Dr. Jeanne Bourgeois Swanson

about

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Dr. Jeanne Bourgeois Swanson has been Assistant Concertmaster of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra since 2008.  She has a doctorate in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music, a masters from Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Her teachers include Charles Castleman, Almita and Roland Vamos, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Piotr Milewski, Thomas Wermuth and Elmira Darvarova.  Jeanne has previously held orchestral positions with the Syracuse Symphony, Sarasota Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She was Associate Concertmaster of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and has also served as Concertmaster of the Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra in Charleston, S.C.

As a soloist, she has performed with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Starling Chamber Orchestra (Cincinnati), Spokane Youth Symphony as well as the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra (Chicago).  She is on the substitute list with the Seattle, Vancouver and Oregon Symphonies.  She has taught at Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, is currently on the faculty of Washington State University String Camp and also maintains a large private violin and viola studio in Spokane.  In her free time, Jeanne enjoys the great outdoors, cooking and traveling with her husband, Stephen Swanson and daughter, Roslyn. She plays on a Henricus Catenar violin (1670) and an A. Vigneron bow.

 Photo: Hamilton Studios, (cover photo also) 

teaching studio

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Dr. Jeanne Bourgeois Swanson has been teaching for over a decade and enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. She maintains a studio of 15-20 students and holds three student solo recitals each year, including a fun summer recital at Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho. Her students are active members of many school orchestra programs and the Spokane Youth Symphony; and have received awards in Musicfest Northwest, the SYSO concerto competition, and other local competitions. She teaches private violin and viola lessons at her home studio in Spokane's South Hill neighborhood.

Jeanne's early music training began at age 4 through the Suzuki method with Virginia Burd in Park Forest, IL and she continued her studies at the Western Springs School of Talent Education with Thomas Wermuth. She has received a Bachelors of Music, Masters of Music, and Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in violin performance from Cincinnati CCM, Northwestern University, and Eastman School of Music, respectively.  Jeanne is a certified Suzuki instuctor and has studied with renowned Suzuki pedagogues including Edward Kreitman, Linda Fiore, and Allen Lieb. She remains an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Prior to moving to Spokane, Jeanne  taught privately at the Western Springs School of Talent Education (IL), the Eastman Community Music School (NY), and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance (NY).  

Jeanne is committed to K-12 music education and has coached strings in Spokane's District 81 public school orchestra programs through the Young Musicians Education Program with the Spokane Symphony as well as visited elementary schools through the Holy Names Music Center's Music Support Team. She has coached sections in the Spokane Youth Symphony and continues to serve on the faculty of the Washington State University Cougar Summer String Camp for students grades 7-12. 

Please contact her for more information about private study.

Photo: Jeslyn Cai after her Suzuki Book 5 solo recital at Steinway Piano Gallery.

 

 

 

performances

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Jeanne has enjoyed performing solo recitals, as well as for weddings, receptions, private parties, benefit dinners and other special occasions throughout the Northwest.  She is available for solo performances as well as organizing a small chamber ensemble.  Jeanne collaborates regularly with many of her colleagues in the Spokane Symphony.  Please contact her to schedule music for your special event today through event booking

Photo: Jeanne Bourgeois Swanson and Marilyn Bourgeois, St. Ireneaus Church, Park Forest, IL

contact

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Private lesson information

Event Booking

For more information, please email Jeannebg@yahoo.com 

photo above:  Jeanne and her husband, Stephen Swanson, perform a concert of works for violin and viola da gamba.

 

Links

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Custom Strings

Spokane Symphony Orchestra 

Shar Music

Suzuki Association of the Americas

Strings Magazine

Strad Magazine

Violin Masterclass, with Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus, (one of my former teachers) 

Midsummer Musical Retreat, a week long musical retreat for adult students

Hamilton Studios

American Federation of Musicians 

Bulletproof musician, practice tips and help with performance anxiety

Stephen Swanson, my husband: a very talented double bassist, viola da gambist, conductor, arranger, and author 

 Photo:  Summer student concert at Silverwood Theme Park, Athol, ID

 

 

Studio News

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Upcoming Events:

Spokane Youth Symphony Auditions, September 8th and 9th

Winter Student Solo Recital, January, date TBA

Previous Events:

Jeslyn Cai, Suzuki Book 8 Violin Recital, Friday, July 28th, 3 PM   

Summer Student Solo Recital, Saturday, July 15th 1:00 PM, Holy Names Music Center

Spring Student Solo Recital, Saturday, June 17th, 1:00 PM

Washington State University Cougar String Camp, July 2nd-7th, Pullman, WA

Derek Long, Senior Violin and Piano Recital, Steinway Piano Gallery, June 9th, 6 PM

Congratuations to Sky McCauley, Helen Knaack, and Charlotte Burns on winning individual achievement awards at the Spokane Youth Symphony concert, May 21st.

Congratulations to Jeslyn Cai on winning a silver medal in the Czardas competition at Musicfest Northwest!

Studio Performance Class, May 13th

Musicfest Northwest, May 14th-19th, Gonzaga University

Spokane Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, March 5th, Whitworth University

Washington State Solo and Ensemble, Pre-liminaries held in February 

Performance Class, Jan. 29th 3 PM

Jeslyn Cai, Soloist, Spokane Symphony, October 26th and 27th, 10 AM, 12:45 PM

Helen Knaack, Suzuki Book 5 Solo Recital, August 27th, 2:00 PM

Lena Kaer, Suzuki Book 2 Solo Recital, August 27th, 2:00 PM

Jeslyn Cai, Suzuki Book 7 Solo Recital, August 7th, 2:30 PM

Sky McCauley, Suzuki Book 1 and 2 Solo Recital, August 14th 3:00 PM

Spring Student Solo Recital, EWU Music Recital Hall, June 12th, 2:30 PM

Musicfest Northwest, May 8th-13th

Helen Knaack, Suzuki Book 4 Solo Recital,  March 5th

Winter Student Solo Recital, January 17th, 3:00 PM, Millwood Presybterian Church

Spokane Symphony Young Violin Soloist Competition, October 6th, 3-5 PM

Jeslyn Cai, Suzuki Book 6 Recital, August  8th, 11:30 AM

Madeleine Feola, Solo Recital, August 8th, 8 PM

Silverwood Park Student Solo Recital, July 14th, 10:30 AMJes

Spring Student Solo Recital, June 14th, 4:00 PM, Millwood Presbyterian Church

Musicfest Northwest, May 10-15, 2015

Kurt Nikkanen Violin Masterclass, Whitworth Recital Hall, February 26th, 11:30-1:30

Benjamin Beilman Violin Masterclass, Fox Theater, February 6th, 3-5 PM

Winter Student Solo Recital, Millwood Community Church, Sunday, January 18th, 4:00 PM

Helen Knaack, Jeslyn Cai, Madeleine Feola, Kate Cvancara: Spokane Youth Symphony Orchestras, Fox Theater, November 9th, 4 PM

Natalie Abernathy (concertmaster), Orchestra Concert, Green Acres Middle School, October 30th, 7 PM

Madeleine Feola, Alex Stewart, Derek Long: Chamber Orchestra, Lewis and Clark High School, October 28th at 7 PM

Anna Stockdill, Ferris High School, Ensemble Concert, October 22nd, 7:00 PM

Madeleine Feola, Suzuki Violin Book 5 solo recital, Sunday, October 12th at 7:30 PM

Helen Knaack, Suzuki Violin Book 3 solo recital, Sunday, September 7th at 11:30 AM

Jeslyn Cai, Suzuki Violin Book 5 solo recital, Wednesday, July 16th at 4:30 PM  

Silverwood Amusement Park studio recital, Wednesday, July 9th, 11:00 AM 

Spring Student Solo Recital, Millwood Community Church, June 1st, 4:00 PM

SYSO Concerto Competition Finals, Davenport Hotel, March 2nd, 6:00 PM

Winter Student Solo Recital, Steinway Piano Gallery, January 11th, 11:00 AM

Photo above: Jeanne with dedicated violin student, Helen Knaack, after her Suzuki Book 3 violin recital. 

 

 

 

 

Studio Policies

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Bourgeois-Swanson Studio
 
Cancellation Policy:  No refunds will be given for missed lessons. If your child is sick or there is an emergency, please notify me as soon as you are aware of the situation. Lessons cancelled less than 24 hours in advance may be rescheduled, but not refunded. 
 
Recital Fee:  A recital fee of $40 per family, per year is used to cover hall rental/accompanist fees as well as recital related expenses for the winter and spring student solo recitals and performance classes.
 
Tuition:  Tuition is to be paid monthly.  At the beginning of each month, I will give each student an invoice that includes all lessons and supplies.  The tuition is then due the following week.  Late tuition payments of more than 1 month will be charged a late fee. Payments may be made by cash, check, or money order.
 
1. Please come to all lessons prepared and on time.  When students arrive late, I cannot make up the lost time. Also, please wait until your assigned lesson time to enter our studio.  
 
2. Please bring all materials with you to each lesson.  This includes your instrument, shoulder rest, rosin, all music and your weekly practice log.  A daily commitment to practice is required of all students. 
 
3. Listening to classical music is essencial to classical music study.  In addition to focused listening time, listening can be done while riding in the car, eating meals, doing homework, or at the beginning and end of the day. 
 
4.  Siblings are permitted to attend the lesson as long as they do not disrupt the learning process.  Parents, please limit distractions during the lesson; this includes coming and going, etc.    
 
5. Please do not bring sick students to my classroom for lessons.  If your child has stayed home sick from school, please do not bring them to lessons that day.  I will do my best to schedule makeup lessons as time permits.
 
6.  Please silence all cellular phones during lessons and do not answer calls.  If it is an emergency, please take the call outside, not in the hallway.
 
7. Learning to play an instrument well takes time.  It is about the journey - the process.  I believe that if the right path is followed, the results will be there. The harder a student works, the more quickly he/she will improve.  
 
9.  Please attend live performances as often as possible.  Attending concerts can be an awesome experience for you and your family. The Spokane Symphony performs weekly concerts in downtown Spokane at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
 
photo above by Roger Logan
 

Beginning Strings

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Dr. Jeanne Bourgeois Swanson offers fun beginning violin lessons for students ages 3 and up. Using the philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki as well as renowned traditional violin pedagogues, these lessons are designed to develop a healthy physical set-up for playing along with sound rhythmic and aural skills.   The student will be asked to name notes on the staff, demonstrate rhythmic patterns, vocally match pitches, as well as recognize and sing various intervals. Each student will need a parent present at all lessons who is also expected to fully participate in daily practice at home.  Students may enroll at any time during the year. Listening to classical recordings and attending concerts is of primary importance for all levels of study. Our goal is to nurture a love for music in each student that will continue for a lifetime.

Suggested reading for parents:

Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki

Teaching from the Balance Point by Edward Kreitman

 

 

Calendar

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Upcoming Concerts:

September 2017

SSO, Free Family Parks Concert, Liberty Lake, September 2nd, 6 PM and Comstock Park, September 4th, 6 PM

SSO, Classics 1, Saturday, September 9th, 8 PM and Sunday, September 10th, 3 PM

SSO, Chewelah Learning Center, September 16th, 2 PM

SSO, Opera Production: Carmen, September 22nd and 23rd, 8 PM

SSO, Chamber Soiree, Davenport Hotel, September 26th and 27th 7:30 PM

October 2017

SSO, Classics 2, October 7th, 8 PM and October 8th, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 1, October 14th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 3, October 21st at 8 PM and 22nd at 3 PM

SSO, Education Concerts, October 25th and 26th 10 AM and 12:45 PM

SSO, Harry Potter, October 28th 2 PM and 8 PM

November 2017

SSO, Classics 4, November 4th, 8 PM and November 5th, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 2, November 11th, 8 PM

December 2017

SSO, Nutcracker, November 30th, 7:30 PM, December 1st, 1 PM, December 2nd, 2 and 7:30 PM, and December 3rd, 2 PM

SSO, Baroque 1, December 9th, 7 PM, December 10th, 3 PM

SSO, Holiday Pops, December 16th, 8 PM, December 17th, 2 PM

SSO, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, December 31st, 7:30 PM

January 2018

SSO, M Show, January 19th and 20th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 5, January 27th, 8 PM, January 29th, 3 PM

February 2018

SSO, Pops 4, February 3rd, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 6, February 10th, 8 PM, February 11th, 3 PM

SSO, Chamber Soiree, Davenport Hotel, February 13th and 14th, 7:30 PM

SSO, Star Wars, February 17th, 2 PM and 8 PM

SSO, Classics 7, February 24th, 8 PM, February 25th, 3 PM

March 2018

SSO, Pops 3, March 3rdd 8 PM

SSO, Education Concerts, March 7th and 8th, 10:00 AM

SSO, Baroque, March 17th, 7 PM, March 18th, 3 PM

SSO, Classics 8, March 24th 8 PM, March 25th, 3 PM

April 2018

SSO, Classics 9, April 14th, 8 PM, April 15th, 3 PM

SSO, West Side Story, April 20th and 21st, 8 PM

SSO, Chamber Soiree, April 24th and 25th, 7:30 PM

May 2018

SSO, Link Up Education Concert, May 1st, 10 AM, 7 PM

SSO, Pops 6, May 5th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 10, May 12th, 8 PM, May 13th, 3 PM

SSO, Musicfest Northwest, May 16th, 7:30 PM

SSO, Wellpinit Native American Reservation, May 18th, 5 PM

SSO, M Show, May 24th and 25th, 8 PM

June 2018

Violin and Piano Recital, June 12th, 1 PM, Steinway Piano Gallery, N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://spokanesymphony.org/concerts-tickets/2017-2018/

 

 

 

 

 

photo above by Roger Logan

 

 

 

Previous Concerts

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Summer 2017

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Eastsound, WA, August 5th at 7:30 PM and 7th at 5;30 PM   

 

SSO, Summer Concert, Arbor Crest Winery, August 23rd, 7 PM

May 2017

SSO, Classics 10, May 6th 8 PM, May 7th at 3 PM

SSO, Chamber Soiree, May 9th and May 10th, 7:30 PM, Davenport Hotel

SSO, Musicfest Northwest, May 17th, 7:30 PM

April 2017

SSO, Classics 9,  April 22nd 8 PM, April 23rd 3 PM

SSO, Linkup, April 27th 10:30 AM, 7 PM

SSO, Pops 6, April 29th 8 PM

Gonzaga University Choir Concert, April 30th, 3 PM

March 2017

SSO, Pops 5, March 4th, 8 PM

SSO, Intersect, March 10th, 8 PM

SSO, Education Concerts, CDA, March 15th, 10 and 11:40 AM, March 16th, 10 AM

SSO, Classics 8, March 25th, 8 PM, March 26th 3 PM

February 2017

SSO, Special, February 18th, 8 PM

SSO, Spokane Youth Symphony Side-by-Side, February 19th, 4 PM

SSO, Classics 7, February 25th, 8 PM, February 26th 3 PM

January 2017

SSO, Movie, February 4th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 6, February 11th, 8 PM, February 12th, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 4, January 28th 8 PM

SSO, Classics 5, January 21st, 8 PM, January 22nd 3 PM

December 2016

SSO, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, New Year's Eve, December 31st 7:30 PM

SSO, Holiday Pops, December 17th 8 PM, December 18th 2 PM

SSO, Nutcracker, December 1st, 7:30, December 2nd, 7:30 PM, December 3rd, 2 PM and 7:30 PM, December 4th, 2 PM

November 2016

SSO, Interseption 1, November 4th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 4, November 12th, 8 PM, November 13th, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 2, November 19th, 8 PM

October 2016

SSO, Pops 1, Fox Theater, October 1st, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 2, Fox Theater, October 8th, 8 PM, October 9th, 3 PM

SSO, Indigo Girls, Fox Theater, October 15th, 8 PM

SSO, Classics 3, Fox Theater, October 22nd, 8 PM, October 23rd, 3 PM

SSO, 4th Grade Education Concerts, October 26th, 10AM and 12:45PM, October 27th, 10AM and 12:45 PM

SSO, Harry Potter, October 29th, 2 PM and 8 PM

September 2016

SSO, Liberty Lake, September 3rd, 6 PM

SSO, Comstock Park, September 5th, 6 PM

SSO, Chewelah, September 10th, 2 PM

SSO, Classics 1, Fox Theater, September 17th, 8 PM, September 18th, 3 PM

SSO, Chamber Soiree 1, Davenport Hotel, September 27th and 28th, 7:30 PM

Summer  2016

Bocelli in Concert, Key Arena, Seattle, WA  June 1st, 7:45 PM

Spokane Falls Community College Orchestra Concert, June 13th, 7 PM

Cougar String Camp, Faculty Showcase, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, July 5th

SSO, Sandpoint Festival, August 14th, 7 PM

SSO, Arbor Crest Winery, August 17th, 7 PM

 

SSO, Arbor Crest Winery, August 24th, 7 PM

May 2016

SSO, Terrain, May 27th, 7 PM

SSO, Soiree 3, Davenport Hotel, May 17th and 18th, 7:30 PM

SSO, Wellpinit Concert, May 13th, 6:00 PM

SSO, Orchestrating Greatness, May 12th, 10 AM

SSO, Musicfest Northwest, May 11th, 7:30 PM

SSO, Classics 10, May 7th, 8 PM, May 8th, 3 PM

April 2016

SSO, Pops 6, April 30th, 8 PM

Spokane Youth Symphony, Soloist for Vivaldi Spring, April 24th, 3 PM

SSO, Link-up, April 28th, 10:30 AM, 7 PM

SSO, Carmina Burana, April 21st, 8 PM

SSO, Splash 3, April 15th, 7 PM

SSO, Classics 9, April 2nd, 8 PM, April 3rd, 3 PM

March 2016

SSO, Pops 5, March 12th, 8 PM

SSO. Star Wars, March 4th, 8 PM

SSO, Education Concerts, Coeur d'Alene, ID, March 2nd, 10:00; March 3rd, 10:00

February 2016

SSO, Classics 7, February 27th, 8 PM; February 28th, 3 PM

SSO, Classics 6, February 13th, 8 PM; February 14th, 3 PM

January 2016

SSO, Classics 5, January 23rd, 8 PM; January 24th, 3 PM

SSO, Splash 2, January 15th, 7 PM

December 2015

SSO, New Year's Eve, December 31st, 7:30 PM

SSO, Nutcracker, December 3rd, 7:30 PM; December 4th, 7:30 PM; December 5th, 2 PM and 7:30 PM; December 6th, 2 PM

November 2015

SSO, Classics 4, November 21st, 8 PM; November 22nd, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 2, November 14th, 8 PM

Solo Violin Recital, Lakeview Music Teachers Association, Chicago, IL, November 10th, 1 PM

Solo Violin Recital, Smith Crossing, Frankfort, IL, November 9th, 11 AM

SSO, Splash 1, November 6th, 7 PM

October 2015

SSO, Halloween Movie Night, October 31st at 7:30 PM

SSO, Education Concerts, October 28th; 10 AM, October 29th 10:30 AM and 12:45 PM

SSO, Classics 3, October 24th, 8 PM, and October 25th, 3 PM

SSO, Classics 2, October 10th, 8 PM, and October 11th, 3 PM

SSO, Pops 1, October 3rd, 8 PM

September 2015

SSO, Classics 1 'Opening Night,' September 19th, 8 PM, September 20th, 3 PM

SSO, Chewelah Outreach Concert, September 12th, 2 PM

SSO, Comstock Parks Concert, Labor Day, September 7th, 6 PM

SSO, Liberty Lake Parks Concert, September 5th, 6 PM

Summer 2015

Cougar String Camp, Faculty Concert, Washington State University, June 23rd, 7 PM 

SSO, Soiree on the Edge, Arbor Crest Winery, August 12th, 7 PM

SSO, The Festival at Sandpoint, Sandpoint, ID, August 16th, 7:30 PM

SSO, Soiree on the Edge, Arbor Crest Winery, August 19h, 7 PM

May 2015

St. John's Cathedral, 'The Joy of Bach' Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Cantata 147, May 31st at 3 PM

Solo Violin Recital, 'Friends of Steinway' Series, Steinway Piano Gallery of Spokane, May 30th, 7 PM 

Solo violin and piano radio performance, KPBX, May 28th, 10 AM

Solo Violin Recital, Rockwood Retirement Community, Spokane, May 28th, 7:00 PM

SSO, Wellpinit School, May 20th at 7 PM

Bellevue Presbyterian Church, Handel's Messiah, May 15th and 16th

SSO, The Bing Crosby Theater, Musicfest Northwest, May 13th at 7:30

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 10, May 9th at 8 PM and 10th at 3 PM

April 2015

SSO, Fox Theater, Link-up, April 30th at 10:30 AM and 7 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Pops 6, Pink Martini, April 25th at 8 PM

SSO, Spokane Club, Chamber Soiree, Francaix Clarinet Quintet, April 21st and 22nd at 7:30 

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 9, April 18th at 8 PM and 19th at 3 PM

Lakeview Musical Society, Beethoven "Spring" Sonata, Fine Arts Building, Chicago, IL, April 13th, 1 PM

Solo Violin and Piano Recital, St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, Park Forest, IL, April 12th at 2 PM 

March 2015

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 8, March 28th at 8 PM and 29th at 3 PM

SSO and Terrain, 304 W. Pacific, Spokane, WA March 13th at 8 PM

February 2015 

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 7, February 28th at 8 PM and March 1st at 3 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 6, February 7th at 8 PM and 8th at 3 PM

January 2015

SSO Fox Theater, Pops 4, January 31st at 8 PM

SSO Fox Theater, Classics 5, January 24th at 8 PM and 25th at 3 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Splash 2, January 16th, 7:00

December 2014

SSO, Fox Theater, Beethoven 9th Symphony, December 31st at 7:30 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Holiday Pops, December 20th at 8 PM and 21st at 2 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Nutcracker, December 4th, 7:30, 5th at 7:30, 6th at 2:00 and 7:30, and 7th at 2:00 PM

November 2014

SSO Fox Theater, Classics 4, November 22nd at 8 PM and 23rd at 3 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Splash 1, November 7th, 7 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Pops 2, November 1st, 8 PM

October 2014 

SSO, Fox Theater, 4th Grade Education, October 29th at 10 AM, 12:45 PM and 30th at 10:30

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 3, October 25th at 8 PM and 26th at 3 PM

SSO, Moses Lake, WA October 18th at 7 PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 2, October 11th at 8 PM and 12th at 2 PM

September 2014

SSO, Fox Theater, Pops 1, September 27th, 8PM

SSO, Fox Theater, Classics 1, September 20th at 8 PM and September 21st at 3:00 PM

Coeur d'Alene Opera, NIC, La Fanciulla del West, September 12th at 7:30 and September 14th at 2:00 PM

SSO, Chewelah Peak Learning Center, September 13th at 2:00

SSO, Comstock Park, Labor Day Concert, September 1st at 6:00 PM

August 2014

SSO, Arbor Crest Winery, Symphony on the Edge 2, August 20th at 7:00 PM

SSO, Sandpoint, ID, August 17th at 7:30 PM

SSO, Arbor Crest Winery, Symphony on the Edge 1, August 13th at 7:00 PM

June 2014

Cougar String Camp, Washington State University, Pullman WA, June 25th at 7:30 PM

Lakeview Musical Society, Fine Arts Building, Chicago, IL, Faure A Major Sonata, June 10th at 1:00 PM

 

 

 

photo above by Roger Logan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Request info

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Event Booking

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blog

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October 16th, 2014

Why is the bow hold so important? 

 

This time of year, I am starting many new students and often find myself saying, "Let’s take a look at your bow hold!"  The older students have usually heard this before while the beginners are still struggling to acquire a strong, consistent tone.  Why the bow hold?  Why so specific? Some have even told me, ’I play baseball, so why can’t I hold my bow like a baseball bat?’

 

The modern bow hold, also called the Franco-Belgian bow hold, was developed to provide for maximum flexibility and control.  The hand is to be rounded, much like as if you are holding a fresh egg in your hand.  First, relax your wrist and let the fingers and hand hang towards the floor.  Then form an oval between the 2nd finger (middle) and thumb.  Now insert the bow into this circle.  All of the fingers rest on the stick: the 2nd and 3rd fingers stay together, the pinky is placed on the top of the stick and the index finger a slight distance from the 2nd, touching the stick between the first and second joints.  The thumb is to be bent and placed inside the bow, pointing slightly upwards towards the frog.  The placement of the index finger between the two upper joints allows for extra control and the ability to ‘catch’ the bow for added articulation. 

 

A strong pinky is essential to controlling placement and lift of the entire bow. If the pinky should want to fall off the stick, try placing it on the side of the bow closest to you rather than directly on top of the stick.  A bent thumb adds additional power to the sound and also allows for extra articulation in advanced strokes, such as down and up bow staccato.   

 

The bow hold is difficult for many students to learn since it does not have a parallel in many other activities.  Therefore, the teacher will guide the student in their bow hold development for much of the first few years of private instruction.  

 

I often enjoy watching the violin soloists bow holds who come to play concertos with the Spokane Symphony.  Everyone has a slightly different  bow grip.  However, certain principles are always evident, including a combination of strength, balance, and most importantly, flexibility.  

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes regarding bow holds from two historic violin pedagogues:

 

Playing with stiffness in the bow hand is much like trying to walk without bending the joints in the legs. -Ivan Galamian 

 

Joachim bowed with his index finger lifted off into the air, Ysaye often had his pinky raised above the bow, and Sarasate played freely and expressively with all fingers on the stick. -Leopold Auer, he insisted that there should be no rule for how to hold the bow. 

 

photo above by Roger Logan

 

 

 

Skype Lessons

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Skype violin lessons are now available.  

Take your music lessons anywhere in the world!

What you will need for successful lessons over skype:

-high speed internet connection

-computer with webcam and speakers (built-in or external)

-skype account (free), sign up

-Paypal account, sign up

Photo: Jeanne performing with Spokane Youth Strings and Sinfonietta with SYS conductor John Marshall. 

 

 

 

Pay tuition

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Tuition may be paid by cash/check or by credit card through PayPal.  When using PayPal,  4% is added to your lesson to cover PayPal fees.  

30 minute lesson ($30) paid through PayPal:  $31.20

45 minute lesson ($45) paid through PayPal: $46.80

60 minute lesson ($60) paid through PayPal: $62.40

My PayPal account may be found by searching with my email: Jeannebg@yahoo.com

https://www.paypal.com/signin/

Photo:  Jeslyn Cai plays Vivaldi 'Summer' from 'The Four Seasons' at the Spokane Symphony education concerts in October, 2016.  

Music Together

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Music classes for babies and toddlers and their caregivers.  Enjoy making music together!  Sing, dance, play handheld percussion instruments, and learn the basics of musicianship. Lessons tailored to each student's interests and abilities.   Lessons may include introduction to notereading and music notation, ear-training, and basic rhythmic studies.  

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