My 2015 Music Goals: Mid-Year Update

Lacie Bowman Music // 2015 Goals

Happy July, everyone!

I can’t believe half the year is already gone. Wow. Back in January I wrote out my music-related goals for this year, and here’s the mid-year update on how they are going so far!

Personal Goals

// Maintain all pieces from my 2014 Repertoire Challenge.
Last Summer I challenged myself to learn 24 pieces on the piano in 24 weeks. I learned 112 pages of music in that time, and it was a quite a challenge indeed. But even harder was maintaining them all at the same time. This year my goal is to get them all back to performance level and then keep them for all of forever. Currently, I can sit down at anytime and play 12 of the 24:

Bach Fugue No. 2 in c minor
Bach Prelude No. 6 in d minor
Brahms Waltz in A-flat, Op. 59, No. 15
Chopin Waltz Op. 69, No. 2
Clementi Sonata in D Major, Op. 4, No. 1, Mvt. 1
Debussy Arabesque 1
Debussy Clair de Lune
Dvorak Humoresque, Op. 102, No. 7
Granados May Song, Op. 1, No. 3
Greig Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1
Mozart Sonata K. 331, Mvt. 3, “Alla Turca”
Pieczonka Tarantella in a minor

// Learn or re-learn 1 new piece / month on violin & piano – 24 total.
One might say I spent the first half of the year focusing on violin repertoire. I’ve already learned 2 more than the original 12 I challenged myself to do on violin this year, but only 3 of 12 on the piano. That means I’ve got 9 piano pieces to learn between now and the new year. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Lacie Bowman MusicVIOLIN: 14 of 12
Bach Concerto for Two Violins, Mvt. 1
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 1
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 2
Vivaldi Concerto in a minor, Mvt. 3
Pachelbel Canon in D
Massenet Meditation from Thais
Monti Czardas
Williams Theme from Schindler’s List
Saint-Saens The Swan
Bach Air on G String
Purcell Hornpipe
Lovland Hymn to Hope
Vangelis Hymne
Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

PIANO: 3 of 12
Bach Italian Concerto, Mvt. 3
Chopin Prelude in c minor
Smith The Giving

// Relearn all Major and minor (natural, harmonic, & melodic) scales, arpeggios, inversions  (I, IV, V, MmVII), and cadences on piano. 
One might also say I have NOT focused on scales. As in, not at all. So these next six months should prove to be fun… 48 scales and 24 arpeggios, inversions, and cadences, here we come!

// Memorize lyrics from 12 hymns.
I’ve memorized 6 of 12: The Church’s One Foundation, God of the Ages, Be Still My Soul, Before the Throne of God Above, Not What My Hands Have Done, & Praise My Soul the King of Heaven

Lacie Bowman Music | www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

// Have a Solo Violin & Piano Recital.
DONE! We had our recital – An Evening of Classics & Hymns – on March 10th, and boy, we had a blast. (See the photos here.). We have a second one – A Classical Christmas – planned for December 1st, so mark your calendars!

Remembering WWII // Lacie Bowman Music// Coordinate Music for Remembering WWII.
Currently doing prep-work for the event, working with the event coordinators and performers, and starting a preliminary schedule! We’ll be having a fabulous USO-style show on Friday night (25th), plus a bunch of lovely music sprinkled throughout the whole day on Saturday (26th). It’s less than 3 months away… Hope you’ll join us!
[More info here: www.RememberingWWII.com]

// Perform (vocal) for Remembering WWII.
Picking and arranging some of my favorite wartime songs… This year I’ve got Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby, and Irving Berlin in the mix!


// Write 8 new arrangements for violin, piano, and/or string ensembles.

COMPLETED
The Church’s One Foundation (Violin & Piano)
Day by Day (String Ensemble – 3 Violins, Cello, Piano)

CURRENT
Agnus Dei (String Ensemble)

NEXT UP
Sleigh Ride (String Ensemble)
Still, Still, Still (String Ensemble)

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// Read 5 books on music.

COMPLETED:
Raising Musical Kids (Kavanaugh)
CURRENTLY READING:
A History of Western Music (Grout)


// Complete an exciting secret project I’ve been working on this last year.
DONE!!! In March I published my first book of hymn arrangements for violin and piano, God of the Ages! I am SO excited about it.

SEE A PREVIEW of the book here and ORDER YOUR COPY here!

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Studio Goals

// Expand my music studio.
Enjoying summer lessons, choosing new student repertoire, and making plans for new students in the fall.

// Expand my repertoire library and teaching materials – purchase at least 12 new music books for myself and/or my students.

PURCHASED 3 of 12:
Bach Notebook for Anna Magdalena (Henle edition)
Chopin Complete Preludes (Paderewski Edition)
Bastien Piano Literature, Volume 4

// Organize & systematize my music area.
Organizing, check. Systematizing, next up.

// Have my 1890s piano reconditioned.
We’re gettin there.

Blog & Social Media Goals

// Expand The Music Blog & add some exciting new features & pages.
In March I launched my new website, www.LacieBowmanMusic.com {how’s that for expanding? lol!}, which came with several new pages and features including a STUDIO page, a PHOTO gallery, and a STORE! Go check it out!

{P.S. Soon The Music Blog will be moved to that new address as well, so be looking out for that!}

// Hit 100 blog posts.
Up to 56… 44 to go. mm

// Do 4 giveaways this year!
January’s giveaway had 239 entries & 3 winners. It was loads of fun. MY NEXT GIVEAWAY IS THIS MONTH. I can’t tell you what it is yet… so stay tuned!

// Create 12 new FREE downloads for my free downloads page.
None yet… But I’ll be giving away a ton of new ones (theory sheets, activity sheets, and even a piece or two) next month in honor of summer ending!

// Become active on Google+.
Check! ADD ME HERE.

// Create a Youtube channel and post 12 videos by the end of year.
I started a channel, but I wouldn’t call it active… yet. One video posted so far with a few more in the works. I will be getting a few teaching tutorials up in the next couple months, so check my channel again soon! (or SUBSCRIBE HERE)

 

Dream Goal:

// Learn Cello.
Sigh. Not yet, my friends… not yet. But IT WILL HAPPEN.

 

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What music-related activities have you been enjoying this year?

 

 

Wedding Season is Here!

Lacie Bowman Music Weddings

 

…which means happy time! I love weddings. Adding a new stack of music to my wedding repertoire this year:

Hymn to Hope by Rolf Loveland
The Swan by Camille Saint-Saens
Hornpipe by Henry Purcell
Air on G String by Bach
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel


Seriously some of the most gorgeous music ever written. {Also, these five pieces count towards my 2015 Music Goal of learning 12 pieces on the violin this year!}

Can’t wait to play for Ben & Lauren’s wedding this weekend! <3

A Sneak-Peek Inside My New Book of Hymn Arrangements for Violin & Piano!

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicORDER HERE

I am SO excited about my new book of hymn & psalm arrangements for violin and piano! I’ve worked on this book a long time, and it feels so fabulous to hold it in my hands.

f i n a l l y.

Here’s a little sneak-peek into the book!

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

Choosing which hymns and psalms to arrange for this book was one of the funnest and hardest parts of the project. Fun because I love so many hymns and psalms, and hard because I love too many. Way too many.

But I had to narrow it down, so for this volume I chose the following melodies:

Be Thou My Vision
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Day by Day
Faith of Our Fathers
God of the Ages
Holy, Holy, Holy
Not What My Hands Have Done
Psalm 1
Psalm 71
Psalm 121
Take My Life and Let it Be
The Church’s One Foundation
There is a Fountain Filled With Blood
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

These arrangements are designed to cultivate the young violinist’s technique and skill and are ordered in a progressive level of difficulty, starting with simple melodies and gradually introducing more complex rhythms, longer arrangements, and harmony in the violin part with the pianist carrying the melody.

I wrote these arrangements for the young violinist’s level, but they are also ideal for more advanced students who love to improvise.

The piano accompaniment parts are written at an intermediate level and are simple enough for the average pianist to learn without a fuss, but full enough to carry the violinist with the flow of a more advanced work.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

The Music Glossary at the back of the book provides simple definitions of the concepts found in the arrangements and can be used by students to learn and review new musical terms, symbols, and concepts while they are working on their pieces.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

The Teacher’s Guide contains a piece-by-piece outline of the skills found in each arrangement. New techniques and musical concepts are introduced progressively throughout the book, and this brief overview is meant to help teachers guide their young violinist through any potentially challenging skills new pieces may present.

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman MusicGod of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music – 

When I was 11 years old and learning violin, I desperately wanted a book of hymn arrangements to play, but there were none. That’s what made me write this one. I wanted a resource that families, siblings, friends, and churches could use and enjoy for a variety of settings and occasions – recitals, weddings, church, parties, sing-a-longs, and even just around the house.

So SHARE IT with all of your friends! (And don’t forget to order your own copy!!!!!)

God of the Ages Hymn Arrangements for Violin by Lacie Bowman Music

Click Here to Order.

Should I Give My Student A Piece He Doesn’t Like?

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I’d always been a student who was really passionate about the music I liked.

And I liked drama. Fast. Loud. Minor keys, plush chords, extravagant bass octaves, quadruple fortissimos, sweeping arpeggios. I loved Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy.

I was also really passionate about the music I didn’t like.

And I didn’t like Bach. I mean, he was okay… too busy, too frilly, too cold. Not enough emotion. Chopin was monotonous. Too slow. Too many “oom-cha-cha“s.

But Mozart? He was the worst. OH. I HATED HIM. What a horrid jumble of frilly, trilly, bouncy, sissy nonsense! yuck. Where was the passion? I couldn’t stand to listen to him, much less play him.

That was 8 years ago. Today I love Bach. Chopin is glorious. And Mozart? I adore him.

So what happened?

MY TEACHER MADE ME PLAY THREE PIECES I DIDN’T LIKE.

 

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Should I Give My Student A Piece He Doesn’t Really Like?

As music teachers, we’ve all labored over this question. And there are times when the answer is no. Very much no. We’ll talk about those further down.

But I think there are also times when the answer is yes. Very much yes.

Not to be cruel, not to be insensitive, not to make our students hate music.

Then why?

 

Why It’s Important to Give Your Students Pieces They Don’t Necessarily Like

BROADENING MUSICAL TASTE.

Our students aren’t going to love everything. And you know what? That’s okay. No one person is going to like every style or composer, and everyone will have a one or two that they love more than all the rest. It’s called personality, and it’s a good thing. Loving everything isn’t necessary, and it’s not the goal.

But a well-rounded appreciation for a variety of musical styles is important. Very important. And it is the goal.

Every once in a while, we’ll get a student who loves everything they hear. But much more often we find ourselves with a student who only likes one or two styles – fast, slow, soft, loud, major, minor, showy, waltz-y, Baroque, Romantic, Beethoven, Scarlatti, or Cage

Okay. Maybe not Cage.

Still.

When a student does have one or two favorite styles, it often means they don’t like all the rest. Or worse, they just plain detest the rest. Fiercely.

So when we do find ourselves with a student who has narrow musical taste, it’s up to us to nurture an appreciation for a broader range of style. Sometimes that means just listening to new composers with them and explaining what makes them unique from others. Other times it actually means giving them new styles to learn, even if they don’t like them up-front.

Sometimes students like new styles as soon as they hear them; other times it takes a while to see fruit. But even if it does, don’t get discouraged.

It took me two years of actively studying Bach’s music and style to learn to love him. I learned his Italian Concerto and disliked it every bit as much when I was done as when I started. So I left it. Then I came back to it a year and a half later, and you know? I loved it! And once I did, the whole world of Bach was opened up to me. Now he is the single composer into whom I have invested the most time. And, you know, it was well worth the countless hours of practice when I “didn’t like that bothersome piece.”

WELL-ROUNDED MUSICAL EXPERIENCE.

Musical taste, musical experience… they go hand-in-hand. Why? Because only by experiencing new music can our student’s taste be broadened.

Experiencing a variety of composers is important because it gives musicians a better understanding and appreciation for music context, stylization, and history. Our students need exposure to a lot of music… Baroque, Romantic, Classical, Impressionistic, Renaissance, and even a little modern. Sometimes exposure all that’s needed for a formerly “picky” student to discover that he loves other styles, after all.

Every single one of us has to be stretched before we can grown, and as teachers, it’s up to us to make sure our students enjoy the richness of that experience.

LEARNING NECESSARY TECHNIQUE.

It’s also up to us to make sure our students have well-rounded technique. And let’s face it… some kids just don’t like certain techniques. Arpeggios, left hand melodies, octaves, rubato, runs, triplets, various key signatures and chords… They’re all challenging in their own unique way, and some students want nothing to do with them.

But if we’re wise, we will make sure our students can play all of these things and play them well, whether it’s in a waltz, etude, programmatic piece, fugue, sonata, polonaise, minuet, scherzo, or even an occasional rag-time tune.

 

Is It Always Necessary?

No. Some students just love music and are literally ecstatic to play anything in sight.

Remember, the goal is to help our students experience and appreciate a variety of good music. If they already do, then the goal is already accomplished. Don’t go scouring for a piece they don’t like just for the sake of it.

 

When NOT to Give Your Student a Piece He Doesn’t Like

There are definitely situations when we shouldn’t give our students less-than-loved pieces. Here are a few of those times to keep in mind:

FOR A PERFORMANCE.

Performances are your student’s chance to share his musical passions, technical strengths, and artistic maturity with his audience. If he is emotionally disconnected with his piece – or worse, emotionally hostile toward his piece – he will struggle to do all of these. (Even more so for competitions.) Instead, give your student a performance piece he will be excited about, will enjoy practicing, and can perform with an enthusiasm that’s contagious.

IF IT’S ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT PIECES HE’S PLAYED.

Launching into your most difficult piece takes an extra measure of stamina, even if you love it.  Giving a student a really hard piece that he doesn’t like is asking for trouble. Slump Alert!

IF HE’S ALREADY IN A SLUMP. 

Goodness me, if your student is already struggling to hang in there, please don’t give him a piece he doesn’t like. It will seal his doom. Instead, give him lots of encouragement and a piece or two he really, really loves.

 

When, What, & How to Do it Right


WHEN TO DO IT

Between performances is usually the best time to give students a less-than-loved piece. It gives them the opportunity to focus on mastering it without distracting them from more pressing performance repertoire.

Immediately after a successful performance is ideal because the student is on a high note and ready to take on anything. When unlocking new music to our more skeptical students, timing is definitely key.

WHAT TO GIVE THEM

When introducing a composer or style your student doesn’t like, keep it a level or two below his current repertoire capabilities. Start with something short and sweet, especially for young students. Remember, the goal is to stretch them musically, not to make them panic!

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT

My teacher made me play stuff I didn’t like, but she was never mean about it. She never spoke harshly to me or ignored my thoughts or told me that I was ignorant and didn’t know what was good for me. She was kind. She respected my struggles. She was even sympathetic. But she was firm. And by firm, I mean SHE DIDN’T BUDGE. And I benefited because she didn’t.

Remember, we’re doing this to help our students. We are their music teachers. It’s our responsibility and privilege to help them cultivate a well-rounded appreciation for good music, and hopefully, they will learn to know and love music better in the process.

So how do we do this well?

To start, here are a few things NOT to do:

– Never be forceful.

– Never disregard their feelings.

– Never treat them like they are ignorant or need to be enlightened.

Instead,

– Be gentle. Be patient. Be sensitive. Be kind.

– Listen to their woes. Be understanding. Make sure they know you aren’t ignoring their feelings or don’t care what they think.

– Explain to them why it’s important. Help them understand the goal. Keep communication open and work with them as a team, not a taskmaster.

If we can do all of these things, we’re well on the road to doing it well.

 

SUMMARY: WHAT’S THE GOAL?


We’ve got to keep this question at the forefront. Remember, the goal isn’t to get them to love every piece ever written or every composers who ever lived.

THE GOALS ARE THESE:

1) A Well-Rounded Musical Experience
2) A Well-Rounded Musical Appreciation

I still don’t love Prokofiev. And I’m not that crazy about Haydn or Brahms. It’s just personality. But you know what? I recognize the significance of their lives and work, and when I do play them I want to play them well.

Once our students are willing to try and appreciate composers who aren’t their favorites they’ll really start to grow. Why? Because they’ll better understand musical context, style, and history. They’ll have the complete musical picture instead of just their favorite fragments.

So, if we can do it well, then yes – let’s give our students pieces that will stretch their taste. Their musical experience will be far richer and deeper than it ever could be if we don’t.

 

Have any thoughts? Share them in the comments below!
 

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Photos from An Evening of Classics & Hymns

 

Here are some photos from our concert Tuesday night!  We had an hour of music, 120 people, and SO much fun.

Thank you, THANK YOU to all of you wonderful friends, old and new, who spent the evening with us! We made such wonderful memories with you all and can’t wait until next time.

 

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Lacie Bowman Music | An Evening of Classics & Hymns.  www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

Lacie Bowman Music | An Evening of Classics & Hymns.  www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

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Bach Double with this girl… So much fun. Twins at heart!

 

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My newly published Collection of Hymns Arrangements for Violin & Piano, God of the Ages.

 

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With my main music editor and favorite piano accompanist. Love this girl!

 

 

 Next recital date and videos coming soon, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU, Friends… Recital Preview!

 

Lacie Bowman Music | www.LacieBowmanMusic.com

 

We had SUCH a wonderful time at our concert last night! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people who came out to spend the evening with us. It was wonderful to meet so many new friends and visit with so many old ones. Can’t wait until next time!

More pictures and videos coming here and on my Facebook page soon, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

Exciting Announcement Coming Tonight… Any Guesses???

 

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Friends, I’m totally and completely ECSTATIC right now. I’m finally putting the finishing touches on a secret music project I’ve been working on like crazy the last several months, and it’s  a.l.m.o.s.t. r.e.a.d.y.   !!!!!

[Which is also why I’ve dropped off the blogging planet recently…]

Here’s an image with some hints on what I’ve been working with…  And I’ll be ANNOUNCING IT TONIGHT on my Facebook page Keep your eyes open!

<3,
Lacie

 

 

 

You’re Invited to An Evening of Classics & Hymns with Lacie Bowman & Laura Verret

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AN EVENING OF CLASSICS & HYMNS

Tuesday, March 10th
6:30 PM
Free admission.
Reception immediately following the performances.
First Baptist Church, Hohenwald, TN

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Dear Tennessee Friends,

My sister Laura & I would love for you to join us on Tuesday, March 10th for an evening of music and fellowship!

We will be playing many classics, including works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Pachelbel, Kriesler, Massenet, and other classical composers, as well as a number of solo and ensemble hymns that I have arranged for violin and piano.

We will also have the delight of Ellen & Natasha Vernier and Audri Botkin joining us for a variety of ensemble music for violin, cello, and piano.

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We’re so excited about this, and we hope you will join us! A reception and time for fellowship will immediately follow the music in the same building.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME, so please bring your whole family and some friends. The more the merrier!

Stay tuned over the next 3 weeks, as we’ll be sharing peeks into the program through videos and pictures here on the blog, on my Instagram page, and over on our Facebook page.

If you would like, you can also RSVP and / or invite your friends to the recital via our Facebook Event Page: An Evening of Classics & Hymns

 

We hope to see you there!

Lacie

 

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