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Tag Archives for " the alpert studio "

Jul 11

Milwaukee’s brewing up some fine music

By billalpert | Events , violin

String Academy of Wisconsin
Master Teacher Darcy Drexler explains the finer points of violin vibrato to seven year old Academy student Margaret Knox.

Every summer, string teachers from across the country make a pilgrimage to Milwaukee. This week, I’m here with a dozen other teachers to observe what is arguably one of the finest models of string education in the world. For teachers, it’s a four day intense program of immersion simply entitled Teaching the Violin to Children.

The String Academy of Wisconsin, founded in 1990 by well known pedagogue Mimi Zweig, is hosted at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The event draws its inspiration from the teaching philosophies of Shinichi Suzuki and Paul Rolland. These two violin luminaries were certainly some of the most influential violin educators of the 20th century. Currently Executive Director Darcy Drexler, along with Zweig form the core faculty of the Workshop. For violin teachers, it’s a rare opportunity to draw upon years of experience distilled by some of the most effective violin teachers in the world.

For me, a trip like this is great fun. Every day is non-stop violin: lecture, demonstration and recitals. It’s inspiring and motivating, exhausting and at the same time exhilarating. For my students: it means.. well they’ll be finding out soon enough 😉

Jul 02

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

By billalpert | The Kitchen Sink , violin , voice

I ran across the following old poem, and thought I’d share:

’twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile:

“What am bidden, good folks?” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar! A dollar!” then “Two! Only two?”
“Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice . . .
And going for three . . . ” but no.
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.

Then, wiping the dust from the the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a carolling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars! And who’ll make it two?
“Two thousand! Who’ll make it three?
“Three going once? Three going twice?
“And going . . . and gone!” said he.

The people cheered but some of them cried,
“We do not understand!
What changed its worth?” — Swift came the reply,
“The touch of the Master’s Hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.

A “mess ‘o pottage”
A glass of wine
A game and he travels on.
He’s “going” once
And “going” twice
And “going” . . . and almost “gone”

Then along comes the Master, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul or the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s Hand.

By Myra Ross Welch (1926)

Jul 01

July and August Studio Lesson Schedule

By billalpert | violin , voice


There will be NO lessons the week of July 6-12. I’ll be attending a special session for for violin teachers at the String Academy of Wisconsin.

Yes, I will be teaching from July 13-19.

However, I’ll be taking an extended vacation in late July. Hence there will be no lessons between July 20-August 8. Lessons will resume as normal on August 11.


Due to our vacation and Beauty and the Beast production schedule there will be no lessons between July 21-August 21. Lessons will resume as normal on Monday, August 25.

Please make a note of these dates.

Thank You,
Bill and Melanie Alpert