The purpose of this activity is to provide background information on the violin.
1. Discuss the following questions and quotes from THE ART OF VIOLIN program:
- What images come to mind when you think of the violin?
- What kinds of music can be played on the fiddle or violin?
- What do you like about this type of music?
- Discuss the following Ivry Gitlis quote and ask the students to think of other examples in which individual uniqueness adds a new dimension to a human endeavor.
"When someone says, 'Now that's the benchmark performance!' or 'That's how it should be played,' it's an insult to music. It implies that the music is very poor indeed, if there is only one way to play it."
- The program mentions that the violin is a very difficult instrument to learn to play. Discuss what qualities are needed to accomplish difficult tasks.
- The program mentions child prodigies Michael Rabin, who died from a drug overdose, and Josef Hassid, who died from complications of a mental illness. Discuss the variety of ways young people may react to outside pressures.
The purpose of this activity is to introduce students
to the creation, history, and classical performers of
the violin. (Note to Teachers:
Students may click on the Ask
the Experts link on the introductory page of this site to submit any questions they might
have about the instrument.)
1. Divide the class into small groups and ask each group to create an oral presentation on the violin.
2. The presentations should include the following elements:
3. THE ART OF VIOLIN multimedia presentation, Anatomy of the Instrument, which requires the free Flash 5 plug-in, and the following Web sites provide information that may be useful for this activity.
- a history of the violin
- an explanation of how violins are made
- an explanation of how violins produce sounds
- an explanation of how the violin is played
- a biographical sketch of two classical violinists
- a sample piece of violin music
4. The presentation format should include the following:
5. Provide time for the students to give their presentations.
- physical demonstrations
- oral participation from each group member (for example, the biographical sketch could be a group member pretending to be the musician and talking about his/her career)
The purpose of this activity is for students to write a speech based on the life of Hilary Hahn or Isaac Stern.
1. Ask the students to imagine that Isaac Stern and Hilary Hahn will visit their class.
2. Tell the students that they are going to conduct research on either Hilary Hahn or Isaac Stern and write a speech (pretending that they are Stern or Hahn) based on their life.
3. Provide time for the students to visit Web sites about Hilary Hahn and Isaac Stern. Remind them that they will be choosing one of these two people for the speech.
section of this site includes an interview with Hilary
4. Tell the students to return to the Web sites of the person they selected and gather information for the speech that they will give (pretending to be this person).
The official Hilary Hahn site contains a bio, news clips, and a section with Hilary's journal entries from the road.
This issue of STRINGS magazine features an extensive interview with Hilary Hahn, where she talks about how she began her study of the violin and her interest in making classical music more accessible to young people.
Sony Classical's Isaac Stern site offers a bio, a news section, and a list of his recordings.
The GREAT PERFORMANCES Online feature FROM MAO TO MOZART THEN AND NOW provides an overview of Stern's 1979 and 1999 trips to China.
Read the complete transcript or watch Isaac Stern's January 23, 2000 interview about his autobiography, MY FIRST 79 YEARS, from the C-SPAN program BOOKNOTES.
5. Break the class into small groups based upon the performer they chose. Have each group create a poster to announce the arrival of the person they've selected.
6. Ask the groups to visit their local library to borrow a Isaac Stern or Hilary Hahn CD. Provide time for them to choose their favorite track from the CD.
7. Stage an Isaac Stern and Hilary Hahn Day. Tell each group to choose one person from the group to read their speech to the class. Ask the students to display their posters and to play their favorite selections from the CDs.
Select a piece of violin music and ask the students to either draw or write (or both) whatever comes to mind while they are listening to it.