Fall is really here! There is a light drizzle outside. I just got back from a lovely walk on the Springwater Corridor Trail near my home. Leaves are changing color and dropping. This is my
favorite time of year!
This term I have been focusing on sight reading. Sight reading is seriously one of my favorite past times! I know I don't share this with much of the world's musical population. But I would like to share my knowledge with my students.
I have heard plenty of groans and moans from my students when I told them we are going to be working on sight reading. But now that I have been consistently working with most of them for the past month, I am seeing some remarkable progress!
If you are a parent, ask you child about "SBLAR"! That is my very own creation and method.
Any piece of music is acceptable for sight reading. I like to challenge myself with really difficult music. But at first, it is best to start at reading music slightly BELOW your level.
The most important element is RHYTHM. You can miss notes, but you may not stop and correct them. Try not to miss a beat.
Get hold of a metronome. If you don't have one, there are many apps online. Set it to a nice slow steady beat (60 bpm is usually good).
I really like Bartok's Mikrokosmos for my students. Starting with book one is appropriate for all levels.
I've included a photo of the book above and a link to Amazon.com. But you can also try to find it in a local music store, i.e. Portand Music.
We will also be talking about performance pieces for our upcoming recital on December 20th. Mark your calendars.
And finally, I have joined a wonderful new chamber music group: Portland Chamber Music.
It is led by my friend, Anya an opera trained soprano from Russia. We are also joined by Lluis, a french horn player from Spain, Alaine, a lovely young clarinetist, and my friend Jon on cello.
Our events are free. I love seeing my students and friends in the audience!
Here is a link to our website and upcoming events: http://www.pdxchambermusic.org/events/