On Monday, some of St. John’s youngest students performed on their violins for the first time in the PAC theatre as part of the Timbertops End of Year Assembly. The students from Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes began learning the violin in January this year with their teacher Mrs. Vicky Carlin, using the Suzuki method, a teaching approach that is particularly effective with very young children. It allows children from two and a half years old to access what is a very technically demanding instrument through exercises, games, songs and pieces from the Suzuki repertoire.
As part of their demonstration they showed members of the audience the different parts of the violin and the bow, how to make down and up bows, how to clap rhythm patterns, how to hold the bow correctly, and finally to play variations on a theme of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The children have two lessons per week, one with a partner or individually, and the other with the whole group. Parents attend lessons so that they can continue practicing the same routines at home. With the support of their parents and teacher the children are able to make rapid progress and have a lot fun leaning the violin. They are looking forward to their next performance in the new school year.