On May 4, 2023 students from the Music Department’s Violin/Viola class performed at the Child Development Laboratory Center. The class, made up of multi-level violin students, prepared ensemble music that displayed different playing techniques and sounds involved in violin performance. To introduce the violin to the children, two of the students, Natania and Marc, explained and demonstrated the two main ways of creating sound on the instrument: playing with the bow (arco) and plucking the string (pizzicato). The violin ensemble then performed a work that demonstrated these techniques. In addition to understanding how to make sound on the violin, the children also learned to listen for the dynamics (identifying the soft and loud sounds of the violin) and clapped along to different rhythm patterns that the violinists played. During the call-and-response rhythm activity, the children in the audience were also invited to create their own rhythm patterns, which the ensemble endeavored to play back to them.

The performance ended with a set of three Scottish reels and the children were invited to dance along. Natania, a violinist who has prior Scottish fiddle experience, played two of the reels, and then the full ensemble joined in for the last, playing Largo’s Fairy Dance. The performance was a great opportunity for the students in the class to gain experience performing, especially for those newer to the instrument, and a wonderful way to share their love of music with a younger generation.

The Violin/Viola class is currently open for Fall 2023 enrollment. There are four levels of class which allows both students with no musical experience to join and learn an instrument for the first time, as well as students with past experience to continue their musical studies. Details on this class and others taught by assistant professor Elizabeth Ingber can be found in the WebSchedule.

Article by Elizabeth Ingber | Photo by Isabel Muirragui

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