Posted by: Marie | April 21, 2013

(834) Musicians all over the place

Post #834
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, April 22, 2012]

Whew! Another round of piano recitals are completed and “in the history books”!!

We had three recitals: one yesterday afternoon and two this afternoon. Including all three recitals, there were 33 student performers and around 135 audience members.

In yesterday’s recital, the cop (James) played a solo and then he accompanied his daughter (Sara) as she sang, Star Spangled Banner. I had mounted a large American flag on the wall next to her “stage” area . . . and her dad held her hand as she climbed to the stairs to the stage, and then he held her hand as she climbed down afterward. Of course, before she began her piece, she asked us all to stand and honor the flag . . . so, the whole room had our hands over our hearts . . .

James got totally lost during the song and had to just quit playing (he is not experienced/skilled enough to improvise) . . . he laughed and told Sara to just keep singing . . . and she did . . . and he was able to come in again at the end to give her a strong ending. It was the cutest thing in the world!!! And, James could not have been a more proud daddy . . . LOL.

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Photo by Martin Chen

Fianna, the Irish harper (as opposed to a “harpist” – two very different titles), brought her large harp (large enough that it sits on the floor) and a couple of smaller lap harps. Towards the very end of the recital, she took the stage as my guest artist. She talked about her harp and about Irish music, then she played a few Irish pieces, including Greensleeves. She even wore her Irish renaissance festival outfit to give us a complete Irish experience . . . she was awesome! After the recital, she let the kids come up and play a few notes on the various harps. The kids were in awe!!

As everyone was packing up to leave the recital, James came over to me and asked if he could give me a sideways hug (with the two of us standing side-by-side). I said, “Of course!” It was a big, demonstrative hug . . . a very nice one . . . it left me feeling a bit buzzed . . . in a good way . . . I guess he was tickled how everything had unfolded and thankful for the work I put into the recital . . .

Anyway, after the recital, my mom took me out to dinner (she attended the recital then took me out afterward) . . . she knows only too well that I usually am so preoccupied getting everything set up for the recital in the morning that I don’t think to eat until the evening. So, I took a break and had a nice meal with her.

Here is the really cool thing . . . in the hour before yesterday’s recital was scheduled to occur, I managed to get everything done and I was able to take a few minutes to catch my breath before unlocking the doors. I still had not found a guest artist for the two recitals scheduled for today. I had pretty much given up since I was down to the eleventh hour. However, in those few minutes during which I was catching my breath, I decided to put out a few more phone calls . . . a “Hail Mary” move, I guess you could say.

Then, while my mom and I were eating dinner, I got a phone call . . . the harp professor from our local university (a university that is internationally known for its outstanding music program) said she would be happy to come over to my little town and perform a piece on her concert harp for my students at both of today’s recitals – no charge. (I did have a token gift card for her, but it was really only enough to cover the cost of fuel for the trip over here.)

I about fainted! That is more awesome than I could have imagined!!!! When I went back to the table and told my mom the news, I almost couldn’t contain my joy! I was so excited!

So, today’s recitals went awesomely, as well. My three oldest students (three teenage siblings) played a piano/keyboard trio of Star Spangled Banner that I had arranged for them. They used my one acoustic piano and the two digital keyboards. Of course, we had all the audience members stand in honor of the flag again . . . and, the kids played their piece flawlessly. It was COOL!!!

So, anyway, the harp professor and I had a few minutes to visit before today’s first recital and she told me her motivation for performing for my students . . . she is opening up a classical harp studio about 15 minutes away from me and this would be cheap marketing for her. I encouraged her to talk about her studio during her presentation/performance . . . hopefully she can get a student or two from the exposure! I am happy to help her out in that way, especially since she was giving my students and me an awesome gift!

In between the two recitals, I was a bit behind on getting things done . . . and the professor jumped in and helped me with the photocopying and distribution of the programs. When I thanked her, she stated that she has one-handedly put on enough recitals that she can appreciate the last minute panic that can occur, especially with an effort as large as the one I undertook this weekend.

She was an incredible performer . . . you can tell she has taught for many years . . . she has a big personality – a lot of fun – and her passion for harp became obvious to everyone in the room. And, the piece she played was breathtaking . . . I didn’t know harps could be played like that! It was awesome!!!

After the recital, she asked me more about my work with students with special needs. I told her about some of the issues I see in my students and some of the approaches I take in order to better support their learning. She said she has two special needs students (one autistic and one dyslexic) and she wants to get together for coffee sometime soon and pick my brain about it . . . she is really struggling to know how to effectively work with them.

Of course, that made my day . . . here is a university educator with decades of experience in teaching music . . . she has a doctorate’s degree in music . . . and she wants to pick my brain because she can see I have something to offer her! Hah! Take that you sticks-in-the-mud who said I’m not a legit music teacher . . . hah!

So . . . I’m home now, relaxing after an insane but incredibly fun weekend . . . I might go to sleep a bit early, if I can get my brain to shut down, LOL . . .

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Responses

  1. Wonderful.

    • Thank you, Evan!


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