Join Us for Wartime Music at Remembering WWII

 

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I’m so excited about the Remembering WWII event this weekend!

We’re going to relive history.  We’ll get to meet WWII veterans, hear their stories, watch live battle reenactments with reenactors dressed to the 9s, check out the vintage civilian & military vehicle show, and learn from historians about the war and surrounding times.

AND HEAR LIVE WARTIME MUSIC!

I’ve been organizing the music for this event, and let me tell you – it’s gonna be grand! Here are some of the titles you’ll hear:

 

Be Like a Kettle and Sing
The White Cliffs of Dover
Coming In On a Wing And a Prayer
We’re In the NAVY

Ac-cen-tchu-ate the Positive
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
How Deep is the Ocean
If You Really Love Me
It Hurts to Say Goodbye
I’ll be With You in Apple Blossom Time
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor

 

We’re going to have solos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets, AND a children’s choir, PLUS a Big Band concert at lunch time!

I’ll be singing three melodies made popular by my favorite wartime singer, Vera Lynn: If You Really Love Me, White Cliffs of Dover, & It Hurts to Say Goodbye.

I’ve been busy this month arranging the piano parts for the three pieces, and I can’t wait to sing them tomorrow for the vets tomorrow.

 

Some of our Reenactors.
Some of our Reenactors.

 

The event admission is FREE!  So, if you’re in central Tennessee and would like to drop in, here are the particulars:

 

Saturday, September 27th

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Downtown Linden, TN

FREE Admission

 

Here is the complete schedule for the day, and here are directions and an event map.  Hope you can come by!

 

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Stay tuned for photos and videos on the blog next week!

Go follow my music profile on Instagram to see live updates!

Repertoire Challenge: August Update

 

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Well, Month One of my Repertoire Challenge is successfully completed!  My goal was to learn four pieces this month, and I actually got to work on five.  Yay!

It was challenging – the majority of my practice has to be hands separate with my 18-week-old on my lap.  He watches my hands move back and forth, sings along (loudly!), and even reaches out and touches the keys.  It’s SO cute.  He loves it, and I love having him right there with me developing an interest in music so young.

As much as I love it, though, it does make hands together practice scarce and very valuable.  I get an average of about 20 minutes HT a day. Very different from my previous 3-4 hours a day.

But that’s why I called it a repertoire challenge, right?  :D

So. Here is what I’ve been working on these last 4 weeks.

 

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learned || Scarlatti Sonata K. 141.  
This is by far the hardest piece for this month. I’ve intended to learn this sonata for years, and finally…  it happened! Scarlatti composed over 500 single-movement sonatas for the piano, and they are fantastic.  I love the playful interaction between hands, and the dramatic repeated notes in this one.  

But, boy, is it fast!  I’ll be speeding this one up for a while.  I’ll wait to officially cross it off my list until it’s a bit faster.  Check out Martha Angerich’s performance of it!

 

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learned || Fur Elise.
This one.  It’s not hard piece, but since it is, in many people’s minds, the whole point of being a pianist, I thought I should make sure I could play it all the away through without bumbling.  ;)

relearned || Beethoven Sonata Op. 27, No. 2, Mvt. 1.  
The Moonlight Sonata.  A mysterious, dreamy, classic work of art that every pianist should learn at some point in their life.  So I did… again!

relearned || Chopin Nocturne in c# minor, Posth. 
Chopin composed a billion and one Nocturnes, and this is one of my favorites.  What a lovely piece!  Chopin was an incredible master of melody, and his creative genius really shines in this piece.  It’s great to have it under my fingers again.

relearned || Mozart Fantasy in d minor, K. 397.
One measure you have lazy arpeggios, the next you have furious chromatic runs. It’s very whimsical, and fantasy describes it well.  I learned this one back in 2006 for a Festival honoring Mozart.  It was fun to play back then, and it still is.

 

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Me after performing Mozart’s Fantasy in d minor for the Mozart Festival. Please forgive the bad photo quality… it was 2006, after all. ;)

 

Click here to read the original challenge and see what my current progress is.

I’ll be posting some video clips on my Instagram profile in the next few days – go follow me to see the videos!

Next month I’ll be working on four new pieces, maintaining the pieces I learned this month, and continuing to speed up the Scarlatti.  It should be another busy crazy-daisy jam-packed few weeks!

Here’s what’s on the blackboard for next month:

TO LEARN:
Glinka, L’Alouette
Debussy, Arabesque No. 1

TO RELEARN:
Bach, Italian Concerto, Mvt. 1
Pieczonka, Tarantella in a minor

 

Sooooo, on to a new month!  I’m looking forward to getting started on the new rep!

 

My Summer / Fall Repertoire Challenge

 

Summer Fall Piano Challenge on The Music Blog  www.sfzmusicblog.com

 

Alright, guys.  There’s a stack of piano repertoire I’ve been intending to knock out for a few years now and just haven’t gotten around to.  (Can anyone else relate?)

So I decided to issue a repertoire challenge for myself to take on this summer & fall. And, just so I’ll take myself seriously, I’m gonna make it official with a repertoire liszt!

I mean list.  *cough*

I’ve divided my list into two sections.

    1. Pieces to learn for the first time.
    2. Pieces I have learned in the past and need to bring back.

Many of them are easy classics – like Für Elise, the Moonlight Sonata mvt. 1, and Brahms’ Waltz in A-flat (you know, the lullaby one) – that I never got around to perfecting but really should… at least if I’m going to call myself a real classical pianist.  ;D   There are hard ones, too, like Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu in c# minor, Mozart’s a minor Sonata K. 310, and a couple of Chopin’s etudes.

Then there are doozies like Ravel’s Jeux d’Eau and Liszt’s La Campanella.  Oi.

 

L'Alouette - The Lark - by Glinka  www.sfzmusicblog.com  #classical #piano #music
L’Alouette “The Lark” (Glinka)

 

Beethoven Pathetique Sonata www.sfzmusicblog.com  #classical #piano #music
Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 13 “Pathetique”, Mvt. I

 

Jeux d'Eau by Ravel  www.sfzmusicblog.com  #classical #piano #music
Jeux d’Eau (Ravel)

Here’s the complete run-down:

 

LEARN ||

Goal: 12
Current Progress: 12/12

Scarlatti                Sonata K. 141 (12/22)
Bach                     Fugue No. 2 in c minor (11/23)
Clementi               Sonata in D Major, Op. 4, No. 1, Mvt. 1 (12/27)
Beethoven            Fur Elise (8/30)
Schubert               Impromptu Op. 90, No. 2
Brahms                 Waltz in Ab, Op. 59, No.15 (7/25)
Chopin                  Etude Op. 10, No. 2 “Revolutionary”
Chopin                  Fantasie-Impromptu
Chopin                  Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in Eb (12/31)
Chopin                  Waltz Op. 69, No. 1 “L’adieu”
Chopin                  Waltz Op. 69, No. 2 (12/30) 
Greig                    Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1 (12/13)
Dvorak                  Humoresque, Op. 102, No.7 (11/25)
Glinka                   L’Alouette “The Lark”
Granados             The May Song, Op. 1, No. 3 (12/14)
Debussy               Arabesque 1 (9/10)
Debussy               Clair de Lune
Debussy               Golliwog’s Cakewalk
Ravel                    Jeux d’Eau
Tauriello               Toccata

RE-LEARN ||

Goal: 12
Current Progress: 12/12

Bach                     Italian Concerto, Mvt. 1 (10/3)
Bach                     Italian Concerto, Mvt. 3
Bach                     Prelude No. 2 in c minor
Bach                     Prelude No. 6 in d minor (12/19)
Mozart                  Fantasy in d minor, K. 397 (8/27)
Mozart                  Sonata K. 310, Mvt. 1 in a minor (12/31)
Mozart                  Sonata K. 331, Mvt. 3, “Alla Turca” (7/30)
Beethoven            Sonata Op. 13 “Pathetique”, Mvt. 1 (12/20)
Beethoven            Sonata Op. 13 “Pathetique”, Mvt. 2 (11/15)
Beethoven            Sonata Op. 13 “Pathetique”, Mvt. 3
Beethoven            Sonata Op. 27, No. 2 “Moonlight”, Mvt. 1 (8/18)
Chopin                  Nocturne in c# minor (8/25)
Greig                    Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (12/27)
Liszt                      La Campanella
Pieczonka             Tarantella in a minor (9/3)
Joplin                    Magnetic Rag
Joplin                    Maple Leaf Rag (9/24)

 

My goal is to have 12 pieces from each list learned and performance-ready by Christmas.  Basically, that translates into four pieces a month between now and the end of the year.

Ambitious?  Probably.  (read: “Oh, my mad graciousness, what am I thinking?!?”)  I mean, I have an 11-week-old, people.

But it’s worth a try, right?  :D

I’ll update this post at the end of each month with my progress to keep myself accountable.

Summer Fall Piano Challenge on The Music Blog www.sfzmusicblog.com

So that’s it!  My Summer / Fall Repertoire Challenge.

I’ll be posting 15-second clips of me playing pieces off of my list over on my music instagram page every week.  Go check out my page and follow me if you haven’t already!

So tell me, what are y’all working on this summer?

 

Go LIKE The Music Blog on Facebook for fun music reviews, tips, & freebies! 

 

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Studio Recital!

It’s Spring Recital time, and everyone is posting recital pictures!  Since I moved across the country 3 months ago and had a baby 1 month ago, my studio isn’t quite up and running yet – soon!  Still, I thought I’d join the fun and post some pictures from one of my past recitals.

I really love recital nights.  It’s satisfying to watch the students enjoy the results of their hours of practice and to see a semester of hard work draw to a close.   Not to mention visiting with all of the guests, meeting new friends, dressing up, and, well yes…  the food.  :)

It’s grand all around.

 Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Before recitals start, I usually find my students huddled in little groups, giving each other pep-talks.  It’s so sweet to see them interact this way.  Definitely makes a teacher smile inside.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Micah performed Away in Manger and Gurlitt’s Indian Dance.  It was her first recital!

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Clair performed Telemann’s Gavotte in g minor, Bach’s Minuet in g minor, and Slavic Dance by G.P. Tingley.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Kylie performed Bach’s March in D Major and an arrangement I wrote of Ode to Joy.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Tia performed Bach’s Bourrée in F and Portrait of Remembrance (Anon.).

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Paige performed Chopin’s Prelude in b minor, Op. 28 No. 6 and Diabelli’s Sonatina in F, Op. 168, No. 1 – Mvt. 1.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

 Sagan performed Clementi’s Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1 – Mvt. 1, my arrangement of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and Telemann’s Bourrée in a minor.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Kylie performed Clementi’s Sonatina in C, Op. 36. No. 3, an arrangement I wrote of Morning Has Broken, and Vandall’s Toccata in a minor.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Sarah performed Chopin’s Waltz in a minor, Op. 34, No. 2, my arrangement of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, and Mendelssohn’s Praeludium in e minor.

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital

Lacie Bowman Music Studio | Christmas Recital I always like to play a piece at the end of the program.   This recital Laura & I performed the Theme from Schindler’s List.

I really missed having a recital this semester.  Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!

// P.S. //

Share a link to your recital pics in the comments below – I’d love to see yours!!

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There’s a New Little Musician in Town!

 

Alright, folks, he’s here!  Our little man, Winston Spencer, was born on April 25th — he is a precious little ball of kisses and chubs, and he has incredibly long piano fingers.

Or cello fingers.  <3

Either way, it’s been a wonderful week and a half since he’s arrived, and every day gets better and better.  It will be at least one week – perhaps two – before I resume posting.  I’m just waaaaaay too busy staring into his cute little face and kissing his adorable round nose.

Here are a few portraits I took of the little man during one of his afternoon naps.

 

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Angelic?  I think so, too.  :)

Be looking for some new resource reviews, articles, and quick tips when I come back!

[P.S.  Here is our first family portrait!]

 

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First Music Extravaganza in Tennessee

A couple of weeks after we moved to TN our friends, the Courter Family, hosted an educational music event in their delightful home for families in the local area.  Our friend Ben Botkin gave two lectures on the mechanics and morality of music, and a variety of classical and folk performances were interspersed before, between, and after his talks.

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My sister Laura & I performed a number of violin / piano duets, including Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet, Czárdás by Vittorio Monti, Pachelbel’s beloved Canon in D, and an arrangement of How Beautiful I wrote last year for my wedding.

This was our first music event to attend in Tennessee, and both of us had a thoroughly fantastic time participating, learning, and hearing the other musicians perform.  And performing while 35 weeks pregnant was certainly a new adventure for me.  :]

Ben’s lectures were excellent.  I hope to go through my notes and post some thoughts from his talks up here on the blog soon…  But here are a few pictures to enjoy in the meantime!

Laura Verret Performing Piano | The Music Blog
My sister Laura – totally the most dedicated and funnest accompanist I have ever had!

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Audience at Music Event | The Music Blog

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Our friends, the Verniers, performed a fun assortment of classical, folk, and celtic pieces.

Ben Botkin Lectures on Music | The Music Blog
Ben giving his lecture on the mechanics of music.

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P.S.  Ben is a skilled composer & film score artist – you should check out his website and listen to some of his work here:  BenBotkin.com. – 

The Studio Heads Across the Country

 

Hi there.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  And I’m SO. SORRY.

But I have two really good excuses.  Really!  Reason-the-First is that the music studio has relocated all the way from Houston, Texas to Middle Tennessee!  We moved in February and have been quite busy unpacking boxes and looking for paired socks ever since.

It’s been great fun learning a new state and touring the gorgeous landscape in this part of the country.  I can’t wait to start a studio here and explore other music opportunities in the area.

 

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Mr. Grand makes the dangerous trek into the truck.

 

But Reason-the-Second is even better!  Baby Bowman is due any day now! And THAT means I’ve been busy organizing onesies, reading baby care books, exercising, and stuffing my face with chocolate.  :]

I mean salad.

 

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Courter.

 

Needless to say, the combination of moving recovery + baby preparation has effectively minimized my time for writing on here.

I hope to get back on schedule soon…   But I probably won’t be able to be fully consistent again until a few weeks after the little man arrives.  Cause once he’s born, ain’t nothin’s gonna distract me from kissing’ those fat baby cheeks.   ALL. DAY. LONG.  <3

In the meantime, I hope to resume a light posting schedule on here.  There are lots of exciting things happening, and I can’t wait to share the fun.

 

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Courter.

So, stay tuned, friends!

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New Shipment of Books!

 

I just got a new shipment of music books in the mail!  I’m super excited to get to reading and reviewing this stack of books for The Music Blog.

Here are the titles…  Have you read any of these?  Thoughts?

 

New Shipment of Music Books | The Music Blog

 

For Teachers

The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook 450 textbook-size pages full of tips for establishing a professional private studio.  The subtitle is “Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Teaching Studio”, and it looks like it’s going to live up to that claim.  Looking forward to going through this one!

That’s a Good Question: How to Teach by Asking Questions.   I’ve found that asking questions is one of the most productive ways to help my students take more initiative in evaluating their music.  I was excited to find a book that develops this idea.

For Students / Musicians

The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self.  This one was recommended to my by a fellow music teacher and friend [who also happens to be my sister-in-law].  Looks absolutely fantastic.  Thanks, Lily!

Piano Playing with Piano Questions Answered.  Written by renowned concert pianist, Josef Hofmann.  The first half of the book discusses technique and style. The last half is a lengthy Q&A section on all things piano.  There should be some great insight here.

Singing & Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today.  There are a lot of opinions out there about music in the Church.  This author seems to address the topic without sinking to emotional, ad hominem arguments.  I hope it’s as good as it looks!

For Children

The Story of the Incredible Orchestra.  I’ve been looking for a good book for children on the orchestra, and it looks like I may have found it!  Recommended to me by a friend and fellow music teacher – thanks, Hannah!

Robert Schumann & Mascot Ziff.  From the Great Musicians Series by Opal Wheeler.

Ludwig Beethoven & the Chiming Tower Bells.  Also from the Great Musicians Series.

Meet the Great Composers: Book 1.  An anthology of mini-bios and musical activities about the great composers.  Fun!

Famous Composers & Their Music: Book 2.  Another anthology of mini-bios and musical activities about the great composers.  More fun.  ;)

Great Composers Coloring Book 

I’m going to go get busy reading.

Have any other great books you think I should get that aren’t already here or on the Music Resources pages?  Please tell me!  I love recommendations.  :)

 

 

Welcome

Welcome_To_The_Music_Blog

Welcome to The Music Blog!  I hope this will be a practical resource for teachers, musicians, and parents where we can exchange ideas and resources about teaching and learning music!

 

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What to Expect on The Music Blog

  • Articles
  • Tutorials & Educational Videos for Teachers & Students
  • Music Resource Reviews & Recommendations
  • FREE Downloadable Resources
  • Mini-Biographies on Composers, Hymn-Writers, & Others
  • Interviews with Musicians & Music Professionals
  • Music Videos
  • Studio News
  • Giveaways, Polls, & Other Fun Music Activities!

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We’ll Talk About

»  Practical Tips FOR MUSIC TEACHERS on…
– How to Teach Music Effectively
– The Logistics of Having a Private Music Studio
– Personal Development as a Musician & Teacher

The nitty-gritty details of how to teach music – from complex concepts and techniques to the most basic music fundamentals – plus the ins and outs setting goals for students, making the most of lesson time, planning studio recitals, maintaining a professional standard for yourself and your students, developing a well-rounded approach to music education, and other practical topics for teachers.

»  Effective Principles & Tips FOR MUSICIANS on…  
– Improvising, Sight-Reading, Performing, Memorizing, and other important skills
– AND Educational Posts on Music Theory & Music History.

»  Creative Ideas & Practical Guidance FOR PARENTS on…
– How to be Involved in Your Child’s Music Studies
– How to Help Them Pursue Productivity and Musical Excellence
– How to Nurturing a Love of Music in Your Little Ones.

»  Plus, FREE Printable Worksheets for teachers and parents to use in lessons and at home, including theory exercises, musical quizzes and games, music history activities, composer studies, and more.

 

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I hope these articles will be conversation starters, so please share your thoughts, questions, and ideas in the comments or through the contact page!  I’m looking forward to learning and sharing musical experiences with you.

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