Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Winter Festival

At the end of last week the boys and I spent three happy days at our State Suzuki music festival! Both boys participated in orchestras, junior and senior. Now neither of my boys is likely to ever play music professionally but it was encouraging to see how much they got out of this short concentrated music time.

In case you are interested in Suzuki for your children I will narrate the approximate sequence of events. Both my boy are violin players so Thursday began after lunch with a “play in”. This was for all students regardless of ability. It was a fun and inspiring occasion as the Suzuki repertoire was played from simple to more senior pieces.

Next the senior orchestra had their first rehearsal. Master 13 found the sight-reading involved challenging, but this is where the Suzuki atmosphere of sharing and mentoring was really visible for us as the mother of the violinist he was paired with encouraged both students with an impromptu tutorial later in the day. Before this we watched part of the introductory concert. These afternoon concerts, apart from the concluding one, were a chance for students who had auditioned of all ages and abilities to play a solo piece.

Friday began for us with group classes. These classes wet through Suzuki repertoire at the book level each boy was at. Master 13 enjoyed his class with Kylie and said he learnt some valuable skills in technique. Master 9’s class was taken by Vickie and included children from Book 2 to beginning of book 4.

Next L and I went off to his first junior orchestra rehearsal and T had a group class with Kasuki Nakamura. Both boys were happy to have some morning tea to refuel before they were off again to concert rehearsal and repertoire class.

During lunch the boys helped out in the small canteen. Immediately following lunch three solo concerts were held simultaneously for an hour at different venues. We enjoyed watching friends, including T’s orchestra partner in Concert 2.L’s day was then completed but T had another senior orchestra rehearsal for 90 minutes.

Saturday followed a similar pattern to Friday culminating in the closing concert in which all players participated. In the final concert the junior orchestra played “Chicken in the Kitchen” by Keith Sharp and the senior orchestra played “Palladio” by Karl Jenkins and “Deerpath” Triptych by William Hoefeldt. See if you can work out which pieces the video extracts come from (my camera was playing up on the day so focus was rather blurred)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You can't have this, its mine!

This is my beautiful daughter with the oldest of the two little girls she looks after. Apparently the little one was thrilled to be allowed to hold a grown-ups glass as she is not usually allowed to. I love the glint of challenge in her eyes!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Birds,blossom,bees, brooks and branches!

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive at where we started
And know the place for the first time.
- T. S. Eliot