Monday, October 31, 2011

Beginning to play at Reilly

Amanda Grimm, COT Teaching Artist at Reilly Elementary

Although we got off to a late start this year, things are already taking off at Reilly in our violin classes! The last two weeks have been both fun and educational and because these students are so smart, we're moving along at a rapid pace. We've already covered the parts of the violin and bow and have talked about how we make sound. Last week, everyone was assigned an instrument and we practiced holding our violins in rest position. This is a crucial first step - rest position is the safest way in which to hold our violins when we are not playing.

Because teaching twenty-eight kids how to play the violin simultaneously can prove to be a bit of a challenge, I'm really lucky to have the help and support of Linden and two of the Reilly teachers. As we progress with the fundamentals of violin playing, we'll also be doing some listening to standard repertoire (last week, in the spirit of Halloween, we listened to some "scary" music by Shostakovich and Stravinsky). Also on the docket is an introduction to rhythm through different variations on the song "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

I'm very excited for my violin classes at Reilly this year. I hope the kids are excited too! Learning the violin can improve coordination, discipline, and listening and hearing skills. It will also provide exposure to a whole world of music with which the students may not already be familiar. And we'll definitely be having fun along the way!

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