Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Little Beethoven

  Today I'd like to share the first movement of one of my favorite Beethoven Sonatas, No. 8 in C minor, Opus 13. This piece is also known as "The Pathetique," meaning poignant or moving. This sonata embodies so much of what musicians love about Beethoven: his fire and passion alongside his masterful use of melody. He served as a bridge between the highly structured Classical Period and the more emotional and unstructured Romantic Period. This particular piece was written in 1798 and published in 1799, when Beethoven was 28 years old. The performer is the fabulous Daniel Barenboim.

Listening questions:

1. What do you think is happening in this piece? What story do you think Beethoven is trying to tell?
2. What is the mood of the piece?
3. How did Beethoven create changes in mood?
4. How would you describe Mr. Barenboim's hand, wrist, and arm position?

Thanks for listening, and please leave your answers in the comment section below with your initials.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Upcoming Events

  Happy New Year, students and parents! As lessons get back underway, I'd like to take a few minutes to update you on upcoming events. Please mark these on your calendar:

February 10: SWMMTA Recital for selected students at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 1:30 p.m.

March 23: SWMMTA Spring Festival for selected students at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 8:30 am

May 3: Recital Dress Rehearsal and guest performance, 7-8 pm at the studio

May 25: Spring Recital for all students at Bozeman Public Library, 2 pm

  Participation in SWMMTA (our local chapter of the Music Teacher's National Association) recitals and festivals is an honor reserved for students who are consistently practiced and prepared. Our spring recital is a mandatory performance for all students. Attendance at the group lesson is strongly encouraged as practice performances go a long way to calm nerves and polish performances. I will be inviting a guest performer or performers to participate with us.

 Students will be coming home with recital pieces very soon, and parental involvement in consistent practice and preparation is very much appreciated!

 Students can earn extra tokens by attending concerts and musical performances. Check the Montana State University Department of Music page for recital opportunities. Many are free. The Bozeman Symphony and the Intermountain Opera Company have many upcoming events as well.

  After much though and feedback on our new practice checklist system, I've decided to revert back to timed practice sessions as the primary way for students to earn tokens. I would encourage all students to use the checklists during practice time as a guide, and I will still be accepting them. I appreciate your feedback and participation! Please remember to sign your student's notebook so I can reward their hard work.

  As always, I know how much time and energy are involved in being dedicated to music lessons. I appreciate all of you more than words can express!!