Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Staycation. What to do with my free time?

I'm on vacation this week.  Stay-cation, not going anywhere.  I plan to use my time reading through Halloween-themed music, in preparation for the new piano school year which begins next Tuesday.  The Frederick County Music Teachers Association has traditionally hosted a Halloween Recital in late October.  Due to Coronavirus and social distancing requirements, the recital will probably be canceled.  Nevertheless, my students will be creating eerie sounds over the next 2 months, and we will do something to celebrate Halloween, even if it's online.  

This is one of my favorite events of the school year.  Typically, everyone comes in costume, even the teachers!  Last year, Sponge Bob was the emcee.  We had 2 witches the year before.  This year, Zoom will probably serve in that role.  Or Facebook.  I developed a private Facebook page for my students to share their Spring Recital performances, as well as other Facebook-worthy posts: Hallelujah Chorus on handbells; Fur Elise on glass harp; and artwork inspired by student repertoire.  (Due to privacy concerns, I cannot share the link here.)  I just posted Joachim Horsley playing a piano transcription of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, on the keys and on the frame!  Wow!   Look it up when you have the chance.

Actually, quite inspiring.  All of my students are learning to play Happy Birthday by ear, melody and some sort of left hand accompaniment.  Perhaps my more advanced students will glean some percussive inspiration from this Horsley post.  Thinking out loud here, since fall performances will most likely be held online, therefore pre-recorded, yes, this might work!  Oh, I wish I were teaching this week!  

I do love teaching,  And I miss my students when I take time off.  But I also need this time to brainstorm, to peruse new music, sightread through old music, and listen to funky Facebook posts to find inspiration for the coming year.  Yeah, I think I've hit gold with this Horsley idea.  All of my students are also working on music by Beethoven.  We are going to celebrate his 250th birthday in December.  Hence the Happy Birthday idea.  We've got Straussian oom-pa-pah accompaniment, some Chopinesque left hand as well.  I can't wait to introduce this percussive element!  It's going to be quite the concert.  

But Halloween comes first.  Gotta play through all my Halloween repertoire.  Such fun!  Boo!

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