Time to proudly boast about some student achievements over the past term!
Congrats Holly for 3rd place and HC in the St George Eisteddfod, as well as an HC in the Inner West Eisteddfod! Can you see her playing to her medals in the photo to the left?
Congrats to Zoe (Year 11) for recently receiving full marks in her composition assignment.
Congrats to Hayden for receiving 19.5 out of 20 for his HSC composition (trials).
Good luck to all my HSC students, love your work!
On February 18th, we're having a small workshop on composition for HSC music. Dr Peter Marshall, who's taught a fair few outstanding and successful composition students, will be leading the workshop. Start time - 7.30pm at my studio.
I've really enjoyed listening to student compositions this year. Students as young as 6 have explored and created their own piano works. Student composition offers a way to study music that is the complete reverse of studying an existing piece.
When we study an existing piece, we take every symbol and note seriously, and we include these in our performance of a piece. Other areas that we decipher include structure, character, style etc. All of these musical elements are discovered, deciphered, explored, and communicated in performance. But this relies on recognition that every black mark on a page of music is actually important and has meaning. Sometimes that's a lesson in itself.
When a student creates their own work, suddenly all of those annoying musical symbols begin to have meaning. Suddenly musical character, direction, expression, and cohesion matters. Suddenly it's important to think about the composer's intentions, because now the student is the composer.
This is the general process I've used in my studio so far:
- the student explores musical ideas at home and either memorises them or writes them down;
- they then bring these ideas to the lesson and we discuss where these ideas came from and why they like them. The ideas are often part of a narrative that the student has imagined. Because of this, students have often already made decisions about expressive markings because these are integral to their musical story;
- together, we look at a way to turn these ideas into something that 'makes sense'. This includes structure, repetition, and further extension of their ideas;
- we then begin to notate these using Sibelius. I always 'click' the notes etc in, and I encourage students to do this (rather than using a midi piano keyboard to 'play' the notes in). We check the work as we go and often changes are made at this point. It's always great to watch the student's (and parent's) face when they see their music printed. It's a real piece of music!!!
- the student then takes this home and plays it over the week. The following lesson they bring it back, often with changes. The studio record for number of drafts is currently 15, and these drafts were produced over a number of weeks. It's important that students write something that they mean to write.
Then the piece exists, it is part of their creative work and their own personal expression. But importantly, they have also learnt how musical parts come together to make the whole work, and that each of these elements have their own significance.
Most of my young students have composed pieces for piano. They always smile proudly when their name is typed into the 'composer name' area of a score. Some of the older students that I inherit are too inhibited to give composition a go but I will persist! It's such an enjoyable learning and creative process.
I didn't want to lose the news that I had posted on my old site (a google site), so here it is....
posted Apr 29, 2012 5:56 PM by Rachel Hocking
I've asked students to bring in their own compositions or musical ramblings, so that I can notate their pieces. There are already some students who regularly do this, but it's been great seeing other students add theirs to the collection. The collection is growing - I wonder what we'll do with these lovely little piano pieces? Hmmm, already thinking....
Welcome new students
posted Feb 28, 2012 9:11 PM by Rachel Hocking
I've begun teaching piano at Homebush West Public School, and have enjoyed meeting with new piano students for the last 2 weeks. I'll still be teaching at my home studio Monday to Friday.
posted Feb 3, 2012 5:07 PM by Rachel Hocking
Lessons begin February 6th, and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all! Don't forget to find 'Rachel Hocking Music Tuition' and 'like' me to receive regular updates plus other great music stuff.
Greetings for the Season!
posted Dec 20, 2011 10:51 AM by Rachel Hocking
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Lessons begin again 6th February, so I'll see you then!
Final concert of the year
posted Dec 13, 2011 1:49 AM by Rachel Hocking
This Sunday, students will be playing at Southhaven Hostel, Queensbury Road, Padstow Heights, at 2.30 pm. Come along in some Christmas clothes ready to entertain the oldies with some fine music. Download the recital poster below.
2011 Annual Concert Photos
posted Nov 22, 2011 4:57 PM by Rachel Hocking
Thanks to our parents, we have some lovely photos from the recent concerts - please click here to view more or contact me.
posted Nov 17, 2011 4:21 AM by Rachel Hocking
Click on the attachment below to download the concert program for Saturday 19th November...it's going to be an extravaganza!
posted Nov 15, 2011 6:48 PM by Rachel Hocking
This Saturday, 19th November, is our huge combined studio annual recital. We have around 85 fantastic music items to be performed over three concerts. Please check with Rachel for more details. If you would like to come and watch, the concert will be 1 Myall St Oatley, at 3pm, 4.45pm and 6.45pm. Looking forward to a brilliant musical afternoon.
Exam date announced
posted Nov 15, 2011 6:45 PM by Rachel Hocking
Our exams will be held at Rachel's Illawong studio on 2nd December 2011. Please check with Rachel for your time.
posted Nov 15, 2011 6:45 PM by Rachel Hocking
Congratulations to all Music Craft and Musicianship students who passed recent AMEB exams with fantastic marks.
Reflections/news on music, piano and music teaching, and anything else that pops up.