Always feel free to contact Karla Hastings
personally with any questions you may have or for further
This webpage will be updated frequently with information about lessons,
FALL TERM, 2014
We will be scheduling lessons as soon as school begins. Last year we opted to have 2 lessons per week and rehearsals as scheduled. This year we have to option of having lessons during elective times for the students in grades 5 through 8. We will be available on Registration Day to answer any questions you may have.
My instructors and I will be at Salem on Registration Day. I will contact each of you via email before the lessons begin. Again, feel free to email or phone me with any questions you may have.
What if my child does not want to stay in violin? This program is month to month so if by chance your child is not ready to participate fully in this program, he/she may discontinue. Fortunately, our students all seem to enjoy their sessions!
What about practice at home? One of the reasons we try to have multiple sessions each week is for supervised practice under the watchful eye of the instructor. We do encourage home practice, but sometimes it takes a while before each student realizes that progress is directly related to practice! Encourage your child to show you or at least tell you what he/she is doing in violin lessons/rehearsals.
Are there going to be performances? Absolutely! Last year was the first year for violin at Salem and the students performed several times during the year and did an amazing job. This year will be even more fantastic!
THINGS TO "PRACTICE" RIGHT NOW......
You probably haven't thought about this one, but students have to strengthen muscles so they can hold the violin properly for relatively long periods of time. Sooooo....practice holding arms out at shoulder height until the arms get tired, then drop them down. Do this many times during the day. Maybe count to see how long your child (and you!) can hold out your arms.
Another way to strengthen these muscles is to "direct" to music. Pretend to be an orchestra director. Even if you do not know how to direct correctly, just wave your arms to the music....even be silly...but keep those arms up about shoulder height. Symphonic music is great and much longer than other music in general. It will surprise you how tired you will feel when trying to "last" through the whole piece! Directing is great upper body cardiovascular exercise, by the way, so is good for the whole family
In the lessons we will be singing as we direct - particularly with the hymns. Ultimately we will be playing in 3 to 4 part harmony so the students have to know exactly where they are in the piece and singing - even silently - is a great way to keep one's place in the music.
OUR VIOLIN PROGRAM
Semi-private lessons are once a week for a half hour with 2 students at a time. We strive to have the students very near the same proficiency. The goal of lessons is to develop proper violin technique ....stance, pitch, rhythm, note reading.... All the things we do enhance not only your child's musicianship and proficiency on a musical instrument, but also aid in other learning as well as transferable skills in subjects that seem totally unrelated! Nice!
If you wish, your child may be enrolled in private lessons rather than semi-private. This decision is totally up to you and your child.
Rehearsals are larger group sessions.
OUR CURRICULUM AT SALEM
We do use some standard violin curricula, but also use an absolutely wonderful book by David Reiner, Anthology of Fiddle Styles. We introduce the reading of notation from the very beginning - even with the very young students. We also use my exclusive Anybody Can Play materials which include sacred music for Christian schools.
The students are taught to play in the classical violin stance always - even if they are playing fiddle tunes.
In the past it was difficult to purchase a reasonably priced violin that had good sound quality, a real horsehair bow, etc. Now that has changed. It is possible to purchase a violin for about $80.00 ($89.26 with tax and shipping)- which includes case, rosin, extra strings and bridge and comes in Salem Blue! We also order extra rosin ($3.60). The Enrollment Fee not only includes books and materials, but also includes a new violin in the proper size for your child! If your child already has a violin, please pay the enrollment fee less violin.
Tuition is based on the number of lessons given during the year divided by 3 for quarterly installments or 9 for monthly installments. As a small merchant I do get charged top rates for credit card purchases, so this is reflected in the rates.
Note: By choosing the Monthly or Quarterly Installment, you are authorizing Anybody Can Play to set up a recurring automatic withdrawal each month (or quarter) from your credit card on or about the 25th of the preceding month for the following month (or quarter) of violin lessons. You will receive an Email receipt each month (or quarter) when funds are withdrawn.
To make a payment, just click on "Make Payment" and you will enter my online "store". Just click on the Salem blackboard and all the different options will be visible.
Recently Karla Hastings has joined forces with Hellene Hiner, a Russian born musicologist with an inter-active computer based piano learning program. Both Karla and Hellene have used technology over the years to bring the great benefits of learning to play an instrument to as many children as possible - starting with the very young. This fantastic program is called Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart. Children think they are playing a computer game when they are actually learning to not only play the piano, but read notation as well.
To find out more about this program, just go to my new website: www.anybodycanplaysoftmozart.com.
INFORMATION AND HISTORY OF ANYBODY CAN PLAY
After the results of the Irvine Study several years ago, interest in teaching very young children how to actually play an instrument has sharply increased. One recent study taught piano to one group of 4-year-olds at a private preschool and not to the other. The percentage of the piano students who scored above a certain percentile on a standarized math test rose over 400% in nine months. Amazing! The other group rose only 50%, which is standard.
Before all the studies showing the life-time benefits of very early instrumental training, Karla Hastings was teaching preschool aged children how to play the piano and violin. By the late 70's her Anybody Can Play curriculum and program expanded into the preschools and by the late 80's she put in place a national preschool piano lesson program with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company - remnants of which still exist today. Her violin performing group with children as young as 3 was also on national television and played for many official celebrations in Texas....most of the time the ONLY children's group asked to perform!
Mrs. Hastings, who has a strong music and language background, developed the materials relying not only on her background of early music training (she gave her music debut at the age of 3), but also with the aid of her young students! The materials are developmentally appropriate and utilize tactile, visual and aural techniques. The children not only learn to play songs on the piano/keyboard using both hands, but are introduced to beginning note-reading right from the start. Some children are actually recognizing notes on the staff at age 3! What is interesting is that curricula developed for young children works extremely well with any age, but curricula developed for older children and adults does not work for young primary or pre-school aged children!
In the 1990's studies began to appear demonstrating the surprising benefits of early applied lessons. The benefits are greater the younger a child begins, but "applied" lessons (which means actually learning how to play an instrument) always add transferable skills to other subjects!
All songs, all materials, all games are used because they work and the children like them. Back in the days when Anybody Can Play had their books printed, the children even picked out the cover stock! They wanted "shiny" so they got shiny! The covers were more expensive than the total inside pages of the book! Of course now, everyone prints shiny covers!