A Legacy in Strings

“God’s Perfect Lamb” by Ron Hamilton © 1987 Majesty Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Majesty Music, Inc.

As the Stringspiration orchestra celebrated 25 years of the Jaffé Strings Method, PCC’s artist in residence Daisy de Luca Jaffé took her usual place at the piano playing the somber opening notes of “God’s Perfect Lamb.” One by one, each of her children joined in, sharing the Jewish-styled melody that echoed their family’s salvation testimony and the start of Dr. Alberto Jaffé’s legacy. Renata on the violin, then Marcelo on viola, and finally Claudio on cello—the family undoubtedly thought of their father’s favorite saying as they played each note, “Music is not neutral.”

Over 200 string instruments joined the Jaffé family, playing in unison and harmony, filling the Crowne Centre with the enthusiasm that a quarter of a century brings.

Music truly is not neutral, and for the past 25 years, the Jaffé Strings Method has produced nearly 10,000 musicians, many of whom are using their talents as adults in Christian ministry.

Voice grads, Rick (’09) and Bethany (’10) McDonnell both took Jaffé Strings for three semesters while earning their music degrees at PCC. Bethany said, “The principles that I learned through the Jaffé Method have helped me in being a good music teacher by encouraging repetition and fun.”

Rick believes that he would have never learned to play the cello had it not been for Jaffé Strings. “I had never really considered playing a string instrument before taking Jaffé Strings,” he said, “but the step-by-step instruction made it seem simple. The foundations of what I learned helped me to move on to purchasing and playing a cello for church services.”

Today, Dr. Jaffé’s legacy continues through his instructional videos and books used by students in Brazil, America, and various other countries. Mrs. Lois Allen shared a special slideshow tribute during the Stringspiration to commemorate Dr. Jaffé and his method.

First established in Brazil in 1975, the Jaffé Strings Method was created by world-renowned musician Dr. Alberto Jaffé. As his students played together, the practice became fun—a game or club to them—and they forgot the distractions that usually occurred during individual lessons.

“All the kids would come and they would sit down and play together,” remembered Mrs. Jaffé fondly. Her husband realized that the students enjoyed practicing and playing more together than separately. “They were happy and they were having fun,” she said. “This was what made us do the program that became the Jaffé Method. We put together viola, violin, cello, and bass. Playing together helped the students find not just the melody but the chords.”

In 1992, PCC’s founders Dr. Arlin and Beka Horton asked the Jaffés to bring their method to PCC and join the music faculty as artists in residence. At that time, PCC had only a small strings program. “We didn’t know it was God working in our hearts,” said Mrs. Jaffé, but God had a perfect plan for their lives, and that plan began with their realization that Jesus was their Messiah.

Performing “God’s Perfect Lamb” at the close of each Stringspiration was not simply a song to Dr. and Mrs. Jaffé, it was their testimony in strings, a testimony that turned into a legacy 25 years later.

Published 5/1/2017