Saturday, March 14, 2009
Today Hannah graduated from the Twinkles. For those of you who are familiar with Suzuki violin or other instruments you are nodding your heads knowingly. For the rest of you, who like us, have no clue what this means. Let me explain.
When you are learning an instrument in the Suzuki method, the first thing that is learned are variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Then the student progresses through the books learning more and more. But a very important part of Suzuki training is always reviewing and repeating what has been learned. Hannah began taking violin lessons in the fall of 2008. Last summer she began with a new violin teacher who teaches in the Suzuki method and started at the beginning with the Twinkles. But she quickly progressed and is currently working through Book 2.
Today was the Statewide Graduation Recitals. A student has to be a book ahead of where they graduate. So even though Hannah is done with Book 1, she couldn't graduate from it because she is not done with Book 2. But she could and she did graduate from the Twinkles.
We drove to the cities and were at Orchestra Hall for the two hour violin recital. It was quite neat. First there were 5 upper level violin soloists who were graduating from Book 10. WOW! These students were great. We listened to Mozart's Concerto No.4 in D Major, K.218, Vitali's Chaconne in G minor, Bruch's Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 II. Adagio and the student after played the III. Finale: Allegro energico, and Saint-Saens' Concerto No. 3 in B minor II. Molto Moderato e Maestoso. These soloists had their entire pieces memorized and were accompanied by a pianist. The girl who played Bruch's Finale is the daughter of the man who was the pianist!
Next those students who graduated from Level 8 all came onto the stage and played together. Then the Level 7 graduates joined the Level 8's and another tune was played by all. Next Level 6, then Level 5, on down to the Twinkle Level. Each time there were more students added to the stage and everyone played everything. So the Level 8 graduates played every song - even the soloists were back on stage all playing the same thing.
By the time the Twinkle graduates came onto the stage it was getting a bit crowded!
It was neat to see that there were different age boys and girls in each level. There was a young girl who graduated from Level 8 who looked like she was maybe 8 or 10 years old at most. I was happy to see that Hannah wasn't the only older Twinkle graduate. The Twinkle graduates are all in the front row. Hannah is in the khaki skirt in the middle.
As the students were led through the Twinkles, the sound was so rich and full. It had been building with adding the students. The other really neat thing was all the bow movement was in synch.
This was truly a neat experience and we look forward to Hannah's graduations in the years to come. She said that by next year she should be able to graduate from Level 1 and Level 2 and possibly 3. We'll see what the coming year brings. For now she can relish that she has played on the stage in Orchestra Hall and she also has a neat trophy to remember her day.