GREENVILLE — On November 5, Decolores Montessori School was blessed with a visit from Dr. Robert Gillespie. An accomplished violinist and professor, Dr. Gillespie is Chair of Music Education at Ohio State University and co-author of the Hal Leonard string method book series, Essential Elements for Strings. This book is the leading string instrument teaching series in the country, selling over 10 million copies, and is the series used in the Decolores Montessori string program.
At Decolores, all students choose a string instrument in the second grade. Music can often help children connect and engage with their studies. Learning to play a stringed instrument is perfect way to keep hands busy and focused, whether performing a song or learning how to count. When musical instruments are included in a Montessori environment, each student may engage his or her studies through the medium of sound and music.
Decolores Montessori students had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Gillespie, who sat down with them and offered advice in a casual, fun environment.
“When I met Dr Gillespie, he gave me some great advice on how to improve my string instrument. He was also very fun and easy to work with! It was so exciting to have the author of our books come into our classroom!” remarked one Decolores student.
When asked if he has any advice for aspiring musicians, Dr. Gillespie shared these comments and an anecdote with the students. “Realize why you are working so hard to play your instrument: To uplift people when they hear you play. This is why we do what we do,” Gillespie said. “A few years ago I was playing in one of the cancer wards at a hospital. My violin case was behind me sitting on a gurney. Someone came by while I was playing and wrote a note and put it in my case. I noticed it when I finished playing. They said: ‘Thank you for your playing. It made me feel good. I needed that today.’ I still have the note in my case. It reminds me of the reason we play.”
For more information on the music program at Decolores Montessori School, please contact 937-547-1334 or visit the Decolores Montessori website at www.decoloresschool.org