Parent Information


Charms Office

All student orchestra information:
Contact info, Forms, Finances


Sending/receiving important messages and announcements –

School Cash Online

Paying online with card –


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Charms contains all student orchestra information, including contact information, finances and turned-in forms.

Under the Parent/Student log in, type “cmsstrings”. For student ID/password, please use your child’s AISD ID number with NO “S” at the beginning. You may change your password at any time. If you need to reset your password, please contact Mr. Hall – 841-3724, PLEASE GO ONTO CHARMS AND UPDATE “PERSONAL INFO” – Charms is used FREQUENTLY to e-mail very important information!

REMIND (free text message service):

Covington Orchestra will use REMIND to communicate via text messages about orchestra events, socials, fundraisers, rehearsals, cancellations, and other important topics. Every student and parent/guardian with a cell phone should do this! See for more information about this tool.

To sign up on REMIND:

  • Compose a text message to the number 81010 (instead of a phone number)
  • For the body of the message, type the code that applies to your child’s class:

@cmsborch – for beginning orchestra students/parents
@cmssorch – for string orchestra students/parents
@cmshorch – for honor orchestra students/parents
@cmsporch – for pops orchestra students/parents

@cmsbguit – for beginning guitar students/parents
@cmsiguit – for intermediate guitar students/parents
@cmsaguit – for advanced guitar students/parents

@sup4covstr – for volunteers and supporters of the strings program

  • You will receive a text message asking for a reply with your name.
  • Students will be prompted to enter their birth-date, and if under 13, will require a parent verification through e-mail.
  • For parents, please include the name of your student after your own name, for example: “James Potter (father of Harry Potter)” or “James (Harry) Potter”
  • You will receive an immediate confirmation and, in the future, all relevant announcements.

Especially for Parents

We would like to encourage you (our parents) to get involved in your child’s musical development. Research has proven that children who study music show a marked increase in test scores. If you play an instrument, playing along with your child is a wonderful way to spend time together. Even if you have no musical background, you can still be actively involved in your child’s daily practice routine. By understanding what it means to practice and asking the right questions, you can help keep your child focused as he/she practices.

Daily practice can be broken down into two sections (even professional musicians do these processes):

  1. Warm-up and technical studies, which include long tones (holding out notes for a long time with slow, steady, smooth bow strokes), scales, rhythm exercise, and up/down bow stroke exercises, etc. These exercise help orchestra student’s focus on different aspects of their playing and make improvements. (There is more to music than just playing the notes.) Tone quality, note starts, releases, and correct phrasing are just some aspects of playing an instrument that have to be addressed. Make sure your child understands what he/she should be listening for while warming up.
  2. Practicing the music – Ask yourself these three questions while listening to your child practice
  • ​Are they breaking the music down into small sections? It does not help to try to play the entire song over and over if he/she cannot play the first measure well. Encourage them to start with small sections and put these smaller sections together.
  • Are they practicing slowly enough to play the music correctly? Once again, if they practice quickly, they will just practice making the same mistakes.
  • Are they finding the sections of music that need to be worked on? Students like to play what they know but encourage them to work on music they don’t know.

Please understand that we want your children to practice with a big full sound. The sound may not be pretty at first, but by playing loudly, young musicians can develop good bowing habits and good tone. You cannot learn these things by playing softly all the time.

Probably the easiest and most rewarding way to encourage your child to enjoy their instrument is to hear them perform. We strongly encourage you to come hear your children performing their concerts at Covington FAA and other venues throughout the school year. They really appreciate your presence. Encourage your child to perform for you and your family at home. The more they perform, the better performers they become, and the more they will enjoy performing.