Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thinkin' about vibrato

Hurray for new, bigger, more playable, high-quality fractional instruments. Hurray for the big tone that inspires little kids to care about the clarity of their sound. Hurray for the gains that have been won since the end of January. They've been well earned with loads of good work.

At group class yesterday we played a game where kids chose one of two "body language costumes" to put on before playing a short easy selection for an audience who watched with their hands over their ears. I was trying (somewhat successfully, I think) to make that point that your body language adds something important to your performance, and that a "body language costume" that doesn't match your performance is confusing and depressing. I had a silly tea-cozy hat that the kids wore, and beneath it would be their choice of two body language messages... something like "prepare to be amazed -- I shall paint you a masterpiece of sound" or "ummm, sorry about this; I'm having a really bad day." After performing in keeping with the hidden message, they would read it out to the rest of the class.

Fiona chose to play in the style of "I'm having a really bad day." Oh my gosh we laughed. She really thought she was looking depressed and bored; she understood the point of the exercise and gave it her best. But she was having such a great time being the centre of attention and playing this cool game, and just being up there playing her violin, that she couldn't help looking happy and pleased with herself. What a wonderful "problem" to have!

Today she was practising and I grabbed the camera. Look how her wrist has opened up! And this week her wonderful reaching-out bowing is clicking again. She's playing so beautifully these days.

Here she is honing in on the last note with a twinkle in her eye. You can tell she's thinking about throwing her wild and wooly approximation of a vibrato in on the last note.

Yup, and here it is -- vibrato face! "Weewahweewahwee!"


  1. erin j9:23 pm

    My goodness is she ever a cutie!!!!

    What a fun group class you had! At our solo day on Monday we had a play-in at the end where the April-fool song was "everyone play whichever song you want. All at once!" The resulting cacophony had everyone giggling, but it was a good exercise in focus.

    Hurray for creative teachers who make group classes enjoyable while at the same time everyone learns something. :)

  2. What a beautiful, happy face!


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