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Karen Allendoerfer

4th Grade Concert

June 10, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Yesterday my daughter's school had their end-of-year string and band concert.

There are always more kids in the 3rd grade strings than the 4th grade, but this year had a pretty good-sized group in the 4th grade as well.

I got the 2nd violin part for both these pieces and played along with my daughter (she is the first violin on the end) to practice.  She had the notes down pretty early on but learning to come in correctly and stay on her part, especially in Hotaka Sunset, was more challenging.  Then she got a full-size violin in the middle of learning these pieces, which meant she had to adjust the notes again too and learn where they were on the full-size fingerboard.

I'm proud of her.  She seems to have been able to lead the first violins and carry the part on  her own.  Her teacher is there playing the 2nd violin part.

She really has to put the music stand up a little higher!  She is the tallest one in the class and posture is something she has to be aware of anyway.

Noble Dance



Hotaka Sunset

From Tom Holzman
Posted on June 10, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Good work, Mom! 

Posted on June 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM

ahhhhhhhh the sound only a parent or teacher could love

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Sam, I guess that must be true, and maybe I should become an elementary music teacher, because I really don't mind concerts like this at all, I even enjoy them.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on June 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Karen - that can become your Plan B when you get tired of being a geek.

Posted on June 10, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Karen, my comment was not meant as a slam against you...I have heard those "melodious" tones for years

From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on June 11, 2009 at 12:13 AM

 So cute! You must be very proud. :)

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 11, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Sam, I know, and I didn't take it as a slam . . . we're "in this together."  I've heard some funny comments from other adults, though--the worst one, I think, was the (non-musician) guy who said "it must be particularly awful for you, as a musician, to sit through  that" and went on to "pity" and "feel sorry for" elementary school music teachers.  This wasn't in response to this concert, it was a while ago, before my kids were born--but I was puzzled and even kind of offended, even so.  And I met a teenager once whose mother forbade her from practicing at certain times and places because she didn't like the way it sounded.  Even though this teenager wasn't a bad player or anything.

I guess I have a hard time understanding how people can be mean to children like that.  But then I wonder if it has to do with how different people hear and listen.  And there's only so much you can do about your natural listening tendencies.  I've really had to work on training my ear to listen for precise intonation, and I'm still not as good at it as many people, for whom it seems to come naturally.  If a person hears out-of-tune notes much differently than I do, I can't really know what the experience is like for them.

Posted on June 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM

A school system that supports strings enough to begin in the 3rd grade and in Laurie's case the 1st...marvelous and the way it MUST be. . A year after I got my first  job, the strings program was eliminated from it's 4th grade beginning. The now 5th grade start was too late. They also were not an offering at the high school level. I tried to change this, but my pleas fell on deaf administrative ears and guess I was too young and inexperienced to convince the powers at be.     The superintendent just kept spouting "numbers involved" as the end all to any negotiating attempts. Hard to compete against the band program when the length of involvement opportunity is less than half. This really soured me on the entire public school approach, so it is most heartening to hear when school systems do it the right way.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on June 11, 2009 at 10:10 PM

First of all, cute!

On what Sam and Karen are talking about, I see a very positive aspect:  Karen's daugter will appreciate her mother even more!  Here is why:

After all, we live in a "school" society. Group playing (like in schools) is only one aspect of a good music training. We cannot produce racehorses in a mass training only. But not everyone can afford to do violin outside the public school programs and this is the reality. I think the role of school programs is to initiate the most kids possible to instruments. (I see this as the discovery stage)

In this and other groups alike (nothing negative there we don't ask more from any school program) , not sure all the kids have super parental support like Karen's daughter. But we can't blame the kids for this...  They are innocent in this big "game".  Can't either blame all the parents and teachers.  

But this is not a "socio\politic" discussion.  I think it is essentially about a mother who does her possible to help her daughter and maybe by seeing the (some I sould say) others in her string group, Karen's daughter will realize even more what a wonderful mother she has :)  It can be a great life lesson!

Bravo Karen!




From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 12, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Thanks Anne-Marie, I started in a public school program very much like this one, and I'm very grateful as an adult to have had that opportunity.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on June 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

 Oh, that's just so sweet and great. My 4th grade son doesn't even have this option. Just woodwinds (and flutes - what family is that?) and snare drums in a school band I only learned about last month. They don't advertise or solicit members too loudly - too bad for them/us.

Bravo, Mom! (And daughter, and daughter's teacher!)

From Anne Horvath
Posted on June 13, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Glad your kid has a nice outlet to play music with her peers. 

As for idjit adults making snarky comments about children's concerts that don't live up to Boston Symphony standards, Grr. 

From PM Rolf
Posted on June 15, 2009 at 6:20 AM

How precious!! Karen, you must be a proud mom!! :)

I'm very envious of your daughter, because growing up in a poor neighborhood in Hong Kong, I never get a chance to learn string instruments.  Unless you go to elite schools, there are virtually no music program.  People who do play an instrument takes private lesson only, and because I was not exposed to strings, I had no idea what I'm missing!!

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