Musical experience and performance is an art form that necessitates the concentration of the mind on the present moment.
For young music students, holding a violin in position and bowing are experiences that demand much concentration, coordination and balance. They are required not only to think of the music they are playing but to understand what they are playing and prepare adequately for the music they are just about to play. Hence, the Music department has embarked on a path to find ways in which students can learn to stay focused in the present moment. One particular engaging initiative is Meet the Musician, which involves musicians from different backgrounds visiting classes to play, share their musical journey, and help the students in their classroom ensemble lessons.
On 20 May 2016, the Year 4B Violin Music classroom students were pleasantly surprised with a special guest appearance from Semra Lee-Smith. Semra is not only a parent of one of our students, but also an accomplished violin performer who holds the position of Assistant Concertmaster for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She is also part of a team that runs the Darlington Concerts. Even though she is a busy practising artist, Semra managed to fit in an hour of her time, engaging our students with violin technique, posture, tuning, and a short activity to strengthen motor skills.
Upon request from an eager student, we were treated to a short performance extract and the class was delighted. The students were inspired with the musical journey Semra shared with them; she began playing violin when she was three years old and played her first concert at age six. She encouraged students to pick up their violin daily and practice, and to embrace the sounds they are making as their skills develop.
We learnt that these present moments of musical experience play a big role in developing students’ confidence in their skills, and give them the courage to perform music to their peers and audience.
Mrs Jennifer Mudhan
Head of Arts