Before we moved to a year-round school district, summer was our time for fun and enrichment. My kids and I took field trips, enrolled in art and science classes and joined outdoor activities clubs. These are some of my fondest memories because we had the opportunity to grow and learn together away from the hectic pace of the school year.
For music students summer is a welcome relief from weekly practice, weekly lessons, weekly music classes and orchestra rehearsals. One of the wonderful things about music is it's different every time--why not celebrate this break from routine? It's tempting to put the instrument on the shelf just to get away from all the stress. Instead summer is the perfect time to fall in love with music again.
Just think, you have time to play what you want without preparing for the weekly critic. (That would be me!) Now there's more time to listen to some different kinds of music and maybe discover what you'd really like to play. And you have time to go to concerts and see live music. If you haven't been in a while there's magic in live music performances. And summer is the time to relax on a blanket under the stars while listening to a free park concert.
You can take some time to find out about the composers you like. If you are interested in Beethoven, for example, your library has 100's of books, audio books, videotapes and sound recordings--just about Beethoven. That's enough material to quench a summer's worth of music-thirst! The Douglas County Library even has a whole section devoted to emedia. There I discovered a huge library of music to play right from your computer.
Another great resource is the Petrucci Music Library. This website is a free public domain sheet music library that boasts nearly 25,000 works. Use this extensive resource for finding music to play for fun, music to work on all summer, music to play with your friends and even music to work on your sight reading skills.
Take a book about Beethoven or Mozart or even the history of the violin on vacation. Play a new piece every week. Relax and have some fun with music. Let your mind drift back to the reasons you wanted to play in the first place. Something inspired, motivated, challenged you. I'll bet it's still there. Bring it back by exploring something new.
I encourage parents to use these resources to provide a supplemental music structure during the summer months.
I ree public domain sheic 16, 2006 · 24,596 works · 60,875 scores · 3,263
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