Thursday, September 23, 2010



The melody from this piece was borrowed, words added, and the backround rhythm changed creating a popular song in the 1940's called, "Till the End of Time" 

1. QUOTE AUTHOR: Zoltan Kodaly a famous Hungarian composer who also specialized in the creation of a children's music education course of study which emphasized "solfege."

2. SOLFEGE: MI-RE-DO Review of MI-RE-DO hand signals and sounds/practice singing the MI-RE-DO pitches by teaching how to proportion air using the diaphragm muscle (a technique also used for breath control on the recorder).
.....a. Each student sings the pattern and hand signs to... teacher: "Did you finish your quote?" Student reply, "Yes I did." 

2. Composer Report on Chopin
.....a. Discussed some other famous composers who were alive at the same time as Chopin:
..........1)Felix Mendelssohn: Famous composer and conductor from Germany (wrote a famous Wedding March)
..........2)Robert Schumann: Famous pianist, composer and piano teacher. He married the daughter of his piano teacher Clara Wieck Schumann, who was also well known for her piano playing and composing in her own right. Schumann experimented with a device he invented to help strengthen and train the fingers of his students. While trying the device out himself, he harmed one of his fingers to the extent that it never healed properly. Not being to play the piano as well as he used to depressed him so much that he eventually developed a mental illness.
..........3)Franz Liszt: A famous pianist (performer) and composer who, like Chopin, was one of the most popular pianists of his time.
.....b. Discussed some other famous historical people alive during Chopin's lifetime:
..........1)US President #5 James Monroe
..........2)US President #11 James K. Polk 

..........3)Queen Victoria of England (She was the queen of England for a very long time and her style was copied by people all over the world. Her influence on style and culture was so famous that the time period she lived in is often referred to as the "Victorian" era. An example of her influence is the tradition of the Christmas tree. Before she had one in her palace, the Christmas tree was only a tradition in Germany. After Victoria was introduced to this custom by her husband Albert, who was German, the Christmas tree became a tradition all over. It was also Victoria who set the tradition of getting married to a famous bridal march composed by Felix Mendelssohn. She had heard the music in his (Mendelssohn's) "A Midsummer's Night Dream" and decided to have it played at her own wedding ceremony. 
3. SONG "Whacky Nutcracker"( )
.....a. Review term "staccato" [shortened articulated sounds (short does not mean loud however)]/and then we practiced paying the "staccato" having a student direct the class on how the staccato was to be played (articulated).
.....b. Review other technical terms in the piece (measures, measures rest, triplets, time signature/meter)

(Same as periods 2,3 but will work on composer report tomorrow)

OBJECTIVE: Violin Bow: Beginning bow holds/Bowing on the Shoulder: Bow Levels

1. Reviwed bow hold
2. Bow: Beginning exercises
.....a. "Spider Crawl"
.....b. "Windshield Wiper"
.....c. Flexible right knuckle joints on the bow stick
3. Bowing on the shoulder:
.....a. Making squares with the bow on the shoulder vs parallelograms
..........1)Where the square is formed (depending on arm length vs bow size, etc.) is the middle of the bow for each particular player.
..........2)Using the idea of the "square" is an important concept because it keeps the violin bow from traveling into the fingerboard area (which is one of the major causes of scratchy, ugly sounds on a violin).
.....b. Bow Levels
..........1)Bow and arm stay together and move as a unit together in order to assure that the the bow will sound the string that is intended and not hit another one by accident
..........2)There are 4 basic arm/bow levels; one for each string("G," "D," "A," "E") and there are 3 more added levels used when performing double-stops (more than one note played at a time on 2 neighboring strings). Those levels find the bow placed on two strings at the same time: G+D, D+A, A+E
..........3)At the "G" string bow level the bow and arm (forming the square) are both parallel to the floor (sort-of like a table top upon which can sit a glass of water) and at the "E" string bow level, the elbow of the bow playing arm is towards the floor.
.....c. Making trapezoids with the bow on the shoulder.
..........1)The tip of the bow (the amount of bow that can comfortably be used; not the actual tip) is where the bow forms a trapezoid in proportion to the arm's length with the bow on the shoulder.
..........2)Since everyone's arm length (and its proportion to the bow size) is different, the tip of the bow is not always in the same place.
..........3)If in order to reach the actual tip of the bow the player must extend the right arm completely straight, then the amount of bow used must be lessened a bit. The idea is that the right arm must never be extented completely straight; there must always be a slight bend in the right elbow when at the tip of the bow.
..........4)Practice bow arm levels at the tip and compare with the bow arm levels at the square; bow arm levels are different when playing at different parts of the bow.
.....d. Making triangles with the bow on the shoulder.
..........1)The lowest part of the bow is called the "frog." When placing the bow on the shoulder at the frog a triangle is formed.
..........2)Compare all three bow levels: bow at the frog, bow in the middle, bow at the tip; movements of the arm are greater when the bow is placed at its tip and very minimal whenthe bow is placed at the frog. 

OBJECTIVE: Preparation for Harvest Day performance on October 28th/Hoedown music

a. Worked on the 4th section (first half of the phrase is almost identical to the second half)
b. Added this section on to what we had previously learned (skipping section 3 but following the passage with our eyes) and played with the recording for continuity.