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! 

March 2019

March already!  Flowers blooming and birds nesting – love it!

This month I will be taking my spring break from Monday 3/25 to Friday 3/29 which is the same time at Durham Public Schools Spring Break.  I had to move it from after Easter because Easter is so late this year.  Hope that does not inconvenience people too much.

So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday fees in March will be for 3 weeks; Friday fees will be for 4 weeks as 3/1 falls on the friday.

I did go to the Duke concert last Sunday 3/3/19 and I am sorry if you missed it.  The two works performed were just wonderful.  Phillip Glass’s Itaipu is very powerful with huge orchestra and choir – I love that fact that Durham can assemble such resources to perform these big works.  The second work was even more amazing.  Eric Whiteacre’s “Deep Field” described in abstract music what the Hubble telescope saw when it looked into far away galaxies.  Baldwin was packed and everyone had downloaded the Deep Field App and we all cued up our smart phones, and turned them on at measure 274 when the conductor indicated it was time to do so.  The effect was entrancing.  You felt like you were in space seeing millions of other suns and planets just like ours.    You can download the app and try it out but not with all the orchestra and choir sadly.

I am really happy that a number of students (and parents!) and playing duets.  It is so important for counting the time and for feeling like you are making music together.  Am going to try to have a duet get together maybe the friday afternoon before the Spring Break but I will talk to students and parents separately.

Don’t forget about the Playathoon April 13 from 2:30 – 3:00 at Northgate Mall – am hoping to have lots of duetists!

Dates and events in Spring 2019

I hope everyone is doing well in spite of flu, and the weird up-and-down weather.

Some important dates:

Adult Students:

  • I have moved the Adult Work-in-progress night at my house to Friday March 15 from 7:30 – 9 pm.  Will email adult students separately to importune your attendance!
  • The previous Saturday March 9 from 3:30 – 5 pm, the Durham Music Teachers Association is holding an adult student recital at Croasdaile Village Chapel.  It would be great if some of my adult students were interested in playing at this event and I will ask in lessons.  Anyone post high school can play and memorization is not required.

Younger students:

  • On April 13, the DMTA is holding another playathon probably at Northgate Mall but the venue will be firmed up when we know what is happening to Northgate. My time slot is 2:30 – 3:00 pm.  I would like to highlight all my duet players at this playathon.  Duets could be piano or piano and ukulele, or vocal duet?  Will be talking to students in lessons.  Remember the playathon raises money for DMTA Scholarships.

All Students:

  • I think this year I am going to take my Spring Break when Durham Public School break from Monday March 25 – Friday March 29.  I usually take my break after Easter but Easter is very late this year, and too close to exams.  It is possible that my bathroom will be being renovated that week so would be good not to teach during the demolition phase!  I am not sure if all schools are taking that week off but I would be glad to know if this break works for most parents and students so let me know.
  • I am very happy that more song writers and composers are emerging!  Leo has an amazing song coming along and Oscar has a piece called The Singing Tiger for piano.  Ben is promising to write another song to add to his collection of dog songs.  Talk to me about more composing please students.
  • It is not time to gear up for the Spring Soiree yet but it should be in the back of everyone’s mind – the date will be Sunday June 2 from 3-5 pm at Croasdaile Village Auditorium.  I know the piano is not terrific and I am working on trying to fix this problem but it is such a great venue and I have been having concerts there for so many years now. 

Stay warm and safe.

Lorna Collingridge

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