Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Butterflies Have Flown Away!

Well, the nerves have died down and the relief of another recital down has arrived! It was wonderful to see how well everyone did. I am so thankful to God for getting me through and strengthening each one of my students. All glory be to Him!
This was Jared's second recital. He played "Christopher Columbus" as a duet with me, and "Fairest Lord Jesus."

He was so scared. He told my mom, "I'm so nervous, even my nerves are nervous!"

He made it through and was as cute as ever!

Above is my newest student Faith. She has only been taking for a few months and has really been doing well.

I just love duets!

Kendra played "Hoe Down," "Tango Staccato," and "Give Me That Old Time Religion."
“Give me that, old time religion. It’s good enough for me!”

Okay, I have a funny story here. Rachel and Anna worked and worked on this duet and never once played it perfect for me. I was waiting for a disaster, but they pulled it off. The played it better than they ever had before. I was in utter shock. Why did I work so hard?
Rachel played, "Overture from the Opera Raymond," "A Little Prelude," (by: Bach) and "This Little Light of Mine," (duet with me).

Michael shocked me to pieces! He played better than he ever had for me. He likes being the comedian of the show and put a little act into his pieces. It was great!

I played two songs, as I mentioned in the last post. I am so grateful to God for the gift of every one of these students. Afterwards, it was like one huge party since most of the families know each other. We had a great time.

Parker, Drew, Justin, Michael, Julia. Jared, Kelly, Rachel, Kendra, Emilee, Faith, Anna, Emma, Kayla, Christopher, Daniel, and yours truly.

An excited little girl.

Jared and his friend Laurel.
 They all did marvelous! I am so so thankful to God for His great mercy. I do not have pictures of all of my students playing yet. I will try to get some from other people at the recital. Michael, (my tech guy) is going to see if he can get the recital downloaded onto my laptop so that I can make a highlights movie. We'll see.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, You're Only A Day Away!

Well tomorrow is the big day, at least for my piano students and I. Piano Recital 2011...whew...time sure flies by! It seems like we just had last years recital two months ago. I'm excited, nervous, delighted, scared-to-death, jittery, and tired all at once. We practiced lessons at church today. It went well, but there's no place like home. I have seventeen students in the recital this year, (two more starting soon, Yeah!). They have all been working so hard. I will say, I have almost every song, being played, memorized after all of the time we have spent working on them. Of course, there's always the anual, "Magic Man," and "Amazing Grace," but I've grown so used to hearing those songs at the recital that it just wouldn't be the same without them.
Usually I make a piano cake for the recital, but this year I cheated. I ordered a cake. It looks really cute and it saves me a lot of time. I'll see if I can beat my mom on getting pictures uploaded. :-) I'll be playing a couple songs tomorrow. One is "Fluttering Leaves," by Carl Kolling. Someday I will make a video of me playing it. (Someday; not today, not tomorrow, not this week...someday.) I am also playing "A Passion For Thee," which I played at my teachers recital.

Well, I've got programs to finish and policies to write. I just wanted to give an update and ask for prayer for tomorrow. I'm excited, but there's always that slight fear that something will go wrong, someone will forget their music or worse their song, someone will start crying etc. etc. I just have to trust that God has it planned out perfectly.

In Christ,
P.S. If any of y'all would like to come to a Piano Recital tomorrow, I'd love to see you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At Last! I've Found One!

I don't know about you, but I'm one that loves to find out that I live in the same area, am related to, share a birthday with etc. famous people. I just find it to be quite fun... well most of the time... until I found out some of the people I share birthdays with. Anyways, we discovered that we live around the area of this composer named Joseph Philbrick Webster, better known by his two most popular songs, "In the Sweet By and By," and Civil War song "Lorena." We have been studying "In the Sweet By and By," as our hymn this month, which is fantastic because all of the history is local. What's even better is that most of the history is from the time of the Civil War, so we've been studying the war in our area. Very fascinating stuff!

Back to Webster; this guy wrote tons of songs, including many Civil War songs. Being that he was a composer, he mainly wrote the music and not the words, but there are a few where he wrote both.

Click here to see a website full (and I mean FULL) of songs that he composed and wrote. If you click on the title you can hear the music, and if you click on the authors name, you can read the words.
Some of my favorites, (how can you possibly pick a favorite out of all of them?) are "The Irish Volenteer," "Lorena," "We Are But Young," "New Star Spangled Banner," "Mother Can I Go?" I could list off tons more, but you get the idea. I really like alot of his songs. It takes a while to get through them all, but oh is it worth it!

It's propably easy to see that I am excited to have found a well known (somewhat) composer from my lovely state and county, and I am even more thrilled to have found one that writes such good songs.
I hope you enjoy them as I do!

In Christ,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be Still My Soul

By: Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

I was having a hard time today. There was alot of spiritual warfare going on in my mind and I was not at peace. It seems as though Satan glories in my mistakes and continues to remind me of them endlessly when I sin. He knows when I am weak and wounded and takes advantage of it. I was really struggling this evening and decided to turn on a C.D. of hymns. The first song was "It Is Well With My Soul," and then "Be Still My Soul." It was as though the Lord was strengthening and comforting me in my trials. I still felt down, but I no longer felt as though I was being taunted within.
I thought about how two years ago I probably would have tried to wash out my frustrations by turning on a song that spoke of my frustrations. Rather the Lord, in His great mercy, allowed me to hear a song that would comfort me and give my weary soul rest. How sweet it is to dwell on the Lord. He is the great comforter and deliverer. No matter how Satan may taunt and bring us down, the Lord faithful will remain and lead us to a joyful end.
"Be still my soul," it's a good reminder of Christ's power over the sin in our lives. He cleanses us and heals us from our unrighteousness. What a wonderful Savior.

In Christ,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Music of the War of 1812

We've been studying the War of 1812 in school as of late. 'Tis very interesting! I have learned about it before, but never as in depth as this time. There is so much to learn. One thing I realized from this study is that Americans like to make themselves look good and the opposing side to look bad. I would have never guessed that we Americans ever did anything wrong after reading what some people write in books. I am so glad there are at least a few people out there who are willing to show our failures and wrongs, as well as our triumphs and glories!

Anyways, this is supposed to be about music... someday I have got to start a history blog! There are quite a few songs from the War of 1812. One in particular being our National Anthem, which Francis Scott Key began writing on my birthday! (Okay, so it was written a few years prior to my birth.) :-) One of the most important types of music of that time was the music of the fifers and drummers. The songs these brave lads played, signaled the soldiers to do different things, from getting up, to advancing on the enemy. One drummer boy named Jarvis Hanks enlisted at the age of fourteen as a drummer boy.  He wrote about the terrors of battle and the danger that the musicians faced.

Probably the most well known song of the War of 1812, is the Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key wrote this song while on board a British war ship. He witnessed the attack made on Fort McHenry through the night of September 13th. He watched and waited till dawn, and then on the glorious morning of September 14th, through the smoke and the "rockets red glare" and "bombs bursting in air," he saw the "broad stripes and bright stars" that were "so gallantly streaming." And just think, all of that on the wonderful date of September fourteenth, my birthday! I like history, what can I say?

The War of 1812 also witnessed a lot of naval battles for which songs were written. Songs like, "Chesapeake and Shannon," "The Constitution and the Guerriere" and "Ye Parliament of England," sang of these naval battles. Be sure to click on the song titles and read the words. I especially liked "Ye Parliament of England."

"The Hunters of Kentucky" tells about the battle at New Orleans, where General Andrew Jackson led the Americans in defeat against the British. The battle took place after the war was supposed to have ended, but since news traveled slow they didn't know that until after the battle.

Some other great songs are, "The Patriotic Diggers" and "How Happy the Soldier". The latter was written during the Revolutionary War, but became popular again during the War of 1812. Of course, there were many other songs written and sung at that time. These are just a few that I learned about and enjoy. If you have any other favorites for this war, please share them.

We have much to thank God for in the history of our nation. More people ought to study the true history and read the true stories behind what happened. It is amazing to see God's great, sovereign providence in the history of the United States of America.

Just remember, the most well known and important song from the War of 1812, was the one written on my birthday. Now that's something worth blogging about.  (Just Kidding!)

In Christ,