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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Martini Makes Silly Faces

How do you help your students remember which section of Martini's "Gavotte" comes next? Here is how I remind my students. I make goofy faces for each section. My students enjoy this because they can see my faces, but in a performance the audience cannot because my back is to the audience. So there is double humor involved. Here are the faces I use:

A section: I just smile, hold my head high, and off we go, as if we were setting out on an enjoyable walk.

B section: I make a very dour face right before the Bb to signal the sad mood of this G minor section.

C section: I open my mouth wide as if I am screaming, because as we all know, unless every student is standing their pinkies up tall and strong, a violin group ensemble really does sound like a bunch of little babies screaming at this place. I scrunch up my face sadly at the D# to indicate the lazy pinkie fingering. Other teachers may need to use a different face if they are using a sharp 3rd finger in this place.

D section: I smile very, very widely, as if I was saying the letter "DEE!" That is because this place starts with D.

E section: yes, you guessed it, the screaming baby face again. Then I quickly remind them "one" so they remember to play F# on the E string (1 finger).

F section: this is sad, so I make sad faces. As the music continues its descent into wallowing and despair, I will add slight moaning and wailing sounds as well, but only in the studio, not during performances. The students and their parents especially like this because it fits the music perfectly!

What are your favorite ways to remember the sections of Martini's "Gavotte"?

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2016 by Paula E. Bird

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