A DAY IN YOUR CELLO TEACHERS’ HAPPY LIFE AT GROUP CLASS
Scene: The church, as group class begins:
Teacher: “Ok, now we will play CLOCK TOWER BELLS…..”
6 out of 12 Students: “Oops, it is at home on the piano/ I forgot it/ I didn’t think I needed it/ I lost it…”
Teacher: (rummaging in the plastic bin for the 32456 extra copies she has, she hopes, brought along so she can lend it out…. through clenched teeth “Just a minute….”
10 minutes pass.
Several Students: “I don’t have any fingerings!/ my own fingering in this copy! /I find all these fingerings confusing!/ These are different shifts!/I hate using fingerings…..
Some Other Students: ” I forget which part I am supposed to play- it was underlined in the other copy……..
Teachers, to each other: ” Do you know where the list of who plays what is?…
… Rummaging in the increasingly disorganised, ecologically disastrous bins(due to the 46 extra copies brought along, just in case).
“Who is part 1? part 2? You don’t remember?”
Students look blank
Student voices: I was / she was/. no he was/ no I wasn’t……
Teachers and students scribble madly in music for some minutes. Other, more prepared, students look bored or irritated.
Teacher reassigns parts, praying they will appear again another week as more minutes pass…
Student;” MY STAND!-I forgot it/ do not have it/couldn’t find it /left it in the car….”
Other Students: “same here..”
Teachers;” We have used all of them, and they are the churches’ stands which we don’t even really have permission to use…You will have to share with so-and-so”
Much teacher, student and parental readjusting of chairs, students, cellos and straps
Horror stricken student voice: “Oh no, I forgot my BOW!”
Tears in younger group, embarrrassment in older….
Teacher calls extremely long-suffering husband to come to rescue/jumps in car leaving other teacher in charge, or proffers a handful of geriatric bows she has taken to shlepping along every week, luckily..
Student: “This [borrowed]bow is too light/heavy/has too much rosin/ has no rosin/feels weird/I don’t know where to put my thumb
Rummaging for Dr Scholl’s corn pads in box by teacher…
Teacher:”Ok now let’s play this ! One , Two, Thr….”
Students: “Group is over! I didn’t diddle!” Where is my prize? ”
Teacher, sotto voce : Group is over, we played for 4 minutes, the concert is in two weeks, where is my stiff drink…..too bad neither of us can drink, sob, sob!”
THUS!:THINGS TO BRING TO CELLO GROUP, EVERY WEEK, NO EXCEPTIONS!
CELLO, (Do not laugh, someone forgot theirs only last week!)
STRAP- This is not about the carpet, YOUR STRAP IS ESSENTIAL! It is required for proper posture and set up. You need to use it all the time, at home practice, at group, at all concerts, everywhere. It is not an optional item. Use of the strap keeps the cello in a consistent place on the body and is a huge help in establishing and maintaining good posture.
STOOL -unless you use a regular chair. The church has NO small, appropriate chairs at all. It is PARTICULARLY problematic if your small stool is forgotten!!
Item for raising the left foot, when used. Also helps tremendously with posture. You need to use it ALL the time if you are using this item.
MUSIC STAND, preferably a solid, not a folding one, labelled with your name.The kind we suggest is a Manhasset “Concertino” model. They are low, so the teacher can see a seated student’s face. They are strong, so music doesn’t fall off them all the time. They have a solid surface so the student can write on the music with a desk-like backing. Google Manhasset Music stands for more information. These are available at the Toronto Sound Post or can be ordered through The Oakville branch at Jean’s.
Even beginners sometimes need to look at something, at times, such as “Santa’s License Plates” for example. It is terrible for posture to be peering at a paper on the floor! You certainly will need a music stand in the near future, even if you are now a beginner.
Rosin and a cleaning cloth would be nice.
NOW:THE MATTER OF MUSIC!!! The coloured folders we supply, with the plastic sleeves, are being used by us after years and years of frustration and after trying several other ways to keep your cellist’s music organized. They need to appear every single week, with any music we are playing that YEAR in them. There is a lot of room in each folder. They will be re organised before each concert so ONLY THE ONE ITEM HOLDING MUSIC – this coloured folder! will go on the stage in the concert!! It will contain the concert music in the correct order for that concert!!!!!
1) We have tried similar books, made by me with a book binding machine that I purchased for this purpose.. These are very time consuming to make, however, and it is difficult to add pages. Also the order in which the music is bound cannot be changed so moving pieces from one place to another on a program involves the students flipping back and forth in the booklet during the concert which is noisy and time wasting and looks unprofessional.
2) We have tried one inch 3 ring binders but the pages get torn out easily and more seriously, they overbalance the collapsible stands very easily, so that the binders fall off the stand, over and over.
3) Using your original music is just too complicated, when, as it often does, it involves multiple Suzuki Books, maybe Carol or other seasonal books, loose sheet music and Books such as Solos for Young Cellists. A great teetering pile accumulates on the stand, and some of these will CERTAINLY hit the floor multiple times during a concert. Each time we must wait as the flustered student re-assembles the music, in the correct order and relocates his place. Undesireable in a concert or a rehearsal.
BRING ALL MUSIC THAT YOU MAY REQUIRE
AT GROUP WE WILL BE PUTTING THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN THE PROPER ORDER AND ALL OF IT WILL GO IN YOUR FOLDER. WE WILL PHOTOCOPY HUMORESQUE SO YOU NEED BOOK 3. WE WILL PHOTOCOPY THE OAKVILLE CAROLS FROM THE WHITE OAKVILLE CAROL BOOK. IF YOU ARE IN BOOK 1 OR 2 AND USE MUSIC WE WILL PHOTOCOPY YOUR VERSION OUT OF YOUR SUZUKI BOOK AND PUT IT IN THE FOLDER. BRING ALL YOUR MUSIC! ALL YOUR VERY OWN MUSIC WILL BE PHOTOCOPIED AND PUT IN YOUR FOLDER FOR THE CONCERT
OUR GOAL IS THAT EACH CELLIST WALKS ON STAGE WITH ONE THING- A COLOURED FOLDER WITH ALL THE PERSONALLY EDITED PIECES HE/SHE PLAYS ON THIS CONCERT IN THAT FOLDER IN THE CONCERT ORDER.
ONE ITEM. ONE FOLDER. ONE THING.EASY! NEAT! ORGANISED!
PLEASE READ AND REFORM!