Last week, we prepared for the piano festival in which the kids participate every year. It is called Federation Festival. We have been doing this with them for four years now. Every time, they get five stars out of five. For every third year of five stars, they get a cup. The cups get bigger in size as they advance in years.
It is a great challenge for them to learn two pieces by heart and two hymns. They can use the books for the hymns. If we had to move to a different location, the local festival organizers would take us in at our actual level. They recognize the diplomas nationwide.
This piano festival is like an exam behind closed doors. We do not hear or see them play. They play in front of judges and they get scored based on interpretation, skill, dynamics etc. It gets quite technical.
Why we work hard
The other major thing we prepared for was special music in church. Before the sermon, in our church, there is always a musical number meant to help the congregation prepare their hearts and minds for the Word. That is what we call special music. It blesses the people and it really is a ministry.
Recently, we have formed a string ensemble: eight violins, one viola, and one cello. It is so much fun, practicing together. We are different ages, from 9 through 46. Five of the players are children. Sometimes the church members think of the group as a kids group and it makes us four adults feel good.
This gave me a moment to reflect on all the years I have insisted for them to practice violin. Now we have reached the point where we read music together with others and can bless people with the sounds we make. The kids still do not want to practice every day, but we push through and we keep going.
This time, we played the Rondeau by Mouret. It turned out well. I have an mp4 of it, but it is too big for this site. Maybe I will upload it to YouTube. Maybe next time. We had some butterflies in our stomachs and we learned how to deal with them. All is well when it ends well.