capitol Hill (Invitation & Welcome Video)

Orchestra Program Overview 

Instrument Search & Music Store List

Middle School Orchstras are elective choice classes that are scheduled right into your school day. Be sure to check registration materials and ask your counselor to help you get into the right class.

Beginning Orchestra is a great choice if you have never played before, or perhaps played for just a short time back in elementary school.

Intermediate Orchestra (called Rondo Orchestra) is for students who have played 1 or 2 years and may have completed a level 1 lesson book.

Advanced Orchestra (Concert Orchestra) players have usually played 3 or more years and may have completed a book like Suzuki Book 2 or more.

Elementary Orchestra & String Classes are during the school day. Students have 1 group lesson per week and a large orchestra group once per week.

3rd or 4th grade is when most elementary students begin their first or second year of group classes. Let me know of your interest by email or phone call, but I go into all the 3rd & 4th grade classrooms during the first two weeks of school to invite everyone and give sign-up information to students. Their large group is called Cougar Strings.

Capitol Strings is the large group for most 5th graders and any elementary students who read notes quite well and have finished an instruction book such as Essential Elements book 1 or Suzuki book 1.

1st & 2nd graders, are able to take lessons based on the Suzuki method of teaching younger children. Parents are asked to come into the school during the lesson and to work closely together at home. Please contact me directly if you want your daughter or son to learn in this program. I will set up lesson times directly with you as soon as I know schedule the lessons for grades 3-5 and the middel school.

A little more about me:  I grew up with a excellent public school band and orchestra experiences in Wisconsin, and earned Bachelor and Masters degrees from Northern Illinois University and the University of Colorado. I am a violist in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and perform violin or viola in various groups in the TwinCities. Apart from my passion for fostering a lifelong love for great music in my students, I like to bike, ski, hike and kayak.  My wife, Jocelyn Kalajian, is also a musician who sings with The Singers, Minnesota Choral Artists and teaches voice at Century College. Our daughter lives in Saint Paul and also plays violin in the Metropolitan Symphony.