Today is the last day of school… they had a wonderful last week at school.
On Wednesday, they went to the fresh market in town with their teacher and bought fruits and vegetables for an Apero (a light snack-type thing) on Friday (today). Yesterday (Thursday), they (only the 2nd graders) were invited to lunch at their teacher’s home. i think it is so sweet that the teachers here do go to such efforts to express how much they do like the children and enjoy their job.
This also signals that Tobias will be moving onto 3rd grade next school year with a brand-new teacher. Fingers crossed and knees bended that his 3rd grade teacher would be as understanding and patient as this current one has been.
There is one teacher we are sure to see again for the next school year – his violin teacher, Herr Steiner. Yep, we will be carrying on with violin lessons for another year 🙂 i remember how excited he was for his first violin lesson.
The week before we played at our last concert of this school year. We had played at the Christmas 2012 Concert and another small concert at the neighbouring village. This last one was in our own village and it went quite well. It has been exciting, nerve-wrecking (for me at least) and very humbling to be learning and getting such opportunities even when i’ve been out of school for so long.
Here are just a couple of photos:
After this rather long (12 weeks) term, we are very ready for a holiday 😀
It is located in one of the most beautiful lakeside towns in Switzerland, in the region of Interlaken, the calm and ever quaint Brienz. i can’t think of a better place to have such a school. It’s neighbour is the Swiss School of Wood Sculpting/Carving, established in the late 1800s. So this place has a history of wood crafting.
We got the grand tour from top down. They buy and store the wood used for violin-making in the attic. There were piles and piles of different wood; for violins’ bodies and necks, cellos’ bodies and necks, Maple, Spruce, Ebony (used to make the necks and are naturally black), Boxwood, Willow and Rosewood. He explained in detail about the grain and the age of the wood (they have wood from 1960s even!), but in German, so i missed a lot of the details, not to mention i had an 8-year-old constantly wanting to talk to me.
Then we went down to the workshop. The school only takes in a maximum of 10 students, roughly 2 or 3 for each school year. It takes 4 years to study to become a violin-maker. You have to know sounds, acoustics, understand wood, learn to play the instrument (if you don’t already), treating the wood, lacquer and more. They make their own lacquer at this school!
We were there for a little over 2 hours and it was one of the more interesting tours i have taken in a while. We enjoyed it very much.
Now i want to just talk a little bit about the second concert we were privileged to take part in. It is part of 3 concerts of the 3 schools in our school circle. So on 15 June 2013, Wednesday, we played as part of a strings group at the Oberdorf concert.
We had fun but it was quite a nervous time, at least for me. i made 2 mistakes during the 5-minute performance. Thank God we were in a group and no one really heard my mistakes, at least i hope not. It was also great that we were the first group to perform because we could then enjoy the rest of the concert without anxiety (again, i think it was just me.).
We have no pictures of ourselves performing as Walter was away and there was no one to take pictures of us. i did, however get pictures of us, doing silly faces waiting for the concert to start.
And here you can see 3 of Tobias’ favourite groups.
The Drums group was really interesting to watch. They played an original composition by their teacher. You can see four drum sets and a xylophone. The girl on the xylophone played the whole time, keeping the melody going. The 14 drum students rotated between the 4 drum sets and played some amazing beats! i wished i had thought to record a video of them, but i was enjoying the music too much 😛