Yesterday in my lesson with student 'a' we revised some scale modes; natural, minor, plus harmonic minors, dorian and blues scales. The reason for doing this was because student 'a' asked for a revision on basic scale theory. He wants to learn more so I will present him with some more modes next session.
I presented each mode by first playing, then pupil wrote down each description of the scale degrees. I then named the notes of the scales so that student 'a' able to play each correctly as I named them.
I have a student that is keen to learn a lot which is a good thing. I need to make sure that he does not receive too much information before he has fully learned each activity. The skill will be to make sure I do not negatively affect his motivation by asking him to slow down. The aim is to make sure he will remember the information I have taught him. When giving the student an activity ideally it would be good for him to practise the given activity for a couple of hours a day (however this would not be realistic given other priorities). The aim is for the student to develop muscle memory. Many of the sessions are spent revising forgotten activities. I will aim to research how best to guide the student to practice
On Sunday the Choir and I were performing at a carol service in Roslyn Chapel. The performance went very well however, the choir sang a little flat during the songs, 'Joseph Dearest' and 'Balu Balo'. In our next two performances I will be accompanying the choir on my Clarsach to assist them to keep in tune with each other. The concerts will take place in the morning at Craigmiller Park Church: and in the afternoon at St Margaret's Retirement Home. Both gigs are on the 22nd of this month which is this coming Sunday. In between the two concerts we will have our Christmas social at the Braid Burn Inn which is my local pub.
Yesterday I managed to film my end of term lesson with one of my piano students, Jason Sweeny. We revised some scales and then I demonstrated some blues chords. In our initial teaching questionnaire, Jason's aim was to learn blues chords. After my demonstration Jason managed to pick up the four chord progression very quickly by ear. Like me he finds this easier than reading slowly through a score. At the end of the lesson I asked Jason if he would like to continue with some more lessons next year and he replied definitely yes.
Last night the Choir had their last rehearsal with John Cranston their musical director. I used my harp for, 'Silent Night', and for the other pieces I sang with the the soprano section. My intro to 'Silent Night', went well however, I missed a couple of notes of the first arpeggio. I will practice the intro before the performance at Roslin Chapel this coming Sunday.
Last Thursday I had the Choir at my house for some note revision before meeting with the musical director this Monday night. Overall the rehearsal went smoothy I went through each song once with the choir members reading the music and afterwards without the music. I am able to lead rehearsals from the keyboard and the harp. The one draw- back when teaching with the harp is that I struggle to play all the parts and I have to really focus on my playing. There is also quite a lot of leavers to change for each song which can be a challenge. This means I sometimes can not sing along if some members become lost. Teaching with the key board however is a lot easier because I can use both my left and right hands to play all the parts and still sing with the choir members if they forget a line of music. Tonight we will be rehearsing with the Musical Director John Cranston at Craigmiller Park Church from 7.30pm til 9pm.
For the past two sessions I have had to postpone my teaching because of illness. For my piano students I instructed them to go over and practise what I had done with them in earlier lessons prior to my becoming ill. My piano students are doing a piano piece each and some major scales and triads. For the choir rehearsals I asked my mum, Anne who is a member of the choir to take the rehearsal. I instructed my mum to lead the choir in warm ups and conduct the two Christmas pieces that the choir are preparing for two christmas concerts. Last week the choir's musical director took the rehearsal at a church.
Yesterday was the forth choir rehearsal we had a look at two Christmas songs, a German arrangement of 'Silent Night' and 'Joseph Dearest' which is in English. We managed to practice these without mistakes. I played both the soprano and alto parts on the clarsach separately before putting them together. This helped the choir to stay in tune and it helped the singers sing the correct notes following this the choir sung through both pieces twice with all the parts together.
Yesterday I had my my third choir rehearsal again this went very well. I did some physical warm ups as per last rehearsal, for example rolling shoulders back and forward. I also revisited the warm up based on the 'Grand Old Duke of York', adding the claps and stamps. We recapped on the chorus of 'Gaudete', and we took a look at the tune for the verses of this song. To finish the session, we looked at Donna Nobis a Round by Mozart. We managed to do this in three parts repeating each part three times over. This was enjoyed by everyone because it was a bit of a challenge for all to come in at the right time and keep a Round like this going for a long time.
Yesterday I had my second choir rehearsal which went very well I shortened my warm-up and we did some humming and the 'aah rrrhaaa' exercises and some physical exercise such as cheek slapping. I included an exercise based on 'The Grand Old Duke of York', once singing it normally and the second time claps for 'up' and stamps for 'down', everybody really enjoyed this. I then include one round 'Bella Muma' unaccompanied with myself conducting, this again went very well. I introduced a renaissance version of the song 'Gaudete' with separate parts and then adding them together. In preparation for this session I managed to find a score of this on CPDL. I also looked at other repertoire for the choir and I downloaded, The Shepherd's Farewell' by Hector Berlioz and 'Pannis Angelicus', by Fraunk. I found mp3 files of these in Choralia http://www.choralia.net
To finish last night's rehearsal we had a brief look at 'Dona Nobis' by Monteverdi we shall hopefully carry on with this next week.
Last week I had my first St Margaret's FP Choir rehearsal in my music room at my house. I managed to successfully do a warm-up which consisted of some rounds and a rhyme based on the C major scale. I thought that the warm up was too long because it left me very little time for covering new material. I tried to introduce 'The Seal Lullaby', however I only had the soprano part learned so I was under prepared. I really learnt a lot from this session for example, I need to keep my warm ups short and do more work on repertoire. Otherwise it can get dull and the end of the rehearsal came before we really got into the material and people's concentration started to go.