From: Janis Rydalch, Lebanon, Ohio.
Date: January 29, 2005
To: Dr. A. Laurence Lyon (President, Modern Music Methods, Inc.)
Subject: Concert Pleasure
I just had to tell you of the great success we're having at Berry Intermediate School in Lebanon [Ohio]. We had our first concert on the 26th of January. It was delayed from the 20th, due to snow.
The concert was in combination with the 5th-grade Band. Some of the parents [i.e., of the band students who had just played] were ready to leave and were putting their coats on. I had to double-check my students' strings after the long wait in the heat, so I had them play “The Rainbow” [the tuning piece in Rainbow Tones, Book 1] through. Those parents with coats on took them off and gasped in surprise at the wonderful sounds they were hearing, even though it was just a "warm-up".
Meanwhile, the superintendent (of the Lebanon School District) was all ears, as were all of my music-teaching colleagues. (The high school band director, not having heard us before, and unsure what he would hear, was in amazement!).
We continued to play our portion of the concert, going through almost all of the [Rainbow Tones] Book 1 songs (except “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle”).
The students love playing along with the Rainbow Tones Books 1 & 2 Performance Settings CD and wanted to stand while they played on the third time through “Indian Drums” So we gave it a big finish and ended with that number.
The moment that we stopped playing, the audience JUMPED to their feet with delight!! I was very pleased with our performance. The students sounded wonderful!! The superintendent was quick to shake my hand, and, on his way home, called all of his board members on his cell phone to tell them how wonderful the concert was.
All of the board members were planning to attend the concert when it was scheduled for the 20th [of January], but with the quick change in date, most were unable to attend.
Why Are These Students So Excited about Their String Instruction?
My students are having a terrific time learning [from] the Rainbow Tones String [Series] Method. They are excited about Rainbow Tones, Book Two, and are working hard.
I have seven students who had played prior to this year. One of them started Suzuki seven years ago, and still struggles with reading (HEAVY sigh). Even as simple as the Rainbow Tones method is, he is conditioned to learn by rote. He is in the Middletown Youth Symphony, yet I have no idea how he does it with his level of reading skills. I am working with him to help him to "detoxify" his dependence on others.
The beginners, of which there are seventeen, are only three pages behind the "advanced" kids. I am striving to get them all on the same page. This could happen as early as next week because I have challenged the beginners to do so, and they are eating it up.
Some of the parents came to talk to me after the concert and said that they cry when their children practice “because the music is so beautiful." Others wrote e-mails to the superintendent and others, praising our performance. I received these, as well.
At any rate, I am honored to be teaching "the best method in the world!" It has never let me down. I thoroughly enjoy teaching it, and all who have used it are equally delighted.
Many comment that the songs are very refreshing to listen to and never get "old". I'll vouch for that because I've played them for thirty eight years.
I teach in the school auditorium (much better than a closet, wouldn't you say?), and several teachers travel through on their way into the building. They have ALL enjoyed listening to the orchestra and have commented that it starts their day out right.
How Would You Solve This Situation?
I'm getting long-winded, but there is one more little story to tell. We gave two student body concerts prior to the evening concert. The reason for two concerts is that the auditorium will only seat half of the students at once. Our first concert went well. During the second concert, first song, my bass player's bridge fell out and the feet from the bridge flew across the stage (it was a bridge that has a screw to connect the feet to the rest of it). Here we were, in the middle of “Lagoon Choo Choo,” my bass player in shock, and the rest of the orchestra just kept playing like little professionals. I reassured the bass player that we'd fix it, and just to sit tight. I knew that the audience of fifth and sixth graders wouldn't sit still for too long while I put the bridge back in, so I had the orchestra play “The Rainbow,” our tuning piece. By the time they were finished, I had the bridge back in place and tuned, and the show went on.
Thanks for "listening". I had to pass on the praise.
Thanks to you and Reva [Blair, co-founder of the Rainbow Tones String System] my students continue to have success. I'm very grateful for the inspiration that you both had when you undertook Rainbow Tones.
Have a wonderful day,