Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Beginnings

I have the most charming five year old student beginning piano this summer. His older sister has been here two years, and he's been waiting patiently for his turn to start "pinano".
Our first lesson last week was full of squeals of delight that we were finally beginning, and with every note moving up the keyboard in our music ABC's, he alternated standing up and sitting back down. Here was our work on the board for our time together for the last two lessons. The first week we found the patterns of 2 or 3 black keys, and last week we talked about finger numbers; we discovered that he's left-handed! And he could already write some of his numbers and his name, but 3's were difficult and the number 4 was almost impossible. Many of the students after him decided to put their hands on the board too.
This time of piqued curiosity fuels me for the rest of the day. One little look or note from these kids and I want to do my absolute best for them; and they're not even mine!
On the flip side of things, I went to the music store and bought lots (read $200) of music and it was (gasp) all popular titles. This will get billed to families via their monthly statement, but it was an outlay of money in the thin air of summer lessons. But true to form, students are so excited to play.
I knew one of them had a favorite song, "Fireflies" by Owl City, one adores Michael Buble, I have some aspiring Princesses, and teen crushes on anything "Twilight". So Bella's Theme will probably be learned in one week. Lots of James Bond, Harry Potter, and Disney music went through the studio doors in July so far.
One young lady had been to an antique store and purchased music for $1.00 each. The titles were from the 20's and 30's, and she got some real gems. They will be a stretch for her hands, as many contain octaves or bigger. I plan to teach the theory behind some of those chords, but she doesn't know it yet. And the cover art? It was GORGEOUS. Frame-able, I would say!
One of the unexpected not-so-little things that happened was that as I played through many of the pieces, I lost 4 hours of my day! That hasn't happened to me in a long time. I used to disappear into my music often. Lately, I've been restless, frustrated almost, by my lack of practice, and even more so about my lackadaisical nature about said unmotivated self. I am working on a new invention (!), and still getting past the copyright issue of spring. But to dig in deeply and be compelled to the instrument by Top 40? I was caught off guard and I loved it.
Here's to popular summer tunes! What would you learn to play for fun?

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