It's my favorite time again! Time for the summer contest!!
This year, there are two contests: 1. The first contest is to accompany yourself in some way. You may play something for me using the piano AND another instrument. You may use technology to perform a duet with yourself! Use your imagination! This may be repertoire we have already been working on ornamented with the sounds from another instrument or it may be something I've never heard you play before! 2. The second contest is to listen to the following song, "Saturday Sun" by Nick Drake, and put together a performance of it to your playing level. This may be a part of the song, the whole thing, the melody, or the piano part.
Entries must be received by midnight on September 2nd (via youtube, vimeo or mp4) and winners will be announced via blog/twitter/facebook during the first week of classes. There will be one winner for each category and the winners will be awarded fun sheet music to work on in lessons as well as the privilege of having their performance shared and admired.
Now, head on over to the piano, warm up with your performance pieces, and see what you can do! I look forward to watching all the entries!
Suzuki Book Graduation Recital, Anyone? As there are several of my students coming up on this momentous event, I thought I'd share with you the performance descriptors as set up by the Suzuki Association of the Americas so you know exactly what it is that I am looking for in a graduation performance:
SAA Performance Descriptors
For use in Evaluation of Teacher and Student Performances
Technical and interpretive demands of the selection(s) are commensurate with performer’s technical and musical abilities.
2. Physical aspects:
* Demonstrates balanced, erect posture.
* Demonstrates ease of movement, efficient motion (e.g., no unnecessary tension evident).
* Appears physically comfortable.
3. Tone production
* Tone is pleasing, resonant and full.
* Tone varies when appropriate.
* Volume is even but varies when appropriate.
4. Technical accuracy
* Plays correct notes.
* Intonation is accurate.
* Tempo is appropriate.
* Musical pulse is steady, yet varies when appropriate (e.g., rubato, ritard).
* Rhythm is accurate and precise.
* Dynamics are varied to create expressive effect.
* Notes are articulated appropriately and consistently.
* Creates motion in melodic line (phrase shape, rise and fall).
* Phrases end gracefully (e.g., tapered dynamics, ending notes sustained).
* Performance is consistent with (within the bounds of) stylistic convention.
* Interpretive choices are consistent.
* Performance conveys the character of the piece (e.g., march is march-like).
* Performance demonstrates voicing of melodic lines and accompaniment.
6. Stage presence
* Demonstrates appropriate poise and bearing.
* Acknowledges fellow performers (if applicable).
* In the event of error, continues without pause.
* Bows when appropriate.
7. Focus of attention
* Performance conveys sense of concentration.
* Performance conveys sense of confidence (little hesitation or timidity evident).
Thank you everyone for the REALLY fun summer contest entries. You guys are creative, hilarious, and really impress me. The decision was difficult, but this year's panel of judges chose the following performances to win this summer's contests:
For best performance of a song from the radio, Declan played "All of Me" by John Legend. Congratulations, Declan!
For the best performance of a piano repertoire piece on another instrument, Mary played "Old French Song" from book 5 on the ukulele with cello accompaniment. Congratulations, Mary!
There was a runner-up this year in this particular contest, and in second place, I give you Colin playing one of HIS performance pieces on the cowbell. Can you guess what piece it is? Congratulations, Colin!
Looking forward to working with all of you this year!