Benjamin Dawson

  • Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks”

    In honor of the 4th of July, I thought it appropriate to discuss a piece of music that was specifically written for something that will occur quite loudly today – fireworks! G.F. Handel was a baroque composer who lived roughly around the same time as J.S. Bach. In the Suzuki violin world, we know Handel […]

  • Teamwork in Suzuki Families

    Learning an instrument is hard work – no bones about it. It could be the piano, cello, flute, or any instrument. In this case, my instrument is the violin. For a Suzuki family, there should always be a team. The student, the teacher, and the parent. Many times it is easy to focus on the […]

  • Virginia Suzuki Institute

    I am currently attending the Virginia Suzuki Institute, which is handily located 10 miles from my residence in Abingdon, VA. I’m studying with Suzuki Master Teacher Libby Armour (from Memphis, TN) and learning lots of instructional tips and tricks, as well as advice on playing, practicing, etc. I hope to be able to share some […]

  • Baroque Composers: J.S. Bach

    In honor of STEA’s recent performance of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, I thought I’d start a little series of blog posts on Bach and his contemporaries. Johann Sebastian Bach is perhaps best known for his prolific writing of music – he apparently composed over 1,000 pieces of music during his 65 years of […]

  • The Textures of Eastern Music

    It is easy to stereotype music, and culture. It is easy to stereotype them together as well – for instance, to state that all eastern music sounds the same. Often times, it does, to an untrained ear. Many of us on this side of the world are only accustomed to Western sounds, thoughts, and ideas. […]

  • Rimsky-Korsakov and the Russian Five

    Scheherazade (movement 1) Last fall, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra performed “Scheherazade” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. I played in the 1st violin section of the Symphony at the time. It is a wonderful piece of music, I jokingly nick-named it the “Disney Symphony” because so many sections of it seem to have inspired other music for […]