Monday, August 11, 2014

Tears and Memory

Oscar Wilde said, "Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory."   I hope when Michelle reflects back on her violin/fiddle playing, that there will be mostly memories and that if tears come, they will be happy tears.   Last week was her fourth fiddle concert.  She has been taking violin lessons for 3 1/2 years now.  I am so pleased with how much progress she has made.  Her playing is improving.  Memorizing songs is becoming easier.  She usually practices without complaint (at first, there were often is hard work to learn to play the violin!)

This year, the students played 20 songs.  In order to play the song, each student must memorize the piece and check it off with Mrs. Montgomery in advance.  Last year, Michelle had learned about 13 or 14 songs but memorized 9 of them.  This year, she had learned or at least begun learning most of the songs they performed, and she had 12 of them memorized.  She played "Bile Them Cabbage Down", "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "Ashokan Farewell", "Orange Blossom Special", "Cripple Creek", "Irish Washerwoman", "Danny Boy", "Camptown Races", "Old Joe Clark", "Little Brown Jug", "Old MacDonald" (complete with sound effects for a mockingbird, chicken, woodpecker, cow and mouse), and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."  I was really happy that she was able to memorize twelve of them and feel confident that she can add at least 3 or 4 more to her repertoire next year.  Not only that, but she did smile a little bit during the concert.  And even when she was concentrating, she just looked serious, not unhappy like she often does.

It was a great concert.  Malachi played the cello.  Linda played the keyboard.   Zac played the guitar on most songs and he played the drums on a couple.  Hannah played the mandolin on a few of the songs.  Wonderful concert and wonderful to see the progress that the students are making!