We've begun the Pantanal Music Exchange teaching program in the past few weeks here, working with kids at the Nazaré Orphanage to learn to play the violin, viola, and cello.
Working with a wide range of ages (and attention spans) has been a challenge, but a core group of older students has already emerged as dedicated musicians. Due to age gaps we decided to hold separate classes for the older students. They have started to take strong leadership roles in the classes we hold with the younger students as well.
In our first week and a half together we worked to establish strong fundamentals in bow and instrument positions. Of course, just holding the instruments didn’t really satisfy the kids, who wanted to immediately play the instruments they were learning to hold. After some rhythm games, learning the string names, pizzicato exercises, beginning bow technique, and a lot of patience we dove into learning a short canção: The Flower Song. Evanildo, Pedro, and Luis played a lovely two part harmony to the Flower Song at the end of class on Monday.