Pittsburgh mussicians have put presentations/performances together several presentations/performanceswith a goal to introduce children of all ages to classical music. Depending on the group’s age, each presentation lasts anywhere from thirty minutes to a full hour, leaving the length flexible for adjustment if needed.
During a program musicians will perform one or two short pieces from different time periods of music such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern: an average program will have eight to ten pieces. At times some popular songs by the Beatles or other similar genre are included to show the differens between classical musicand other genres. In between pieces musicians will interact with children, explaining the next pieces to be played, relating music time periods with history in general, creating what we refer to as “Musical Time Travel”. That gives children a better understanding of how old some music is. For instance, if we are playing a piece from Romantic era that was written in 1863 – we mention the Civil War or another event that students have an understanding of. Musicians adjust their “Time Travel” story based on the age of children, as well as their knowledge of history.
For each presentation musicians use a language that is appropriate for that given group: using simple words and descriptions for younger kids, giving them more “fun facts” about music, while reserving more complex language and proper music terms for older ones. Musicians also talk briefly about composers whose music they perform.
Reserving time for questions from students is very important for our programs. Some questions are asked between the pieces, but mostly musicians leave time for that purpose at the end of the program. If time allows, children (especially younger ones) come up and meet the musicians, giving them a chance to see and learn about instruments up close.
For the conclusion, musicians may play a song or piece that students have heard of or familiar with. Again, it is chosen based on the age group. Usually that piece is not classical but more of a popular tune, to show students different styles of music that classically trained musicians can perform.
Below is a summary of some things that children will learn about through our presentations:
- who are professional musicians and what they do
- what is chamber music and its’ differences from solo performers and orchestras
- instruments in the “string family” and their characteristics
- different ways of playing a string instrument
- classical music in different times in history, “Musical Time Travel”
- facts on composers and their lives
- how to start playing an instrument and what it takes to become a professional musician.
Please contact us for more information on our school programs and we will gladly choose one that will be suitable for your school.
Private violin and viola lessons
In addition to orchestra engagements and coordinating musicians in string duos, trios and quartets for events and weddings in Pittsburgh, Tatyana Swanson has a studio of private violin and viola students in the North Hills of Pittsburgh at Musik Innovations and in Baldwin, PA. Mrs. Swanson has been instructing privately since 1996 and currently has over thirty private students, ages four to adults. Most private violin and viola lessons are once a week, thirty minutes long. For more advanced students, or for those who play violin and viola – the lessons can be extended to forty five minutes. The fee varies depending on the location.
Private lessons overview
- The lessons are constructed with an individual game plan for each student based on his/her level and ability, as well as based on future goals.
- The fundamentals of music theory and history are covered with workbooks for younger students.
- Technical goals are outlined and monitored with weekly assignment/completion sheet.
- Extensive classical music repertoire is covered such as violin and viola concerti, in addition to scales, etudes, duets and other genres of music.
- Focus on proper application on practicing techniques, especially “quality” over “quantity” approach.
- Review of required music repertoire for upcoming playing tests and auditions as needed.
- Recommendations letters are available after five years of study.