Welcome to the official blog of the Highstrung String Quartet!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Josh in Concert!

For those of you who don't know, Josh will be performing the first movement from Haydn's cello concerto with the Jewish Community Orchestra next Sunday, Jun 7th at Mittleman Jewish Community Center. This will be Josh's last public performance before he leaves for University of Missouri-St. Louise. You won't want to miss it.

Also on the program is John William's Theme from Schindler's List performed by violinist Nalina Bauer; Tchaikovsky's Serendate for Strings; and Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninoff.

Tickets are $10 for adults $5 for Students.

Click here to download the poster.

We'd love to see you there!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Performance Tip #12

No. It is not okay to ignore con sordino.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Performance Tip #11

Never leave your instrument in a Taco Bell.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Performance Tip #10

Play at least one rehearsal in your performance dress.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Performance Tip #9

If you tape your music “accordion style”, you’ll treat the audience to a song and a floor show.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Plato and Compulsory Education

I really shouldn't be thinking about these kinds of concepts the week before finals' week, but I read this earlier this semester and I've been thinking about it ever since.

From The Republic by Plato (536d,e):

"...though we mustn't exercise any form of compulsion in our teaching."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because a free man ought not to learn anything under duress. Compulsory physical exercise does no harm to the body, but compulsory learning never sticks in the mind."

I don't necessarily agree with Plato, but I think he comes down on one side of an issue that, if you take a step back, raises the fundamental question to all education. Namely, the role of enforcement in teaching. I'm really intrigued by this concept.

But back to study.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vocabulary Cards and Caffeine


Between various kinds of caffeinated beverages, lists of vocabulary and paradigms, and stacks of books that would easily intimidate the late Alexandrian scholars, there hasn't been much time to post an update for you, our dear readers.

In spite of all my efforts to the contrary, the calloused passage of time has been flinging me towards finals week with little regard for my internal sense of preparation. Thankfully, my load is quite a bit lighter than a lot of my peers. Just two comprehensive exams and a final paper. So I'm in good shape.

In the mean time, my students have been working very diligently as they prepare for the close of the semester. Is it just me or does Summer Breaks come at the worst possible time? It seems like we just make it over a major hurtle and then it's time to stop. Of course, all my serious students are taking through the summer, but still, I have no kind things to say about breaks.

The reason I bring this up is because this last week, most of my students played the best they've played all semester. I couldn't be happier. They probably don't realize that they're collective accomplishment has seriously up-ed the ante for summer and fall. Since I won't have college class laying siege to my every waking and hour (and beyond). I'll have a lot more time to dedicate to program/curriculum development. I've been teasing some very interesting ideas and approaches during this last school year and I can hardly wait to see what they look and on paper and then, God willing, in practice. There are some great new challenges on the horizon.

Some exciting family news: our sister, Michelle, is engaged! We're all very happy for her and her fiance. She told us this morning that the wedding is in 70 days. But, thank goodness, all the plans are coming together without much of a hitch --well, I guess I should say, in hopes of an stress-free hitch. Of course, it helps to be in the wedding/special event business.

Also, Josh just returned from a visit to his future Alma Mater, the University of Missouri--St. Louise. He'll have to tell you about that trip himself.

Elizabeth is back on the conference circuit. Her latest stop has been Texas.

Eric and Justin are joining me in the "finals cram". Nothing new to report.

That's the news from here. We'll be back to regular blogging as soon as the academic dust settles. Have a great weekend!

-David for the others.

Performance Tip #8

Pack and an extra for you and and an extra for everyone else.