Village Violin School News 19th June 2017
There have been lots of exciting events this term and we worked hard to be ready to play at the Farmers’ Market on 13th May. The Beginners and Improvers played tunes old and new, and the event, in the café, was well attended by a friendly audience. Andrew joined us with his cello, Frances played the piano for part of the concert, Jonathan made an unexpected appearance using my violin, (well, HE wasn’t expecting it, anyway!) and several violinists volunteered to play solos after the group pieces. As ever, Deborah did a great job with the cd player and the concert was excellent experience, especially for the newer players. Lizzie came along to help out and is getting to know everyone now.
We have been working hard to prepare for the Leamington Spa Competitive Festival, and so we played in Assembly on 14th June as part of our practice. Both groups played to the whole school and I was very happy with the professional behaviour of all the violinists, not to mention beautiful playing and listening from everyone.
On Saturday 17th June we went to Leamington for the Strings section of the Festival. Laura was awarded Third Prize in both her classes (and two medals), Dan played extremely well in his large class of 14 entries and was awarded a Merit, and Alice won the Ethel Overbury Trophy in a (rather smaller!) class. Jasmine played very well in her Grade 7-8 class in preparation for her forthcoming Grade 7 exam and was awarded a Distinction, particularly encouraging since she has also been working through her GCSEs this summer.
The Beginners and Improvers played magnificently in their String Group class later in the day – such a hot day too! Steven Wilkie, the adjudicator, a Professor at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester was very impressed with our players and we were inspired by the wonderful North Birmingham Suzuki Group (do check out their website), who played Ashokan Farewell with tremendous expertise and all from memory. This group won the trophy but the Beginners and Improvers were awarded the Outstanding category and the lovely comments from Steven to all the young musicians were to be remembered and treasured. He said he had felt quite emotional seeing all the youngsters playing together and how well they were progressing. Occasions like this are great for giving everyone a performance to work towards, feedback from another professional and inspiration from seeing other violinists playing together. I am very proud of what we have all achieved together in less than two years.
Keep practising very day – it is the sure way to improve our skills. Listen to your tunes on youtube or on the cds you have, listen to great players and listen to each other. It is really important to listen to music of all kinds to become a good musician, and it is also really important to play your violin every day to develop the co-ordination you need to be able to play your pieces well so they sound great!
I would like to say a big thank you to all the parents who encourage the children and transport them to and fro.
ABRSM exams are next, for Natalie: Grade 1, Alice: Grade 2, Dan and Laura: Grade 3, Lizzie: Grade 4 and Jasmine: Grade 7. Good luck to them!
Village Violin School is a community project run by professional violinist and teacher Veronique Matarasso. It offers free group violin tuition on Tuesday afternoons.
Participants learn the violin together in the appropriate group and instruments are lent in return for a small deposit and an undertaking to practise daily so that excellent progress is maintained. The aim of this project is to offer the opportunity to all to learn to play the violin, read music, work and play together and have fun, at no cost.
Last year the Violin School performed at school functions including Christmas Service, the Farmers’ Market and several assemblies. They competed successfully at the Leamington Spa Competitive Festival of Music and Drama achieving 3rd place in the under 11 groups class. The Violin School attended a rehearsal and concert by Armonico Consort with Nicola Benedetti and were visited by Veronique’s colleague, violinist Jill Samuel. There was a full orchestra session in which parents and other local friends played with us which was so successful that we have plans to do it again! Two children achieved distinction in their ABRSM grades 1 and 2 examinations and Jasmine Grundy, our Year 11 assistant, achieved distinction in her ABRSM grade 6 violin exam.
Beginners Class 3.15 – 4.15
Improvers Class 4.30 – 5.30
Veronique Matarasso MA(Mus Ed) LRAM – Course Director
Jasmine Grundy – Assistant
Deborah Lea – Technical Assistant
Chris Morley and Bryony Yelloly – Violin Helpers
Enquiries to Veronique on 07899 927642