The book starts off with a few traditional songs like "I have decided to follow Jesus" and "Nothing but the blood of Jesus" so they have some simple melodies to develop the most basic techniques, but the goal of the second half of the book is to introduce and accustom them to pop music and its melodic characteristics. I have them learn well-known pop songs used congregationally and sung by big Latin American worship leaders like Marcos Witt and Danilo Montero. At the end of Book 1, the students play their first arrangement which is a big step, because up until that point they have only been playing melodies. That's only good as a didactic tool, because in a band, only the lead singer handles the melody. I would say the best thing about Book 1 is that in about a year to a year and a half, it takes the student from knowing nothing about the violin to being able to play an uptempo pop song in a band very well without copying the melody of the lead vocalist and without looking totally out of place as he tries to find a couple notes that could sound good. So from that point on, we work on getting the violin to fit in with the rest of the band and to do it well.
Secondly, we have a new member in CPC. His name is Enzo, and he's 7 years old. He has a very difficult home life. He's been at almost every service with his family and was wanting to start violin for quite a while now. I thought I would have to have him wait until next year while I saved up for a violin for him, but thanks to New Hope Worship Center in Newcastle, PA pastored by Bill Whisel, we were able to get it right away. We're very grateful for their support. This gives Enzo a big opportunity to learn how to serve God in a unique way.
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Later on, I plan to get a cello and take some classes to at least have some knowledge and playing ability on the instrument. This will help inspire people in the church to take up cello and will also let me start them off teaching them myself. It will also help me develop a method and repertoire for learning modern music styles on the cello. Currently, I have 2 people who want to learn cello. Once we're able to get one, I'll be looking for a good teacher right away.
For the last few weeks I've been preparing some music for my violin students to play for Christmas. In my next post I'll be sure to upload a video of the presentation.