All Saints Preschool completes one semester teaching violin for 4-5 year olds

KAPA’A – “Earth. Ants. Dirt. Earth. Where is the violin?

“One. Two. Three. Four; Uno, dos, tres, quatro. Where is the violin? Ichi. Ni. San. Shi, Ekahi, Elua, Ekolu, Eha. Where is the violin?

Students aged mostly 4 and 5 sang “The Earth Song” and “The Numbers Song,” under the direction of Kaua’i Opio and Keiki Orchestra instructor Megan Lawson, as they practiced Wednesday, the last day of practice before the school’s big winter concert at the gymnasium of All Saints Episcopal Church.

“We have to do this gig in different classes because of the COVID-19 rules,” said Warren Dastrup, music director of All Saints Preschool. “Each class performs in front of their family on different days. The violin class performs on Thursday to end the semester.

Working on the lyrics to a baby lullaby, the students followed the ritual of removing the four-stringed instrument from the seat belt and putting it on their shoulders to play, the songs that preceded the ritual appearing – earth, ants, dirt and soil denoting each of the four strings, the numerology exercises symbolizing the four strings on the instruments.

The highlight is the assignment of the violins due to the limited number of instruments and the size of the class above the number of instruments available.

“Most of the violin students are 4 or 5 years old because of the skills involved,” said All Saints Nursery School principal Dominique Cami, MP Baldovino. “The music has been mostly choral, but this year we’ve added violin.”

“Students take two classes a week,” Lawson said. “They come for regular music lessons and they come for violin lessons. We incorporate both. Uncle Warren composes the songs for the children to sing and sings with them.

Lawson said she was working with Sarah Tochiki of the Kaua’i Association for Music Education to integrate violins into preschool after successfully launching a violin program for middle schoolers through Boys & Girls. Club of Hawai’i Lihu’e Clubhouse. These middle schoolers participated in an earlier fundraiser in conjunction with the Kaua’i Society of Artists, where violins became more than a musical instrument.

“This year, KOKO has forged a new relationship with All Saints School,” Lawson said. “We have just completed our first semester of keiki violin for 4 and 5 year olds. It has been a wonderful collaboration involving the school administration, the teachers and above all having the opportunity to work alongside Uncle Warren.

Dastrup was actively involved with the students, singing “The Earth Song” with them, and counting to four before relocating to watch Christmas carol practice.

“When they first told me we were going to do violins,” Dastrup’s mind wandered with his words. “Megan is phenomenal. Do you realize that she is the mother of two boys? And her husband? You have to listen to their band live.

What’s on the horizon for the next semester?

“I would love to put this violin program in every preschool,” Lawson said.


Denis Fujimoto, writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or [email protected]