Welcome to our Music for the Community page! Since we can't take our music out to local nursing homes and libraries at the moment, we're inviting you in to enjoy it here instead. Each day you'll find a new student performance on this page, along with some info about the composer or instrument - and sometimes words too so you can sing along.
If you're interested in a particular category, you can sort performances by student age, instrument, singalong music, composer and so on - click on the orange tags under the text. We hope you and your family will enjoy watching our students share their music!
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Born in Venice on the day of an earthquake, Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1648 -1741) is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, and during his lifetime he was famous across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, especially for string instruments, as well as a large amount of church music and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons - we featured "Spring" on Day 25.
Vivaldi wrote a set of six cello sonatas (works for a solo instrument, usually with accompaniment by a keyboard) between 1720 and 1730. All of them have four alternating slow and fast movements (separate pieces); this is the second movement of the third sonata.
A native of Baltimore, Donald Waxman met his wife Jho at the Peabody Conservatory, and shortly after graduation the couple founded a music school in Nyack, New York. Like our Day 2 composer, Kabalevsky, the Waxmans felt that musical language in the piano methods of the time was dated, and not challenging or interesting enough for 20th century students.
Mr. Waxman says, “ I wanted young students to be working in a language more varied than that of so many piano method books. I wanted students to be playing and hearing music written in a wide variety of intervals, modes and tonal and chromatic combinations that go beyond the extreme limitations of music based primarily on the triads.” We think you’ll agree that he succeeded!
We're doing something a little different this week - taking you on a journey from the earliest stages of learning an instrument through to musical mastery. First, our beginners who are just learning to pick out a simple tune...
Pianists age 4 play Twinkle, right hand and left hand
We’ve finally had some great spring days over the past week – we hope you’ve managed to get outside and enjoy them! With spring really getting underway, this seems like the perfect time to offer this beautiful sound picture.
Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi lived from 1678 – 1741 (more or less at the same time as Bach), and his "Four Seasons" violin concertos are among his most beloved compositions. Each movement of each season is paired with a poem, and it’s thought that Vivaldi may have written these too.
Here’s his poem for this first movement of the "Spring" concerto - and where in the video you'll hear the matching music:
Springtime is upon us. [opening theme]
The birds celebrate her return with festive song, [00:36]
and murmuring streams are
softly caressed by the breezes. [1:25]
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, [2:03, lightning at 2:06, rain at 2:14 on]
casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, [2:43 - 2:53]
and the birds take up their charming songs once more. [2:53]
Painting the full picture takes a lot of notes - you might notice the young violinist moving over from one page to the next a couple of times!
Here is another variation on Twinkle, from one of our young Wayland Rec beginners. Again, this bowing pattern will show up later in much more advanced repertoire.
For violin, viola and cello, we call this variation “DOWN pony, UP pony” to emphasize the alternating direction of the strong bow strokes. Others like to call it “Long, short-short, Long, short-short”, while our Suzuki piano teachers often use “Run Mommy, Run Daddy”. Pick one of these, and see if you can keep up singing it all the way through - or maybe chase Mom and Dad around the house!