November and Soirée 2019 News

The Soirée

Welcome to new students and performers! I call my twice yearly concerts Soirées which is not technically quite correct (afternoon time!) but it is such a nice word!  Here is the definition: an evening party or social gathering, especially one held for a particular purpose, e.g. a musical Soirée.

The Soirée for Fall 2019 will take place on Sunday Dec 8 from 3 -5 pm in the Croasdaile Auditorium, at Croasdaile Village.  The clearest directions are on their website.  Once you get to the main entrance, register at the desk and ask the way to the Auditorium. 

Website for directions:  http://www.croasdailevillage.com/cvhowtofindus.html

Welcome new families!  It can be a bit confusing getting to the right place at Croasdaile so leave lots of time.  Enter the campus via the gated guard box and turn left into the large double carriageway. Please make sure you park in the visitor carpark beside the American Flag, not on the divided road leading up to the entrance.  Come in the big covered entrance and register at the desk and ask directions to the Auditorium.

I would like to invite all students and friends and family to come to the Soirée.  It is a lot of work but I arrange it because I think it is the friendliest way to share musical gifts in a supportive atmosphere. 

I invite my new students to come to their first Soirée so they can see what happens and how their colleagues play. I also invite my adult students to come and support the students who are performing. 

Here is some information for performers:

The ukuleles and guitar performances will be first in the program, followed by a selection of piano duets and student compositions. After this the pianists will perform and to finish the singers will have their turn.  I am not planning an intermission but will have very short breaks after each section to reset. Everyone who is performing should try to arrive no later than 2:40 with ukuleles and guitars in tune.  I know a couple of students have other prior engagements and are coming when they can but I would really appreciate it if people could come and stay for the whole event.  

Flourishing Muse Soirée Etiquette

  • Please arrive 20 minutes early in order to get settled. 
  • Please dress nicely. Think Sunday best – jeans are OK if nice jeans, no holes.  Girls please wear long pants or leggings if they are on the stage.
  • Practice stage presence and bows at home. Walk up to the piano, take your seat, make sure the bench height is right for you, take some seconds to orient yourself and then play. When you are finished, get up from the piano, move away from the bench, and bow from the waist to acknowledge the applause.This adds polish to your performance and most importantly, acknowledges the audience appreciation.
  • Please remain seated when you are not playing and plan to stay at least for your half. It is impolite to leave early. 
  • Talking and moving about are distracting to the performer and audience. Please be a polite listener. 
  • If an emergency makes it impossible for you to arrive on time, please wait until an item is finished before taking a seat.
  • Applause should consist of clapping only.
  • Flash photography is PROHIBITED during a performance. If you wish to take a photograph, please wait until the student has finished the performance. Only people who have the permission of the parent should take photographs of students under 18. You can video your student performance but don’t interrupt the view of others in the audience. 
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the auditorium.
  • Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off during the performance. 

Program:

The Soirée 2019 program will be ready before thanksgiving and I will send out for corrections and changes.  Some people are playing the same pieces but I like students to choose their performance piece and if they choose the same, we will have a wonderful variety of interpretations.

Warming up:

All students should warm up their pieces, their fingers, and/or their voices before arriving at the Soirée.

Practice:

Music practice is sometimes a fraught subject! Of course any skill is greatly enhanced by practice but the right kind of practice is critical.  The brain needs to be engaged. With the piano and the strings, you need to focus on a practice plan.  Everyone is different but for me, I must do exercises first to warm up and work on technical issues, then I will work on the piece(s) i next need to perform.  Some people have a warm-up piece they like to play to get in the groove.  If I have time I will play things I want to learn or things I just enjoy playing.  But the important practice needs to happen before the pleasure, because your focus is sharper at the beginning of your practice, and it declines gradually as your practice time extends.  You can’t do worthwhile practice just sitting at the piano or ukulele or guitar and twiddling away.

However practice is a subject which needs to be age specific.  Young people need less time than older, but the most important thing I think for young people is practice has to come from self-motivation.  You cannot force practice.  It must be something they either want to do or are willing to do without being forced.  Often you want to demand that someone practice but it only sets up resistance.  

Motivation is the key.  It is the teacher’s job to set up motivation but the parents to encourage and show interest (sorry parents, your eyelids might be drooping but hang in there with the “I love that piece”.  It works).  I don’t always succeed with the motivation and I have various strategies but the twice yearly Soirées are part of it.  Yes, I have students who feel they cannot perform in front of people, but I have many more who look forward to the Soirees as a goal they have reached to mark their improvement.  

Singers!

Singers are in a special category.  Singing is so embodied that you need to at least use your singing voice every day, and you need to be much more specific about warming up.  Lip trills are crucial on a daily basis.  Then you need to practice your pieces as often as you can.  Mostly I teach older singers and high school age singers. The little ones need to sing too but I like piano players to sing as they play. Ukulele and guitar players have to do double practice!

Finally, playing music is about enjoying your playing and/or singing.  Please enjoy the weeks leading up to the Soirée – I am going to!

Lorna

PS. One of my students gave me a very old music magazine and I thought you might like to see the cover.  The date is May 1918.  Even I was not alive then and in fact my mother was only 11 years old.  Note what is says about music “A Present National Necessity”.  

Lorna Collingridge PhD

Lessons in Piano, Ukulele, Voice and Composition

www.flourishingmuse.net

Flourishing Muse LLC

Summer News

Summer is finally here and the Spring semester is about the end on June 7.

The Soiree was wonderful as always, and I think it was probably number 23 as I have been holding student recitals at Croasdaile twice a year for over 10 years.  I did miss one Christmas and that was a bit sad so not doing that again.  I love going to Croasdaile and I am so grateful I am able to use their lovely facilities and share our music with the residents.  Many teachers find it hard to find a good place for recitals and often have to pay fees and ask students to pay fees for concerts.  We are lucky!

There were too many great performances to single out any one person – I have been congratulating students and parents individually.  I hope all the students enjoyed seeing what others are working on.

Adult students have their work-in-progress night tomorrow, Friday 6/7/19, where six of my 13 adult students will be performing.

Some students are continuing over summer and I think I have sorted out who that is and when they are coming but I will send out reminders.  Later today or tomorrow I will have the Fall Schedule up on my blog.  Please check on it to make sure whether you are continuing and at what time.  The schedule is very tight.  I am still waiting on confirmation for some people so if it looks like there is a space that may not be the case.  I am so sorry for the many people I simply cannot fit in.  I do not teach on weekends or after 7 at night.

A few people still owe fees from the Spring Semester and if they could post a check to me that would be wonderful.  I just want to remind people that fees are paid a month in advance at the beginning of the month.  Over summer you could pay June and July together or June and then July.  Remember I am not teaching August 6 to end of August and Fall semester starts 9/3/19. 

(Address: Lorna Collingridge, 2119 Sprunt Ave, Durham NC 27705)

Last friday I went to a performance at the Pinhook in Durham downtown.  I rarely go to concerts but this I had to see – Alley Seventeen, a band of 4 high school girls playing electric guitars, electric bass and drums.  They were performing songs members of the band had written, so all original music.  The two guitar players (Sophie Lowry and Sophie Feierman) once took guitar lessons with me, and Sophie Feierman wrote her first song when taking lessons  with me; she performed it at one of the early Soirees. 

Sophie Lowry  and Kaitlyn Pedde are both rising 12th graders at the DSA and the drummer, Casey Cheetham, went to Immaculata Catholic School but now is a rising 11th grader at Cardinal Gibbons.  Sophie Feierman is going to college in Fall. The girls have been studying with Russell Lacey Music and the band was formed there initially during his Friday afternoon “form a band” sessions, and he and his teachers have nurtured the song writing.   I thought the girls were amazing and I bought the CD of their songs. 

Congratulations to Russell and the girls who have all worked very hard over a number of years to get to this standard.  Forming and performing in a band is never easy but the girls have proved they can work together both playing and song writing.  Russell says “for a long time Sophie F wrote most of the songs for the band but now she is composing with Kaitlyn — usually SF comes with the melody and lyrics and then Kaitlyn comes with the chords, forms and back ground melodies/vocals etc….  They write a lot of music!” Well done all of you!

Have a wonderful, fun, safe summer everyone!

Spring Semester coming to a close

Three important items:

1.  The Spring Soirée 2019.  It is this coming Sunday June 2, at 3:30 pm at Croasdaile Village auditorium.  The best directions are on Croasdaile Village website. Once you get to the main entrance, register at the desk and ask the way to the Auditorium.

Website for directions:  http://www.croasdailevillage.com/cvhowtofindus.html

Welcome new families!  It can be a bit confusing getting to the right place at Croasdaile so leave lots of time. Enter the campus via the gated guard box and turn left into the large double carriageway. Please make sure you park in the visitor carpark beside the American Flag, not on the divided road leading up to the entrance.  Come in the big covered entrance and register at the desk and ask directions to the Auditorium.

I would like to invite all students and friends and family to come to the Soirée.  It is a lot of work but I arrange it because I think it is the friendliest way to share musical gifts in a supportive atmosphere.

I invite my new students to come to their first Soirée so they can see what happens and how their colleagues play. I also invite my adult students to come and support the students who are performing.

The Soirée program is attached, so please double check and let me know any discrepancies.

Flourishing Muse Soirée Etiquette

  • Please arrive 20 minutes early in order to get settled.
  • Please dress nicely. Think Sunday best – jeans are OK if nice jeans, no holes.  Girls please wear long pants or leggings if you are on the stage.
  • Practice stage presence and bows at home. Walk up to the piano, take your seat, make sure the bench height is right for you, take some seconds to orient yourself and then play. When you are finished, get up from the piano, move away from the bench, and bow from the waist to acknowledge the applause.This adds polish to your performance and most importantly, acknowledges the audience appreciation.
  • Please remain seated when you are not playing and plan to stay at least for your half. It is impolite to leave early.
  • Talking and moving about are distracting to the performer and audience. Please be a polite listener.
  • If an emergency makes it impossible for you to arrive on time, please wait until an item is finished before taking a seat.
  • Applause should consist of clapping only.
  • Flash photography is PROHIBITED during a performance. If you wish to take a photograph, please wait until the student has finished the performance. Only people who have the permission of the parent should take photographs of students under 18. You can video your student performance but don’t interrupt the view of others in the audience.
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the auditorium.
  • Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off during the performance.

2. Summer scheduling:

Some parents and students have already talked to me about summer.  Summer schedule begins Monday June 10 and lasts until Tuesday September 3, the day after labor day.  I am open to scheduling other times for students but I urgently need to know if you need your current time or if another would be better.  Please email me your ideas for summer if you have not already done so.  The summer is very long and I am not teaching from August 6 to September 3 when my daughter and family will be here and I need to take care of my grandson most of that time to give my daughter some space.  Students are able to take the whole summer off if that is best for their families but if you want to keep up some lessons in June and July that would be a great idea.

I am available for teaching from June 10 to September 3 except for:

June 24 – 28 (going to the beach!)

August 6 – September 2 (Grandson fun!)

I am currently working on the summer schedule so please let me know if you want lessons.

3. Fall schedule:

I am also working on the Fall schedule.  I need to know if a) you are continuing lessons and b) what are your time constraints.  I now have an even longer waiting list of over 8 families so I need to know if there are spaces so I can tell people who want lessons whether that is possible.  The Fall semester will be half as long as the Spring semester and there will be a holiday Soiree early in December.

Thank you for learning with Flourishing Muse – I really love being able to earn my living teaching in my own lovely home (now the bathroom renovation is complete thank goodness!)

Spring Soiree 2019

The Spring Soiree is just over 2 weeks away.  I think the attached program includes everyone who has said they are able to perform at this year’s Soiree plus their items so far.  I think this is kind of the order as well.  Please check this over and let me know any discrepancies.  I hope I have not left anyone out.

I have a couple of new students who will not be performing but it would be a great idea to try and come to see what everyone else is doing and to see what you might like to play at the Fall Soiree in December.
For new people, the Soiree is at Croasdaile Village auditorium.  I will send more detailed directions later but the easiest was to find the Village is to look at directions on the website:  https://www.croasdailevillage.org/directions-to-croasdaile-village
For new people and existing students:
The Soiree is a very relaxed occasion.  I will sit right there with inexperienced students and you just have to do your best; it is normal to feel a bit apprehensive but all your family and friends and the residents at Croasdaile just love hearing your perform so afterwards when everyone applauds you will feel so good.
I do like people to observe concert etiquette so parents, could you go over this with your student:

Flourishing Muse Soirée Etiquette

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early in order to get settled. 
  • Please dress nicely. Think Sunday best – jeans are OK if nice jeans, no holes.  Girls please wear long pants or leggings on the stage.
  • Practice stage presence and bows at home. Walk up to the piano, take your seat, make sure the bench height is right for you, take some seconds to orient yourself and then play. When you are finished, get up from the piano, move away from the bench, and bow from the waist to acknowledge the applause.This adds polish to your performance and most importantly, acknowledges the audience appreciation.
  • Please remain seated when you are not playing and plan to stay fro the whole concert. It is impolite to leave early. 
  • Talking and moving about are distracting to the performer and audience. Please be a polite listener. 
  • If an emergency makes it impossible for you to arrive on time, please wait until an item is finished before taking a seat.
  • Applause should consist of clapping only.
  • Flash photography is PROHIBITED during a performance. If you wish to take a photograph, please wait until the student has finished the performance. Only people who have the permission of the parent should take photographs of students under 18. You can video your student performance but don’t interrupt the view of others in the audience. 
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the auditorium.
  • Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off during the performance. 
I am really looking forward to the Soiree!  It is on Sunday June 2, from 3-5 pm although this one is a little shorter and should end at 4:30 pm.

Spring semester update and Summer opportunities

May news, the Soiree June 2 and summer lessons

The Spring semester is coming to a close and the Soiree is June 2 but there is another week of lessons after the soiree.  I would really like to see all students during the week of June 3-7 just to talk about the soiree and what they might play over summer if they are not taking summer lessons.

The Spring Semester ends June 7.

I am firming up the Soiree program this week and hope to have everyone decide what they are going to play.  Adult students have their own events in most cases so the Soiree will be shorter than has been in the past. I really encourage students to perform at the Soirees; it gives you a goal to work towards.  I was listening to an adult describe their feelings before, during and after a student piano recital.  This person said beforehand, they were apprehensive and during the recital they felt nervous, but after they felt very proud and pleased with themselves and so glad they were able to show family and friends what they had worked on.

Summer lessons:

I will be teaching in Summer for those students who want to continue.  The Summer schedule will run from Monday June 10 – Friday August 4 except for one week in June from Monday June 24 to Friday June 28.  I imagine many school students will be in camps or on vacation most of the summer but adults are very welcome to continue as are students who are not in camps all summer.  Please think about this and let me know your dates.  I may try to keep lessons on 3 days each week so I have two for my various neglected projects.

Fall Semester will begin Tuesday September 3 and end Friday December 20.

Adults:  The adult work-in-progress will be Friday June 7 at 7:30 at my house.  Please let me know whether you are coming and whether you will sing/play, and you are very welcome to come and support your colleagues even if you feel you cannot perform.

Happy Spring to everyone! 

Fall Soiree 2018

The Fall Soirée is coming next week, Sunday 12/2/18 from 3-5 pm at Croasdaile Village auditorium (Ponder Hall).  I will be there from 2:30 pm for tuning and warming up.

Welcome to new students and performers! I call my twice yearly concerts Soirées which is not technically quite correct (afternoon time!) but it is such a nice word!  Here is the definition: an evening party or social gathering, especially one held for a particular purpose, e.g. a musical Soirée.

The Soirée for Fall 2018 will take place in the Croasdaile Auditorium, at Croasdaile Village.  The clearest directions are on their website.  Once you get to the main entrance, register at the desk and ask the way to the Auditorium. Thank you so much to Croasdaile for this opportunity to have my student recitals at their Village facility.  Please look around when you come and notice what a lovely place it is.

Website for directions:  http://www.croasdailevillage.com/cvhowtofindus.html

Welcome new families!  It can be a bit confusing getting to the right place at Croasdaile so leave lots of time.  Enter the campus via the gated guard box and turn left into the large double carriageway. Please make sure you park in the visitor carpark beside the American Flag, not on the divided road leading up to the entrance.  Come in the big covered entrance and register at the desk and ask directions to the Auditorium.

I would like to invite all students and friends and family to come to the Soirée.  It is a lot of work but I arrange it because I think it is the friendliest way to share musical gifts in a supportive atmosphere. I invite my new students to come to their first Soirée so they can see what happens and how their colleagues play. I also invite my adult students to come and support the students who are performing. 

Just for your information I currently have 14 adult students, 11 ukulele students, 1 guitar student and 19 younger piano students.  There is one who learns both piano and ukulele at the moment.  

Here is some information for performers:

The ukuleles and guitar performances will be first in the program, followed by a selection of piano duets. After this the pianists will perform and to finish the singers will then have their turn.  I am not planning an intermission but will have very short breaks after each section to reset. Everyone who is performing should try to get there no later than 2:40 with ukuleles in tune.  I know a couple of students have other prior engagements and are coming when they can but I would really appreciate it if people could come and stay for the whole event.  (Note: Ukulele players will be on the stage but all others will perform from \ the floor)

I will set up everything earlier in the day but would love to have a stage manager especially for the string section if anyone would like to offer?  This year the program image is by Lillie Martin – a piano with wings!

Flourishing Muse Soirée Etiquette

  • Please arrive 20 minutes early in order to get settled. 
  • Please dress nicely. Think Sunday best – jeans are OK if nice jeans, no holes.  Girls please wear long pants or leggings if they are on the stage.
  • Practice stage presence and bows at home. Walk up to the piano, take your seat, make sure the bench height is right for you, take some seconds to orient yourself and then play. When you are finished, get up from the piano, move away from the bench, and bow from the waist to acknowledge the applause.This adds polish to your performance and most importantly, acknowledges the audience appreciation. (Can you practice bowing please!)
  • Please remain seated when you are not playing and plan to stay at least for your half. It is impolite to leave early. 
  • Talking and moving about are distracting to the performer and audience. Please be a polite listener. 
  • If an emergency makes it impossible for you to arrive on time, please wait until an item is finished before taking a seat.
  • Applause should consist of clapping only.
  • Flash photography is PROHIBITED during a performance. If you wish to take a photograph, please wait until the student has finished the performance. Only people who have the permission of the parent should take photographs of students under 18. You can video your student performance but don’t interrupt the view of others in the audience. 
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the auditorium.
  • Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off during the performance. 

See you on Sunday!


Lorna Collingridge PhD
Lessons in Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Voice and Composition
www.flourishingmuse.net

Flourishing Muse LLC