Reviewed by Timothy Palla
One of the positive experiences I had in public elementary school was learning to play the cello. In the fourth grade, all the students went through music aptitude tests and were invited to take group lessons to prepare us for junior high school orchestra. For two years, my friends and I met with a music teacher who patiently developed a passion in us that would last a lifetime.
Today, homeschoolers have the awesome advantage of providing quality, string-instrument lessons for their own family. The instructors, Master violinist Alberto Jaffe and Master pianist Daisy de Luca Jaffe, have over 35 years experience teaching music in Brazil and the United States. Their wisdom, patience, creativity, and enthusiasm are encouraging for adults and children alike.
Jaffe Strings is an affiliated ministry of Pensacola Christian College and offers 2 years of video/DVD instruction on violin, viola, cello, and double bass. It is designed for children ages ten and above who can understand, quickly respond, and work in a group setting. The course provides simple ear-and-rhythm tests (to determine your students' readiness), scheduling guidelines, music books, teacher's manual, instructional videos/DVDs, and a list of teacher and student materials.
This course is beneficial for many reasons:
- It allows the students to have frequent contact with elements of harmony and counterpoint which are absent when practicing alone.
- A student practices with others who have the same goals to achieve and difficulties to overcome.
- More than one instrument is taught in this course, thus broadening a student's knowledge of sounds, postures, and techniques.
- Lessons range in length from 45 to 90 minutes. Students have constant visual exposure to good posture and correct movement.
- Music theory, practice ideas, and creative games give the program great variety.
This course assumes the student will have little or no experience with the instruments and moves methodically through each foundational principle before graduating on to the next. Even a novice parent will find it easy to coach their children through this series. If having a homeschool orchestra has been your dream, then Jaffe Strings has just made your day!
Information and availability subject to change without notice.