Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May Memorizing Project/Update on Student Compositions

Ok, Waldstein I: check. Rachmaninoff: check. And my next memorizing project is-- Chopin! The piece I'm working on is Frederic Chopin's Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major. I have given myself the month of May to memorize this. Starting today that gives me about one page to do every two days....and I already did 1.5 pages today so I am ahead of the game, right?!

Chopin wrote four Ballades between the years of 1831 and 1842. These one-movement pieces are considered an innovation of his as they do not easily fit into another standard musical form (such as sonata). I love these pieces! Here is a short excerpt from the beginning of the A-flat major:

It's a very sweet, legato introduction, but don't let that fool you-- there is plenty of excitement to come! I have included a video of Krystian Zimerman playing this piece; he is so calm and collected and I think his playing is beautiful. It's good inspiration.

In other news nearly all my students have finished their compositions for our project, The Seasons. I am busily entering everyone's scores into my Finale program and they look great. I'm starting to make some videos of everyone playing their pieces (see link to playlist), and they will also play them out at an upcoming performance class. This is also the day they get to take home our special Seasons music book. I'll post more pictures and videos as they come!
~ Jennifer
p.s. If you have not heard your child's piece in its polished form you may prefer not to click below as this playlist will be a spoiler!

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