April 7th and 8th we had our annual violin concert at YCIS. There were more than 230 violins and children ranging from 5-8 years of age on the stage! Our year one’s were the youngest, that is the same as kindergarten back home. They played really difficult songs and I was pleasantly surprised it sounded so good! I was afraid it would sound like many screechy cats being strangled with so many playing. I thought they would be out of tune and off beat … too slow or fast, but they stayed together and I didn’t hear too many screeches. One boy in my class asked if the audience would boo if they played a wrong note! Too funny.
My class played the “Happy Farmer” a nice upbeat song and “Skater’s Waltz”. According to the music teacher, orchestra teacher (violin teacher is new) this was the best ever year 3 class!
The last song was a Chinese song, Tai Yang… it was my favourite. To start one boy from year three sang the first bit as a solo… such confidence for a young boy. Everyone joined in for the next bit then they played… first with little picks, which was really interesting and neat effect. Who knew you could do such things with a violin?
Some of the children take private lessons or are in the orchestra plus they have been at the school a few years so they are very good. They played more notes and more difficult parts where the newer and less experienced children played less difficult things and fewer notes.
I was still so impressed how they sounded, could read and follow music and make a beautiful sound from a difficult instrument. I could not do it! One of my students was sick on the last concert (we had 2 so all parents could come… not everyone could fit in the gym on one day). I moved his violin off stage and offered it my year leader… as he was teasing he missed his solo. He laughed and said no he did his bit last year as the new teacher he would allow me my chance to shine in the spot light. I think I could have cleared the place pretty fast… I would be sounding all screechy, scratchy! My year leader is great, we always joke around. I am going to miss him as he is returning home in June to work.
I have uploaded a small 5 minute video to FLIP, the makers of our video camera, and I have e-mailed the link to everyone. If you didn’t get it let me know and I can resend. I think it is pretty special 🙂 and I am not just saying that because it’s my class. It is pretty spectacular to think 1 violin teacher put all this together and taught all these students to play so well. She is fantastic…. you should hear her play with such feeling and emotion. You can tell she really loves to play. I have heard her practicing late after school a few times when she must think she is alone… amazing.
Again just one of the fantastic opportunities I have here that I wouldn’t have had the chance to be a part of at home.Could you imagine this age level at home playing any instrument? It tough enough getting them to sing 1 song for a Christmas concert sometimes all together! I don’t think anyone has really tried this with any classes in elementary… only highschool.
Stay tuned for more next week… Easter weekend. We have 3 days off and I think we will just stay home and take it easy.