The third year of Let’s Play Music is very fun and very full—jam packed with learning to play scales and chords in different keys, learning to improvise and transpose, learning to count music properly in different time signatures, and the coup de gras—composing an original piece to play at the recital.
Students begin thinking of ideas for the composition in January when Orange Roots semester begins.
We talk about inspiration and what they, the student, gets excited about. We talk about how music can tell a story, just like a book can, and how music follows patterns, just like books do. We explore different sounds on the piano, e.g “What would it sound like if it was raining outside?” “What does an elephant walking sound like on the piano?”
In mid-February we are ready to begin putting notes down on the manuscript paper. Students (and parents) often feel apprehensive about beginning a composition. But, after meeting one-on-one with the teacher to begin their composition, they leave their lesson feeling excited about going home and adding to what they just wrote.
Students spend the next few weeks making changes and adding new ideas to their composition. Once again, there is a lesson, one-on-one with the teacher, at the end of March where students will put the finishing touches on their masterpiece.
Then they begin practicing for the recital. Parents are often surprised that a student will need to practice something they wrote themselves. Let’s Play Music students are often able to write and play music that is beyond their ability to read music, so practice is necessary.
The recital is truly a time of celebration! Each student has progressed at their own pace, but we celebrate where they are right now!
Parents are an integral part of the Let’s Play Music program. This program is successful because of dedicated parents who come to class with their child and follow up with practice time at home. Sometimes practicing is not fun and life gets in the way, but LPM parents are truly the best! Why? Because they have committed to helping their child through this wonderful program and have given them the gift of music. At the recital we always take time to honor the parents and their contribution to the child.
Let’s Play Music graduates are ready to enter private lessons and be successful. They have been given the tools for a strong musical foundation and been taught successful practice techniques. They have learned to intelligently listen to classical music and recognize classical form. Their ears, eyes, fingers, and voices have been trained to help them decipher and play difficult music passages. But, most of all, they have learned that they can do hard things, and for this, we celebrate!