". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

And They're Good Looking, Too!

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?


Laura said...

Isn't it fun to watch them take command of that keyboard?! Did you breathe while he was playing? Excellent job...bravo! How cool that you had your phone!

Laura...who still has one doing a competition in May. There was a time when all four would compete. I miss those days.

elephantschild said...



Marie N. said...

Congratulations to students and teacher!

Mr. Homestead Lutheran is the piano teacher in our house. I like the way that works out. We are a long way from any kind of competitions. Our Artist does not seem particularly interested in excelling in music. The Engineer has less than one year of lessons under his belt.

SuperMom said...

How exciting! Congratulations to you all. Your son sounds wonderful! :)

Karen said...

Bravo! You all must be so happy with his musical accomplishments!

Polly said...

What a great day for your family! I"m happy to see pictures.

We've had a busy spring with our pianist too. Two more dates for this National Music exam business - theory and at the keyboard.