The 8th grade musicians of the St. Francis de Sales School Firebird String Quartet, directed by Teaching Artist Rebecca Schlappich, were treated to the best possible instruction when Joseph Lin, 1st violinist of the word renowned Juilliard String Quartet, visited recently. Mr. Lin spent one hour with our four budding artists: Akili on first violin, Khi’esha on second violin, Rahel on viola and Chase on cello.
The students were working on two pieces: George Frederic Handel’s Air from Water Music Suite in F Major and Bach’s Chorale #3. Taking small sections of each piece at a time, Mr. Lin focused his lesson on correct intonation, especially when there are difficult key changes. Students played their parts separately and together to hear the different harmonies. Several times he asked the students to sing their parts, first one at a time and then with each other, because listening to the harmonies can sharpen the ear. Our students found out that singing their parts aloud really helped them to master their pitches (and we also found out which of our students can sing).
As evidenced by her big smile, it was obvious to all in the audience that our violist, Rahel, enjoyed the singing the most. She commented later, “I liked that we sung the notes first. Then when we played, the notes were correct. It really helped with the intonation.”
Mr. Lin concluded his visit with an invitation to all of the POP string students to attend the upcoming rehearsal and concert for the Juilliard String Quartet performance on December 3 at the Independence Seaport Museum.
This was Mr. Lin’s second visit to POP, courtesy of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Education Program. We are all looking forward to his third visit.