Practice, practice, practice…
And practice we did!!Â Washington Irving Orchestra and Band students are all set to take their big trip to Carnegie Hall next week Tuesday.Â We are especially excited to have 28 WI students performing onstage along with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the “Come to Play” Singers!Â Â Our students were selected from an audition video that we submitted in March.Â Congratulations to the 13 Senior Orchestra students who have been working on the music since October.Â ThisÂ will beÂ an unforgettable event!!Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
The WI Chamber Orchestra performed Thursday, February 11th at the Neighborhood House, just down the street from school.Â This annual Valentine’s Day performance brings together the top players from the district orchestra program, grades 4-12.
Please listen to one of the pieces we performed:Uncategorized | Comments (2)
Fifth-gradeÂ violinists and violists are busy preparing for Carnegie Hall’s LinkUP! concert which will take place at the end of May.Â LinkUP! is a year-long curriculum for General Music and String Programs, culminating in an interactive concert in May.Â
This week we began putting the final touches on the LinkUP! theme song, “Come to Play” by Tom Cabaniss.Â The more weÂ play “Come to Play”, the more we enjoy the catchy melodies andÂ syncopated rhythms.
After winter break, we will begin to work on “In C” by Terry Riley.Â This piece will give the string players a rare opportunity to improvise using several short melodies.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Fifth-grade violinists and violists have been playing games to develop the motion needed for vibrato and shifting.Â Notice how the elbow scoops under the violin and how the thumb comes under the fingerboard.
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I learned this exercise many years ago from the Paul Rolland films, â€œThe Teaching of Action in String Playingâ€.Â If I remember correctly, this exercise is called the Shuttle Game.Â Games like this encourage fluid motions, and a soft, round hand position.
The WI Beginning Orchestra is busy getting ready for our big moment â€¦ on Wednesday, June 3rd at 9:00am, we will play our first formal concert!Â Â The show opens with â€œSuper Twinkleâ€, followed by the Suzuki tunes, â€œLightly Rowâ€ and â€œSong of the Windâ€.Â Last on the program is our first non-unison piece, â€œDance in Dâ€, by Richard Stephan.Â Unfortunately, we only had enough time to learn the first part of â€œDance in Dâ€.Â Stay tuned for next fall when we will learn the piece in its entirety.
Here is a photo of a beginning violinist working on the bunny hop from â€œSong of the Wind(z)â€.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Two of my beginning cello students showed me how to pivot the left arm when we hop from high B to G in â€œSong of the Winzeâ€, aka â€œSong of the Windâ€.
We are all working on keeping our left elbows from sinking too low, even the bass section.
Shout Out to any cello or bass teachers out there reading my blogâ€¦Comments, suggestions, hints??Â Let us know!!Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
My beginning violin students sometimes ask me how it is that I sound so good when I play my instrument.Â I tell them that not only have I been playing violin since the age of the dinosaurs, but I also have spent countless hours practicing over the millennia.Â Although I donâ€™t practice as much as I used to, I continually revisit the basics as I teach beginners.Â It is the strong foundation that makes me sound good.
These violists are reviewing the basic technique of holding the instrument with the chin so the left hand is free to travel up and down the fingerboard.
The exercise involves plucking on the highest string in first position and then traveling up to the end of fingerboard to pluck on the lowest string.Â This game is a fun preparation for shifting, and a great review for holding the instrument.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (1)
A couple of my students saw on the local news that twenty-six young violin students from Harlem have been invited to perform at the Childrenâ€™s Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C.Â You might recognize the violinists of Opus 118 and their teacher, Roberta Guaspari, from the movie, Music of the Heart.
Best of luck to the talented and hardworking string students from Opus 118!Â You are an inspiration to string programs everywhere.
Members of the WI Chamber Orchestra also performed for our very own celebration in the newly refurbished WI auditorium.Â We played â€œWe Shall Overcomeâ€ to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and to celebrate the inauguration our new president, Barack Obama.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (1)
The Senior Orchestra is looking forward to our big performance at the Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 17th at 7pm. Violin & Viola players should arrive at 6pm to tune and to warm-up.Â Cello and Bass players may arrive at 6:30pm. Here is a short preview of Skaters’ Waltz: skate1
Beginning strings will give a less formal, ten-minute performance after-school on Thursday, December 18th at 2:30pm in the WI cafeteria.
The students have worked hard all semester.Â Please come out to support us!!
Happy Holidays!Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Members of the WI Chamber Orchestra had their first gig on Friday, November 14th.Â Thanks to the Stop & Shop in Ossining, NY for inviting us to play for their Grand Opening event.Â The students played for over an hour, previewing all of their music for the winter concert in December.Â Audience members, both young and old, clapped, danced, and popped balloon animals.
If anyone out there needs some fabulous string players for a special event, please let us know.Â We are building our repertoire and are ready to perform!Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)