Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Another lovely year in music!

Jun. 6, 2007

Hello faithful readers! Yes, I exist!


I apologize for my lack of posting. I've been terribly busy! I've been working, and taking my AWSI course (I'm totally overjoyed, because yesterday I passed with flying colours!), and doing school and music, and enjoying the sunshine, and setting up the pool (finally) and so many other things. Needless to say, I really haven't had much chance to post. :)

I'm really here to post about Music things and such. First off, I want to thank my flute teacher for reading my blog! I appreciate the compliments! After finding out that you'd read it, I noticed that I really haven't posted much about music lately! I have, however, beeing thinking and doing a lot about music! Where do I start?

I guess I'll begin with flute. First off, I have the best flute teacher in the world, and I feel sorry for all you other flute students who don't live near enough to me to have such an awesome flutey person as a mentor. Add the awesome, flute-ish,goofiness that comes out at every lesson, and it's just so fun. (A.K.A. making a Marais variation into a story about a rabbit hunter and his little wife and kids over the hill....haha!) Thanks a billion!

I've learned tons this year. I think I've taken a rather large leap with tone, thanks to some long tones every day as I wander the house reading whatever happens to be lying on the kitchen counter. That has helped me immensely in creating the sounds I want in every piece. It's not yet perfect, but it's getting there! The flexibility in tone is marvelous when you start to really discover it! I've played several 'big' pieces this year, including two three movement Concertos, one by Pergolesi, and one by Tartini. I also played the first movement of the Andante Pastoral and Scherzettino by Taffanel (Of the Taff. and Gaubert book.) Those, along with numerous studies and duets, plus the Syrinx, and much more, made up my repertoire this year. I performed in Festival a few months ago, too, playing two movements of the Tartini Concerto, and the Andante Pastorale. There were four flute classes, and two flutists. One of them was me. Ha! I also won a little bursary with it! It really was fun to do, and was an awesome day I'll never forget. My flute teacher and piano accompanist were there, and so were my Mom and Dad and some homeschool people we knew, and we just had so many laughs. I went to bed with overwhelming joy in my heart that night. That's what music does to you, folks! Thanks to everyone who made it an awesome day!

Oh yes, and I participated in the a Chamber Orchestra's Concerto competition as well. I didn't win, but I did my all out best, and I'm so glad I've now had the chance to experience an audition, even if on a small scale. As I said, I didn't win (Hey, only one person could, and they were quite a bit older, I'm still thrilled with how I did!!!), but at their concert, recently, I was given 'honourable mention' and a round of applause, along with another flute student. It was such a good feeling to know you worked hard at something and succeeded. So that is a short little condensation of what I did with my shiny silver tube (A.K.A. Flute) this year. Maybe sometime in the next few years, I shall join the 'Shrieking Twig Set'. (In regular language: Maybe I'll get a piccolo.)

PS. June 15: Oh yes, and guess what? Tomorrow I get to play at a little recital! I'm really excited, as I love performing flute! I'll be playing the Theme and 5 short variations, by Marais, and the Syrinx! :)

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NOTE: For all of you who don't live in Canada, we have 10 music Grades here. There are two options: The Royal Conservatory of Music (www.rcmusic.ca) has a program that is hugely widespread and well-known, and the newer, less-known, in my opinion better option; Conservatory Canada (www.conservatorycanada.ca). I am in the process of completing grade 9 in both instruments at the moment. As you probably guessed, I use Conservatory Canada, and always have. I love it, and think it's worth traveling an extra hour to get to exams!

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Now I shall get on to the black and white keyed end of things! Piano is wonderful, finally. It is such a blessing to have a teacher like I have. After rather many trials with previous teachers, it's a huge relief. As with flute, we have alot of fun at lessons, and have been working on catching me up with the theory I missed with the yucky teachers. It was hard to get her as my teacher, in fact, I lost her once, but then was able to get her back a year later! Boy was it worth it!!! Thanks so much, you're fabulous!

I've done lots as well with Piano! I was going to be in festival, but the festival people messed up a bit! So I didn't, but I did take a piano exam in February! I took my Grade 8, and passed with a nice, clean, 81.3 % I was very excited about that, because I thought I'd done a lot worse on my technique etc.! For my exam, I played some really lovely pieces. I played 'Les Carillons', by Kirnberger, and the 'Moonlight Sonata' by Beethoven, and a rather famous Waltz by Brahms, and a rather interesting but quite different, more modern 'New Year Waltz for Ferdinand Eckhardt'! I also played a Scarlatti Sonata, and a Lullaby by Grieg (studies) and my all time favourite: 'Milonga del Angel' by Astor Piazzolla. Gorgeouss piece!

Now I'm into the Grade 9 stuff! It's challenging, but really neat! One of my pieces is called the 'Hymn to Freedom' by Oscar Peterson, and it's so fascinating, because it's obviously about black freedom, but it really applies to all of our hearts! I'm now learning the 'Girl with the Flaxen Hair', and a Chopin Nocturne and a Fantasia by Mozart, along with a couple other things. What a neat selection I have this year!

As you might already know by reading my posts, I've been teaching two little children piano. They won't be returning next year, as they've decided it would be easier for all their kids to go to one teacher. Oh well! I really hope I can find some new students, though, and possibly for flute too, because it is such a joy. I truly believe I've chosen the right profession. I love teaching! Whether it's flute, piano, or swimming, I just love helping children to learn new things, and making things that seemed awful, hard and un-interesting to be fun, exciting and fascinating! It's pure delight to see their eyes sparkle as they perform a tast previously laborious to them! They've been with me a year and a half now, and I really think they've learned a lot. It's sad that I have to let them go, but I hope they do well. They are brother and sister, and vastly different, yet both fantastic musicians. It has been an almost magical task to teach these kids. They are far from perfect (who of us isn't?), but it was still a real pleasure. Teaching: Satisfaction Guaranteed!

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So all that to say that I am thriled to be a musician, and while I sometimes wish I could dance better, skate better, swim better, or even sing better; I am glad I have put my full effort into this thing which will last a lifetime and not just untill my leg muscles give way or my voice dips down and crackles. Boy is it worth it. If you have not yet picked up an instrument, or sat down at the piano, do so soon. It's never to late if you can dedicate an hour or two a week. Before you know it, however, you won't be able to stop at two hours a week, soon it will be five, and more! What I say is pursue it to the best of your abilityt! You never have to become a concert pianist, or professional teacher, but get to the point where you can make glorious sounds for Jesus, and fill your soul with joy on those sad, low-key evenings. Take it far enough that you can play for your children, and sing with them, or just comfort yourself in your old age. Whatever you do with the sounds you make, you will be glad you did it. I hope somehow, my sharing what I've done with all of you will inspire someone, somewhere, someday, to pick up that instrument that has been lying in the closet for years, dust it off, and produce golden music.

Thanks for listening to my passions!

In Christ,

Sheila

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