Saturday, February 27, 2016

Federation 2016: Piano

On Saturday, I took John (9) and Mary (7) (with Baby Thomas along for the ride) to Federation (non-scholarship) to be judged on their piano accomplishments.

On the drive to Queens College, I told the children that regardless of how well they were going to play, what Daddy and I were really proud of is how much they've matured, particularly in the last half-year: completing their daily practice, checking all their boxes, studying Music Theory in their weekly class and daily with me, more often than not being able to accept criticism and direction from their music teachers, being able to stay focused during lessons, and tantrums over music becoming a rarity (although not eliminated!). We prayed that they would play for the glory of God, and we prayed for the intercession of St. Cecilia and St. Gregory.

Before performing--Mary wearing her St. Cecilia broach
Going to Federation (and there were about 500 students at this one) involves a lot of hurrying up and waiting in crammed hallways, plus so much walking up and down stairs in this particular building. And this year, we had to bring with us a pedal extender, which weighs about as much as 22-pound Thomas, because Mary's songs had pedaling, but she can't reach the pedals.

Meanwhile, I'd lost my Big Strong Helper: just the day before, John hurt his knee during a pick-up game of tackle football with his pals. His knee got hit so badly that he could not bear any weight or walk for a good two hours, during which time I realized that Federation, for which he's worked hard for a good six months, was the next day, requiring going up and down many stairs, as well as using that leg for pedaling. I can tell you, those were some rough hours as I tried to accept God's providence while I didn't know if he'd just lost his opportunity to participate in something for which he'd worked so diligently, and Mama had to work through a few tears quietly by myself.

With ibuprofen, an ACE bandage, and time, John could walk again, gingerly: I dropped him off at the building so he didn't have to walk in from the parking garage, and I carried the baby, heavy purse, and pedal extender myself, leaving Mary to carry our backpack. I felt like a pack animal, and we were quite the sight!

After the children warmed up in the basement practice rooms, we waited for John's time to perform.

Mean Mama makes us bring books instead of electronic screens.

Thomas 'dancing' with the pretty lady statue

Nobody else is allowed in the judging room, so the below video clips are from John's warming up that morning.

"Minuet in G" by Christian Petzold

"Valse Triste" by Dennis Alexander

After John's performance, the children took their Theory Exams, and then we still had an hour and a half to pass. We went outside to get some sunshine and fresh air, although we couldn't take a neighborhood walk as we wanted because of John's knee.

Despite their grown-up concert clothing, they're still children: they passed the time exuberantly trying to catch lizards.

Lounging about and goofing off

Finally Mary's turn came to perform, and below are her video clips from warming up.

"PB and J Blues" by Carol Klose (Note that Mary is playing while laughing because her brother was behind me making clownish faces the entire time.)

"Jungle Fever" by Catherine R---?

We are proud of all your hard work and dedication, John and Mary! And we have gratitude for the children's excellent teachers!

1 comment:

  1. What talented little piano players! This gets me excited when my Michael starts lessons in the fall.