LANSDOWNE, Md. - Rob Tracy is a music teacher at Lansdowne High School in Baltimore County
He loves teaching but at times may not be able to personally address every student's musical need. In steps the Soulful Symphony, an orchestra started by musician and composer Darrin Atwater. They in conjunction with the Hippodrome Foundation annually hold a teaching master class for Lansdowne's orchestra students.
"This is a personal thing to have experts in the field actually come and spend the time and the energy to work with the students,” said Olive Waxter from the Hippodrome Foundation.
Added Lansdowne music teacher Chris Bassett: “Just to give the students another perspective sometimes the perspective totally reinforces what we talked about in class and sometimes it's a brand new thing.”
Emma Hastings, a Lansdowne trombone player, said getting to work with a professional musician who specializes in her instrument has been a big help.
"Mr. Bassett can't always help us with everything that someone like that can, because this guy is like a professional with the trombone so he can just tell us everything we need to know,” she said.
Danielle Sinclair, who plays the violin, said the advice she receives doesn’t always sink in until much later.
"It just really helps,” she said. “You don't realize how much it helps until they leave and you take the advice they give you and you use it in your playing every day and it just helps your skill go up by a lot.”
And students have a way of teaching the masters.
"I learned a new way to look at notes on the keyboard instrument,” said Daniel Villanueva of Soulful Symphony. “I usually explain flats and sharps by raising a note or lowering a note and one of the students said ‘Oh you mean going to the right or the left?”
The Lansdowne students who study with the Soulful Symphony will be invited to attend the rehearsal for the group’s upcoming holiday concert.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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