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Family Dinner, First Recital - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
November 23rd, 2008
10:32 pm

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Family Dinner, First Recital
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership 2008 Sp...

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N was presented to my grandmother today--she is visiting for the thanksgiving holiday from Connecticut

sew_200e , billtinva ,owenthomas , and gregorsf  and Grandma came out, brought us dinner, and we visited for a while.  Having eaten, we headed out for Q’s first piano recital.

Q played Love Somebody, [the abridged, two-line version]. He was one of the few first-time players to have a “two-hand-together” selection, though.  I’d say that this is more due to the fact that he got a bit of a jump on other just-starting-out students; he started lessons at the end of last school year, before his teacher took her maternity leave.

 

Q almost had a “come-apart” when he saw all the cars in the parking lot. I think that he thought that this would just be his teacher, family, and him. Well, he knows what a recital is now. On that subject, the fact that he was able to pull it together and play his piece so well, I attribute partly to his own natural resilience, but in large part to his teacher’s techniques.  He is taking lessons from Jennifer Baker, of Keyboard Adventures.  She helped “make him strong” for recital by taking him through a series of exercises over the last several weeks, first taking the music apart a phrase at a time to pull the patterns out of it, and then at the end learning to playing the piece “blind, deaf, and distracted.”  The “blind” part is obvious—once you have it memorized, you play the piece with eyes closed so that you aren’t looking at your hands or the music.  “Deaf” is a little trickier:  close the keyboard cover, and “play” the piece with your fingers, just not on the actual keys.  “Distracted” is the most fun for me as the practice helper.  Q plays his piece while I jump around the room.  I get to say—or gibber—bizarre things, sneak up to the piano and play random high or low notes next to him, stomp about, and generally cause a wild ruckus.  Needless to say, if you can play a piece under those conditions, a room full of people who are doing their very best to stay quiet and listen just isn’t that bad any more.  I didn’t brief my family on this technique beforehand, though.  They were sitting in the next room as Q did his final practice session.  I’m sure they thought that I had gone completely insane.

All of the kids had obviously worked hard to prepare.  Most did a creditable job, with a few bobbles generally gracefully recovered from.  A few were simply wicked good. prettypammie  stayed behind so long talking to Mrs. Baker about one of the students that particularly impressed her that I finally had to drag her out to the car.  I think they’ll have to talk more in e-mail.

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From:dcseain
Date:November 24th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
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Congrats to Quinn!! I remember how scary my 1st recital was. They do get easier with time. :)
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From:happypete
Date:November 25th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)

How about for the parents?

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:)
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From:dcseain
Date:November 25th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)

Re: How about for the parents?

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Ya know, i ain't never given that a bit of thought. They were out there in the audience, i was up front and/or backstage.
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From:phoenix_glow
Date:November 25th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
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Many congrats to Q!!!
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From:happypete
Date:November 25th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)

I'll pass them on.

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He's really taking to it quite well.
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From:owenthomas
Date:November 25th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)

Forgetful daddy is forgetful

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Quinn was nevrvous indeed. We talked about all the other people there. He had expected other students to be there, but not their families, too, and I explained that since he had his grandmother, grandfather, uncles, and great-grandmother there, he had to expect his fellow students would bring their cheering sections, too.

Oh, and you forgot to mention what the Mighty Quinn did the rest of the evening! He was fifth in a series of about 20 performers, so after he finished, he sat next to me attentively and listened. For a few minutes, anyway. And then he kind of leaned against me. And then I propped up my arm as a pillow. And finally I picked him up and held him while he dozed off. Uncles are more comfortable than church pews, after all. Uncle Greg was very jealous that I got to snuggle with him. We had to wake him up to accept his certificate of performance -- which he was more reluctant to do than earning it in the first place.
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From:puzzledance
Date:November 26th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)

Re: Forgetful daddy is forgetful

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Are you visiting for Thanksgiving? Will we have a chance to see you before you go back? If you don't have time, we understand, but we're always happy to see you!
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From:puzzledance
Date:November 26th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
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Ok, I didn't even know that Quinn was taking piano lessons. I'm glad that his first recital went well! The "blind, deaf, and distracted" drills sound pretty interesting, and from what you say, effective. I am amused by your description of how you assisted with the "distracted" exercises.
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