Jul 13, 2010

Monster Music Gardening This Week

Most of my energy and focus this week is on my 'monster music garden' -- the piano monster concert I organized and wrassled into existence last year, and which is happening once again on Thursday evening. I like to think of it as a garden, with planning, sowing, weeding, fertilizing and watering happening in the months between December and July. The harvest comes in two parts. First, the concert itself, which last year played to a spectacular sell-out crowd. Happy kids, happy parents, happy teachers, and happy random community members who stumbled upon this obscure event -- seemed to enjoy themselves hugely.

The second harvest has come gradually, and continues as the second concert draws near. That is the harvest of inspiration, determination and renewed interest in practicing, and in learning to think more deeply and consciously about music, that many of last year's participants are showing. One teacher told me her students have never counted so well, and that they ASK TO USE the metronome in their lessons. More students are willing and eager to play duets and other ensemble music with teachers, parents and their fellow students. Students are listening and watching better than ever before, as a result of having to follow a conductor, and stay together with other players. Pianists are notorious for ignoring everyone else when playing in groups, as a result of spending so much practice time alone. Playing with 7 or 15 or 23 other people requires good listening skills!

Here is our newest crop -- 9 brand-new-to-the-monster-concert performers -- waiting outside the rehearsal room and ready to play Giggle Bugs and Chocolate Fudge Swirls. Wouldn't you like to be there with them?

One of my favorite parts of the monster concert is the way young students play alongside older, longtime players. Making music together has no age boundaries

Who knows where these kids will go with music ..... in life ....... maybe they'll remember holding a conductor's baton and standing in front of a classroom full of their friends, leading the way?

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