Hope our Violin Tree families have a safe and joyous holiday season filled with music!
A few weeks ago, this post on reclaiming the joy of the holidays lit up my Facebook feed, and I couldn’t help but click. The holidays can so quickly become overwhelming. How can we reclaim the holidays for what we really want them to represent? The article gives lots of real tips for reassessing our holiday frenzy, but a key aspect is missing: music.
For many of us, the holidays mean following traditions, cozying up with family, and finding ways to celebrate the colder and darker months. For our family, all three of these pieces are intricately tied with music. We clear the schedule, warm up some tea, and grab our instruments to play beloved carols while we can (hey, come January 1st, we’re no longer allowed to play them!). Reclaiming the holidays for us means returning to a deep tradition of music. I’m a little surprised that I can’t find a study that assesses how many holiday songs the average American recognizes. I’m going to guess at least 80, maybe more for those who attend church. All of us have those that we love, and those carols that we wish wouldn’t get stuck in our heads so often. (Let’s admit it: Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time is kind of annoying after the 10th time on the radio in an hour.) Our family has a big long list of carols that we love to sing and play that we return to again and again every December. It’s a way to connect, slow down, and savor the season -- just what we all need.
But the holidays are more than just a wonderful time to strengthen family traditions around music. The holidays are the ultimate payoff for sticking to lessons. Younger children join in the caroling with their voices, but the older children suddenly find their years of music lessons relevant on another level -- now they can accompany their aunt on their favorite songs! Families can pull out the Christmas Fake Book and everyone can sight-read together! Children from families who attend church or other religious service find they can contribute to services in a meaningful and welcomed way, on their instruments!
One more thing on reclaiming the holidays: Gifts don’t have to be things. Let’s admit it. We’re all overwhelmed with our stuff and the garage is pretty packed as it is. How about violin lessons for a holiday present? Your gift will outlast the newest gadget by decades, when your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild has musical skills to draw on for life, creative outlet, and a great way to communicate with others. Please let your friends and family know about Violin Tree this holiday season -- and give the gift of music!
The holidays have hundreds of songs. I mean, hundreds! I bet you recognize dozens of Billboard’s Top 100 Holiday Songs from last year’s holiday season. But what about poor, lonely, and music-less Thanksgiving? We take the time around Thanksgiving to sing songs (of course) of gratitude, and to celebrate the short, crisp fall days and colorful leaves that surround our homes. One of our favorite is Raffi’s classic Thanks A Lot. Many of Matej’s younger and beginning students get to learn this one during the month of November. I love the calm and mellow pacing and the focus on the gifts of nature. Another great Thanksgiving tradition is to say grace. Regardless of spiritual practice, families can enjoy a moment of reflection and gratitude by learning a verse, prayer, or song to start off a meal, including before the big Thanksgiving spread. Lots of Waldorf teachers have taken to Youtube and other non-Waldorf-approved internet locations to sing mealtime gratitudes. Check out Sarah (owner of Bella Luna Toys) singing a Waldorf pre-meal classic.
Whatever your tradition, we hope you find ways to enrich it with music. And we are so very grateful for your support and your contribution to our little Violin Tree community. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Violin Tree families!
Last weekend, many of our Violin Tree students gathered for a Fall Celebration with music and goodies. We wanted to thank our dear violin students for their hard work preparing for our first recital. The room was filled with many clear, in-tune notes -- which is not an easy feat for beginning violinists! Thank you also to the parents for all your support. We enjoyed spending time with all the families together, sipping hot apple cider and nibbling goodies, after the music was concluded. Looking forward to our next recital in the spring.
On April 1st, Matej will be holding down a table with his violin at this year's Bay Area Homeschool Fair at the Golden Gate Learning Center in San Anselmo! Come to the Fair, meet Matej, and network with local homeschoolers. Learn more at www.bayareahomeschoolfair.com. Hope to see you there!
Come join Matej for a free violin workshop in San Rafael -- let’s make music and learn about the violin!
Matej is offering this free violin workshop for beginning and continuing young musicians. No prior music experience necessary. We will explore traditional and not-so-traditional tunes, and in the process bring children to the instrument and explore its many sounds. This is a great way to introduce your homeschooler to the violin. We will provide violins for children to try out. Space is limited so please RSVP and let us know how many are coming. Let’s enjoy singing and playing music together!
WHAT: Violin Workshop
WHO: Children ages 5 and up
WHERE: Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-715-0823 for location.
Can't make the event but still interested? We offer free trial lessons to learn more about the violin. We also hope to offer more free violin workshops in the future. Let us know you're interested: contact email@example.com or 530-715-0823.
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Matej is now offering lessons at Bananas At Large, the popular music store in San Rafael! Try out violin lessons in their newly remodeled lesson space on the second floor starting in January. Matej will be there every Sunday -- hope you can join us!
Check out the Bananas site to request lessons at Bananas: http://www.bananas.com/blogs/teachers/matej-seda
Come join us for a free violin workshop -- let’s make music to celebrate the winter!
We are offering free violin workshops for beginning and continuing young musicians! No prior music experience necessary. We will explore winter and holiday songs on the violin from different cultures, and in the process bring children to the instrument and explore its many sounds. This is a great way to introduce your homeschooler to the violin and celebrate the season. We will provide violins for children to try out. Two workshops are provided -- please join us for one! Let’s enjoy singing and playing music together!
WHAT: Winter Violin Workshop
WHERE: Point Reyes Music Center, Upstairs from the Cowgirl Creamery, 80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
WHEN: This workshop will be offered twice!
Thursday, December 8 at 1pm
Thursday December 15 at 1pm.
RSVP or Learn More: firstname.lastname@example.org or 530.715.0823