Program: Northside students
Impact statement: Beginning Viola Lessons/Northside Students
Reflection: For our second Tri-M service learning project, we continued with our individual music lessons for two students not currently enrolled in a music class. Our goal was simple: to share our love of music and to foster an appreciation for viola. Both students had some prior experience playing a string instrument, and we were therefore able to progress through the basics very quickly. After only a few lessons, the students were able to perform the bow hold, proper bowing technique, and the D major scale! The were also working on writing the D major scale on a staff and identifying notes in the alto clef. In our following lessons, we wanted to build upon these milestones to fortify the existing skills and add new ones. The students were very eager to continue practicing their bowing, note reading, and scales, and we were very eager to continue teaching.
In our lessons for Tri-M service part 2, we brought Orchestra Expressions for Viola, a book of short and catchy songs that help build finger strength, bowing technique, and reading confidence. From this book, we introduced exercises for playing basic notes and sequences to further familiarize them with the alto clef. When they were more comfortable, they attempted to play Mary Had a Little Lamb/Mary Lee. They then moved to high-number exercises, like Good King Wenceslas and Ode to Joy.
At the culmination of the music lessons, the students wanted to show off what they had worked on over the course of the semester. They invited a small group of friends during lunch and performed their favorite pieces out of Orchestra Expressions. It was incredibly gratifying to see the students so proud of their newfound skills and moved to share their music-making with other students. Overall, the joy that comes from making music spreads far beyond the source. From the musician to the audience, the influence of music continues to expand as people share what they have heard and what they have experienced.