Violinist inspires students at HES
When Russell Fallstad was five, a violinist visited his school and set him on the path to being the professional musician he is today.
“I feel like one of the luckiest people I could have been. A violinist came to my school, came to my classroom and let us touch the violin, and played for us, and gave me the opportunity to see this instrument – this beautiful, beautiful instrument,” Fallstad said. “I had the chance to have violin lessons in school. I would never had found that opportunity had I not found that in my school. Because of that opportunity, I’ve had a wonderful life.”
As a way to “pay it forward,” Fallstad visited Hillsboro Elementary School January 23 to share his musical talent and love for music in general. Fallstad visited with each class and played music with them.
“Every single one of the kids I saw got to play at least one note on the violin,” he said. “Some of you played whole songs of music together and some of you were feeling the emotions of that music together.”
Fallstad spoke of the importance of having music as part of a well-rounded education, which will lead to myriad of opportunities in life.
“One of the things I learned is that music is a universal language that everybody can speak,” he said. “I got a chance to play with a person from China who spoke very little English, but we played beautiful music together. I got a chance to play music with people from Eastern Europe and from Western Europe, and South America. I’ve played music with people that I don’t even speak the same language with and we communicated with our music.”
After he played a couple of songs, Fallstad said it may not be imperative to have music in your life, but it is important.
“Do we need music to survive?” he asked the students. “No, we don’t need it to survive, but are we just trying to survive here or are we trying to live a good life? What is the purpose of education? An education in my mind is about improving the quality of our lives.”
Fallstad, who moved to Lewisburg three years ago, is a member of The Dueling Fiddlers –theduelingfiddlers.com
Fallstad’s visit to HES was funded by the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) an organization which member Joanna Burt-Kinderman said should be called the CTO because of the amount of community members who support the school.
The PTO has funded several programs – bringing musicians and artists into the school to educate the students because HES does not have music or art programs at this time.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org