We are beyond excited to officially welcome Deborah Henderson to the SONG team, and to share her stories with you. The kids in the violin program are lucky to have such a skilled and passionate teacher, and it is our goal to get every child in SONG into the Beginner Strings program in September 2015.


The promise: you WILL get to hold a violin on your shoulder by the end of today’s session.

The challenge: 10 kids, 7 “box” violins, one teacher, one volunteer, one hour.

“It feels a bit chaotic at the beginning”, one of my colleagues from Sistema Toronto informed me. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we’re given a lot of new information to deal with. Students need to know that teachers sometimes feel this way too when we are helping to activate new learning experiences. There’s so much to learn and so little time.

We used cardboard boxes with a ruler attached to practice picking up the violin and getting from rest position to playing position.

We used dowel sticks with erasers attached to them to practice holding the bow. Getting the equipment in the correct hand is part of the process!

At the end of the session, with parents clustered by the door, we unzipped 3 cases so we had violins of suitable sizes for everyone in the group to try, one at a time. I don’t need to say much about the excitement in the air – the photos say it all (Thank you parents!!)

Holding a violin for the first time
Holding a violin for the first time

Thanks to the group for their patience, respect and co-operation! We’re off to a great start!

– posted by Deborah