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VIOLIN ENSEMBLE

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					                                     VIOLIN ENSEMBLE


INTRODUCTION

The Ensemble Programme was designed with the aim of providing students with a comprehensive
foundation for securing a wide range of skills necessary in developing a complete musician.

The Ensemble Programme is a unique and highly specialised programme that is planned exclusively
for students at Mandeville. It is hard to find other music education centres that offer a similar
programme primarily because of the time, effort, creativity and expertise required to plan and
conduct this specialised programme. It is an arduous task but at Mandeville, we recognise the need
for this programme so as to achieve the full musical potential of all our students.

Ideally Ensemble Programme should be held weekly to achieve its full potential. Unfortunately due
to the busy schedules of students today, these classes are organised once a month with a total of 10
classes per year.




SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
Builds Repertoire - 4 to 6 pieces from different genres are assigned each year
Performance techniques
Musical Concepts and History of Music
Developing ensemble skills
Developing appreciation for different music interpretations
Working together sensitively as a team
Develop sight-reading and aural skills
Orchestral training




BENEFITS
Develops performance skills as soloist and as a member musician
Improves ability to follow directions
Provides a social and educational environment for personal motivation
Instils discipline in leadership training
To offer and receive constructive criticism in a positive environment
Learns to appreciate music at different levels of difficulty
Develops confidence and self-esteem
Learns responsibility, respect and appreciation for peers and leaders
MISCONCEPTIONS

It is a wasted lesson. A week for the teachers not to teach individual lessons…
The Ensemble Programme is beneficial for developing skills and techniques primarily in a group
setting. It offers what is necessary in growing to become a complete musician. It is a syllabus that
focuses on learning and acquiring musicianship skills which cannot be taught in an individual class
setting. Both time and much effort are given by the teachers to prepare for these classes. Training
and experience is required in conducting these classes effectively. The teachers meet regularly to
discuss and further develop this programme so our students will gain its full benefits.



It is a way for the school to make money….
This is a common misconception. On the contrary, the school has to make a lot of adjustments to
accommodate this programme for its students every once a month. Larger and medium sized rooms
have to be reserved for these classes and as a result, fees which the school could earn from
individual lessons during this period are forfeited. It is at loss for the school.
The school has to further finance the employment of extra staff to organize and train teachers to
conduct this programme at no extra cost to the students. The school ensures that only experienced
teachers conduct Ensemble Classes.


It does not help the students in their music exams…
Group performances most certainly help to build confidence. The Ensemble Programme further
trains students in aural perception- a skill that is necessary for music exams. Other music exams
criteria like music history and concepts of theory are also introduced at the Ensemble Classes.


CONCLUSION

Learning music is not about acquiring more paper qualifications.
It is not about having an extra subject to “fall back on” should we need to do so, due to low grades in
our academic subjects in school.
It is about finding a balance in our fast paced lives that only the deeper joys of music can give. It
provides a release from the pressures and stresses of society. It is a time to build character,
personality and strong values through interaction with fellow musicians and through learning
invaluable skills from our music mentors. It enables your child to enjoy music making with other
musicians.
Music is indeed an invaluable art form. At Mandeville we aim to provide your child with every
possible facet of this art form to carry with them into their future.
Perhaps these thoughts best sum up the invaluable and incomparable benefits of music.

This is an excerpt taken from a welcome address, given to the freshman class at Boston
Conservatory by Karl Paulnack – pianist and Director of Boston Conservatory.

(After September 11, 2001)

The first organized activity that I saw in (Manhattan,) New York, that same day, was singing.
People sang. People sang around fire houses, people sang "We Shall Overcome". Lots of people
sang America the Beautiful. The first organized public event that I remember was the Brahms
Requiem, later that week, at Lincoln Center, with the New York Philharmonic. The first organized
public expression of grief, our first communal response to that historic event, was a concert. That
was the beginning of a sense that life might go on. The US Military secured the airspace, but
recovery was led by the arts and by music in particular, that very night.

(Music) It's not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything
or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways
we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words,
a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we can't with our minds.

...being a musician isn't about dispensing a product... I'm not an entertainer; I'm a lot closer to a
paramedic, a fire-fighter, a rescue worker. You're here to become a sort of therapist for the human
soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides
to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be
healthy and happy and well.




QUOTES
(from students and parents at Mandeville Music School)



“My daughters enjoy all the interesting and catchy tunes that they get to play. It is great exposure
for them especially when the groups gets to play with other interesting instruments like the drums,
guitar, bass, and with choreography incorporated in. When my daughters play in the rock group, my
younger daughter Emanuelle was so overwhelmed and she said she could feel it right in her bones!”
-Eunice, mother of 2 daughters age 5 and 8



“My daughter played her ensemble music together with the CD accompaniment given by her teacher
in her kindergarten concert and instantly became a star in her school! “
-Alexia, mother of 6 year old
“It gives my son a community of like-minded musicians –other kids who play the violin and know the
same music. Sometimes they use the ensemble repertoire and play for a good cause like the old folks
home or their school’s funfair to raise funds for the building of the school.”
 -Mrs Tan, mother of 13 year old




“When I hear people sing like on American Idol, I always feel so good when I can tell they are flat and
other people are completely clueless!”
 - Post Grade 8, Lauren Tan (17 years old)



“Ensemble classes keep my child motivated more than any other thing.”
-Paul, father of 7 year old

				
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