From the Top Alum and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, Ren Martin-Doike along with friends Sangwoo Kim, Alex Ayers, and Jake Woollen performed as a string quartet for the entire first grade class at the Fairview Elementary school on May 14 in her hometown of Bloomington, IN. This year Ren was a part of a unique new outreach program that provides twice weekly violin classes to all Fairview first graders headed by Associate Music Education Professor Dr. Brenda Brenner of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. “Seeing the growth of these kids over the year was so rewarding,” says Martin-Doike. “From their first wide-eyed reactions to the realization of their own potential, these kids have been inspired by music. There is nothing that gives me more affirmation of why I ‘do’ music than seeing the excitement and empowerment that playing the violin has given these kids.”
Keep reading to watch a video of Ren’s program in action.
Each member of the quartet talked a little about their instrument, explained their role in the string quartet and demonstrated a little “Haydn go seek” scavenger item for the kids to listen for when the quartet later played an entire movement of Haydn. The first graders were an engaged and curious bunch, but their interest was particularly piqued when cellist Jake described the string quartet as the equivalent to a rock band from around 200 years ago. In the video below, you will find Jake and Sangwoo’s rendition of “Smoke on the Water” and the students’ imaginative interpretations of the Haydn quartet.