Sunday, September 28, 2014

Video of the Week: Zara Nelsova

Another great female cellist of the 20th century was Canadian-born Zara Nelsova.  You can find the video HERE, as embedding into another site is not allowed. 

Zara Nelsova plays "Adagio" from Sonata in A Major for Cello and Piano, G4a (Luigi Boccherini)
From: VAI DVD 4370 Zara Nelsova: Grande Dame of the Cello
Nelsova was extolled for her passion, flair, and perfect intonation. These television recitals from the archives of Radio-Canada (1955-1962) ...

On your practice sheet, please write three countries she lived in, as well as her dates of birth and death.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If you have short arms, and have a son with big feet...

Okay.  If your arms get itchy from picking beans, but you'd rather not put a long sleeved shirt on.  And you have short arms and a son with big feet, who has worn a hole in his socks...  This is my solution.  I cut the toes of his old socks open, and voila, arm protection! As long as I don't mind the hole in one "elbow"!  And no, his feet really aren't particularly big, but it's a longish pair of socks. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cello Mountain

Is it hard to learn to play the cello? Well, yes. And no. Is it hard to climb a mountain? If you stand at the foot and look at the peak, the whole picture looks rather daunting. But can you just take one step? Of course! That isn't so hard! Likewise, if we take small steps, learning the cello can be easy. There' not much intuitive about starting out, especially. You'll need a guide. A guide with a map. What if we see that big mountain and decide that's a long way, we'd better hurry up and get up there! Take off running! Well, pretty soon you'll be exhausted, maybe overwhelmed that even with all that energy expended, you didn't really get that much closer to the summit. You might even find that you are lost because you didn't take the time to follow the map. And if you're in such a hurry, there's that danger of tripping and falling off a narrow precipice. Yep, that can happen in cello studies, too. Let's not trip, one easy step at a time!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Video of the Week: Jacqueline du Pre

One of the great cellists of the last century. On your practice sheet, please write her name, date and country of birth, and date of death.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Video" of the week: J. S. Bach

This week rather than watch, you will listen to a 5 minute radio program about Johann Sebastian Bach on "Classics for Kids".  CLICK HERE.  I'll bet even the adults will learn something interesting they didn't know before!  Take the three question quiz after listening and let me know how you did! 

There's also a link for listening to the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, and an activity sheet for any interested.  I have played this, and let me tell you, sitting directly in front of piccolo trumpets is hard on the ears!  Much prefer some of the other Brandenburg Concertos.  Number 6 is cool - doesn't even have violins! Oh, I can't resist - I will post a video here, too.  Extra credit for watching either or both of these!  :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fairy Garden No. 2

A new class in our Fall Fair this year was fairy gardens!  What a good excuse to make another one!  No. 1 had become a little overgrown, and then there was the tomato plant which volunteered smack in the middle from the compost-soil. Yes, there is a tomato on the plant, too!  

 I looked at fairy gardens on Pinterest for inspiration... and figured I didn't stand a chance at WINNING anything, as I was not up to anything as elaborate as I found there!  But I knew I would have FUN creating, and that I did.

One sister donated a few fairy baskets into which I stuffed some dried flowers, and another came collecting with me in the woods. All three of us visited the thrift stores where we found the tray, strawberries, and an egg-cup bird-bath.  The fairy-on-a-swing herself, her critter friend and the pond-dish were earlier thrift store finds, and all featured in garden no. 1.  Husband donated the golf tee, and the glass shooter marble gazing ball came from a box of out-grown toys in our basement (idea from a sister). The pathway is a mix of pea gravel and beach collections of years gone by. A few old snail shells and some tiny fresh flowers in a floral water tube and it was complete. 

Lo and behold! A blue ribbon! But most of all, it WAS fun to make.  I hope my fairy is up for more fun next year!  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Video of the Week: Oblivion

Video of the Week is designed to be an introduction to music history and cello culture, an exploration of a variety of genres, and for your inspiration and enjoyment!

Here is the Rastrelli Cello Quartet performing Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion". 
Students, first of all, just enjoy the music! Then write down four observations you make while watching this four minute video of four cellists!