First Annual El Sistema Greater Boston Showcase

On Saturday, Kids 4 Harmony joined seven other programs plus the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, to perform in two concerts at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston.

How do you prepare for a historic event like this? Practice, preferably led by one of the best violin teachers in Venezuela!

This is Maestro Francisco Diaz. He was Gustavo Dudamel's violin teacher, as well as the director of a violin school (click here to visit his school's web site). According to several people we talked to, there is a dispute as to whether he is the best or simply the second best violin teacher in the country of Venezuela.

Maestro Diaz, despite not speaking much English, communicated to the kids clearly. His teaching style was firm and loud, in contrast to his warm personality and his quick smile. It did help that many of the children in the program speak fluent Spanish - Johan, grade 6, served as the maestro's translator.

Courtney and Maestro Diaz team-teaching
Maestro Diaz even had a chance to hear our teacher Courtney Getzin play, and gave her the highest of compliments, saying that there are people who practice every day for years and never achieve her level of skill.
Needless to say they were a dynamic teaching duo. Maestro Diaz showed our kids some expert violin technique, and left us with sound advice: "Look for the silence in between the notes."

It was a beautiful, eventful day with the master.

Check back tomorrow to hear about the festival...