Presentation Notes for WSMTA Conference * June 18, 2013

“The Road Less Traveled: Discovering Alternatives to the Suzuki Method for Young Beginner Violinists and Mapping Their Progress”

Method Pro/Con Handout

Method Web Sites:

Colourstrings Adaptation:

Fiddle Time Series

Adventures in Violinland (Shirley Givens)

Mark O’Connor Method at Shar Music

Leveling Resources:

Zweig/Delay Sequence of Violin Repertoire

School Presentations on the History and Music of the Violin

Bring a violinist to your school or educational program for a fascinating presentation on the history & music of the violin!

As featured in the Kitsap Sun.

Take a musical journey from the dawn of civilization to the present day and see how people in cultures all over the world have been making music on stringed instruments for thousands of years! A multimedia hands-on presentation with sights and sounds from ancient Asia to renaissance Italy, the Roma people of eastern Europe, Scotch-Irish fiddle tunes and their migration to Appalachia and the pioneer trails, and even modern electric instruments featured in cutting-edge pop music.

Standard presentation length is about 40 minutes, not including Q&A time at the end.

Jane is an experienced presenter with a love for bringing kids & music together. Here are some comments from students:

  • liked touching the bow and the resin. I have never touched a bow before!  I really liked your music. I think you should do it again.
  • Thank you for sharing your violin. You taught me stuff that I never knew before. You did an awesome job!
  • I enjoyed listening to music, asking questions and looking at things you brought. I love orchestras and hope to join one one day.
  • It was really thrilling to hear and watch you! I liked the bow and the information you told us. Also I like the sound the violin makes!
  • My favorite part of your performance was when you played all those songs on your violin for us.
  • I could listen to you all day but we weren’t allowed to.
  • Thanks for the wonderfully planned presentation. The history of the violin is very interesting!
  • I enjoyed it when you played some Italian songs on your violin. I especially liked it when you played some of the pioneer songs. It sounded wonderful.
  • When you played the violin I could picture people dancing to the music. I felt like getting up and dancing.
  • I loved all of the songs that you played and if I had three thumbs I would give you three thumbs up.
  • Please come back and share your lovely beautiful music.

    And from their teacher:
    The history, examples of music and songs played were all so fascinating! The students’ engagement showed how much they enjoyed and learned from you.

Contact Jane to schedule a presentation. Email “jane AT” or call


Strings, Reeds and Creative Seeds at Suquamish Elementary
(Kitsap Sun article)

Suquamish Elementary third-graders get a classical (music) education, thanks to Bremerton Symphony members.

 Derek Sheppard, Saturday, February 3, 2007, Suquamish

The notes from Bill Karr’s bassoon got lower, lower and still lower until one hand raised slowly in the classroom.

It wasn’t a student’s hand, though. Amid laughter from the third- and fourth-grade students, a rubber glove Karr had fastened to the top of bassoon filled with air and raised itself.

The demonstration came during a series or performances by area musicians at Suquamish Elementary School.

The brief performances were a preview for the Suquamish kids, who’ll join students from around Kitsap County on Tuesday for a special kid-friendly concert by the Bremerton Symphony at Bremerton High School.

Inside two classrooms, musicians told humorous, informative stories to the children about how instruments make their sounds and played songs.

After Karr blew the glove from his bassoon, his wife, Marilyn, told the children about her husband’s instrument.

“That’s often called the clown of the orchestra,” she said.

In the other classroom, Jane Melin, a violin player for the Bremerton Symphony, told the kids about the history of her instrument and played a few songs.

“I want to make it more real for them,” Melin said of classical music.

Suquamish students got the special music lessons after Melin, who has a son at the school, offered to give a presentation. Other teachers started talking with friends, and Bill Karr, also with the symphony, came, too. Marilyn Karr and Sally Zajonc lent their expertise, though they don’t play with the symphony.

“There’s nothing like going to the symphony,” said third- and fourth-grade teacher Ellie Wrigley.