Today we have the honor of announcing the Solo & Ensemble results for our wonderful 6th-graders! As you all may know, many schools host the Solo & Ensemble competition for 6th graders a few months after the February Solo & Ensemble competition for older musicians (7th – 12th grade).
Congratulations to Zayn (6th Grade, Garcia Middle School) and Morgan (6th Grade, Baines Middle School) for receiving top marks (“1, Superior”) on their Solo & Ensemble performances this spring!
Special congratulations to Morgan for choosing to compete in both the solo AND the ensemble (chamber music) categories and receiving top marks in each. We are so proud of her and wish her the best of luck as she auditions this week for her school’s advanced orchestras!
Special congratulations to Zayn, who has already auditioned for and been selected into his school’s highest orchestra! We are so happy for his amazing progress this year!
On another inspiring note, both Zayn and Morgan have successfully auditioned for and been accepted into the American Festival for the Arts Summer Music Conservatory. Way to go, guys!
You can read about this past February’s wonderful Solo & Ensemble results for 7th – 12th grade LHS musicians here: https://laurenhaleystudios.com/2018/03/23/lhs-musicians-awarded-26-grade-1-medals-at-solo-ensemble/
Last week I had the honor of attending A Celebration of Eastman in Houston with Eastman’s wonderful leadership faculty, alumni, and supporters. Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi presented Todd Frazier with the 2016 Luminary Award in recognition of Frazier’s incredible contributions to the arts. Students, you’ll know Todd Frazier as the founder of the American Festival for the Arts here in Houston! He is currently the Director of the Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital.
I was so happy to see Donna Brink Fox at the reception and to have the chance to thank her for her profound influence on my musical life. To students, Dr. Fox champions academic achievement, joy, and perseverance. To teachers, she demonstrates the lifelong positive impact you have on your students and their communities.
Speaking of Eastman’s leadership, I was thrilled to connect with Jamal Rossi, Eastman’s Joan and Martin Messinger Dean. His enthusiasm for music’s ability to change the world perfectly demonstrates Eastman’s dynamic role in the 21st century.
“I want my children to love music, but I’m no expert. How can my spouse and I give our kids the very best music has to offer when we’re so new to violin?”
Here are my favorite ways to help your kids learn!
Attend Every Lesson
Ask questions, videotape, take notes, and try playing a few songs yourself. The more involved you are, the easier everything will come to you and your young musician(s)! Teachers don’t expect you to be an expert — they hope you’ll be their teammate at home, supporting your child each step of the way. Not only does this effort help you keep up with your little violinist, but it also demonstrates to your child how much you love them and value their hard work. Remember that kids will mirror your attitude — if you’re positive and dedicated, they will be as well.
Talk to Other Parents
If there’s an obstacle standing in your way, you can bet someone else in the studio recently faced and conquered it. Friendships with other studio parents can be a huge resource. Ask your teacher to set you up with another family.
Youth Concerts — Recitals, local youth orchestras, and high school musical productions inspire us all. “Look how much fun those kids are having together! Are you excited to play with them someday soon?”
Professional Performances — Symphonies often have special concert series targeted at families. These family events often take place on Saturday mornings, making it easy for you to bring even the youngest ones along. Make it a special occasion and celebrate how grown-up the kids are at their first concert!
Houston Families: Check out the Houston Symphony (especially the Family Season!), Virtuosi of Houston, the Houston Youth Symphony, and the American Festival for the Arts.
Put on a favorite CD and let the kids spin around the room. Encourage them to move to the music — slow when the music slows, speed up and twirl when the music does the same. Encourage brave musical expression from your children by getting up and dancing with them!
Show children the fun of expressing how they feel through their voice. Sing in the car, on long walks, whilst doing the dishes, and, most importantly, whenever the kids are happy. It doesn’t matter what you sing or how everyone sounds: you’re building self-esteem, a love for music, and perceptive ears!
Rent Your Own Instrument
It may feel intimidating, but renting your own instrument and playing along with your child for the first few months is one of the most effective ways to jump-start progress at home. Who knows, you too might catch the Fiddle Bug!
Set Your Home to Music
Let listening to music and singing along work its way into every aspect of family life. Have a new favorite song each week, listen to your new Suzuki CD until yours neighbors could play Allegro, and show the kids how fun listening to Beethoven over breakfast can be.
All opinions are by Lauren Haley and all original content is copyright 2015 Lauren Haley Studios.