I will be glad to “see” all my students starting tomorrow even if it still has to be online. I cannot see in person lessons happening until at least summer. I can now get the vaccine (being 75) if I can get an appointment! But my partner cannot probably for months yet.
Thank you to everyone who performed and participated in the Virtual Holiday Matinee on Sunday 12/13/2020. I was so happy with everyone’s performances and loved seeing all the family and friends watching. I will try to give everyone individual feedback during lessons but really, everyone was fantastic! I mean that very sincerely!
25 students played and sang in the recital, and 8 were not able to participate for various reasons. We think upwards of 85 people participated in the recital as performers or viewers which is wonderful. Flourishing Muse is flourishing! Thank you again to my amazing daughter Rose and to her equally wonderful assistant event manager Debbie, and to Sarah for the great holiday invitation and program – love her design work. These are up on my blog and I will see if I can put the video up – not sure how big it is yet. Thank you also to my talented partner Carol, who tries to teach my how to do technology, often having to rescue me from technology mess. She is the one who built my website and continues to make it work well, and again rescues things when i get it wrong.
This is the last week of music lessons for 2020. I will be back teaching on Monday January 4, 2021. If anyone is not continuing please let me know as soon as you can, or if anyone needs a different time. Currently I have 33 students and I am not planning to take more students unless there are very particular circumstances. 33 lessons a week is a lot of preparation when the lessons are on-line.
Almost everyone has paid the December fees and those who have not I will text today. There is so much going on at Christmas it’s hard to keep up!
I had some rather nice news this morning. In 2008 I wrote a bilingual song for Our Lady of Guadalupe. It used to be performed at my school masses. The Music Director at Yale’s Catholic Chapel contacted me and asked could I arrange it for choir and small orchestra, which I did and I uploaded the written score to his choral music website. He performs it every December 12, Guadalupe’s feast day, and it was performed virtually from the Chapel this past Saturday. He told me a group from Madrid loved the service and my piece, and that the full score had been downloaded 7,000 times in the past 2 years! You can see the written score on my website but sadly no recording yet! I love that people are using the piece I wrote. I wish I had more time to compose! But I have students composing instead.
It has been a tough year, 2020, but I have enjoyed “seeing” my students and I think I am getting used to virtual lessons and on a day like today maybe everyone appreciates not having to go out in the cold rain!
Have a wonderful warm Christmas and holiday season and stay healthy everyone.
I am so excited now the Virtual Matinee is getting close. I think everyone is ready and Rose has been amazing as always, coaching performers about how to do this virtual event. I am pretty sure she has talked to everyone who did not participate in the July concert, with one exception and I will talk to that family this week. Thank you so much to all the parents and students who have scrambled time to do the tech check with Rose. I felt bad because she had to do so many, but she says she loves seeing the students and getting to know them a little. She also insists that she do them; like mother, like daughter!
I have heard all the students play their pieces and everyone is ready, although one or two need to do some last minute work on their pieces. But everyone is going to be terrific. Please don’t let nervousness interrupt your playing. Focus on the music and where your fingers need to go, and you will be fine.
This brings me to why I do these concerts and have done twice a year for the past 12 years. It really gives students a goal to work towards, and I see huge improvements when this goal is in sight, as it is this Sunday. At a deeper level it is about sharing your music with others. I know I personally just like to play for myself, but I have always been conscious that that is a somewhat selfish attitude and so I make an effort to play for people when I have the opportunity. So be aware that you are sharing and delighting your family, friends and colleagues with your playing. If you make mistakes, or have to start again, do not worry – I have had to do that many times! Just relax and start again!
I really want the Virtual Matinee to be a happy and informal occasion so let’s all smile and do our best! I would like everyone to be in the Zoom meeting from 11 am to the end so you can support your colleagues. Anyway, you have to stay to hear the final performance, Quinn Barbaza playing Rupert Austin’s arrangement of Summertime!
Many thanks to three amazing people who have worked to produce this Virtual Matinee:
Rosie Ham (my daughter) email: email@example.com – Rose has her own company and teaches event management courses and runs large international events, once live but now online.
Sarah McArdle – firstname.lastname@example.org – Sarah designed the wonderful program and invitations.
Debbie Lo – email@example.com – Debbie is an event manager like Rose, and will manage the virtual matinee waiting room.
I also need to thank my partner Carol Thomson (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance because I know full well that I will need Zoom and other technical support on Sunday. Carol is a web developer and videographer and general technical wizard!
|Oscar McCormick (ukulele)||Jingle Bells|
|Hal Sharp (ukulele)||Santa Claus is coming to town|
|Jane Sharp (ukulele)||Country Roads – John Denver|
|Leo Pieraccini (ukulele)||Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan|
|Ava Pieraccini (ukulele)||Ripple Effect – Scott Helman|
|Kaitlyn Busch (guitar)||Betty – Taylor Swift|
|Ben Painter (piano)||Ode to Joy – Beethoven|
|Anna Long (piano)||Angels we have heard on high|
|Ida Levy (piano)||Boogie on Broadway – Faber|
|Veni Lekavich (piano)||Jingle Bells|
|Camille Fontaine (piano)||Firefly|
|Cecilia Triche-Rowe (piano)||Almost like a dream|
|Louise Downs (piano)||Spanish Caballeros|
|Logan Fontaine (piano)||Scarborough Faire|
|Andrew Hartman (piano)||The Star Spangled Banner|
|Annabel Hayes (piano)||Not Opus 2 – Own Composition|
|Lucas Bartosik (piano)||Gavotte – Telemann|
|Oscar Mc Cormick (piano)||Night of the Tarantella|
|Mai Dunn (piano)||Reflection from Mulan|
|Lydia Pollak Coy (piano)||God rest ye merry gentlemen|
|Iris Emmerson (piano)||Sonata in C Major – Mozart – first movement|
|Sebastian Guillen (piano)||Un Amor sin Final|
|Khaleel Jackson (piano)||Sonatina in A Minor – Benda|
|Kavisha Saram (piano)||Prelude no. 1 – Bach|
|Jikai Sipkins-Chenn (piano)||Avalanche op. 45 no. 2 – Heller|
|Quinn Barbaza (piano)||Summertime from Porgy and Bess – Gershwin|
Hard to believe it is almost November and even harder to believe we are still in the throes of this virus. I hope everyone is doing OK, although I know that is probably not totally the case. I am fine in spite of my age and have been so fortunate as to be healthy and still working. I think about my students all the time and I know for some it is really difficult especially the high schoolers, and the youngest ones.
Halloween: I am so sorry about no trick or treating for Halloween! I will not be receiving visits from monsters this year and will not be handing out candy, sad to say. But I wonder if students could send me photos of themselves in their Halloween costume! I am pretty sure most are going to dress up and I would love to see you all.
Students: I am really pleased with the progress students have been able to make in spite of the difficulties of learning totally online. All students have been patient and cooperative, and I thank you so much. I am working on the idea of a Zoom concert or two in December although I understand a lot of students are not terribly comfortable with the idea of yet another Zoom meeting, but I will talk to people about it. With the virus still rampant I am not hopeful about the Spring being in person as yet.
Fees: November fees will be due next week. Monday students will have 5 weeks in November; Tuesday and Wednesday students will have 4 and Thursday and Friday students will have three because of Thanksgiving. In December there will be either 3 or 3 weeks of lessons depending on which day you normally come. Please look at next week’s emails for clarity. Some students and parents are opting to pay November and December and that is fine either way. Please let me know if there are days around thanksgiving other than the usual Thursday or Friday that you might be away. Thank you all for keeping me employed!
Vacation: I will be on vacation for two weeks over Christmas from December 21 to January 1. In addition over the next two months I might have to reschedule a few lessons on the day they are going to put on our new roof. It will be incredibly noisy but will save us from the all too frequent roof leaks. In addition, I might have to accompany my partner to a procedure on a date possible in December but again I will reschedule the lessons involved. The Spring Semester will begin on Monday January 4, 2021.
Stay safe and well