Can’t believe we are having our 4th annual benefit concert this upcoming Saturday!
Come join us on the evening of Saturday, September 9th for a night of classical music featuring some very talented local artists! Doors will be opened at 6:30pm. Some performers will be from our lovely friends at Müzewest Concerts, Music Friends, Liam Sturgess and our very own UBC president Santa J. Ono!!
Admission is by donation and light refreshments will be provided. All proceeds from this concert will go towards instruments, repair/ maintenance and books for the students in our free after hour programs.
Because of these events we have been able to provide free quality violin classes at Queen Alexandra Elementary School, the UBC Point Grey campus, and the First Nations Musqueam Community Cultural Pavilion.
Last year I had the pleasure of teaching weekly violin lessons to 7 different students at Queen Alexandra Elementary school. I signed up as a violin teacher through Shine On Music, wanting the opportunity to work with kids and music. With the school year quickly approaching and lessons starting up again soon, I thought I’d give a quick overview of what it’s like to be a teacher with Shine On music.
The first lesson is focused on fitting each student with the appropriate sized violin, then I like to go over the “anatomy” of the violin and the bow with the students. It’s always fun to have a student guess what they think a part of the instrument is called. Some parts are pretty intuitive (the tip of the bow!), while others are not (“Why is this part called the frog?”).
It gets fun when students become comfortable with holding the violin correctly, and playing basic melodies. When I felt my students were bored with classic songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” I asked them what they wanted to play. By student request, I ended up writing out some awesome variations on: The “Clash of Clans” battle theme, Star Wars, and “How Far I’ll go” from Moana (I also got a request for “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, but that one I vetoed). Students are so much more enthusiastic about learning songs that they picked out, and they pick up these songs much more easily because they already know how the melody should sound!
Aside from playing the violin, I had fun just getting to know my students throughout the year. In response to me asking how old everyone thought I was, one of my students replied “Like…..really old!” Other hilarious questions I’ve gotten are “Are you married or are you single?” and “How many children do you have?” By the end of the school year it was so rewarding to see how far my students had come, and I’m excited to see quite a few of them again when lessons resume this fall!
Studies have suggested that there are many cognitive and developmental benefits of children taking music lessons, but I underestimated the benefits that I would reap by teaching myself; as a 4th year university student, no matter how hectic my school life gets I’ve made a commitment to pick up my violin at least once a week when I have lessons with my students, and in turn it’s made me a better musician. I know I can always count on my weekly visits to Queen Alexandra Elementary to put a smile on my face.
If you are an incoming UBC student this year, consider joining a teaching program like Shine On. Those who have life long interest of becoming a music teacher or a teacher in general, can greatly benefit from working with kids through our program. I started the year wanting to teach children the enjoyments of music, however it was surprising how much I learned from them as well.
Come out and support us at our 3rd annual benefit concert!
Our past support all comes from our fundraisers and the AMS, through the generous donations as well as AMS grants we are able to increase our inventory of instruments that we lend out to students completely free of charge.
By coming to support us you are providing another child with the chance and the opportunity to learn and develop musically, in circumstances that they may not be able to otherwise. At the end of they day it is really that chance and commitment we provide to these children, even if they do not pursue music in the future, it is their personal growth both musically and culturally that we see appear. It becomes intertwined with the mission of our organization.
So what are you waiting for? Swing on by the evening of September 12th to enjoy true virtuoso music and for a good cause.
There have been many discussions why humans enjoy music from articles like this in The Economist to TED videos like this. During a rehearsal leading up to our Sept. 4, 2015 concert, one of our students explains why she plays violin.
Many thanks to Anthea for accompanying our students.
We are excited to announce that Müzewest Concerts have generously donated tickets to all our students (+ a parent) to their first concert on Oct. 4, 2015 at 2pm featuring Ilya Poletaev.
Who is Ilya Poletaev? A world renowned pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal. His many accomplishments include First Prize winner of the XX Concorso Sala Gallo Piano Competition in Monza, Italy, where he also received the Audience Prize, the Bach Prize, and the Orchestra Prize.
Congratulations to all of the performers (violin & piano)! It was lovely to see all their hard-work showcased. With lessons continuing still, perhaps this is not a “year-end” recital, but a celebration of how far everyone has come.
Big thank you to Mr. C.J Kumar, Ms. J. Hickman, Ms. Cheryll Matthews & the rest of Queen Alexandra Elementary for their continued support, all of our hardworking violin students and their supportive parents for making this year super successful.
It was an incredible collaboration between Shine On Music & UBC’s Heart of the City Piano Program, and we can’t wait for what the future may bring.
A huge thanks to our supporters Tom Lee, Terra Breads, Delany’s Coffee House, VSO, Vancouver Aquarium, Royal City Musical Theatre, and Long & McQuade for their generous donations.