When One From the Top Alum Inspires Another

William on From the Top, 2009

Last week we shared a fantastic article on preparing for college auditions, written by From the Top alum Ren Martin-Doike. In the article, Ren mentioned a technique from violinist William Harvey, From the Top alum and founder of Cultures in Harmony. When William reappeared on From the Top in 2009 as part of our 10th Anniversary Series, he talked about creating performance opportunities as a musician. Ren made great use of this idea after a violin lesson she gave at Fairview Elementary School in Indiana:

Today, after teaching my little violin students at Fairview Elementary school, I took out my viola and headed to the cafeteria. I recently memorized Bach’s entire second suite, and didn’t have any performance opportunities coming up, so I followed William Harvey’s advice and created my own. When I walked into the noisy cafeteria, I asked a friendly staff person if it would be okay to play a little music for the kids. He said “of course!” and asked if I would like for him to quiet down the cafeteria before I started. “You won’t need to,” I said. Sure enough, once I started with the prelude, the entire cafeteria went quiet and I could feel eyes and ears on me. What was once a noisy and rowdy cafeteria full of elementary school students had suddenly become an ideal audience!

Ren recounts the rest of her experience with this unofficial concert in a letter to William, which he posted on the Cultures in Harmony blog.