Monday, September 9, 2019

The New Adventures of Violin Girl

Anybody else remember when we first chosen to work with MacPhail Center for Music six years ago?  I was amazed at the idea of being able to take music lessons remotely and be able to do it well.

Since then, she's continued to take lessons with her instructor, Jeremy.  With his help, Celia worked her way into the Rowan Youth Orchestras.  She spent two years as a violinist with the Youth String Orchestra, and last year worked her way up to playing in the full symphony Orchestra.

She also has worked through Level 6 of MacPhail's Crescendo Program.  Her repertoire piece for her last jury was Selections from The Boy Paganini, which then became her audition piece for this year's summer camp.

Celia has also taken piano lessons with MacPhail.  Heading into this fall, she wasn't sure she wanted to continue.  She didn't hate lessons and practicing, but her heart just wasn't in it.  While she was deciding what to do, she headed off to String Camp this past July. There she made a few new friends who played cello.  After they let her try their cellos, Celia made her decision. If she was going to play another instrument, she wanted to stick to strings. After a flurry of emails with Jeremy, she had decided she wanted to add viola to her repertoire.  It was still a smallish instrument (so easily portable), but most importantly, Jeremy also teaches and plays the viola, so she knew she'd like her teacher.  Violin Girl has a new alter ego: Viola Lass!

When she bought her viola, she also picked up secondhand copies of the Level 1 and 2 books that coordinated with what she and Jeremy had used for violin.  She figured that if she had guessed correctly, she had saved a few dollars.  If she was wrong, she had only spent a few bucks on books she could use for extra practice.  Likely because she already knew so much of the basics (bow hold, fingering, etc.), they zipped through to halfway through level 2.  After her second lesson, she came out of the study saying "Mom, can you order me..."

This is Bach's Musette for viola, after only two weeks of lessons.

She has played this piece before, back when she first was learning violin. However, it was not just practicing something old on a new instrument. Violin and viola are played with two different composition clefs; the violin is a treble clef instrument while the viola is an alto clef instrument.  This means learning a new note "language".  I think she's right to stick with strings - she definitely has talent there!  Her goal is to play viola with the RYSO next spring, but continue violin with the RYO. I think that's a definite possibility.

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