New Melodies for SoundStringS

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

Dear Patient SoundStringS Readers,

During my blogging silence, I have been busy turning life’s pages and drafting my next chapter.  After having earned my living and daily joy from teaching and performing violin in the Philadelphia area for the past SIX YEARS, I am sharpening my

purple crayon (or would a purple baton or bow suit me better??)

…and drawing a path to graduate school.  I’ll be starting the Education Policy and Management program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in a matter of weeks!  I am eager to bring a musical perspective to the education policy table, and I’m even more eager to learn from the many and varied perspectives of my future peers and colleagues.  I am confident that among the many tunes I will hear, a unified theme of commitment to the opportunity of all students to receive an excellent education will emerge.

Stay tuned for musings on topics in education, where music can and should fit in, one performer’s withdrawal symptoms and/or the joys of being an amateur musician…


Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Young MozartPosted by Elizabeth Devereux


In honor of what would be Mozart’s 257th birthday, I’d like to share a very silly video of Bobby McFerrin and a comedic Polish string quartet called Grupa MoCarta enjoying Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht Musik in many new transformations…


Philadelphia All-City Orchestra to be conducted by Yannick!

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

This weekend high school musicians from across the Philadelphia region who are playing in All-City Orchestra will rehearse with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new music director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who’s proven somewhat of a sensation to Philadelphia audiences, full of energy and verve enough to get even Philadelphia Orchestra audience members excited about their new orchestra conductor.  All-City Orchestra will rehearse portions of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, which seems to be a perfect match for Yannick’s vivacity.  This weekend’s rehearsal is in preparation for the All-City Orchestra Concert on March 4th, 2013, which Yannick will also conduct.

Lucky high-schoolers, enjoy!


This weekend’s rehearsal comes days after Yannick’s appearance at Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, at which the Philadelphia Orchestra was joined by the All-City Choir, Jeri Lynne Johnson of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, violinist Elena Urioste, and narrator Charlotte Blake Alston.

I love hearing about a city’s music director performing outside of the Kimmel Center and Center City, and conducting the city’s young, talented musicians!  It’s the cynic in me that even has this thought: I hope Yannick’s community involvement this year isn’t just honeymoon behavior but is here to stay…

“Why Arts Education Is Crucial”: Edutopia article by Fran Smith

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

I work in a program in Philadelphia, Play On, Philly!, which lets me participate on a daily basis in the positive impact that a strong arts program can have on a child’s social and academic development.  Here is an Edutopia article by Fran Smith which discusses in-depth, and with sound statistical support, what I see happening with my students day to day at Play On Philly:

Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who’s Doing It Best.



The Edutopia website is an amazing, innovative resource for those interested in the world of education.   One of my favorite series on the Edutopia website is their

“Schools That Work”

series, which has videos such as this one, about a school reform effort in Germany.

Happy Basketball Season, and DID YOU KNOW…

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

…that Kobe Bryant plays the piano??

Kobe piano

As he tweeted after a 95-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls, playing piano (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) calms him down when he reaches his breaking point.

Happy Birthday, Ludwig van Beethoven!


Posted by Elizabeth Devereux





One of my most memorable experiences so far as a violin teacher is the first time I played Beethoven for a classroom full of 3-6 year-olds.  It was in my first year of teaching private violin lessons full-time, and I taught one Suzuki group class of beginner violinists.  Each month I chose a composer whose birthday fell in that month to celebrate; we would listen to their music, read about them, and share what we thought of them and their music.  My goal was to get these young violinists to care about what they heard, not necessarily to get them to like what they heard.  Beethoven, though, made it easy for them to both care about and like the music.

Beethoven was born on either the 15th or 16th of this month in the year 1770.  On the first Thursday…

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Rowan Prep Barnes & Noble Holiday Play-In Songs

Posted by Elizabeth Devereux

Hi Rowan Prep Parents, Students, and Friends!  Here are the scanned PDFs of our holiday songs.  I hope you’re able to download them easily.  If not, we’ll have plenty of extras available this weekend.  Look forward to seeing you this Sunday, Dec. 9th @ 2pm at the Rowan University Barnes & Noble in Glassboro!

Jingle Bells

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Away in a Manger

Deck the Halls


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen


Silent_Good King

Joy to the World