The Chosen One

My programme in the examination concert is following:

Mozart - Concerto in D major
F. Doppler - Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy
J.S. Bach - Sonata in e minor

Let me just say: YAY!!! :D


The Fireflies Chronicles, part 1

American flutist and flute teacher Noelle Perrin has arranged a fabulous music story, for flute group and accompaniment, called The Fireflies Chronicles. It has an exciting story about a girl called Mary who lives in an enchanted forest with a family of fireflies. Evil machines come to cut down all trees, so Mary and the fireflies have to escape. They have an adventurous journey with many kinds of encounters, finally finding something very special.

The Chronicles have 9 pieces of music, 8 of them with piano, 1 with 3 different percussions. Each piece consists of one well-known classical theme and either 'Mary had a little lamb' or 'Fireflies' (Japanese children's song). *** Mary and Fireflies are the first two songs in Suzuki flute book 1, requiring only 5 different notes. Perrin is also a Suzuki teacher, which explains these chosen songs. *** The classical themes are Sakura Sakura (Japanese folk song), Träumerei (Schumann), William Tell Overture (Rossini), Swan Lake theme (Tchaikovsky), Samson and Delilah (part: Bacchanale, Saint-Saëns), Theme from 3rd movement / Symphony no. 1 (Mahler), Lion / Carnival of the animals (Saint-Saëns), Can Can (Offenbach) and Theme from 2nd movement / Symphony From the New World (Dvorak).

Some pieces have 2 parts for flutes, some 3. Easiest is always Mary or Fireflies, top one the classic. Middle part doubles sometimes lower, sometimes higher part. Sometimes it has harmonics to fulfil the chords.


I learned about this great piece of music at least 2, probably 3 years ago, during one of our Suzuki training sessions. Our trainer guru Leena had heard about it and ordered the sheet music. We played some of it, but I didn't order it right away. Had it in mind, though. Then in Jan-Feb 2013 we were starting to arrange the 30th Anniversary festivities of the Finnish Flute Association and needed something we could offer the flute kids. Leena suggested we'd rehearse and perform The Fireflies - which turned out to be a Great idea!

First I ordered the music, it came super quickly via e-mail in pdf-form, which is very convenient. Then it was time to plan the schedule, plan info sheet for teachers to give their students and to publish in the Huilisti-magazine to get participants. The festival weekend was to be in mid-November 2013.

Before our first together rehearsal in October we knew that over 60 kids would be coming - finally we had over 80 flutists on stage! It was one of the most amazing happenings/concerts I've been part of. Back to rehearsal... It was a Sunday afternoon at Helsinki Conservatory concert hall. First were only the 1st flutes, then came along those who played 2nd parts, finally also the Marys/Fireflies. We had our pianist with us, also our lovely narrator lady came. She wanted to hear the music and plan a little how she'd do her lines, make notes etc.


First rehearsal was a success when you take into consideration how many kids were there. And how many different ages (from maybe 5-6 years to 16 or so). A small group of teachers (who's kids were there) were of great assistance, I was really greatful to them. We divided the conductor work between 4 teachers, worked out very fine. It was actually quite overwhelming how well the kids had done their "homework" with the pieces. Teachers had ordered the music online, given out parts and rehearsed with the pupils. Everyone knew their stuff when they came to the October rehearsal.

Of course there were a lot of details still to decide and fix and take care of. But as November and the festival came, we had so much fun playing and performing together... :) More about it later, in part 2!

From the November -13 concert!


If you are interested in ordering The Fireflies Chronicles, you can get it from Noelle Perrin's website here -> http://www.flutestars.com/apps/webstore/
There's also another fun collection of arrangements in same style (but without a story), The Flutistic Adventures of Mary and the Fireflies. Recommended also! :)


How to practice 9 books of music at the same time

Current syllabus for Suzuki teacher trainees in level 5 says following: You perform certain pieces in the exam (plus one free of choice outside the books). You also have to be prepared to perform Any piece asked from All levels/books.

So, I've been playing. And playing... :D As I wrote and planned earlier, I did the 2-3 books per day or week, but that didn't work out as efficiently as I wanted. In March our trainer Leena gave a Very Good advice.

Play the first piece of each book. Then the second. Then third. And so on. Of course book 1 has most pieces (17) so the others rotate more, but that's only good as they are more demanding. 

It really works! At least for me. One doesn't get bored so easily.