Music for the Community

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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Thursday, April 23 2020 00:00

Day 14: Marching Band

Violinist age 10 plays "Marching Band" by Edwards Huws Jones

This one’s good for both marching and singing! The song has three parts, and the first and last parts are for singing along. In the middle, you can hear the band very quietly at first, as if from far away. Then they round a corner and get louder, until finally they’re right in front of you again for another rousing chorus. Grab your shakers, saucepan lids and whatever else you have to hand, and make a parade all around the house!

Mar-ching, we're mar-ching, the bugles blow, it's time to go, we're

Mar-ching, we're mar-ching, the trumpets play, we're on our way!

[Quietly] Left  two three four, left two three four, left  right, left right, left right, left right

[Louder] Left  two three four, left two three four, left  right, left right, left right, LEFT RIGHT -

Mar-ching, we're mar-ching, the bugles blow, it's time to go, we're

Mar-ching, we're mar-ching, the trumpets play, we're on our way!


Wednesday, April 22 2020 00:00

Day 13: Cuckoo

Pianist age 6 plays "Cuckoo"

This easy piano piece from the Suzuki Piano Program is based on a German folk song, but we gave it English words to help students learn it.

Cuckoo, cuckoo sings from the forest.Cuckoo, cuckoo sings from the tree.

Let us be singing, let us be dancing,Cuckoo, cuckoo, springtime is here! 


Cuckoo, Cuckoo, high in the treetops,Cuckoo, Cuckoo, sing me a song.

Sing in the morning, sing in the evening.Cuckoo, Cuckoo, I’ll sing along!

Tuesday, April 21 2020 00:00

Day 12: Schindler's List

Violinist age 14 plays Theme from “Schindler’s List”

Steven Spielberg’s movie “Schindler’s List”, about the German manufacturer Oskar Schindler who saved more than 1000 Jews from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories, won 7 Oscars including Best Picture for Spielberg and Best Score (Music) for composer John Williams.

We feature its theme in homage to today’s observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, and in solidarity with victims of oppression everywhere.

Violinist age 4 plays Twinkle Variation A, Massachusetts Music

This is the first piece that the young musicians in our Suzuki Program learn. The rhythm “Massachusetts Music” is an easy one for beginners, as it uses very short bow strokes – but it’s also something that will reappear many times in much bigger pieces, including professional ones.

This little student started in our Wayland Recreation “Small Group Intro to Violin” class over the summer. Five months later, and she was ready to share her music with an audience. She gets extra brownie points for stopping to “build fingers” carefully when she moves to a new string. Skills built solidly in small steps like this will lead to ease and confidence at all levels of playing.

Friday, April 17 2020 00:00

Day 10: Tango by Neil Mackay

Violinist age 10 plays “Tango” by Neil Mackay

More dance music today – this time from South America. The tango combines musical elements from African, Native American and European cultures, and started in the 1880s among communities alongside the Rio de la Plata (Silver River), which is the natural border between the countries of Argentina and Uruguay. It was originally a dance for the common people, popular in dockside cafes and nightclubs, but eventually spread to Europe and North America too. Listen for the “Pa-PAH—pa pum-pum” rhythm that happens throughout the piece.

Thursday, April 16 2020 00:00

Day 9: Courante, Bach Suite #3 in C

Violist age 16 plays “Courante” from Bach Suite #3 for Viola/Cello

A viola is more than just a “big violin”. That extra size gives it a deeper, darker sound. Bigger things vibrate more slowly - try filling a smaller glass and a bigger glass with water, and tapping them each with a fork, and you’ll hear that idea at its most basic.

The viola has the same tuning as the cello, except an octave higher (meaning the viola’s strings vibrate exactly twice as fast as a cello’s) - so they can share some of the same music, including Bach’s solo suites. “Suite” means a collection of pieces which go together, and Bach’s suites are collections of 18th century dance music. “Courante” literally means “running”, and you can hear how this piece just keeps going and going – try running around to it!

If you like the sound of the viola, it’s a great instrument to learn to play – there are never enough viola players, and you will get lots of invitations to play with others!

Wednesday, April 15 2020 00:00

Day 8: Song of the Wind

Violinist age 10 plays Song of the Wind

Here’s another singalong song! (For the last one, see April 9th.)

Who has seen the wind, I wonder?

No-one that I know!

No-one that I know!

When the leaves are / flut-ter-ing the /

Wind is there but/ can’t be seen –

When the leaves are / flut-ter-ing the /

Wind is there I/  know.___(Repeat)

Tuesday, April 14 2020 00:00

Day 7: Minuet in C by Bach

Cellist age 11 plays Bach’s Minuet in C

A minuet is an elegant 18th century dance – think ladies in dresses with huge ruffled skirts, and gentlemen in knee britches. This dance in 3/4 time, with small, elegant steps and many bows and curtsies, was all the rage in the fancy ballrooms of Europe (especially France and England) from about 1650 to 1750. Since Bach lived from 1685-1750, this was basically the pop music of his time. See if you can feel the 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 pulse, then get our your dress-up stuff and dance to the 18th century beat!

Pianist age 9 plays “Tick Tock the Jazz Clock” by Bill Boyd

Jazz music started in the African American communities of New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and by the 1920s had taken America by storm. It’s continued to take new and interesting forms since then. Try searching on bebop, cool jazz, jazz-rock fusion, Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz – you’ll all kinds of great listening! 

Jazz has a great swing to it because many of the notes come a little before or after the main beats. That may sound complicated - but this fun duet is easy to play! Listen to how the student plays the “tick tock” part, making a beat for the teacher’s music to dance around.

Friday, April 10 2020 00:00

Day 5: Air Varie #5 by Dancla

Violinist age 12 plays Air Varie #5 by Dancla – Variations on a Theme by Weigel

Charles Dancla was a French violinist, composer and teacher. His skills were so impressive as a young child that he began studying at the Paris Conservatoire when he was only 9, and he later became a professor of violin there. He wrote six “Air Varies” for violin students, and they all start with a theme (here, a song that he borrowed from another composer), followed by a set of variations (fancy rewrites based on that theme). The variations are designed to showcase different aspects of violin technique, so these pieces are for more advanced students.

You’ll hear the theme first. Then listen out for:

  1. A fast, flowing variation to show fast left hand work
  2. A fiery “show-off” variation with technical challenges in the form of fancy bowings, and big chords for the left hand
  3. A slow, singing variation - in which the violinist is accompanying herself by plucking with her left hand, at the same time as using that hand and her bow to play sustained notes
  4. A fast, short ending section called a coda – which literally means tail – to wrap things up with a flourish
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