Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WHAT WE DID TODAY (SEMESTER #1-24): TUESDAY; OCTOBER 5, 2010

GENERAL MUSIC PERIODS 2,3,6
COMPOSER: BACH TOCCATA AND FUGUE in D MINOR  (Check out this link on my blog)
1. Bach was an expert on playing the organ and he wrote many pieces of music for that instrument.
2. This piece is extremely famous and is often associated with music like one might hear in the "Haunted House" at Disneyland. However, Bach had never intended his music to be used in that way.
3. A "prelude" is a musical introduction and a "fugue" is "a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts." (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fugue)
.....a. It is a fancy round or "canon" in which layers of melodies (horizontal patterns of repeated sounds)                        overlap themselves in a such a way that their vertical combinations form very beautiful harmonies.
.....b. Each horizontal pattern of melody has an individual character that can be played alone but also                               combines well when layered against the others in the fugue.
OBJECTIVE: UNDERSTANDING THE BAROQUE "CANON"
1. QUOTE AUTHOR: Gioacchino Rossini

.....a. An Italian opera composer from the 19th Century
.....b. One of his most famous pieces was the "William Tell Overture
video

which was used as the theme song for old TV series called the "Lone Ranger."
video
2. Discussed what a musical "canon" is.
.....a. The word “canon” comes from the Greek kanon, meaning “rule” or “order.”
.....b. "A composition or passage in which a melody is imitated by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch             and time." Sort-of like a fancy round (ie: round example: "Row Row Row Your Boat")
.....c. This type of musical style is typical of the music that was being played during the time of Bach.
.....d. A good example of a canon in this style is one written by Johan Pachelbel
video

.....e. We listened to a funny version of the Pachelbel canon called the"Taco Bell Canon
.....f. After hearing the canon, we sang each of the 4 individual parts (melodies) with the recording.
.....g. Then I split the class into 4 parts and gave each group one of the 4 melodies to sing with the recording.
.....h. The groups switched parts and resang these again with the recording.
.....i. By singing the canon we were able to experience how difficult it is to sing one melody with someone next           to you singing something completely different and also it helped the students to understand this famous style         from Bach's time.

BEGINNING VIOLIN PERIOD 5:
OBJECTIVE: DO-RE-MI Fingering
1. TUNE 

2. FINGERING DO-RE-MI (Students are to remember to keep the 1st finger down when placing down the 2nd finger)
....a. Using the guitar position (for practice purposes only) students reviewed and practiced plucking the                     strings using the right thumb over the fingerboard while they fingered the DO, RE, MI notes using the left                     fingers.
.....b. We practiced DO, RE, MI on each string in the CYCLE OF STRINGS and students were instructed to retry            again with the objective of being able to place the fingers down without using their eyes; I want them to use                their sense of touch and their sense of hearing.
.....c. When able to perform this task they are then ready to try placing the violin up in its regular position and               pluck the same sounds, again using right pizzicato.
.....d. We re-did the exercise again using a DO, RE, MI, MI, RE, DO pattern (placing fingers down and then                         removing them in order).
.....e. We started to use the DO, RE, MI patterns in songs; our first one to start on: "HOT CROSS BUNS" (This is
          to be played on each string in the CYCLE OF STRINGS)
..........1)First sing the solfege to get the tune in the mind first (you cannot play anything well on an instrument                   unless you can sing it in your head first).
..........2)While in guitar position, sing again; this time singing the finger numbers as students place the proper                 fingers down (silent fingering)
..........3)Again in guitar position, sing the fingering and/or solfege while fingering on the left and plucking on                     the right.
..........4)If the last step can be done with ease, then try re-doing it in the proper holding position at the neck.
..........5)Once the left hand fingering is memorized and has become what I term an "automatic reflex"                                     (movements that are performed without overtly thinking because they have become a reaction) then the                     bow can be tried in replacement of the pizzicato.
..........6)Having the left fingering memorized allows the brain to focus only on the use of the bow; if the left                         fingers have not learned the movements as an automatic reflex and the bow is used too soon with the left                 fingers, then the brain is forced to have to concentrate on two completely different movements at the same               time... that is very difficult to do and it will take longer to get the song learned.
..........7)Continue to use the UH (upper half ) of the bow only in playing the song and work toward articulating                   the beginnings of each separate bow stroke.
WE ARE CONTINUING THIS TOMORROW TO GET MORE STUDENTS READY TO COMBINE LEFT FINGERS WITH THE USE OF THE BOW

ADVANCED VIOLIN PERIOD 4: 
OBJECTIVE: Preparation for Harvest Day performance on October 28th/Hoedown music
1. TUNE

2
. DE COLORES 
.....a. Reviewed harmony parts with cellos, guitar, and piano by having everyone (including violins) play the                 harmony part.
.....c. Started the process of connecting the parts together. by having 4 violins start the melody part (more                    have been added from yesterday and more students to be added later until all violins are playing the melody).
.....d. We worked on articulation so all instruments will be staring and stopping at the same time
.....e. We sight read through "Good King Wenceslas" in tutorial home room and started to read and play the                 notes located on the "D" string (playing with the recording students only played those notes and left out the             others...this rehearsal technique used to teach continuity)
QUIZ ON THE DIFFICULT 4-NOTE PASSAGE OF ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL POSTPONED UNTIL I RE-ANNOUNCE IT