A few weeks back, we held our final Open Mic / Kids and Teens Art Show of the school year. Some of the highlights included a former student of ours, Cassie Dove, as well as current students, Jessy Barham, Julien Lindstrom and Mila Poignard, as well as many others. Thanks to all of our awesome performers for putting on a great show!
There was also a ton of lively and unique art on display from the last art session, which was all inspired by music's influence on art. There are cassette tape monsters, recycled record paintings and collages, and some works inspired by live musical performances in the classroom. We want to let all of our art students know how proud of them we are and how awesome all of their art work turned out! We are proudly displaying it here at the school in our main gallery. Check out some awesome photos of the evening below!
The violin is perhaps second in prominence only to the piano in the Western musical tradition. With its huge repertoire of solo music and its esteemed position in ensembles from the string quartet up to the full symphony orchestra, it is known to nearly the whole world over. And of course, the three big composers of classical music — Bach, Mozart and Beethoven — have widely known pieces for the instrument, many of which are used in the plethora of technique and theory books we have today.
But to play the violin — say, to play Bach's Partita no. 3 in E major — is much more than pure technique and goes farther than even theory and musicianship. It's about joy and passion and creativity and happiness. I spent three years of my life being bored to tears by composers like Bach and Mozart. Why? The simple answer is that I had ceased to care about the technique and the theory, and honestly I was no longer having fun with them. But through the guidance of several great teachers (who were, incidentally, working with me on fields completely unrelated to violin — one of them was a sociologist) I not only rekindled a passion for music but suddenly started to understand what Bach was about. Enjoying famed violinist Itzhak Perlman playing the Chaconne from Partita no. 2 has almost nothing to do with the man's technique. There is a strange and exhilarating depth to Bach, despite how simple he seems on the surface.
So reject the idea that technical prowess is everything. There are robots now that can play piano and violin with technical facility equal to — or even greater than — a human. Violin is a beautiful instrument (often given a “feminine” role in contrast to the piano's perceived “masculinity”) with a rich tradition, but ultimately music is about love. The potential creative talent of one person is enormous if found and given the chance for expression. I will leave you with a quote from Kahlil Gibran's poem :
“If you sing of beauty though alone in the heart of the desert you will have an audience.”
--This article was contributed by Frank S. Li, Prodigy's stings instructor.