Dr. Joe Peters on his first encounter with Rondalla in 1978 with the late Professor Rodolfo De Leon – his teacher/mentor: “What I heard amazed me, because the tremolo, played on steel strings, was a new musical sound to me. What I saw amazed me even more. There was this professor, in a close army crew cut, wearing a T-Shirt and faded jeans, only slightly older than me, instructing 40 students from the center front, with just a chalk and a black board. He was engaging and superbly knowledgeable. He was the late Professor Rudolfo De Leon. I watched his two hour lesson, as he instructed the students with exercises and music scores, all of which he wrote, off the cuff, on the black board, and the rondalla students just attentively absorbed and played. His pedagogy was just incredible. It was totally heuristic
First School in Rondalla in 1985
(In this news video (1984), Dr. Peters refers to rondalla as "plucked strings". He has since changed the term to tremolo).
This same Dr. Kasilag together with the Late Emeritus Professor Frank Callaway from the University of Western Australia, had a decade earlier written a special report for the late Dr. Toh Chin Chye, Deputy Prime Minister and Vice Chancellor of the University of Singapore, that led to the establishment of the first academic music department in Singapore. That report called for a balanced East-West music education, Unfortunately, it was never followed. If that report was followed, then Singapore would have understood the “just intonation” basses of all the music in this part of the world. It is a complex subject and needed time to study. Dr. Peters took that upon himself and his Ph.D read and written at the University of Western Australia was one track of this complex study.
1. An understanding of the motor-muscular mechanism through practical and simulation exercises from the first lesson to support and ingrain good instrumental technique;
2. A deep understanding of the sound spectrum of the instruments in the tremolo-rondalla, coupled with fret-board studies to develop clairaudience listening skills and a birds-eye view of finger movements and finger positions from the first lesson;
3. An integrated approach to understanding and applying music theory based on fundamental principles encapsulating musical intonation – a vital part of musicians ship in multi-cultural societies, particularly where the default in music education lies in Euro-American music theory which focuses only on the Western equal tempered intonation system;
4. Developing the habit of writing musical exercises and performance music independently. This habit develops confidence in the musicianship of the individual within a group music activity.
Chart 2; Sound Spectrum Studies with Worksheet;
Chart 4: Cycle of Scales (Major-Minor varieties and the imbedded Pentatonic and Modal configurations) and Worksheet;
Chart 5: Basic Chord Confluences, Inversions, Bass Positions, Accompaniment Patterns, Arpeggios and Worksheet;
Chart 6: Scale Variations Exercise with Worksheet;