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

DMTA Playathon October 2018

Very successful Playathon!

On Saturday 10/20/18 the students of eight members of the Durham Music Teachers Association (DMTA) performed at Northgate Mall.  The event is held regularly to raise money for scholarships to assist students struggling to pay music fees.  Over $700 was raised which is almost enough for a full scholarship. Hopper pianos always donates a grand piano for the day, giving students an opportunity to play such a lovely piano.

Ten students from my studio performed and they were all terrific, very high standard  and I think I am not being biased!

Madeline and Mai played a duet, Camptown Races, and then Madeline played “Classic Dance and Mai played Lightly Row and Forest Drums.  Lydia played the beautiful “Angel Fish” from her level 1 exam repertoire, Stella played the challenging “Gumdrops” and Mia played “Rage over a lost Penny” by Beethoven.  To finish the piano set, Kathleen played “Gavotte” by Telemann.

In the ukulele set, Ella played “I’m a little teapot” and Au Clair de Lune, a duet with me.  Sadie and I played a series of duets from her latest book: “All through the Night” “Minuet”, “Simple Gifts” and “Greensleeves”.  The twins then finished the set in style, with Leo singing and playing “Don’t Stop Believing” and Ava singing and playing “Riptide”.

Thank you so much to all the parents and families who came out on a Saturday to support this very worthwhile endeavor.

The next playathon will be the weekend of December 8-9 at Brightleaf Square so I hope more students will participate.  That will be the weekend after my Soiree, Sunday December 2.

Spring Soiree 2018 – Best ever!

Thanks to all students and parents and friends, it was a great soiree, and I hope everyone feels very proud of themselves.  A wonderful bunch of musicians.  Too many good things to enumerate here but hope to see all students in lessons this week, as it is my last week teaching until end of July.  Lessons recommence Monday July 30 when you can come.  I understand people are on holidays intermittently and also at camps.

I see such improvement between Soirees which is why I hold them.  I know you all appreciate the wonderful facility at Croasdaile.  They allow me to use it without cost although I go and play there when Rev.Denise Waters needs me. Thank you to Croasdaile and the residents who come to the concerts.
If anyone has a good video they could share with me I would love to post some on my website.  Send me a link if you have that facility or put the MP4 on Drop box for me and I can put it in vimeo on a private link.
Remember that the wonderful Chelsea is available for lessons while I am away in later June and July.  She played “Troubled Waters” so sensitively and of course with fabulous technique.
Here are her details:
Summer lesson opportunity

My ex-student Chelsea Daniel will be available for lessons again this summer especially while I am away for 6 weeks from June 8 to end of July.  She has taught some of my students in previous years and she has also recently given me some help with my playing to good effect (I hope!).  This is a wonderful opportunity to catch Chelsea before she travels overseas or gets on the concert tour.  Chelsea is entering her third year at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin.  Chelsea has a particular interest in woman composers especially those from the African American and Hispanic community, a much neglected group musically speaking but she is going to remedy that!  She is also composing herself so far in a modern jazz idiom.

Her phone: 919-667-8214

Email: Chels1207@gmail.com

Spring Soiree 2018 is getting close!

The Spring Soiree is getting close – Sunday June 3 at Croasdaile Village auditorium from 3-5 pm
Below is the tentative program.  Some blanks need to be filled in this week and please check your name is there.  I will use full names and full names of performance items in the real program of course:
Program Spring Soiree 2018

Ukuleles:

  • You are my Sunshine (all)
  • This little light (all)
  • This land is your land (all)
  • Safari (Hazel, Camille, and Ella)
  • On a Mountain High Top (Leo and Ava, Ian, Lucas)
  • Wild Mountain Thyme (Lucas)
  • ?  (Leo and/or Ava?)
  • March (Sadie and Lorna)
  • Elenke (Sadie and Lorna)

Guitar:

I’m on Fire (Kaitlyn)

Duets:

  • Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (Mary-Russell and Lorna)
  • Russian Waltz or Water is Wide (Mary-Russell and Lorna)
  • Camptown Races (Madeline and Mai)
  • Eine Leine Nachtmusik (Madeline and Mai)
  • Sun Flowers in Spring (Lillie and Cynthia)

Piano:

  • Madeline – Classic Dance
  • Mai – Dancing Sea Horses
  • Oscar – 
  • Louisa – 
  • Lillie – Canoe song
  • Stella – Ode to Joy
  • Iris – haiku and Mixed up song
  • Khaleel – Firefly
  • Logan – Ode to joy
  • Andrew – Sea Chanty
  • Liam – Marche Slav 
  • Mia – Energico
  • Jesse – Gypsy and Swing low
  • Quinn – Fantasia and Monk

Voice:

  • Lucas and Mia – A Million Dreams
  • Oscar? Quinn?
  • Michelle – Never enough
  • Richard – Non piu Andrai
I will need to have a ukulele rehearsal and hope everyone can come Saturday June 2 at my place (I know it is small, but parents maybe you could do some retail therapy or go for a walk?) from say 3:30 – 3:45 pm. (that would be all 8 ukulele students)
I also need to have a rehearsal with Lucas and Mia for A Million Dreams and that would be same day after the ukuleles 3-3:30.
The Soiree is a relaxed concert.  Starting again if you make a bad start in fine. Feeling nervous is normal but you have to remind yourself that everyone there is not there to criticize but to support.  Once you sit down to play, think about your music.  Do not let thoughts like “I’ll be glad when this is over”, “what will I have for dinner?”, “what will everyone think?” take over from thinking about the music you are playing right then.  I have to do the same thing myself so I know it is hard but also possible.  You have to get what we sometimes call “The Monkey Brain” to be quiet (you know how monkeys can chatter on).
I really like affirmations like “I am a really good piano player and I know my piece well”  especially of you write them down and put them some where you can’t help reading them all the time.
Let me know any questions, changes, anything else this week.

May and June news

The Spring Soirée 2018 is approaching very quickly. It will be held on June 3 at Croasdaile auditorium at Croasdaile Village from 3-5 pm. I call my twice yearly concerts Soirées which is not technically quite correct in the afternoon, 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 clearest directions to Croasdaile Village 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

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 (there is no charge for the Soirée). Many students find competitions very nerve racking. One has to enter competitions sometimes if you aim to be a performer professionally, and some very confident people are excited by the process. Most of my students find performing at the lovely auditorium at Croasdaile for family and friends and residents much more relaxing. The residents at Croasdaile love to come and hear especially the young ones perform. (One of my singers even has a fan club there!)

I invite my new students to come to their first Soirée so they can see what happens and how their colleagues play. If there are new students who feel they would like to perform at this Soirée, you would be very welcome. I also invite my adult students to come and support the students who are performing. My adult students have opted to have their own evening for more work-in-progress sharing (May 25 is the next FM Salon), but I would still love them to come to the Soirée if they can and are so minded.

The Soirée program: All students should be considering what they would like to perform at the Soiree. I am talking to students in lessons this week and subsequently about their items. Some things I have already chosen:

The 8 ukuleles will play and sing 3 items together: This Little Light arrangement, You are my sunshine, and This land is your land. More advanced ukulele students will play individually or in small groups as arranged in lessons.

If you have seen the musical The Greatest Showman, you will be excited to know that there will be two songs featured from that musical, A Millions Dreams (Mia and Lucas) and Never Enough (Michelle, an adult student).

There will also be a duet section this year! I love playing duets and teaching students to play duets.

The Spring Semester 2018 is fast coming to a close. The last lessons will be from Monday June 4 to Friday June 8. I will be leaving for London and Australia June 13 and returning July 24. Lessons will resume Monday July 30 and I will be teaching all August except for the last week (8/27-8/31), and then Fall Semester starts after labor day (9/3) . Some people have already let me know they want lessons in August – same times are fine.

I know that at least one student is not continuing sadly – she is done with school and is off to University. If anyone is not continuing or needs time changes please start letting me know and I will try to accommodate. I have some new students waiting to start in Fall.

I know that all kinds of things interrupt lessons: injuries, illness, school commitments and snow days but I just want to remind everyone that my studio policy is for students to attend a weekly lesson with as great regularity as possible. This ensues satisfactory progress for the student and also gives me some continuity of income. Teaching lessons is my only source of income. I love that I can earn my living this way, from my beautiful home and garden which I love to share with my students. (Can I just remind everyone that the grass at the back is still out of bounds – we are still trying to get it to grow so if you need to run, go around the big tree!) I am pretty flexible and I generally excuse students and put payments forward although my policy is to charge for the lesson if I don’t get 24 hours notice so I can reschedule makeup lessons. I fear I have not been very strict about that!

I am sorry I will be away so long over summer but I have to spend time with my grandchildren and daughters and even once every 18 months seems so little.

Fees: It would be really helpful if people could pay fees for the remaining weeks of the semester. Your email has the details but unless you have some payments moved forward, this is what you will owe:

Monday people 5 lessons
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday people 6 lessons

Thanks so much always for learning music with the Flourishing Muse Studio!

It’s back to school time – almost!

I am so very sad to have to tell you that one of my students, William Painter, died in an accident yesterday.  He would have been 10 years old on August 22. He was the eldest son of my neighbors, Carrie and Rusty Painter, and the brother of Ben.  He was such a funny, smart, kind boy and always thanked me at the end of every piano lesson.  He was such a responsible person  and often brought things over the road very carefully.  His parents are such wonderful people. At the Spring Soiree he played “Firefly”, the first piece in the book; he had advanced way beyond that but he sensibly wanted to play that piece because he said he “knew it so well”.  “Firefly” will always be William’s piece.

On other less sad matters:

My back door – you will all be happy to know (or not) that we have a new screen door at the back.  it was at least 3 times as expensive as the previous useless one and it springs back into place rather smartly so be cautious first time you come in.  If you are bringing a guitar or ukulele, please be careful and ask me or someone to hold the door for you.

The Holiday Soirée will be on December 10 at Croasdaile Auditorium from 3-5 pm.  I am so thankful that their renovations are not starting until January 2018 and I can still use the fantastic Ponder Hall! Everyone can start thinking about what holiday songs they might like to perform at the Soirée. All types of numbers are welcome – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and any I have missed and including just fun holiday numbers. 

The schedule is almost set now – click on Fall Schedule and please double check your times.  It is always hard at the beginning of a semester when lots of changes are happening. I have had to move several people a number of times so thank you for being understanding everyone!

Fall is a short semester so let’a get working right away!