Friday, April 15, 2011

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice.

That was the theme of today's concerts. Thing 1's Suzuki violin group put on two concerts today at two different school assemblies. They were both excellent concerts and a lot of fun, too.

Practicing before the 1st concert

It's pretty neat that they were able to perform like that, because since each family only gets 2 tickets to go to the Carnegie Hall performance in a few weeks, this was a chance for grandparents to come hear their grandkids and see what they'll be doing at Carnegie.

The gym/auditorium was filled with students and there were several rows of grandparents as well. One spry 82-year-old woman sat down by Thing 2 and interviewed him after telling him she loves little boys. He blushed, but I could tell he liked the attention.

Performing at the 2nd concert

There are kids in the group from ages 4-18 and from all different backgrounds.

I got some pictures and videos today. Our little girl is really growing up! She's getting so tall and her feet have grown a lot lately and she's even got orthodontic work to really round out the whole "awkward stage" thing, except that instead of awkward, she's lovely.

Having fun playing "Witches' Dance"

The famous Suzuki Twinkle Variations

It's a very small scale of how it will be at Carnegie Hall, but it gives you an idea of what a great concert it will be!


Dr. Mark said...

What a great day as a family. Thing 1 did a great job and so did the entire group. I'm really looking forward to Carnegie.

Lindsay said...

How awesome will that be to play at Carnegie? So proud of Thing 1.
She is lucky if she gets to skip all of the awkward stages. I went through them pretty badly. I will juts have to post some pictures from that era to prove it (or maybe I am still going through them!!).
Good luck Thing 1!!!

the emily said...

That is sooo cool. I can't wait to hear all about the Carnegie visit. How did you guys find her teacher? Is it expensive? How old was she when she started? Did she choose it?

Sorry for all the questions, I just feel anxious to get Isaac started on something. I was six when I started piano and I feel like it's a pretty good age to start lessons.

Boquinha said...

Good questions. Yes, totally her choice. She started talking about playing violin around 5 or 6 and we kind of cringed at the thought, to be honest (screeching string noises were coming to mind).

Soon after turning 6, she took this short $5 (I think) summer class called "Introduction to Strings" where she got to try a violin, viola, and cello, and learn to play a bit. We thought that would be a good way to let her check them out to see if she really wanted to do it. She was hooked! We started lessons within a few months of that. So, she started at around 6 1/2.

We learned about the Suzuki Method from that class she took and were VERY impressed (seriously, get the documentary on Dr. Suzuki from the library or Netflix -- it is WELL worth it). So, we looked around for a Suzuki teacher and met with a couple of them, found a good fit for Kate, and started private lessons (Suzuki also has a group lesson component). There is a music store that we can literally see from our front window, so it was easy to check their list of teachers there.

It is expensive compared to when we were kids and lessons were 5-10 bucks for half an hour. Her private lessons are $18 for a half hour and her group lessons are $4 each. You can rent instruments but we find it's cheaper to just buy one on eBay and they're pretty nice quality. In Suzuki, you move up in violin sizes as you grow up. (Also, there is a Suzuki piano method as well that looks really neat).

Thankfully, my mom, as a gift to Kate, pays for her lessons, so it's really a Vavó thing that way. And, of course, that really helps us out a lot, too. When my mom is here, she goes to her lessons and has the kids play instruments for her. She also calls them frequently and they play over the phone for her as well. They both love to play (they both play piano, too -- Mark teaches them those lessons for free :P).

Anyway, she loves it and we don't even have to bug her to practice. We find out about local ensembles and groups and orchestras and she participates in those, too. Our homeschool group is REALLY active and quite large and many kids play instruments, so many of them are in various orchestras together. It's amazing what's available in the community!

Does Isaac have an instrument he'd like to play? Maxim is starting to show interest in the drums!! I know, I know. But we thought the same thing about violin and it's been great (little to no screeching with the Suzuki method!!).

Good luck with whatever you decide. Maybe you can barter with someone. There's a teenager down the street that comes over and teaches the kids guitar now and then, too, just for fun. There's so much out there when you look!

Zelia said...

I loved the video of The Witches Dance.
Kate I am so proud of you and the way you stuck to the violin. You play so well. I wish I could go to Carnegie Hall and see you. I think I will have to wait outside with Maxim.

J Fo said...

So cool! I love to see this stuff. :) I understand the awkward phase...too well. No, I will never post pictures of that! NEVER! hehe

The Magic Violinist said...

I loved reading the post! It was fun to see the concert from the audience's point of view. :)