Cape Cod Summer String Tune-Up
Each student receives at least one mini-lesson in front of a small group of kids who all play their same instrument. It is a valuable experience to have a lesson with a teacher other than the student’s regular teacher, as each teacher describes ideas differently. The wide range of ages and levels means that the younger students can be inspired by the older ones, and the older students can be encouraged that all of their hard work has paid off! Some of the older students enjoy doing teacher observations during a younger student’s master class time, thinking about what they might do if they were the teacher and learning tips and tricks for how to explain position and musicality to a young student.
The Cape Cod Summer String Tune-Up is a week-long strings camp that gives students age 5 and up an opportunity to make music with other strings players through master classes, chamber ensembles, large ensemble, music theory games and more! Students get to share their music with the community in a final performance at the end of the week. Click to download the registration form.
For many students, the chamber ensemble time is their first experience playing chamber music with instruments other than their own. Playing duets, trios, and quartets helps players to see how each instrument fits in musically to the string instrument family as a whole. It is a new experience to work with the different pitch ranges and timbres of violins, violas, and cellos. For younger students, this is a good introduction to being able to play in time and in tune with each other. For more advanced students, it is an opportunity to learn how to work with each other to decide as an ensemble on tempo, bowings, articulation, dynamics and other nuances of music making.
The All-Play at camp is a fun time for all the students of every age and ability to play together. The music that is chosen for All-Play is specifically meant to be enjoyable and accessible for all levels. For example, if the whole camp is playing a round, the beginners can stay on one line if that is what they are able to play. The intermediate students can keep the basic round going, and the advanced students are given opportunities to do improvisation over the melody line.
Each day begins with a Rhythm Rally and ends with a variety of fun music theory games. These games teach skills such as rhythmic and melodic notation, scale structure, listening for patterns, and basic composition. By mid-week students are encouraged to try writing a composition to be performed by themselves, any combination of students, or the teachers. The kids learn so much and have so much fun during these games that several students have decided that this is the highlight of the day!
The final performance after the week of camp is seen as a community service opportunity. Whether we perform in a nursing home, library, or other venue, we want the kids to be able to share their talents with others to make the world a better place. Performance have been at the Hydrangea Festival in Marstons Mills and at the Osterville Library.
Karin Loewen has a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from Wheaton Conservatory (IL) and has been teaching Suzuki cello since 1997. She has taught preschool music classes at Cape Cod Conservatory and college level Intro to Strings classes at Concordia College, IL. She is currently the strings teacher at St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School in Hyannis and also has a home studio, Cape Cod Cellos, in Barnstable.
Heather Swanson studied at Boston University and holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education from UMass, Lowell. She has received Suzuki teacher training in Books 1 – 6 and has worked as a public school General Music and Strings teacher on Cape Cod for 15 years. Her performances in chamber and orchestral settings include the Cape Cod Symphony and the Bridgeport Symphony in CT. She performs regularly with The Cape Violin Cello Duo, www.capeviolincelloduo.com and teaches out of her home in Centerville.
Kathryn Pillsbury has a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton Conservatory (IL) in Ethnomusicology. She has performed as a professional violinist and violist in symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles since 1995. She has been a founding member of two string trios: Selah Strings and Diamond Cove Trio. She has coached chamber ensembles at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and has taught Suzuki violin for 20 years.
Evan Pillsbury holds a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from Wheaton Conservatory (IL) and a Master’s of Sacred Music with honors from Boston University. A native of Southern Maine, he is a professional ‘cellist and has performed in the Portland Symphony and the Maine State Ballet. He has been a Suzuki cello teacher since 1995. Evan and Kathryn are members of the Diamond Cove Trio, www.diamondcovetrio.us.