Exam pieces

Previous exams have been somewhat easier. Not only because the pieces given to play aren't as demanding as the ones we're facing this time, but... well, they have all been ordered. For the final exam we are giving an actual concert and it's going to include a concerto by Mozart and the Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy by Doppler. And one piece by our own choice - the only demands are these: it must be from outside the Suzuki repertoire and if it's chamber music, flute has to have a "soloist-like" part.

Why is it more difficult then, one might ask. First thought would be of course that it's easier, you're able to play just what you like! Noooope. In my opinion. I don't want to have same kind of style that there already is (concertos, virtuoso fantasies), also I want my concert to represent me in some way. Would have Loved to play Carmen-fantasy (Borne), but no can do... :D

It felt like a struggle to know where to start searching or choosing, so I decided to go for my own sheet music piles. Dug out all that I've liked in recent concerts etc. The pile consisted of J.S.Bach (sonatas & solo suite), C.Ph.E.Bach (solo sonata), Telemann (solos), Schubert (sonata), Takemitsu (Air), Piazzolla (Histoire du tango), Villa-Lobos (Assobio a játo), Burkhard (solo suite), Widor (suite), Vasks (solo), Martin (Ballade). Now it's narrowed down to 4 options: one father, one son, one suite and one landscape. I think I'll consult our trainer and then think a bit more. And play a Lot.

Oh and by the way, my Mozart's in quite a good state :) Or at least it's on the verge of "by-the-heart"... :D


Talent Code

Past weekend was our second to last training session. Quite an alarming feeling, I say. One weekend to go during Spring semester, then a day for preparation just prior to the examinations in June. We already know the dates for the latter, Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th. Yikes... :D

*** I couldn't make it to lectures this Friday, had a rehearsal with our town orchestra for its 80th Anniversary concert. Have to say, I was very Very pleased to be asked for the project. We played a 3-piece work composed to 3 fairytales of H.C. Andersen. Composer was Jan Järvlep. ***

On Saturday morning I got up at 6am, which is somewhat strange for me. But it's never hard to do when there's something interesting & motivating to look forward to. Bus ride went quickly while listening to different versions of Fauré's Fantasy, my homework piece for this session. I don't have trouble remembering it, but I still need to play and play to get it flowing smoooothly the whole way through. When performing it to our trainer Leena & 2 of my fellow trainees, I was of course a bit nervous and stammered on some passages. But all in all I was quite happy with my playing.

Saturday's training began with trainee Niclas teaching Bach's March. Good lesson, I always enjoy observing others as it gives me a lot to think about, not to mention all the new ideas! After the pupil left, us other trainees & Leena gave N some feedback. Then it was some overall conversation and a decision that I would teach the next kid Blavet/2nd movement as Hanna had to leave already. Meri would be teaching Venice/double-tongue variation to the third pupil.

At noon my pupil arrived. I remember seeing her "some" years ago at this group class, just 5 years old, with her mom. Now she was a Young Lady! :) (...and I felt Old...) She played from the book, which helped me, but I think I would have managed ok without it. I've been revising books 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 & 9 these past weeks. 

After Meri's wonderful class we got our feedback. The challenge with these teaching-training-lessons is how to make it effective in that short amount of time, with an unfamiliar child. Usually we know what piece to teach at least a day in advance, this time I kinda heard it half an hour before. But as the pieces are all familiar and we have prepared lots of exercises for them, it's no problem to start teaching.

The day continued with Meri playing her homework. After lunch it was my turn. The last bigger thing was Meri telling us about the book Talent Code (by Daniel Coyle). I think it's going to be an interesting read, just based on the short introduction we got. Nothing too "high flying idealism, but clear thoughts and some science.


On Sunday we continued on the subject (talent & book) with trainer Eija. But that's another post to come shortly. Now I'm off to practice & teach! :)


Last year!

It's beginning to look a lot like... Examination time!

Well, the plan is to have them in the beginning of July, but still. It's less than a year and I can tell you, the days FLY by. I'm revising the books 1-9, but should really take up on a more constructed system with it. And kick my own butt a bit, to practice more often... Aaaand what should I also be doing on daily basis? LISTEN more.

Anyhow, I've been carrying a small notebook with me at work. I write down when I've played, which book and pieces. Many times the books aren't with me, but I play as much as I know/remember. The reason why I don't have them with me all the time is that I teach in 3 different places, so there's a lot of stuff to carry around. But the plan is to take 2-3 books every day: one of 1-2-3, one of 4-5-6 and one of 7-8-9. Maybe I'll call it my "triple system"... :D

One problem still. We had an outdoors Tango Club 2 weeks ago, on a Friday evening. The weather was quite cold and humid. The club was a concert given by our chamber music society, we did it in May also. But, I played in the opening quartet and everything was fine. Then, after waiting for about 45 minutes or so, I played with another quartet. And during the first phrases I knew something was wrong with my flute - the left thumb keys were fumbly and leaky. A piece of felt had dropped on it's own, from the b flat key. So the flute's a bit broken now, but it'll have to wait till I take it to the doctor. In the meantime, I'll play with my old one.

(p.s. The Tango Club was a success! :)

You can find me in Instagram also, under the name iepukka :)

I've been organizing my portfolios into new albums. At the same time I read the essays and check if I want to move any material to another level's album. On levels 4 and 5 I've been taking notes on my laptop during the lectures, so there's some stuff to print out. I like having this/pages I can write on, with a pen. Also I'm a fan of real books.

...and at the moment I'm reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (in English, to practice my skills, haha...) and the first Suzuki book I ever bought: Nurtured with Love (this one in Finnish, Rakkaudella kasvatettu). My goal is to read the other books included in our training also. I must admit, I always dread the interview most, in the examination. The philosophy is so familiar and speaking English ain't a problem, but still. You get all sweaty palms and heart beats really fast... On second place is the teaching part, but that's just because we don't know the piece beforehand. Last time I got (level 4) the one we thought would never be asked! :D It was the 1st part of Cimarosa concerto. But we had a fairly good time with it, with the great student.

And well, I love playing so the exam pieces won't be "too much" of a deal. Don't get me wrong, of course I'll be nervous when the time comes and I do think they're difficult - both to play and remember. I still have to choose the third piece for the concert, as Mozart in D and Doppler's Hungarian are obligatory. There are 3, maybe 4, of us taking the 5th level exam, so we've been talking about maybe playing something together.

And of course the Biggest Problem is... What to wear!!! :D

At my mom's birthday in March -14

Bunch of random thoughts today, I see. But to sum it up: It's Fall and a new school year has begun, time to do new things and get better in the old ones.