Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Molly Ballet Exam Grade 1

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Molly has passed her Ballet exam with a "Pass Commended." She started studying grade I when she was 7 so she could get an early start and now at age 9, she has passed. Now on to grade II ! We are so proud of you. Keep up the hard work! It will pay off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dr. Suzuki on Raising Your Ability to Play (summary by Margaret)

If you asked a musician what their favorite part of learning a new song was, their answer is most likely to be performing for an audience and then being done with that song. When this happens, they are not learning to raise their ability in the piece they are working on. Here are two of the most important things for you to work on so that you will learn and never forget your pieces.
One of the biggest things to help you remember a song is reviewing it every single day. Most of us don’t like review at all, but once you have done it, you will raise your ability in playing the piece more emotionally. When you review, always make sure you are playing the piece correctly, that you are using the correct fingering and dynamics, and that you are confident in the music you are playing. By reviewing, you will help your brain to be able to figure out harder music that comes in the future. “Sometimes we think moving on is advancing, but getting better is really by reviewing,” said Dr. Suzuki. I hope you will consider this everyday as you do your review chart.
Secondly, you need to listen at least 15 minutes to your review songs. By doing this, you will cause yourself to remember what comes next in that song. Listening can also help you discover notes that you are playing wrong and then you will hopefully be able to figure out the correct one. Often our excuse is that we don’t have any time to listen to our cd, but if you have time to practice, you can make time to listen. You might even want to put a cd in the car and listen to it on the way to lessons. As you listen, think deeply into the song and ask yourself questions like, “Am I playing that note the way it should be played?” You will find that the song becomes easier to play after you have thought deeply about it and asked yourself questions.
I hope that after you review and listen to your songs, you’ll be able to play them more emotionally and show others the never-ending excitement of playing your instrument. Remember to listen and review your songs every single day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Madison's First Editorial

This is an editorial that I wrote for Language Arts class. It is about the benefits of listening to classical music. Hope you enjoy!

Have you ever thought that classical music has no point to it? I mean, come on! Why listen to it? It has no words to enjoy and even if it did, it's still weird to listen to classical music, right? If this is what your thinking, I have something important to tell you.
Classical music does have a point to it. There are many reasons why you should listen to classical music.
Did you know that classical music helps you learn easier? There have been tests done to see if music helps you to learn and it has been proven that classical music is the best for your brain.
One test was done with 3 groups of 25 rats. The first group listened to classical music. The second group listened to heavy metal rock music, and the third group listened to nothing at all. While being exposed to the music for a 12 hour period each group was put in a maze to find their way to the food.
It took the group that didn't listen to any music 10 minutes to get through the maze. It took the classical music group 5 minutes, but the rock music group all got mad and ate each other. This proves that classical music helps make your brain smarter, helps you to figure things out, and keeps you from getting angered or stressed out.
Another reason why you should listen to classical music is because it makes you feel better. Classical music is uplifting. Instead of words that make you feel mad or depressed, it brings you music that makes you happy, excited, and even sometimes makes you want to cry.
The third reason is that it was the first kind of spiritual music and many of the pieces were written for the church. Classical music is beautiful. There is a verse in the Bible that says, "Whatever things are true, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy, meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8
Classical music sure fits this verse well. It's no wonder they used classical music to glorify God!
So if you want to do better on that test that's coming up, or if you want to feel happier and friendlier, or if you just want to hear some beautiful music, try listening to classical music and see what happens.

By Maddy K. November 21, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

My First Pointe Class ( by Margaret )

I was so nervous a soon as I walked in the door to the Dancers' Studio in Carthage because it was my first pointe class. I was only eleven years old and I was also kind of hesitant because I was the only one there.

Finally everyone arrived, and we got our supplies out of our bag. First we put these squishy pink gel pads on that were supposed to protect our feet. Then, as soon as I got my pointe shoes out of my bag, I began to get excited because the idea of me dancing with my pink pointe shoes made me feel very graceful. After we put our shoes on, we walked into the dance room. " I can help you tie your ribbons," Danielle, my dance teacher said, as she bent down to tie my beautiful pink silky ribbons.

After we had stretched awhile, we went to the bar. Danielle had us start with the basic steps like plies and tondues. It felt so much different when we did them with pointe shoes on. Then Danielle had us walk across the floor on demi pointe which is between your flat foot and on your toes. Danielle said that we should do this often, " to break our boxes in."

The most surprising part was balancing without using the bar and walking across the floor because I discovered that I could do it. As we walked across the floor, Danielle would correct us by saying " Make sure you are getting all the way up on your boxes." "She also said that we should have tight thighs, knees, and that we should suck up really tall."We also got to grape vine and bouree across the floor, which was kind of tricky since I had never done them on pointe shoes.

Before class, mom had told me that I would have blisters and my toes would bleed.So after class I was expecting blood and blisters, but quess what , there weren't any! Mom told me I was "very lucky" because most girls do get blisters. After that mom said the we had to go home.

While we were riding home, I told mom that I couldn't wait tell next Saturday because I would get to have my pointe class again. That night I had a dream that I was a graceful ballerina performing the part of Clara in the nutcracker. I had to learn fifteen dances in the program and after the last one I fainted because I had been on pointe for too long. Then finally I woke up, and realized that of course it was only a dream and I didn't have to worry because I knew I wouldn't be doing fifteen dances. After that, I couldn't wait to go back to pointe class.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Disaster Camping Trip (by Madison)

It was the summer of 2004 and my family wanted to go on a vacation. The Givens, who are friends of our family, were also wanting to take a break. They were wanting to go to Table Rock Lake and camp. Mom thought that was a great idea since my family had never been camping before. My dad thought that we should rent a cabin, and everyone else would have been fine with that, but mom said, " No! I want the real thing with the tent and the woods and everything like that!" So we all started planning, packing, and getting excited for our camping trip.

Finally, after about a week of waiting, we left for the camp site. Each family took a separate car although us kids would have enjoyed spending that long car trip together. All the way there my siblings and I planned what we were going to do and of course asked questions. Some were about the camp site, some were about what we were going to do when we got there, and of course the classic questions like, "Are we there yet?" and "How much longer? I have to go to the bathroom!"

When we got there we had to unpack. Everyone had to help even though some of us would have rather gone exploring. Then, after we finally got done unpacking us kids got our wish. We went to look around and when we saw the shiny, blue lake we wanted to go swimming right away.

After about 3 days of our wonderful trip it turned to disaster. It started to rain and rain and rain. The thunder and lightning was soon filling the sky. Finally dad and Reg said to pack up because we were going to leave. And that's when the piercing tornado sirens started to go off. Everybody started freaking out and running around, yelling and trying to get everything packed fast.

After a while, all of us kids didn't have anything that we could help with so mom told us to go get in the van. We wanted to stay together so we all crowded into my family's van. We were terrified because we knew that being in a car while there are tornadoes was not a good idea. The adults were all running around outside trying to get everything so I decided the best way to help would be to keep everybody calm. After a while mom came and got us and said it was time to go home.

When we got home we all laughed at the trip because it really was rather funny, everyone freaking out and running around, but mom still said, "I never want to go camping again!"

My first camping experience was not a great one although I know that the Givens and my family will always remember it. But I have a feeling we won't be going again soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Go Berserk!

The vikings lived in the years six hundred through one thousand a.d. When we think of vikings, we think of mean and violent people.That is true, they were mean and violent, but they were also were very clever. In their homes and villages, they would tell stories about their gods and their battles. They were farmers and they grew fruits and vegetables too. They also ate many other things like polar bears, seals, and other animals. Even though the vikings didn't go to school, they were still very clever. One thing they invented was the viking longboat.They used them to sail across the ocean.The boats were able to go very fast and they could also go up on shore. The vikings also believed in many gods like Thor, the thunder god, and Odin, the war god. Those were the main gods that they would pray to and worship. They also believed in spirits and idols. Something that I didn't know was that we got the names of the days of the week from the viking gods. Even though most of the vikings believed in gods, some of them were Christians also. The vikings would often go and attack other places. They stole things and they killed people. When the vikings were mad and furious, they would take their clothes off. We call that "Going Berserk." The vikings were also very good hunters and explorers. They explored many things and found lots of different lands, in fact they discovered North America. The vikings also had many weapons such as swords, shields, spears, and knives. One other weapon that the vikings used was a dragon head. It was placed on the front of the longboat so that it would scare away the enemies. The vikings are a very fantastic subject to learn about. I hope that you will read and learn more about the vikings too.

My Boat is the Best !!!

I learned three interesting facts about Vikings. First, the Vikings believed in gods, such as Thor, the thunder god, and Odin, the god of war. Secondly, they ate animals, fruit and vegetables. Finally, I learned that the Vikings were hunters, farmers, and explorers who liked to trade goods. There are alot of other facts, but these were the most interesting.

Viking Longboat

Vikings had spears, knives, and swords. They also had shields for protection.

Let's Go "A - Viking!"

The Vikings were people who lived from 600-1000 a.d. There was so much more to them then hunting and killing. They were really very interesting people.
When we think about vikings, we usually think about killing and stealing. The vikings behavior was not very pleasant at all. They went to other places and killed anybody and everybody. The stole whatever they wanted for themselves.
They made many different weapons. They used swords and shields made of metal. They also made knives with beautifully carved handles.
The Vikings invented many things, such as a ship called a "longboat", which they used to make surprise attacks with. The ships were long and thin, and could be driven right up onto the shore. This made it very frightening for the people being attacked, they didn't have anytime to run because the vikings didn't take long getting to shore. The ship was also made to move rapidly in the water, for fast get- aways.
Even though the Vikings killed and stole, they really were very civilized. They were not schooled but were very clever. They told stories, farmed, and traded. They loved to explore other places. They had leaders called, "Chieftons" and had different classes, and slaves. They hunted for animals like, polar bears, seals, and fish. They also ate vegetables that they grew, and different kinds of fruit.
The Vikings were very religious people. They believed in many gods. The father of all their gods was Thor, the thunder god. But the most respected god was Odin, god of war. They were superstitions and made idols. The days of the week are named after some of the gods. Thursday being "Thor's Day". But amazingly enough, some of the vikings converted to Christianity.
The Vikings were very interesting and even though we know so much about them, there is still much to discover.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Bubba!!!

I can not believe my baby is 7 today! What a great little man you are, Chase! You take such good care of me and your sisters. I am so proud of the way you help your daddy when he is working and you help me around the house too! Your doing such a good job at learning to read and doing your math everyday. Not to mention playing the violin and practicing everyday! God has really blessed me by loaning you to me. I can not wait to see what He has planned for you! I am proud to be your mother!
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