Spring 2012 Calendar

Mon, January 2: Fall Semester resumes

January 7: 4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

January 14: 4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

Mon, January 16: Spring semester begins

January 21: 12:45-1:30 Theory group A (school)
2-3pm Repertoire classes 1 & 2 (f & d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

January 28: 12:45-1:30 Theory group B (school)
3-4pm Studio 1 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

February 4 : 12:45-1:30 Theory group A (school)
2-3pm Repertoire classes 3&4 (f&d)
3-4pm Repertoire class 5 (d)
4-6pm Tour group Masterclass (f)

February 11: 12:45-1:30 Theory group B (school)
2-3pm Repertoire classes 1 & 2 (f & d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

Sunday, February 12: 2-3pm Sunday Salon

February 18: 12:45-1:30 Theory group A (school)
3-4pm Studio 2 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

February 25: 12:45-1:30 Theory group B (school)
3-4pm Studio 1 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

March 3: 12:45-1:30 Theory group A (school)
2-3pm Repertoire classes 3&4 (f&d)
3-4pm Repertoire class 5 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

Sunday, March 4: 2-3pm Sunday Salon

March 10: 9-12pm Tour group recording session followed by Panera lunch

March 18-25: Spring Break - No lessons!

March 31: 12:45-1:30 Theory group B (school)
3-4pm Studio 2 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

Sunday, April 1: 2-3pm Sunday Salon

April 7: 12:45-1:30 Theory group A (school)
2-3pm Repertoire classes 1 & 2 (f & d)
Happy Easter - NO Tour group rehearsal

April 14: 3-4pm Studio 1 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

April 21: 12:45-1:30 Theory group B (school)
3-4pm Studio 2 (d)
4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

Sun, April 22: Earth Day Festival – Possible Tour group performance

April 28: 2-3pm Repertoire classes 3&4 (f&d)
3-4pm Repertoire class 5 (d)
Sun, April 29: 2-2:45pm Tour Group Benefit Concert (f)

May 5: Recital at 1pm (Hannah and Laura)

May 6: 2:30pm Kirby Kay solo performance with Town and Country Symphony, Vivaldi’s “Summer” concerto.

May 12: 4-5pm Tour group rehearsal (d)

May 19: Spring festival Dress rehearsals!
2-2:15pm Pretwinklers (f)
2:15-3:45pm Suzuki play-in rehearsal (f)
4-5pm Studio 2 rehearsal
5:30-6:30pm Tour group rehearsal

Sun, May 20: Spring Festival at The Sheldon 1:30-2:30pm

May 26: Recitals at 1pm and 3:30pm (Kirby and Anita)

Sunday, June 3: 2-3pm Sunday Salon

June 9: Last day of spring semester

June 11: First day of summer session

Sunday, December 6, 2009

“The Road to Carnegie Hall” Benefit Concert

Hi Everyone,
Here is the information for an upcoming concert here in St. Louis to benefit local music education. It looks like a good line up of musicians.

“The Road to Carnegie Hall” Benefit Concert

Tuesday, Dec. 22 7 p.m.
KHS Keating Center
Enjoy performances by musically gifted KHS orchestra alumni, including members of the St.
Louis Symphony Orchestra, during this wonderful night of music. Proceeds benefit the KHS
Symphonic Orchestra╩╝s trip to Carnegie Hall next Spring. Several district orchestra students
from the elementary, middle schools and high school, will also showcase their talent alongside
these former Pioneers:
* Cellist Patrice Jackson, media-proclaimed music prodigy and daughter of Symphonic
Orchestra Director Patrick Jackson;
* St. Louis Symphony Orchestra members Felicia Foland (bassoon) and Rebecca
Boyer Hall (violin);
* The Freivogel Family Strings - siblings Meg, Liz, Ben and J, will reunite for this one night;
* Emilee Newell, graduate of Indiana University╩╝s renowned music program; Sarah
Drake, a fourth year music major (violin) at Indiana;
* Joe Kaminsky, elementary strings teacher for the Kirkwood School District and
violin instructor for 30 years;
* There will also be a special performance by Kirkwood Orchestra
director Patrick Jackson!
Ticket prices include a dessert reception following the concert.
NAME: _________________
Phone: _________________ E-Mail: _________________________
Address: ___________________________________________
$20 for Adult Tickets
X No. of tickets ______
TOTAL: $________
Open seating for all tickets. Please mail this form to: KHS Orchestra Benefit Concert, Kirkwood
School District, Attn: Carolyn Pierce, 11289 Manchester Rd., Kirkwood, MO 63122.
Make checks payable to KHS Orchestra Benefit Concert.
All tickets will be held at the Will Call table in the Keating Performance Center and may be picked
up the night of the concert.
Please call 966-5350 for more info!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Recitals and Fiddle

Hello all,
Next weekend we have some recitals going on and you are all welcome to come see the students play (regardless of if you are scheduled to play or not.) The students have been working hard to prepare their pieces, so it should be a great set of recitals. Saturday, December 12 at 11am will be our first recital and it will include a performance by our fiddle group. The fiddle group will be performing 6 fiddle tunes including, Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-time, and Klesmer tunes.

The next recital will be Saturday, December 12 at 2pm, and our last recital will be Sunday, December 13 at 1:30pm. After all of our recitals we'll have goodies to eat and would love the chance to visit with you, so feel free to stay. We hope you have a great week and hope to see you at the recitals!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Toy room at St. Timothy's

The secretary at St. Timothy's church has asked me to remind everyone who comes in for group classes, fiddle, and recitals to be sure to put things away in the children's room upstairs if their kids go and play in there. They've had a few Sundays now where the toys have been left out after we've been there.

Let's keep things nice and neat so the church will continue to enjoy having us use their faciltiy. Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fiddle Rehearsal Saturday

Hi Everyone,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We'll be meeting for our dress rehearsal this Saturday, December 5th at 2:30pm. We are anticipating that the rehearsal will be approximately one hour. We'll be at St. Timothy's as usual. Since this is our last rehearsal and we have a lot to do to get ready for the recital, we need to have everyone there. Thanks everyone for making such a commitment to fiddling!

A few notes for practice speeds this week:

Sally Gardens - practice with metronome at around 70=quarter note
Back Up and Push - practice second half (cross shuffle) with metronome set at around 104=quarter note
Johnny's Gone to France - Slow tempo practice with metronome at around 92= quarter note. The second time through will be twice as fast for everyone who can play it really fast, so the tempo will be 92=half note. (You'll fit 4 eighth notes into each beat instead of two.) For those of you who still would like to count quarter notes, the metronome marking will be 184=quarternote.

Other notes on practicing this week:
King of the Faeries - please look over your notes and bowings this week. There are a few memory lapses and intonation issues happening that hopefully will be mostly sorted out before we meet on Saturday. We'll get the ending worked out Saturday too so be sure to practice that!
Sally Gardens - please be sure to count on all half and dotted half notes. We're still not quite all together sometimes. In the group, if you are not sure, just watch Maggie's bow and don't change before she does.
Back Up and Push - besides metronome practice to keep our speed steady, please check bowings this week and watch that Fs and Cs are not too flat.
Orientalische - Great job off beat people!! Melody guys, let's check bowings and make sure we're playing the second half in tune; there are some sour notes in there at times.

Thanks guys and happy practicing!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

Next week we'll have Thanksgiving break from Monday (23nd) through Saturday (28th), so there will not be any lessons. Some of us may be doing make up lessons during that time, so check with your teacher to see if she is planning to see you for a make up during the break. Otherwise, have a great break! Don't forget to do lots of practicing. Our last set of recitals is coming up really soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Group and Fiddle this Saturday (Nov 21)

Hi Everyone,
We'll have our last fiddle class this Saturday at 2:30pm at St. Timothy's again. Students who will be performing Back Up and Push need to arrive at 2:15.

We'll be working on all the tunes. After this class, we just have our dress rehearsal on December 5th, so we need everyone there this Saturday to get it all pulled together for the concert.

Suzuki groups 3 and 4 will be meeting this Saturday from 3:30 to 4:15pm at St. Timothy's. We'll have treats/snacks available after class. This will be the last group class till February. Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fiddle Assignment

First of all,
Thanks to everyone in Suzuki group 1 for being so flexible this past week. The church had a mixup with their scheduling so we didn't have the (much larger) room we were supposed to have. Thanks for being patient and good sports about being in such a small room!

Fiddlers, here's your assignment for this week:

  • Fire on the Mountain: Soloists, please practice with a metronome so we can keep the tempos steady as we switch from solo to solo. Your target tempo is between 140 and 150 for a quarter note beat. Don't forget to play out. We want to hear how good you sound!
  • Orientalische Melody: Those of you playing the melody, please work on your intonation. Those low ones are still a bit icky. Continue to practice shifting too. Let's plan to play it a bit faster as long as the offbeat part can be played fast enough.
  • Offbeats!!! Practice them in your lessons!!!! We need to get them much more steady. Try them at home too. Parents you can clap the downbeat while kids play the offbeat.
  • Johnny's Gone to France: Sounding great! Let's get it just a bit faster for our final tempo. Remember we decided we'll play it 2 times through for the performance
  • Sally Gardens: Practice line 3 for good counting on the half notes and dotted half notes.
  • The King of the Faeries: Practice the second half for memorization. Be sure to be playing all the right notes and slurs! We will work on getting it more in tune at the next class too. Those of you doing the ending, please practice this in lessons this week to get the timing right.
  • Back Up and Push: We didn't get to this Saturday, so please do lots of intonation practice on the second half as well as rhythm practice in the first half. (Subdivide if needed for rhythm.) For intonation, watch the Fs and Cs. (The low 2s.) Most of the time for most people they are extremely flat.

Students playing Back up and Push, could you come 15 minutes early to the next fiddle class? We will start at 2:15 on Back Up and Push.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Fiddle and Group Classes this Saturday

Hi All!

First of all, a big congratulations to all of our performers on the Halloween Recitals. I thought it was our best set of recitals yet! You all were so well prepared and poised on stage. I really enjoyed each performance and all the costumes! Good job!

This Saturday, November 7th we'll be having group classes again.

Fiddle will meet in the Chapel/Choir Room from 2:30 to 3:15. We'll have the whole group together. Please be prepared to work on all the fiddle tunes, especially Orientalische Melody.
Please keep in mind that we just have two more classes and one rehearsal left, so we really need everyone to make it to these last few classes so we can be ready for our performance in December.

Suzuki group classes 1 and 2 will meet from 3:30 to 4:15. Group 1 will not be divided into two groups this time.

Join us for snacks afterwards!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Suzuki Summer institutes

Hi all,
The Suzuki Association of the Americas has posted a preliminary list of the Suzuki institutes for this coming summer. A complete listing will be coming out in this winter.

I'd strongly recommend attending a Suzuki institute this summer as a great way to motivate kids throughout the year and keep consistent practicing going through the summer. Kids get to have classes with top-notch teachers and musicians, perform individually and in groups, make new music friends, and take part in a lot of other fun activities. If you are able to fit one into the schedule and the budget, it's well worth it. Some of the top teachers in the country teach at these workshops, so it's a great opportunity. Many of the institutes are quite respected and well-established, so feel free to talk with us about which ones would be good for your child to attend. If you have questions about whether or not an institute would be good for your child, please let us know.

I'll post some information later on about summer fiddle camps too. There are some really fun ones!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conserving resources

Hi guys,
I'm wondering if we can talk with all the kids that are coming for lessons about being a bit less wasteful with the cups and water. We're seeing a lot of waste, cups being filled with water and then none of the water being drunk, using 3 or 4 cups (or more) for one person within a half hour period, pouring water into the drain just for fun, etc.

We'd like to make sure we're being a bit more environmentally friendly and we appreciate your help.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Music Mind Games workshop on Oct 23

The St. Louis chapter of the Music Teachers National Association will sponsoring a free workshop here in St. Louis by Michiko Yurko, the creator of Music Mind Games. These are games to teach theory and music reading skills in a fun, encouraging way so students learn to read music fluently and without fear of failure. Students learn to understand the logic of music reading as well as music theory so they don't have to resort to guesswork.

I have spoken with the Jennifer Spohr who is putting this together and it sounds like they are eager to have a lot of people show up. She's told us to invite as many people as we like, so you are certainly all welcome. You don't need to worry about having any of the Music Mind Game materials if you don't already have them.

The information for the workshop is listed below and can also be found on Michiko's website:

Teacher Workshop in St. Louis, MO (Friday, October 23, 2009)

Clinician: Michiko Yurko
Group: St. Louis Missouri Music Teachers Association in affiliation with MTNA
Date: Friday, October 23, 2009
Time: 10 am - noon
Location: United Methodist Church of Green Trails, 14237 Ladue Road, Chesterfield, Missouri

Fee: n/c
Contact: Jennifer Spohr, home phone 636.230.9884, cell 314.307.0161 Reservations: If you are not a member of this group, please contact Jennifer. Nonmembers are welcome!
Materials: If you own a Puppy Packet, please bring it. A limited number of materials will be available for sale following the workshop at a 10% discount.
Preparation: Participants should wear comfortable, sit-on-the-floor clothes. Table and chairs will also be available

Hopefully we'll see you there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Group and Fiddle classes 3 and 4 this Saturday

Hi all,

We have fiddle and group classes again this Saturday, October 17 at St. Timothy's.

Fiddle will meet from 2:30 to 3:15.

Let's split up into two groups again. Back up and Push students will be in the choir room and all other students in the Parish Hall.

Groups 3 and 4 will meet from 3:30 to 4:15.

We'll have our usual goodies afterwards!
See you there!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fiddle and Group Classes 1 and 2 this Saturday

Hi everyone,
We'll be having fiddle and group classes this Saturday, October 10 at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church again. Please plan to get to your classes early so we can tune before class and start right on time.

Fiddle will be meeting from 2:30 to 3:15. We'll be dividing into two groups. Students who have learned all or some of Back Up and Push should plan to come to the choir room. You'll also be working on Orientalische Melody in addition to Back Up and Push. All other students will be downstairs in the parish hall and should plan to work on:
Sally Gardens
Johnny's Gone to France
Fire on the Mountain
The King of the Faeries
offbeats/backbeats. You'll need them for the back up part for Orientalische Melody.
If anyone would like to play their made up solo, that would be cool!

Suzuki Groups 1 and 2 will be meeting from 3:30 to 4:15. Group 1 will be divided again. Students who are on foam-a-lins or playing/plucking open strings will be upstairs with me again. Students up through the Twinkle Theme and Variations will be in the choir room with Kirby. Group 2 students will be downstairs in the parish hall with Maggie. If you're not sure where to go, let us know and we'll get you to where you need to be!

We'll have goodies available in the parish hall afterwards. I'll make sure they are peanut butterless so everyone can enjoy them this time!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Online Tuners

Hi everyone,

It's a great idea to invest in a tuner. It's important to keep those fiddles in tune, and now that we're coming to the colder weather, they are going to start going REALLY out of tune! While we carry some tuners at the school and there are a number of good ones for sale online, you can now use free online tuners or the iphone application. Maggie has the application on her iphone, so talk with her if you are interested in getting it.

Although I still prefer a portable tuner, this online tuner is pretty good in a pinch if you've misplaced your tuner or haven't gotten one yet. (Just be sure to use the fine tuners rather than the pegs on fractional size violins. The website says otherwise.)

You just click on each note and tune the strings to the pitch you hear.

Those of you who have the assignment to sing A everyday to develop perfect pitch or good relative pitch who do not have a tuner can use this one to check if you are singing in tune!

Now if you sound out of tune, you'll know it's not your violin....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Matt Glaser Worshop CANCELED

Hi Guys,
Matt Glaser had a medical emergency in his family yesturday and is having to postpone his trip to St. Louis. He'll be rescheduling his workshop here once his family member is feeling better.

Sorry for the late notice!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Concerts and Workshops this Week

Hi everyone!
There are two FREE events coming up this week. One is the workshop with jazz violinist Matt Glaser I mentioned last week. It will be this Thursday, October 1st at 7:30pm at University United Methodist Church. It looks like it'll be fun, so I'll be there to check it out. Hopefully I'll see you there!

Below are the address and directions.

University United Methodist Church
6901 Washington Ave
St. Louis MO, 63130

Directions from I-170
Take Forest Park Parkway (Exit 1E)
Left onto N. Big Bend
Right on Delmar
Right on Trinity
Right on Washington
The church should be on the right. This should get you there ok. There always seem to be construction projects in University City, so be on the lookout!

The second event is a free recital this Saturday, October 3rd at 1:30pm at Southern Illinois University. Violinist and Suzuki teacher Scott Conklin will be performing with Dr. Linda Perry on piano. They performed this recital over the summer and it was so successful they are bringing it here. The recital will take place at Lovejoy Library on the SIUE campus.

If you are interested in attending, please email me or call the school for directions.

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Fall weather!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fiddle and Group Class home assignments

Hi Guys,
Great job today in classes today! Those of you in fiddle group and group class 4 were given assignments for your home practice. Here’s a reminder of what you need to practice (in addition to what your teacher has given you in your lesson.)

Fiddle Group:

We had some new vocabulary words today that I’ve put in blue.

1. Chops: Once you’ve got them, they are all about creating a really groovy rhythmic effect. Practice at least one day each week. Don’t forget; chops are WAAAY down at the frog, almost on the silver clip. It’s a heavy bow stroke, so be careful not to hit the string WITH the silver clip! Chops move a bit sideways towards your fingerboard rather than perpendicular to the string to create that “chh” sound. Remember that chops are the ONLY time you can play with a straight bow thumb.

2. Creating Solos: Talk with your teacher about creating a solo for Fire on the Mountain. Even if you are not a soloist this semester, this is a great thing to learn. Fiddle players usually do this on the spot when they are performing or jamming (which is called improvising).
Remember, the three good ways to make a fiddle solo out of the basic tune are to:
• Change the rhythm
• Add extra notes
• Add double-stops (playing two strings at once)

3. Off-beats/Back-beats: Practice these with a parent this week. Your parent can clap on the beat. See if you can play on the off-beat. For good back up playing, this should be done at the frog. Do them all up-bow if you can. Remember to start from the string with something a bit like a colle stroke. (Ask your teacher if you forget what colle means! ) For back up playing, these notes will eventually be double-stops.

4. Sally Gardens: We need to make sure we’re counting better on the phrase endings so we’re really together. Because it’s an air this tune is SLOW! Don’t be in a hurry! At the places that have long notes, have your parent count out loud to make sure your rhythm is good. At the dotted quarter notes, count 3 eighth notes before playing the next note. (This is called subdividing). Practice these spots repetitively at home!

Group 4:

Kirby asked you all to make sure you have Gavotte from Mignon memorized and sounding good for the next class. (Maybe take a look at the section with all the flats. The intonation can get pretty icky there!) Also start paying attention to the names of your pieces and the composer. It’s good to know what it is you are playing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Famous violinists and Upcoming group classes

A big thank you to Maggie for making the cool new montage on the wall! It's got tons of famous violinists on it, so be sure to ask us about our favorites that are good for listening!

Next week, I'll send out a list of some really good violinists that are good to listen to or go see perform. One of them (Pinchas Zuckerman) is performing in St. Louis this spring! More details on that later.

This Saturday (Sept 26) we've got fiddle and group classes again. Fiddle will be at 2:30 to 3:15 and Groups 3 and 4 will be from 3:30 to 4:15. We'll be at St. Timothy's again at 808 N. Mason.

Fiddlers be prepared to play a swing Suzuki song, Orientalische Melody, some of Bach Up and Push, along with the tunes we did last week. We'll also talk a bit about how to create your own solos and how to play back up during solos and such.

See you there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Matt Glaser Jazz Violin Workshop Oct 1

Hi Guys,
Andrew Driscoll and Victoria Brannan of Fiddleback (and also local Suzuki teachers) are bringing in famous Jazz violinist Matt Glaser for a workshop 7:30pm Thursday, October 1 at University United Methodist Church in University City. Matt Glaser is the head of the String Department at Berkley College of Music in Boston and is well-known and respected as a fantastic musician and string educator. The workshop is free of charge and students are welcome to bring their instruments and join in the fun!

I'm not sure of what level students need to be to feel comfortable joining in, although certainly kids at late book 1 and up should be fine. Younger students are welcome to observe if the material seems a bit too challenging. I think more advanced students (book 6 and up) will also find it informative.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Listening to Music is Key to Musical Success! (part 2)

Continuing the discussion of good violin music!

I would suggest having a special listening assignment each week in addition to the daily listening to the Suzuki CD/your current pieces. Find a violin piece each week to listen to and tell your teacher about it in the lesson! Be sure to tell your teacher the violinist/group that played, the name of the piece and the composer too. That's important information to know!

Now onto more music...

Romantic music:
Music from the Romantic period is very emotional, intense, and virtuosic, all the stuff kids go for. It really shows off what the violin can do. There are literally HUNDREDS of pieces I could list here, so I’m just going to mention a few of the major concertos that are an absolute must for listening.

Violin Concerto in E Minor by F. Mendelsohnn: This is one of the greatest pieces ever written for violin. Of the artists who have recorded this, my favorites are Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, and Yehudi Menuhin. There are a number of current violinists who have done great recordings of this piece too. Kyung-Wha Chung, Sarah Chang, etc. I would avoid Joshua Bell’s recording as he changed parts that really should not be changed…He's a fantastic musician worth listening to, so check out some of his other recordings!

Brahms Violin Concerto: I love David Oistrakh’s rendition of this, although pretty much every good violinist out there will probably have a recording of this amazing piece. I also like Ida Haendel’s version, although that’ll be hard to find I think. I like this concerto even more than the Mendelssohn, if that’s possible. It’s one of the most difficult violin concertos.

The Sibelius Violin Concerto: This piece is amazing. I have been listening to Jasha Heifetz play this and it really makes me want to go practice more so I can learn it. (Heifetz usually has that effect on violin players!) The second movement is especially beautiful. I believe that Leonid Kavokos also has some good recordings of this piece. He’s one of my favorite living violinists and he often comes to perform in St. Louis. He’s definitely worth checking out. Disclaimer though: his posture and position of his bow arm are both atrocious even though he plays amazingly well. I guess it’s a freak of nature…

The Tchaikovsky Concerto: This is probably the most famous violin concerto. David Oistrakh and Itzhak Perlman both do AWESOME things with this piece. I grew up listening to Isaac Stern’s recording of it with the Philidelphia Symphony, so I’m partial to that recording too.

Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano: I have to mention these even though they are not concertos. These are astonishingly beautiful. My favorite is No. 1 in G major. The first movement is…there aren’t words for it… Also check out the Franck Sonata for Violin and Piano. (The one in A major) The fourth movement is heavenly.

There’s also a lot of great short violin pieces (around 2-3 minutes) from the Romantic period that would be good for kids to hear. I’ll mention those another day as well.

I’m out of time to tell you about the 20th century music for violin, although much of that would be less appealing to kids anyway, but there is some that is tonal and quite enjoyable.
This should get you started. Talk to your teachers if you have questions about what would be good for your child. Also check in with us if you need help choosing what artist to hear. There are a number of amazing violinists both from the past as well as those alive today that are really essential for any good violin music library. I’ll get a comprehensive list of them later.

Happy listening!!!

Recitals: A change

Hi Guys,
We need to make a change in the recitals. The fiddle group will perform on the 11AM recital on December 12th instead of the 2pm recital. Sorry for any confusion.


Stay tuned for more listening ideas!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fiddle and Group classes 1 and 2 this Saturday

Hi Guys,
We have fiddle class meeting this Saturday at 2:30pm to 3:15pm.

We'll be working on:
Sally Gardens
Fire on the Mountain
The King of the Faeries
Johnny's Gone to France
I'll also be teaching a harmony part to the Klesmer tune.

Don't worry if you don't know all these tunes. Most of us don't yet, so just play what you feel comfortable on.

Also, Suzuki group classes 1 and 2 are meeting from 3:30pm to 4:15pm. Group 1 is for Pretwinkle songs through Lightly Row and group 2 is for Song of the Wind through Etude. If you are unsure which group class your child is in, talk with your teacher.

We'll be at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church at 808 N. Mason Road. The church is right next to the Andrew's Academy and the Hope Montissori school. The driveway winds around to the back of the church where the parking lot is. We use the side door up the ramp as the main entrance will be locked.

This particular week, we will not have use of the parish hall, so classes will be in the choir room and in one of the larger classrooms upstairs. I'll have a sign up to show you where to go. We may need to divide group class 1 into two classes just for this week since we have a smaller space than usual.

Students are welcome to stay and have cookies and juice after the Suzuki group classes.

See you soon!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fiddle Music

Hi Guys,
I've finally figured out a way to get you the easier version of Back Up and Push.

You just need to click on "click here to start download." The website puts ads up sometimes, so I would suggest parents doing the download and not kids. I don't know what kinds of ads pop up on file hosting sites, so better safe than sorry.

I'm sorry I can't seem to figure out how Dennis nicely hyperlinked the fiddle music straight into the blog, but hopefully this will work out just the same.

The King of the Faeries

I've added a few slurs here and there to make the bowing come out easier. Your teacher will point out where these slurs go.

Let me know if there are any problems getting the music.

Fiddle kids I'll see you soon, on September 12 for our first class!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Listening to Music is Key to Musical Success! (part 1)

Hi guys!

Disclaimer: This is a really long post with lots of good information. Save it for a time that you can sit down and read it all. I know you’re all very busy! To help out, I’ve divided this topic into two posts so you have more time to digest the info.

Listening to good violin or fiddle music is the best way to develop a good musical ear. Although listening to the Suzuki CD and your current piece on at least a daily basis is also helpful, nothing beats having music on as often as possible. In fact, listening is equally important to daily practice. As a child I remember we always had music on, Jazz, Classical music, Baroque music, Classic Rock, pretty much everything. (We were eclectic in our tastes.) It’s also good to get to some good concerts as that is a great way to motivate kids and show them the possibilities of their instrument. That’s another post for another day. (I’ll post from time to time about upcoming concerts to see in St. Louis.)

Today I’ll be posting on good Classical violin music to listen to. I’m saving fiddlers for another day. I find itunes is a great resource as is On Pandora you can create a free radio station. I’ve discovered many an artist or wonderful piece/song through Pandora. This list is not exhaustive in any sense, but is a starting point. I have included music here which features the violin. There is a ton of orchestral music and chamber music which is fantastic. I’ll put that in another post another day.

Baroque music:

Solo Partitas and Sonatas by J. S. Bach: I have Rachel Podger’s recordings which are incredible. She’s a Baroque style violinist which means she plays the music the way it would have been heard in Bach’s day. The Henryk Szeryng recordings are an excellent example of the more modern approach to Bach, as are the Nathan Milstein recordings. (Milstein is one of my absolute favorite violinists. He’s definately worth checking out!) The 2nd Partita is particularly beautiful, especially the “Ciaccona.” for more info on Partita No. 2.

Devil’s Trill by Giuseppe Tartini: This is an AWESOME piece. There are several violinists who do a nice job with this piece. I have Rachel Barton Pine along with others.

Corelli trio sonatas: These are for violin, viola de gamba (precursor to the cello) and harpsichord. Very cool music if you like Baroque stuff.

Classical music:

Music from the Classical period is wonderfully refined and demonstrates the beautiful tone of the violin.

The Mozart Violin Concertos: These, along with Mozarts violin/piano sonatas are pretty much the crowning jewel of the Classical violin repertoire. Concertos 3, 4, and 5 are the ones most worth listening to. Joshua Bell does a beautiful job with Mozart, so it’s worth checking out his recordings.

The Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano: You can’t go wrong with these. I don’t have a particular artist I listen to for these. There are several that are good.
The Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano: These are getting into the end of Classical period stuff but are still wonderfully refined. Absolutely beautiful and worth checking out!

Stay tuned for info on some of the great violin music of the Romantic period including several of the best violin concertos!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back Up and Push: The Playable version

Hi Guys,
I'm trying to upload the simpler version of Back Up and Push (without all the crazy double stops) but am having some technical difficulties. I should have it for you this weekend though so you can get started learning it. Once the tune is learned, we can add in some of the less troublesome double stops to make it sound more Bluegrassy!

I would make sure to learn the cross shuffle first. (It's the second half of the tune with all the 16th notes). Get the pattern by practicing on open strings. Eventually the pattern will be played very fast, so if your bow knows what to do at a fast speed, it'll be a lot easier to play.

Keep a lookout for the music here...


Hi all,
Here is our calendar of violin events that we have planned so far. Workshops, studio classes, and Dennis' masterclasses have not yet been set but we'll add these to the calendar soon.

Don't forget to get these dates into your calendar!

Group Classes: Saturdays 3:30 to 4:15

  1. September 12: Groups 1 and 2
  2. September 26: Groups 3 and 4
  3. October 10: Groups 1 and 2
  4. October 17: Groups 3 and 4
  5. November 7: Groups 1 and 2
  6. November 21: Groups 3 and 4
Fiddle Group Classes: Saturdays 2:30 to 3:15

  1. September 12
  2. September 26
  3. October 10
  4. October 17
  5. November 7
  6. November 21
  7. December 5 (Dress rehearsal)
  8. December 12: 11am performance

Recitals: Saturdays 11am and 2pm

October 31: Halloween Recital for kids through 5th grade (wear your costume!)

December 12

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Subscribe to this Blog

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New Fiddle Music

Hi Everyone!

The new fiddle music is finally here! I have listed the link below where you can retreive the music to print out. There are currently six songs:

Orientalische Melody (Klesmer)
Back Up and Push (Bluegrass)
Fire on the Mountain (Old-time)
Johnny's Gone to France (New England)
Sally Gardens (Irish)
The King of the Fairies (Irish)

I have included only the basic tune for Fire on the Mountain, but will be adding solos later. There will be some solo parts available in the other tunes as well. For Back Up and Push, I have provided the most advance version. (Caution: CRAZY hard). A more playable version will be available on this blog in a week or two.

We will be recording the music in August, so keep a look out for the audio files.

Click here to get your music!

Don't forget to fill out a fiddle registration form by August 10th to be a part of the fiddle group this fall!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Blog

Hello everyone!
We are starting this blog for students and parents of the St. Louis School of Music so we can more easily keep you informed about upcoming events and offer various resources to help your music learning experience. This blog will include:

*Calendars for events such as Suzuki group classes, recitals, group performances, fiddle group classes and rehearsals, masterclasses, and parent workshops

*Helpful articles and tips on practicing for parents and students

*Fiddle Group music and audio files (music to be learned this semester)

*Fiddle Group music archive (music learned in previous semesters)

*Twice a month, we hope to include feature a new youtube video of outstanding violin or fiddle playing.

We'd love for you to subscribe to our blog so our updates and resources can be sent to your email box. To subscribe to our blog, check out our next post entitled "How to Subscribe to this blog."

We hope you enjoy our blog! If you ever have any suggestions on how to improve it, feel free to email Laura Yeh at