Violin, clarinet, saxophone, snare drum – which to choose?
Hamden Hall Country Day School students in grades 4, 5 and 6 received an up-close-and-personal demonstration recently of instruments available to them to learn to play for participation in the Lower School Band and strings program.
Hamden Hall instrumental directors David Perry and Jane Mitchell, both recent grads of the Yale School of Music, were on hand to showcase each instrument (Perry played a mean jazz riff on the sax!) and provide a brief music lesson on the various instrumental families to which each belongs.
“I started playing the violin when I was 4 or 5 years old,” Ms. Mitchell told the students seated in front her as she demonstrated her craft. “It takes a lot of practice – even at home, not just in school.”
Promising musicians will meet twice a week during the school year to practice, learn and play together in an ensemble setting. Performances include events both on and off campus.
“What happens if we don’t know how to play the instrument,” asked a concerned student.
“That’s why we’re here,” quipped Ms. Mitchell.
For those interested in the percussion family, Mr. Perry told them their job would entail “rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.”
Sixth-grader Felix Curtiss was asked to demonstrate his prowess on the trumpet, which he’s been playing for several years. His peers were duly impressed with his skills – as they were with those of seventh-graders Rachel Aliwalas and Aya Wazaz, both of whom performed for the group.
Lower School Music Director Rachel Jungkeit took students one step further by offering each of them the opportunity to try out the various instruments and get a feel for them.
Hamden Hall’s Lower School music program provides a robust chance for students to find their sense of personal creativity and develop the tools needed to express that creativity in a more formal way.
"Our Lower School students engage in general music instruction, group recorder and keyboard lessons, an after-school chorus and a musical theatre program. Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders are also eligible to select a wind, brass, percussion or string instrument and play in the Lower School band and string program,” said Ms. Jungkeit.