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Posts Tagged ‘after school music school’

RandolphFieldTexas _1933_Cropped

My dad passed away in 1966 so he has been gone fifty-two years.  I was reading his biography recently in preparation for a trip Cynthia and I were planning to eastern Germany.  Dad had lived in Germany (in the area we were to visit) in 1928-30 as a 19-21 year-old.

Imagine my surprise to find that he had written home to his parents requesting certain pieces of sheet music for the piano.  He also wrote about staying in Europe to study music for a period of time beginning in 1930.  He even mentioned playing the saxophone.

This should not have been a surprise for various reasons:  First of all, he was my father.  I should have known everything about him.  Second, dance band music then was what rock band music is today.  Everyone wanted to be in a band.

The saddest part for me is that I never, ever saw him touch, let alone heard him play an instrument  — ever!  This is the guy who, when I was nine, offered me ten cents for every 45 minutes of piano practicing  — but it had to be done before he got home from work.  He didn’t want to hear it.

I can’t help but wonder how my life might have been different if he had offered to play some Diabelli duets with me.  At the very least, I would have known him better.  And I am pretty sure I would have had greater incentive to practice.

Submitted by: Claude Richards

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The After School Music School  services string students from the Provo School District in Utah.   Each school in the district has a full-time music teacher who teaches a district-wide, Kodaly-based singing curriculum during school hours.   The string program is voluntary and is held after school.   First-year violin and cello students start in the third grade, so the kids have had four years of instrumental instruction by the time they leave elementary school.  The students get three lessons a week: a private instrumental, a group instrumental, and a group singing-musicianship class.  I try to schedule the lessons on two days so the students can fit everything in a more concise schedule.
Private lessons address the needs of each individual student. Parents are requested to come at first and to supervise practice at home.
The group instrumental class (homogeneous class, no mixed instruments for the first three years) provides a social atmosphere and gives the students the ensemble experience they need to be ready for future orchestral work.
The singing-musicianship class is accelerated beyond what the children get at school, because the demands of the instrument require some modifications of the learning sequence and because we need to go faster.

Fun in the singing musicianship class

This year we graduated our first 6th year class, which was composed of 7th and 8th graders.  They played their own concert featuring music from each of the periods in music history. Since they were all violinists, we drew from the repertoire of violin duets and trios. They had studied much more music through the year than what time allowed them to perform on the concert. Among the composers they studied were Praetorius, Morley, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Bartok.  I’m very pleased with not only their performing ability, but also the solid understanding of musical structure they have acquired.  They will continue on in their musical endeavors with a depth of  musicianship which will serve them well.

Final Concert of Sixth Year students

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After some efforts to learn about blogging, I have just created the Kodaly Strings blog and written the first two pages:  To Hear or Not to Hear, and What is Solfege?  I apologize if they are a little longer than ideal (about 500 words each), but they needed to be said.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

I will be writing consistently from now on so check back from time to time.

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