A Spirit Of Giving Christmas Show

Today the girls participated in their dance studio’s Christmas show, “A Spirit of Giving”.

The show was originally supposed to be held at Struthers Middle School, but Struthers won their basketball division and had playoff games that would conflict with our show date, so the studio had to pick an alternate venue at quite the last minute.


Our alternate venue ended up being smaller, older, and not very well-equipped. There were a number of sound and lighting problems. The stage was not as wide or deep, and the opening number ended up squished into the back and side curtains. O9 was indignant as she was one of the dancers elbowed out of the spotlight.

In spite of the technical issues, the show was a good experience for the kids to do. They worked hard to rehearse and we enjoyed seeing them on the stage. O9 was in the opening number and a jazz routine, while S11 was in the opening number plus ballet and jazz numbers. S11 seems to have re-kindled her passion for dance and wants to do even more ballet, and possibly modern.


Music and Swim 1-31-14

Today we had our regular piano lesson in Canfield. S9 ran through the piece she will perform later tonight at her YSU recital (Pyramid Power) on Neyla’s big piano. She also learned about the pentatonic scale and practiced counting beats out loud. Nelya asked us to order the Bastien “Major Key Signatures” for additional music theory.

After piano, O8 had her regular violin lesson with Miss Tina.

Next, O8 had a swim lesson with Ms. Barb. In addition to laps, she worked on diving.

O swim lesson

In the evening, S9 performed her piece at Bliss Hall. It was a rather imposing venue, but she played perfectly. She does not seem fazed a bit by the spotlight.   2014-01-31 20.26.50

Piano 1-13-2015

Today S10 attended her first piano lesson of the new year. She is starting to work on her Federation pieces in earnest. That event is coming up on March 14, which gives her two solid months to learn the two pieces by memory and polish them. She will be playing a “Mini Toccata”. I’ll have to get the title of the other piece for next post.

The tricky part for the Toccata is that, while not technically too difficult, it has a sequence of runs that need to be played at a very even, smooth tempo. That is going to require some metronome work, which S10 does not care to do. Her personal challenge will be putting in the tedious work now so that she trains herself to play evenly.

I did not take a lesson today as I am recovering from minor surgery. My lessons will resume after next week.

Piano 9-26-14

Today S10 and I had our regular piano lesson in Canfield. We decided to switch to Fridays since that would give us Monday and Tuesday completely open. I would rather have Fridays open, but with gym on Friday evening anyway it makes more sense this way.

S10 is almost finished with her second set of books. She started using a supplemental book called Fingerpower to improve her dexterity and build strength. She is working on a new performance piece and also played a duet with Nelya called “The Old Castle”, which has a spooky feel to it. She likes playing duets. We also discussed the possibility of a piano-violin-cello trio at Federation next March.

I went next. I worked on two pieces from a new book called Accent on Classical. There are two selections that I am considering doing for Federation, if I am able to participate. (The National Federation of Music Clubs has an “adult” student category, open to non-professional adult students, but our local Club has never had any adult participants. Tina and Nelya are working to see if I am able to open the category.) Anyway, the two selections are “Barcarolle” and “Homage to Chopin”, both of which I love and would enjoy learning by memory. I am also polishing the fifth and sixth variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento” (Beethoven). I can finally play the sixth through, but it is very rough and has a couple of tricky parts that memorization will definitely help iron out. I also started B-flat major scales & arpeggios.

In the evening, S10 went to gym. O8, who was up sick much of the night before, skipped this week and actually fell asleep in the van instead.

Violin 9-25-14

Today O8 had her violin lesson with Miss Tina. She worked on Happy Farmer in Suzuki Book 2 and also started Bourrée. Miss Tina decided to start this before Waltz as she thought it might be less frustrating for our little violinist.

Later in the day, S10 had soccer practice. She had to run an extra lap around the field because she had a hand ball during last Saturday’s game. Oops!