These kids (see below) simply astonish me. Supposedly I'm their teacher. But the older they get, the more I'm merely a facilitator, doing my best to provide the things they need and then getting out of the way and watching them thrive. And thrive they do, achieving far beyond what I could have ever imagined or hoped for in passions as diverse as chess and writing and music.
The cool thing about the music is that it's something they share. And this year they have both made enormous progress in their abilities. On Saturday, that progress was on full display as both competed in the Southwest Suburban (Chicago) Piano Competition. Below, I present to you the first place winner in the Advanced-2 division and the third place winner in the Intermediate-1 division! By the way, Elephant's Child, don't you think Caitlin's medal coordinates nicely with your handiwork? (Explanation for my readers: Elephant's Child--my friend--made that lovely dress & jacket.)
As a first place winner, Trevor was invited to perform on the winner's recital the afternoon of the competition. Click below to see my first attempt at recording video on a cell phone; the piece is Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 23, No. 5 in g-minor, and Trevor plays it magnificently. Inexperienced as I am in using my cell phone as a movie camera, I did not get the entire performance on tape (and what I did get is a little wobbly). But the two or so minutes you will hear gives some sense of the level of skill and musical maturity that this talented young man has attained at the age of only 15. (Be sure to stick around for the rip-roaring ending!)
(Note: you may observe that I had a little trouble figuring out how to stop the recording once Trevor finished playing . . . so unless you want an extended view of my lap, feel free to end playback once he exits the stage!)
By the way, my children's piano teacher is Mr. Round Unvarnish'd Tale himself. In other words, we get one of the best music teachers in town for free! How cool is that?