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La Jolla, California

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Posted on Sep 08, 2014

Drum Roll, Please!

gillispie violin

I am thrilled to announce that The Gillispie School curriculum will include violin lessons for all third grade students this year. Thanks to the generosity of two Gillispie families, an instructor from Villa Musica, San Diego’s Community Music Center, has been retained with a curriculum developed by its founder and executive director Dr. Fiona Chatwin. La Jolla Music, one of our local independent stores, will be providing the rentals.
 
Why has Gillispie chosen a string rather than a wind instrument, and why the violin?
Violins have the advantage of size and weight that are appropriate for children at this age, and it is well suited for teaching in a group situation. Also, it is easier to make a quality sound, as children are not dependent upon wind flow or having to work with mouth formation.
 
What about children who have previous string experience?
To provide an opportunity for more advanced work, a Monday, after-school enrichment is being offered for fourth through sixth graders who play the violin, viola, cello, or double bass. The ensemble class creates an encouraging learning environment for students by providing performance opportunities and peer interaction.
 
How do children in a classroom situation benefit from learning an instrument?
The implementation of an instrumental music program has been a dream of The Gillispie School for many reasons.  Music instruction is a proven method to develop creative thinking, gain cooperative skills through ensemble playing, and bolster math skills as children read the symbolic language of notes.  Moreover, there is the important lesson based on the adage, “practice makes perfect” while children build their focus and tenacity. This New York Times article nicely summarizes the many benefits of instrumental music instruction.
 
A special thank you goes out to Margie Edwards for her research and effort in launching this endeavor as part of Gillispie’s curricular program.
 
Alison Fleming
Head of School
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