Friday, March 4, 2011

WHAT WE DID TODAY #2-30:

GENERAL MUSIC PERIODS 2,3,6 
COMPOSER: BACH: Minuet in G (transcribed for violin)
video

1. This music came from the "Notebook for Anna Magdalena"
2. It is manuscript notebook (1725) that Bach presented to his second wife Anna Magdalena and is a compilation of music by both Bach and other composers of the era which features keyboard music (minuets, rondeaux, polonaises, chorales, sonatas, preludes, musettes, marches, gavottes) and a few pieces for voice (songs, and arias).
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notebook_for_Anna_Magdalena_Bach
3. The author of the music maybe Bach or someone else but because it is in this notebook it is attributed to Bach.
4. This music was often used for teaching purposes and today is often transcribed for other instruments.
5. Term "Minuet":
.....a. This is a social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3/4 time. 
video

.....b. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet, meaning small, pretty, delicate.

.....c. The name is also given to a musical composition written in the same time and rhythm, but when not accompanying an actual dance, the pace was quicker.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minuet)
6. Term "Transcribed": An adaptation or reworking of a musical composition for a different instrument than the music was originally written for. 

OBJECTIVE: Using the Left and Right Brain

1. QUOTE AUTHOR: Frederick Delius
.....a. One of his most famous pieces is called "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring"
video

2. Brain: Left Side/ Right Side and What It Has to Do With Music

.....a. Explained that are bodies are "cross-circuited"
..........1)Right side of the brain controls the left side and vice-versa
.....b. Most everyone favors one side of the brain over the other that is why some people write with their right hand and some with their left
..........1)Few people can write equally well using right and left hands
..........2)Equal use of both hands is called being "ambidextrous"
..........3)In terms of certain skills controlled by one side of the brain, the other side is under developed
.............a)To illustrate this point: print and write in cursive your name with the normal hand and then try the other
......c. What makes music unique compared to some other art forms is that most musicians need equal use of both hands in order to create their art.
...........1)An art teacher would probably not ask the student to draw using the weak hand, either would the English teacher ask the student to hand write an essay using the weak hand; but in music the playing of most instruments requires it.
......d. As the exercise in writing your name with the weak hand illustrates, the brain is trying extremely hard to send the message to move the fingers, but the fingers cannot respond quickly (like the fingers on the strong hand does)
...........1)Frustration results when the brain knows how to do something but the muscles cannot respond at the same rate of speed; this is the experience all musicians go through during music training (especially beginners).
...........2)Actually this "frustration" is the brain expanding its capabilities (sort-of like the muscles aching when exercising them; trying to build them up).
...........3)Frustration thus is a good thing and all muscians experience this when learning something new.
......e. Playing music, learning to use both hands equally, forces the under-developed side of the brain to be used and thus people who do this utilize more of their brain capacity
...........1)I like to say, "Playing music makes a person smarter; the more of the brain you use the smarter you become."
3. BODY PERCUSSION SONG "ALLEY CAT"
video

.....a. Utilizes quarter notes and quarter rests and also eighth notes in pairs.

.....b. Review note values and rhythm reading; how to perform a rest (which should be felt but not heard)
.....c. Go over directions: why certain notes are colored red and some colored black (red notes and black notes have stems in different directions as well)
..........1)The different colors indicated the use of right and left hands used to perform the rhythms in this body percussion exercise.
..........2)Using the left and right hands (not always in patterns) demonstrates the use of the right and left brain activity as discussed earlier.
..............a)Students will feel frustration or their brains' expanding as they perform this piece; especially when left-right patterns are deliberately changed often near the end
..............b)As the brain functions by patterns, it rebels when new patterns are suddenly introduced to it
..............c)Forcing the brain to learn new patterns also expands the abilities of the brain's function.
.....d. This exercise demonstrates the technique that a drummer (snare drummer) must go through when playing.
...........1)Profession drummers plan their "sticking" (which hand plays which note at any given time) before practicing any given piece. (Sticking is not random.)
.....e. Since the performance of this is only rhythmic (no melody playing by the performer) in the beginning of the learning process the ear cannot easily help out the eyes should the eyes get lost; so focus and concentration is more difficult in drumming then on a melody instrument
4. RECORDER HOLIDAY SONG: JOLLY OLD ST. NICK
......a. Short explanation of new note LOW "E" and its fingering
......b. Sight read through "JOLLY OLD ST. NICK"
5. REVIEW B-A-G SONG: TURKEY TROT
DECEMBER 9th is the holiday concert for chorus, band, and strings. Recorder students are invited to play their instruments ("recorder carolling") as the pre-concert activity outside of the gym. This is not mandatory; just a fun way to celebrate the holidays through music. We will play the holiday music learned in class. All students need to bring is their recorder; music and accompaniments will be already set-up. More details to follow as I get them.

BEGINNING VIOLIN PERIOD 5: 
OBJECTIVE: PREPARATION FOR HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE/DOUBLE STOPPING
2. DOUBLE-STOPPING

.....a. Separate Bows (UH) 2x at each of the 7 bow levels
.....c. Bow patterns taken from Hava Nagila: short long short short short long
.....d. "Mary Had a Little Lamb" double-stopped
.........1)Played the DO-RE-MI song with the neighboring higher open string
.........2)Played on G with open D, D with open A, A with open E, and then the melody alone on the E string

.........3)By adding the open string with the melody harmony is produced helping the ear hear intonation better on the fingered notes ( a good intonation training technique) 2. HOLIDAY PROGRAM SONG: COVENTRY CAROL
.....a. Worked on keeping together the pizzicato and rests
..........1)Because I wanted the rests to be "played"silently together I had students deliberately move something (like a head nod) during them.
..........2)Even though rests are silent, they must be felt.
3.HOLIDAY PROGRAM SONG: HAVA NAGILA
.....a. Worked on certain sections to get the counting and articulation together
.....b. Worked for continuity; training the performer how to play through mistakes in a performance with others

.....c. Added a tremelo to the ending note (as per a student's suggestion; a suggestion I liked very much!)

ADVANCED VIOLIN PERIOD 4: 
OBJECTIVE: Preparation for: Harvest Day performance on October 28th/Holiday Program December 9th
1. TUNE
2. MUSIC STANDS WERE SET-UP
3. REVIEW SONGS FOR THE HARVEST FESTIVAL
.....a. HOEDOWN
 

.....b. ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL
.....c. DE COLORES
4. GREENSLEEVES
.....a. Harmony first/split 2 parts..violins on melody (review some fingerings) rest harmony
Sight read coventry carol (added 7th grade beg. violins during HR)
.....a. Listen to the accompaniment with string harmony part
.....b. Everyone plays harmony part together (later to separate into melody and harmony parts)
...........1)Playing the harmony part is important even for those who will be playing the melody because harmony helps the ear with intonation, the counting is different, and also because it is good for everyone in the group to know how their part fits together with the the others.
5. Preparation for the Harvest Festival Performance
......a. There are 11 practice sessions (days left) before the concert
......b. We will be performing on the outside stage in the early part of the festival
......c. When we are finished we can put our instruments away in the room and enjoy rest of the festivities

......d. More information to follow when I get it.