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. Check back here to sign up for camp. We hope to open up again once Covid is behind us!
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, the Osterville Library, and the Dennis Senior Center.
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. John Paul II High School & St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School in Hyannis and has a home studio, Cape Cod Cellos, in Barnstable, where she teaches cello, viola, and violin. www.capecodcellos.com. Emily Hilliar holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music and in English from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. Originally from Pennsylvania, Emily has taught privately as well as in public and private school settings for twenty years. Before moving to Cape Cod in 2014, she performed with various Boston area orchestras and chamber ensembles. Emily teaches private violin lessons and classes out of her home studio in Orleans, MA. www.hilliar.com/hilliarmusic/ Eleanor Blake studied ‘cello at The Boston Conservatory and is a member of several orchestras including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra. She is currently a faculty member of the Youth and Muse International Summer Music Festival. She has worked with international soloists like cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax. Eleanor teaches ‘cello at her home studio in Milford, Massachusetts. www.eleanorblakecello.com