Wednesday, September 15, 2010


COMPOSER: Chopin Waltz in Db Major Opus 64 #1 "Minute Waltz" [Not really meant to be played in a minute but it is a very short piece played on the fast side.

Played by: Ignaz Friedman

OBJECTIVE: Intro to Recorder: Making Sounds
(Periods 2,3,6):
1. Quote by J.S. Bach/explanation about how long ago he lived and how musicians of his time made a living (who could afford to pay his salary) and what types of audiences were listening to his music.
2. Solfege Roll: Review solfege hand signals adding "Sol." Teacher asks with hand signals: Sol-Mi-La-Sol-Mi ("Mar-y did you finish your quote?")/Student answers with hand signals: Sol-Mi-La-Sol-Mi ("Yes I did") and show the quote to me.
3. Finish percussion worksheets: Pictures of instruments need to be labelled with their correct names. A few students volunteer to go up to the white board and fill in the names of the instruments on the charts (same as the assignment) so everyone can check their answers. Worksheets to be turned in when finished: worth 2 points.
4. Recorders taken out and teacher gives directions with silent cues (as a conductor would). Students to echo sounds played by the teacher: loud vs soft, slow versus fast, ugly versus pretty sounds, steady versus bumpy type sounds.
5. Recorders left hand and right hand; why are the right hand fingers placed on the bottom of the instrument?
6. Do not forget to turn in signed rule sheets: worth 1 point

OBJECTIVE: Violin Left Hold, Angle, and Pizzicato
2. Left hand: finger springs; how fingers push down strings to start sounds.
a. Starting with left hand thumb placed under the curve of the neck (called 5th position) in a backwards "C" position, students depress the pad of the index finger (called 1st finger) down onto the "G" string in a "spring-like" motion four times (4x) silently then repeat the same on the"D" string 4x, "A" then "E" strings.
b. Repeat the same exercise again using the pad of the middle finger (called the 2nd finger), 3rd finger or "ring finger" and then finally using the 4th finger or "pinky" finger (the hardest finger to use or as I call it, "the dreaded 4th finger").
c. When using the 4th finger, if it can not reach the "G" string comfortably do not stretch it. Instead make more room for it by bring the left arm under the violin more. If when doing that the left arm feels stiff or in pain, try adjusting the violin angle slightly to the left.
d. Try to perform these "spring-like" finger actions by feel; without looking at the hand.
3. Add onto the previous step by performing a "plucking" or pulling the string-type motion called "pizzicato" or "pizz" for short. Pizzicato is the Italian musical term that means to pluck the string instead of using the bow.
a. To pizzicato: push down the left index finger pad onto the string and start the beginning of the "spring" motion (as we did before) then add a motion where you pull that finger away from the string to let it vibrate. Before performing the next pizzicato place the finger pad on the string (which stops the previous action's vibration) then restart: PLACE, PUSH DOWN, PULL
4. Left hand pizzicato is practiced 4x on each string starting on the "G" string using the first finger then using the 2nd, 3rd, and lastly the 4th finger. Adjustment of the violin angle may have to occur when plucking the "G" string with the 4th finger.
5. Left pizzicato and open string note reading to song "Cripple Creek."
a. Looking at open string notes (music notation) on the music chart posted (notes are color coated by string (BLUE"G," RED or PINK "D," YELLOW "A" and GREEN will be "E") students are to look at how high or low the notes are [as to their location on the staff (lines and spaces that notes sit on)] placed and comparing that to their violin string sounds determine the names: EX: Lowest color is "BLUE" and lowest violin string is "G."
b. Quarter note concept and notation are introduced (quarter notes are worth one beat of the heart). There are two types of beats: ones you hear and feel and ones that you only feel. The ones you only feel are called "rests" and they are notes that are not played, or silent notes.
c. Students are instructed to read the quarter notes saying the sound of "tah" and patsch (pat the knee with the hand) for quarter beats that are felt and heard and saying "rest" while creating a silent beat by waving the arm out and in for the beats that are only felt.
d. Repeat the above activity except change the "tahs" to the appropriate note name of the open string it represents.
e.. This activity is then transferred to the violin where the students are instructed to read the note letter names and rests out loud (as they occur ) while plucking the appropriate string using left hand pizzicato. All this is done to the recording.
f. A music "road map" direction (or what I like to call "music punctuation") for repeats (repeat sign) is introduced (a double bar with 2 dots) and the term "staff" (five lines and 4 spaces) is explained.

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

2. Introduction to "Orange Blossom Special" song: teacher demonstration with posted chart
3. Hoedown: last section "CODA" is reviewed and quiz given on the violin parts. (Every student to play the passage: worth 4 points)
4. Hoedown CELLO: Fingering (and string names) are reviewed then section "A" of "Hoedown" is practiced with help of the piano.
5. Violin part "A" of Hoedown is reviewed from yesterday and then cello and violin parts are combined at section "A."
6. Students play Hoedown INTRO section and connect with section "A" (played 2x)
7. Section "B" (played 2x) of Hoedown is rehearsed and then added to the other sections already played.
8. First 3 sections are then played again to this format: INTRO/ "A" 2x/"B" 2x/ "A" 2x
9. ALL 4 sections are now put together by adding the CODA section at the end. This is practiced slowly before increasing the speed.
10. Start the beginning (train sound) of "Orange Blossom Special" using fingered (perfect 5th) double stops (which slide back and forth 1/2 step) and left hand pizzicato open "E" string