This was a good day. Everything went as smoothly as planned (thanks to Beatrice who was a great model in the dress rehearsal) and there were many great moments which I will share and reflect on.
I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s because of the holiday spirit or the emotions that come with the â€œend of the year,â€ but I am truly grateful for each person on our Music Plus Music Integration Team at Atrium: Beatrice, Randy, Michael, Linda, Susan, and Larry. When we arrived at Atrium in the morning, I was relieved to find all the student violins lined up in order. This made my job easier to tune and put the shoulder sponges on each of them, which did take about 20 minutes. RandyÂ worked on the PA system and setting up the two video cameras, one floor and one roaming. Michael made sure the each child has a foot chart and place on the risers.
After everything was all set up, Randy asked Larry and I to say a few words on video, in anticipation of the event. We had a good time, doing different takes and speaking from different angles. We even got to interview a violin parent who was nervous but super excited about the performance.
The whole Atrium Winter Solstice Assembly program opened up with the Explorers class, and I could tell that they were really excited as we stood in line to enter the Hall. But when they got to their violins, they immediately sat down (they still need to work on their listening skills as we told them to stay standing). After a few minutes, they held their violins in rest position and started filing on the platforms. I was a little nervous for them because they had no idea was going to happen in the next few minutes. Larry, Randy, and I had made some changes to our performance because we wanted to show the PROCESS of what we are going to do. So Larry opened with vocal solfege warmup with scales and short call and response segments. The kids responded and sang very well (they have such sweet soft voices!) and to my surprise and delight, Larry took the assessment one step further: instead of having them imitate what he sang, he pointed to syllables on the matrix and they sang the melody back. Amazing. Next, I did my segment with the rhythm cups and explained to the parents the purpose of this. The culmination activity was to sing Re and La in different rhythms shown by the cups along with a recording of Pachelbelâ€™s canon. It was a great 3 minute show and we ended with the parents singing along to a Re scale and ending with a ringing â€œChaâ€¦.â€ I loved their finishing choreography!
I think some cool ideas to expand on this would be to split the group into teams and have each one sing a different rhythm that ties in with the symmetry unit. Larry also suggested having them pluck Re-La but sing the scale to Pachelbel. I want them to march so their inner rhythm is strong. So many things to work on and so very exciting! Next year we will definitely tackle the bows.
This will be a compilation video made by Randy this week which will summarize and zoom in on the key points of the violin pilot program. I think it was a big hit with the school, teachers, and parents. We look forward to more violin-ing next year!