On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, students of the Violin/Viola class presented a performance for the children at the Child Development Laboratory Center. Over the semester, the violin students worked on ensemble repertoire and built a program that took the children “around the world” through music. Works such as Calypso (Trinidad and Tobago), Canarios (Canary Islands), La Réjouissance (England), and L’air Mignonne (Canada) introduced different rhythms and styles of music. They included a mix of newer compositions and older works composed centuries ago. During Moon Over Ruined Castle, the children were introduced to the mysterious sounds of harmonics created on the violin and asked to imagine what it might be like to be at an old castle at night in the woods. One violin student overheard a child imagining a robot monster stuck in the castle.

The children of the CDLC got involved in the music-making throughout the performance, singing, clapping, and having opportunities to march and dance around the room to the music. For the students of the violin class, the performance was a valuable experience in preparing and polishing repertoire for performance and gaining experience in playing in front of an audience.

Michele, a student in Violin 4 of the violin sequence, shared how the opportunities to perform over the four semesters gradually helped her feel more confident when performing in front of an audience. “It’s a good opportunity for us not to be nervous while performing and not feel judged when performing for the kids. It makes your heart feel light playing for the kids when they are laughing and enjoying the music.” Bringing music to young children was a great experience for the beginner and experienced players alike. Corey, a new violinist in Violin 1 shared that “it was a lot of fun playing to a very appreciative audience.” Luis thought “the kids were super enthusiastic.” “A great crowd!”

The Violin/Viola class takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:10 a.m. and is open to beginners as well as players with some previous experience who would like to continue developing their skills. Students learn through the practice of technical exercises, as well as solo and ensemble repertoire throughout the semester.

Article and photos by Elizabeth Ingber

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