Friday, 17 May 2019

Recital Prep for Students

(Note to parents: Please go over this post with your child. We'll be covering many of the same things in class this coming week!)

Image result for piano and flowers images
   Hello to all my students! Are you excited about the recital in just another week? Maybe a bit nervous? You'll do fine!

   I'd like to give you all a few tips so you know what you should do at the recital.

·         Maybe you find that playing piano in front of people is a bit scary. If so, that's OK -- most students feel this way! You can prepare ahead of time for the recital by playing for a lot of people over the next few weeks. Not only does this earn you points, but it will also help you to feel less nervous at the recital. Don't forget to ask your friends and family to sign in pencil!
·         A recital is a special event -- dress nicely, please! (But for this recital specifically, don't feel like you have to wear your fanciest clothes. As long as it's nice, not the same clothes that you take care of your horse or sheep or dog in, it's fine.)
·         When you and your family come in and sit down, find a spot close to the edge of the seats so you can get in and out easily. Also, if you are playing from memory, please still bring your books and hand them to me before we get started.
·         When it's your turn to play, come to the front, take a deep breath, and say the names of both your pieces. Example: "I will be playing 'The Crawling Caterpillar' and 'Jesus Loves Me.' Then adjust the bench (move it back or forward) before you sit down. 
·         I want each of you to play your hymn (if you are doing a hymn) last.
·         If you make a mistake in your piece, don't panic. Everybody makes mistakes at recitals at some point. Don't start over, either. Just keep playing, and keep smiling.
·         When you're finished both songs, pick up your books, smile, then bow or curtsey. Then you may go sit down with your family.
·         When the other students play, clap at the end of each of their pieces.
·         When we're finished, enjoy meeting the other students! If you thought someone played especially well, tell them so. Another thing I'd like you to do is shake hands with the older folks who come to listen. Many of them are lonely; some don't have any grandchildren, and some have grandchildren who live far away and can't come visit them very often! They really like it when we take the time to say hello to them! 

   Looking forward to a fun recital with all of you! 

Word of the Week

Dolce
Sweetly

Monday, 13 May 2019

Recital Prep for Parents

Hello, everyone!

Image result for spring music images
   It's that time of year again, when the recital is coming up faster than we realize! This time around, I decided to write to you parents first. Many of you are familiar with what I'm about to say, but if you can take a few minutes to go over it again, we can all look forward to yet another great recital in two weeks!


  •         Especially if this is your child's first recital, keep your eyes open for next week's post. (Or find previous recital tips right here.) Next week I will write to them about what they should expect and do. Believe me, they will be far less nervous about the recital if they know what's going on!
  •      Make sure you and your family arrive on time (a few minutes before 2:00 P.M.). Because we are going to a seniours' home, there is no need to bring snacks or goodies along this time. 
  •      Ask the staff where they want us to put jackets. Also, if it's raining outside, please remember that in facilities like this one, they usually request that visitors remove muddy footwear. 
  •      Help your child feel relaxed before the recital. Many children get very nervous before a recital, which doesn't help them play their best! All your children are prepared for this. And, much as we'd like it if everything went perfectly, mistakes do happen and they're not a big deal. Remind them of these things. They will be fine! 
  •      Please clap for each student when they finish playing. All of them have put their best effort into this!
  •      Because we are going to a new location this year, the staff may or may not treat us with some goodies. Either way, out of respect to the staff and residents, let's try not to spend too much time hanging around after the recital is over. :) 
   One more thing: Encourage your children to shake hands with the residents and say, "Thank you for coming!" Remind your children that these people are often lonely. They really appreciate it when their visitors take the time to come see them! 

   Next week I will share the piano student tips, so keep your eyes open for that! 

Word of the Week

Mano sinistra
Left Hand

   I apologize for last week! I was trying out the 'Schedule' feature on Blogger, thinking it would be automatic, and I guess it wasn't.

   Last week's word was Mano destra: Right hand.

Friday, 26 April 2019

And the Winner Is ...

   ...the Beethoven team! Congratulations!

   When I looked at the posters after my last student left yesterday, I had my suspicions. The Beethoven poster was, by far, the most crowded -- the only one where students had started taping facts and photos to the wall beside the poster!


Sure enough, at 60 points, Beethoven seems to have proved himself the most popular composer. :) The Mozart team came in second at 49 points -- not bad, guys! (And you also have the tidiest poster. ;) Haydn has 44 points. 

   Facts ranged from the humorous (Haydn was expelled from the choir/school he attended in his teens for snipping off his fellow student's ponytail) to the serious (Beethoven did not get much schooling as a child) to inspirational quotes ("The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between." -- Mozart). 

   One thing that stood out to me as a teacher was the story of one of Haydn's music teachers, who was also his choir director at the St. Stephen's Cathedral (Vienna). "[The choir boys] received no training in musical theory, and Reutter, too busy with his own composing and other duties, ignored Haydn's first attempts at composition." (Not sure of source. Emphasis added.)

   Here Reutter had a genius, one of history's greatest composers, in his choir. He certainly helped Haydn become a good singer, but he ignored the extreme potential that the boy had. I'm guessing he probably would have used a different approach if he had known who Haydn would become! 

   As a teacher, I've looked at this line constantly since it was put up. It's a bit of a motivator for me. It reminds me that my goal as a teacher is to bring out my students' full potential. 

   Because, once upon a time, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were little boys who had to be taught music too! 

Word of the Week

Vivace
Lively and brisk

Friday, 19 April 2019

Good Friday

Since it's Good Friday, I'm taking a break from my normal posts to share with you some verses from Psalm 22 and also a YouTube video I found a couple days ago that I really enjoyed.

"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?
All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn:
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 
'He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver him:
Let Him deliver Him, seeing he delight in Him.'
For dogs have compassed Me:
The assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me:
They pierced My hands and My feet.
They part My garments among them,
And cast lots upon My vesture. 
I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: 
In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise Him:
All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him;
And fear Him, all ye the seed of Israel.
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Neither hath He hid His face from him;
But when he cried unto Him, He heard.
For the kingdom is the LORD's: 
And He is the governor among the nations."
Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 16, 18, 22-24, 28
(I capitalized pronouns referring to God the Father and Christ, as the KJV does not do this.)