You’d see maybe eight teenagers: three holding sports duffle bags; one reading a library book; another holding a large art portfolio. The last three might be holding instrument cases shaped like guitars, violins, and trombones.
But what if those instruments disappeared? Unfortunately, that’s the reality for many K-12 students across the country.
These days, most American K-12 schools are focusing heavily on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, but performing arts programs are getting left behind. When extracurricular budgets are tight, music programs are often the first to go.
As it turns out, STEM programs could actually save music programs.
CAVANI STRING QUARTET ~ BIOGRAPHY. Described by the Washington Post as “completely engrossing, powerful and elegant” , the Cavani String Quartet’s performances embody a natural empathy and passion, which continue to electrify and inspire audiences across the country. Winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award and Musical America Magazine Young Artist of the Year, they were appointed Quartet in Residence at The Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988. The Cavani Quartet most recently earned this accolade: ” a true musical tour-de-force. astonishingly beautiful and technically superb , chamber music at it’s best.”
Included in this camp is a “PLAY-IN” once every week for all string students who can attend. A PLAY-IN is one hour of playing and having fun with new and familiar music. We will all play together. PLAY-INs WILL BEGIN July 8 and continue every Wednesday, 4-5 PM for the next 6 weeks until the beginning of Boot Camp on August 17.
I went to my first concert when I was five years old. Since then, I’ve spent many hours observing various orchestras and getting to know orchestral musicians, and some visual characteristics catch my attention over and over again. Most of the time, I notice these when I’m watching as an audience member – when I’m onstage, I’m much more absorbed in the music itself, picking up on different types of cues.If you’re relatively new to classical orchestra concerts, check out this list: it might give you some new ideas of fun things to look for the next time around.
Bowstrokes in the violin and viola sections:
All of these performers move together, thanks to carefully notated bow-direction markings in the music. The bowstrokes are choreographed for consistency of tone and articulation, but of course visual unity is taken into account. This is noticeable especially in fast music, and especially when a note is attacked in unison, making for an army of spear-like sticks cutting the air together.
Have you ever imagined what the horse that donated its tail for your bow hair looks like? Where does it live? Is it a mare or a stallion? Here are some interesting facts that might help you get to know your horse:
Horses that produce hair which meets the standards for use on bows live in very cold climates. The frigid weather causes the hair to be thicker and stronger. Most bow hair comes from Mongolia, Siberia, Canada, Argentina, and Australia.
Most bow hair comes from natural blonds! Darker hair can be bleached, but it weakens the hair. Some cellists and bassists prefer brown or black hair because it tends to be coarser and create more grip.
Odds are that your bow hair came from a stallion, so you may want to give your horse a boy’s name!
Among the numerous challenges that parents face in handling children’s music lessons (choosing the instrument, finding a good teacher, etc.), getting kids to practice is the most daunting of all. The severity of the problem and the importance of practice make it hard to believe that there are so few articles addressing this. What’s more, parents and music teachers often resort to the failed tactics they remember from childhood in desperate attempts to motivate kids to practice.
A common example of this issue is the “practice for 30 minutes” rule, in which a music teacher will recommend that the child practice 30 minutes a day and generally increase this time as they get older. In attempts to enforce adherence to this arbitrary commitment, parents will often “pay” the child for 30 minutes of “work” with something rewarding like watching TV, playing outside or playing video games. The problem with this method is that it makes the 30 minutes of practicing something to be endured in order to do something that is valued. But what is so sacred about 30 minutes of practicing? Where did this standard unit come from? How is it better than 27 minutes or 34?
To transform practicing into a rewarding activity, parents should encourage reaching daily musical goals. For example, instead of saying that 30 minutes of practice is enough regardless of what is achieved, you might say, “Today the goal of practicing is to play the first eight measures of your piece without any mistakes.” Whether reaching this goal takes 12 minutes or 40 minutes isn’t important. What is important is that the child knows the musical goal of each daily practice session and feels motivated to be as efficient as possible while practicing in order to reach that goal and feel that sense of accomplishment. If the goal is playing the first eight measures on Monday, the logical goal for Tuesday is to play the next eight. Pretty soon, the child will acknowledge the cumulative goal of the week: to play the entire piece free of mistakes. This leads to more motivation, more effort during practice and most importantly, pride in what they have accomplished.