Friday, December 11, 2009
Music Teacher Christmas Brunch
What do music lovers do when they get together at the holidays? They play for each other! Here are some glimpses into our gathering this morning for brunch at the lovely D.D.'s house. Many brought their instruments and D.D. has two, yes two (!) grand pianos. It was a great few hours spent with good food, conversation and so many lovely pieces and people.
The Apple Valley Music Teachers Association is a group of over 60 music teachers in this area. Although the group started in Apple Valley, there are teachers from all over that attend. One even drives almost an hour because of the group's welcoming nature, although there is a local group in her area. Some local associations are only piano teachers, the St. Paul Piano Teachers Association is a great example. I used to below to three local groups because they were so very different in personality and what they offered me as a teacher. The dues and my heart changed. I didn't use many of the programs in the other groups, and often skipped the meetings.
Now, I belong to this group alone. It represents performers and teachers across instruments and neighborhoods. Flutes, guitar, strings, woodwinds, voice, orchestra, and piano meet once per month to listen to speakers, discuss studio policies, have music festivals, and play at nursing homes and malls in the metro area. This is a well organized, conscientious, warm group which is open to any who teach music privately. Some groups prefer to set a standard of teaching or performing excellence. I think that I can't stop anyone from putting out a sign and teaching music. Therefore, I like the open invitation-all come, and grow as both teachers and musicians. There was a short business meeting because in January, February and March we are having student festivals, with over 800 entrants. A few items needed to be decided.
The music today was from a wide range of ability and across all genres, not simply holiday music. We heard a lovely jazz guitar arrangement, accompanied violins, a piano solo piece by Chaminade, a piano duet, a trio of voice, flute and piano, and got a short lecture recital on a bassoon! I had no idea the range of that instrument!
Some of us chose not to play today. I have played at this many times and didn't feel I had anything ready to perform this year. It's not all holiday music; some are getting ready for other performances; I play every Sunday, and it is so much fun for me to hear my colleagues. We made rather merry.
Last night at a lesson, a student had played through his whole Christmas book and come across a tune he didn't know. We had a great discussion on the following piece-it is one of my favorites to play on piano. Maybe someday I'll actually figure out how to do YouTube!