October 30 Playathon and news

Hello parents and students, what a wonderful event on Saturday October 30!  13 students came and played and sang to raise money for the Durham Music Teachers Association student scholarships (total raised $900).  It was very special to see the families all sitting watching (albeit cold and some on the ground, most in chairs, some rugs in evidence). I have missed it so much, seeing parents and friends and grandparents and kids all meeting each other and talking together.  Music can be a bit of a solo pastime but playathons and soirees open up a world of others who also play and sing.

I have one video to share on my website but would love more if you have them and also pictures of the students – Grimly in chain mail, Hamilton all suited up, the grim reaper, Cruella, a tiger, a dragon, a kitten-dragon and more.
Fees:  There are 6 weeks to the end of the Fall semester, and if possible could you pay all 6 weeks and then we are done for Fall.  Please take out days around thanksgiving if you are going to be away or busy.  I am not teaching Thursday 11/25 but will be teaching all other days.
Thank you always for learning music with me in my Flourishing Muse studio – when you come back in January there will be lovely new pictures windows that I can actually open in good weather.

Online Music 2020

I hope everyone is doing well and surviving working and learning at home.  This weekend I taught my grandson how to draw a tree in his UK backyard for his online school homework. It was fun to work with him!

On the weekend I also worked with Carol to clean up and reorganize the Student Performance Page.  If you go to the page, it shows thumbnails you can click on to view student’s playing and singing; you can also choose categories like “All”, “Piano” , “Ukulele”, or “Voice”.  Lydia’s piano piece is the latest one I have put up and I am anxiously awaiting more videos.  Please just video the performance, no announcing or talking because I know what piece you are playing or singing.  It should be a video of your best performance without feeling it has to be finally perfect.  I would like to have all students represented by April 30 so I will be asking and reminding!

Some of the previous performances are very nostalgic – Sadie and I playing ukulele – she learns guitar now!  And the Pieraccini twins when they still sang together! Previous students Ashley, Jesse and William playing piano. 

Ukuleles:  I have sent out recordings of the parts for two duets in the red ukulele book, Era Una Vez and Spring.  What I would like you to do is video yourself playing your part in these two duets (separate videos) at the speed at which I played in the recordings.  I am going to try to edit them all together so you can hear everyone and see everyone in their “box” playing their ukuleles.  I would be very cool but depends on you being at the same speed as I played and not stopping to correct a mistake. You can make a mistake but you cannot stop and interrupt the speed.

I know a lot of students are taking this opportunity to do extra practice and it really shows in your lessons – well done!  Be safe and well everyone and go and look at the videos and be inspired to get yours up there.

Lovely Event Saturday 4/21/18

I really enjoyed seeing the students perform at the DMTA Playathon Saturday, and I know some were nervous and it was a pretty big space but I hope parents and students enjoyed themselves. I know the day-long event raised a tidy sum for the DMTA Scholarship Fund. Thanks to all the students who braved their nerves and helped us raise money for other students to learn music.

Thanks to Ashley Pieraccini, I have put up some videos on my website www.flourishingmuse.net. under the video tab. Ashley did an amazing job and videoing is not a simple task – Carol is a documentary maker so I have seen first hand how hard it is to steady the camera. Thanks Ashley. And thanks to Carol who has to train me on putting up videos from Vimeo onto my website. This was her third attempt to train me and I think I finally get it!

I did not put up every video or I would not being getting to my lessons preparation so I apologize to the ones not up there but they are on my camera and I can show you in lessons if you like.

Also I recorded Jesse playing Gypsy in his lesson, which is the piece he would have played at the playathon except for a baseball game.

Students could watch their videos and talk to me about what they might like to work on before the Soiree June 3. Hint: Some singers could open their mouths wider! That is part of how you project your voice. Piano players – take note of the youngest ones – fearless! How can we older ones get to have that attitude? If we all work it out we could write the book!

Thanks everyone see you at lessons this week.


Spring Soiree 2015

On June 7, 2015 Flourishing Muse students presented their Spring performances. There were many memorable ones among the program.

Roger Daniel videod his daughters so here are some links where you can see them perform. Chloe is a rising fifth grader and learns piano with me (Lorna) and Chelsea (rising 12th grader) is an ex-student, now with teacher Dimitri Schteinberg at UNC School of the Arts, Winston-Salem.

Chloe Daniel playing Etude in D minor by Gurlitt:

Chelsea Daniel playing Le Vent dans la Plaine by Debussy:

Chelsea Daniel playing the Bach Prelude and Fugue in D Minor:

A New Year Begins

Congratulations to all who performed at the December Soiree!  There were too many wonderful performances to enumerate every one so I will save my thoughts for your next lesson. The Soirees are a lot of work but once they are in progress I know exactly why I do them.  So amazing to see everyone sharing pieces they have learned.  Thank you also to non-performers who came to support; that is a wonderful gesture.

Here are some performances that were videoed.  I am sorry there were not more but someone (me) needs a new iphone 6 very soon so i can do this as well as Roger Daniel!  thank you to Chelsea for playing some of the pieces she had prepared at UNCSA in Winston Salem:

Chelsea – Sonata in E flat II


Chelsea – Aufschwung (Schumann)

 and here is her little sister also playing beautifully

Chloe – The Wild Horseman (Schumann)

and Myles Spencer played Debussy and then for something completely different, Linus and Lucy



Well, he was not playing at the beginning – I think that was Snoopy?

Lessons commence Monday 1/5/15, next Monday.  I will not be teaching this week – I have had two hectic weeks of travel and need this week to prepare for the semester.

Some forward dates:

Spring semester commences 1/5/15

Spring Break will be from 3/30/15 to 4/10/15 (my grandson is coming! I guess his parents are coming too!)

Semester will end 6/5/15 (this will make a 20 week semester)

Spring Soiree 6/7/15 Sunday 3 pm same place as always (thanks for wonderful Croasdaile)

There are three Monday holidays in the Spring Semester:

MLK day 1/19/15; President’s Day 2/16/15; Memorial Day 5/25/15

I will probably teach these days if people want lessons even if not everyone wants to come, otherwise Monday people have 3 fewer lessons!

I am going to Australia to see my granddaughters 6/16/15 to 7/16/15 and I am going to the beach 8/16/15 to 8/22/15 but in between I will be available for some musical activities (???)

I am looking forward to seeing everyone again next week.  People who are aiming to do exams will need to get going on their pieces ready for May dates, and people who would like to perform in the DMTA festival event need to decide on a piece for that. 

Here are the relevant DMTA dates:

4/11/15 there will be a playathon at Northgate Mall – these events raise money for DTMA scholarships for students who need some financial assistance.  There is a $5 student contribution, but often passers by make very nice contributions as the students perform.  Please consider coming and playing some of your pieces.

5/16/15 DMTA Festival at Duke University.  Students enter this competition and play piano and sing for local professors and receive feedback.  It is  great way to perform for someone other than your teacher. 

Some of you may have heard about Jerry and Barbara Porter and their 1901 restored Steinway grand piano.  They are so generous in allowing my students to come and practice there – thank you so much Jerry and Barbara.  They are holding a house concert (details below) and I think some of the older piano students might like to come.  I will be there also:

Please save the date for a house concert at Jerry and Barbara Porter’s:

Date: January 8, 2015, Thursday; Time: 7:30 PM

Location: 3403 Medford Rd, Durham, NC.

Tel: 919-294-4680

E-mail: jsporter39@att.net

Piano Concert by Ivan Moshchuk

His program will include Chopin “late works”: Sonata Op. 58, Mazurkas, Op. 59, Barcarolle,

Op.60 and Polonaise-Fantasie, Op 61, all played on our wonderful 1901 Steinway D.

This will be a 55-minute program. We heard Ivan play at St Mary’s School in

Raleigh in the fall and were very impressed. Ivan is an inspiration to young piano students.

For bio and details about Ivan, please see http://www.ivanmoshchuk.com/index.php

See you all next week!  Remember my schedule is here under Spring Schedule 2015; if you are not continuing or want to change lesson times please let me know this week.