By Vivienne Eio
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing for my upcoming book, violist Dr Michael Hall who is an active soloist and currently teaches at Vandercook College of Music.
His life story is both unique and captivating with a motto to “Make indispensable yourself as a musician to your community at large”.
This led to my inspiration for my students to do something out of the ordinary not just to enjoy their performance in a confined concert setting, but to find others in the community out there to share this love for performance and music with.
Typically in a year, my students go through two mandatory annual concerts in a formal recital hall where we would film their performance and I would give them constructive reviews to improve (for some students who enter competitions have more opportunities for this to happen throughout the year), so this rare chance to play at the PassionArts Festival in Ulu Pandan was a good opportunity to put that motto into action.
We had only 3 weeks from start of getting the songs printed and learnt to the performance date due to the National Day festivities. This was also the first time the kids got to play together as a team. The outcome was that they worked hard (they had to do this on top of their usual violin practise and curriculum) and thoroughly enjoyed themselves so much…and we will indeed do this again! The residents of the community were so happy as some of them had never heard a violin played live, some of them even shared photographs and videos with us that they took of our performance. It did bring us closer together and smiles all around 🙂
We also got a chance to play for and meet Member of Parliament Chris DeSouza who so graciously took time off his rounds to talk to us.
We will definitely be doing more informal stage performances perhaps this time amongst the adult students (Stay tuned!) who are most susceptible to stage frights in our usual concerts, so hopefully these more informal settings and group playing will help them greatly to overcome these fears and become more used to being on a performance platform.
Thank you Dr Michael Hall for your wonderful advice to adding color to the lives around you! Best Wishes! From Belcanto Violins
Watch their full live performance here.