It’s the most wonderful tiiime of the yeaaarrrr… And here at Inner West Institute of Music we are celebrating not only the lead up to Christmas, but also the AWESOME acheivements of our amazing music students.
This month we are featuring Sasha Barr.
Sasha Barr, 12 years old and school Captain has just completed Grade 2 AMEB violin (with an A+)! Initially upon joining IWIM at the beginning of this year, the very lovely Alvart Apoyan taught Sasha and about halfway through this year, Victoria had an opening and was keen to train Sasha herself.
Sasha was lucky enough to be born into an incredibly musical family, with both of her parents being professional musicians. That might seem like a tough act to follow but Sasha has taken to violin like a duck to water. Sasha’s Dad started her off with piano lessons but it was Sasha who requested in Grade 1 that she would like to start on the violin with her primary school’s music program and that’s when her official violin lessons started.
Sasha had a cold at the beginning of the year and a month later her parents noticed that she had difficulty hearing in noisy conditions. After 3 intensive hearing tests over a few months, it was confirmed that Sasha indeed has a genetic hearing loss in both ears called a ‘Cookie Bite Hearing Loss’.
Although this hasn’t affected her confidence or personality, Sasha has adapted to hearing the world (and her instrument) in a different way – making her story even more inspiring.
Sasha says her experience at IWIM has been nothing short of fantastic. Sasha’s two teachers, (initially Alvart and currently Victoria) right from the start have been highly encouraging, kind, fun, challenged her on a frequent basis with new pieces while working within her level and capabilities. As a result Sasha feels motivated to learn more, has more courage to come out of her comfort zone and really looks forward to her lessons. Thanks to continual encouragement and direction from Victoria to improve and be the best all-round musician she can be, Sasha’s intonation has improved a lot. She has learnt new skills on her instrument such as vibrato and pizzicato and new improvements in her playing techniques. For the first time since she started in 2012, Sasha was encouraged to do her first violin exam being grade 2 AMEB and she was awarded with an A+!
Sasha practices as often as she can fit it in her week. Her parents (and her teacher!) prefer quality over quantity, and it’s thanks to this continual, focused dedication to practice that her playing has improved so rapidly. For Sasha, the key is having her dad accompany her on piano while she practices as this is really helpful.
Sasha will be going to Burwood Girls High School next year and will enrol in the orchestra, music, singing and dancing program while continuing with IWIM. As far as her future is concerned, Sasha has plans to be a famous singer and has already composed and recorded one of her songs ‘Mythical Oceans’ with more in the works.
We are so proud of you Sasha, and we can’t wait to see your star continue to shine!