Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goodbye Suzuki Book 4

Benny graduated Suzuki Book 4 at the Judy Blank Suzuki Violin Workshop. It was exciting. After he missed his official graduation recital because he was violently ill, it was a relief to be able to put on a suit coat and perform a couple of pieces to an audience, and be a certified, bonafide graduate.

Here he is doing one of his pieces:

So that's the end of Book 4. We're done with the unaccompanied Gavotte in Book 5 now, and polishing the 2nd movement of the Vivaldi in A minor, so now we've just started working on the first page of the G minor. Exciting.

I just want to take this time to unabashedly show off my children's violin position. They are awesome (which means, of course that their teachers are awesome).

Sadie participated in the workshop also. In her master class, we were congratulated on her awesome position, and Judy Blank just encouraged her to use more bow and produce more sound, and she gave us some games to play to help with that. She played Go Tell Aunt Rhody in her master class, and she's now learning May Song. Benny's master class was all about fingering and bowing stuff in the Bach Double -- different ways to practice hard passages. Neither got corrected on position, and I was so completely proud of them for being such cute little snickersnacks. I mean such fine musicians.

Here's Sadie's position:

I mean have you ever seen such a lovely bow hand on a four-year-old?

Here's Benny's:

His bow hand has come a long way, and his vibrato is now really amazing. He's matured so much as a musician in the last year -- I'm floored by him. There are many ways in which Benny is not the most mature 8 year old on the planet. However, being able to pull off that schmaltzy middle section in the third Seitz is something I have never been able to do convincingly, and he does it beautifully.

One more picture from the workshop, on the night of the potluck dinner. Yes, this is how I get results from my four-year-old! Artificial colors and flavors!

So here he is. Eight years old and on to Book 5. Suzuki forever!


  1. Wow! I am absolutely impressed!

  2. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Benny and Sadie are a road show unto themselves. Great, wonderful, and so lovable.

  3. As an adult, I have been taking violin lessons but he's got me beat easily! I may have to find a suzuki teacher myself!