Suzuki cello: book 4

There are A LOT of hours that are required to pass off a Suzuki book. Day after day of practicing every detail of each song included. A lot of time on your own listening and playing. I admire ALL OF IT!

Kate’s teacher accompanied her. He was kind enough to bring his wife and children. (It was his sweet daughter’s 6th birthday!) . His wife joined the recital and his children played with Sophie downstairs. Kate loves to learn from him…and they sound amazing together.

Two grandma’s were able to attend! Aunt Sharon came with cousin Finn (who played cello with Kate’s teacher for a bit too). Our friends, the Passey’s, joined us. Jenna is Kate’s favorite cello friend.

Utah Youth Orchestras & Ensembles

Ellie has been participating with UYOES since seventh grade. She began in the junior orchestra with Dan Rich, which she loved. She then advanced to the Philharmonic. She has loved having Barbara Scowcroft as her conductor.

For their program this year they performed:

RUSSIAN EASTER FESTIVAL OVERTURE, Op.36 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

PEER GYNT SUITE No.1, Op.46 by Edvard Grieg

  • Morning Mood (Morgenstemning)
  • The Death of Åse (Åses død)
  • Aitra’s Dance (Anitras dans)
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King (I Dovregubbens hall)

It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! As audience members, we LOVED every minute of it!

This was Ellie’s last performance with Utah Youth. She has decided not to continue for her senior year. We are so proud of how hard she has worked. She has never complained about spending her Friday afternoons in rehearsal. It is amazing to watch her fingers move up and down so quickly on her finger board. She is now so skilled and carrying her bass, with a stool and opening doors all on her own. We are so proud of her-and grateful to have heard her beautiful music.

The concert video is HERE

like learning an instrument

I read on one of the almost 100 mother’s day posts that I saw yesterday-

“…because she enjoyed us so much, she taught me to enjoy my own children.”

That isn’t an exact quote, but gives the full idea. It was my favorite thing I read yesterday. EnJOY! EnJOY life…motherhood…relationships! Even the messy, complicated, difficult, exhausting parts.

The card Danny gave me for Mother’s Day had this photo on the front. I took this of Ellie when she was playing one afternoon. Her fingers move so beautifully as she plays guitar.

I have loved guitar so much since I was a teenager. My dad loved having friends over for dinner. Our family’s dear friend, Jim Earp, brought his guitar over and we would gather and sing. He always wears a big smile when he plays. His singing voice is often accented with one of the most infectious laughs I have been around. It was a collective joy one felt lucky to be around.

Danny gifted me my first guitar for our first Christmas together. I was completely surprised. He bought it at a guitar shop in Salt Lake City and somehow got it to California, where we were spending Christmas. How did he do that!? I have had at least 4 guitar teachers and been an owner of at least one guitar for the past 25 years. I am a very mediocre guitar player. I realize this morning, the missing ingredient-


I am learning in life to let go of perfect. Let go of expectation. Live in the moment. Love what is today. When we have an expectation of what life should look like, we add so much frustration and misery. What if we let it go? What if we instead see with eyes gratitude and joy? The harmony of life is much more beautiful through those lenses. I have known and understood this for a long time, but FINALLY, I think it is sinking deeper and deeper into my heart, right where it belongs.

Maybe it’s time to pick up my guitar again- not with an expectation to be perfect…just for the joy of making music.

Chanson Triste

If I could pick a song to lull me sweetly to sleep every night, it would be Kate playing CHANSON TRISTE. It is so beautiful, especially when she plays it. We attended Kate’s recital after Sophie’s tumbling meet today. As she was packing up, one of the other parents of a younger student said to Kate, “people should pay to hear you play.” It was so sweet to take the time to say something so uplifting to her. It meant the world to her. We did loudly applaud the adult cellist who performed TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR, the first song in the Suzuki repetoir. I wish I had audibly told him how impressed I was with his performance (it was precise and clear!) with his wife and two children cheering him on, with the proudest faces. I sometimes focus on the hardship and stress of music on my kids. Tonight I was reminded what is so beautiful and worthwhile about it. And I am always thrilled to hear Kate play. 🙂

Nana came too, so it was a great excuse to go to dinner after. Nana wanted the Old Spaghetti Factory and we didn’t complain one bit.

Winter Concert

Utah Youth Philharmonic Winter Concert was Monday, January 14, 2019. Ellie loves participating in this group. She began in the Utah Youth Junior Symphony many years ago. I think this is the third year she has played with the Philharmonic. They played:

Lieutenant Kijé Suite Op. 60 by Sergei Prokofiev & Symphony no. 7 Op. 92

The music was BEAUTIFUL! Barbara Scowcroft is a joy to watch as Conductor. It might have been my favorite of their performances. We obviously have a special preference for the bassists.

Danny, Kate, Sophie and I were all there. Nana, Dede and Chase came too. We all had a late dinner at Rio Grande Cafe after the concert.

not looking for applause

“If your intentions are to impress people or to get the big applause at the end then you are taking, not giving.” -Teitur
(found here)
To remember to share myself with the intent to give, letting go of what I will receive…that is true magic.  I have been a guitar student off and on (much more off that on unfortunately) for almost 20 years.  When I watched this TedTalk yesterday, my mind went, although this is true for almost any aspect of learning and interest, straight to guitar performances.  I only performed for my family, teachers and recitals.  I immediately felt a difference when other people were in the room (especially teachers and recitals).  My fingers fumbled, my voice weakened and quivered.  That was a large reason that I gave up learning with a teacher.  How limiting to allow a misguided motive change the direction of an opportunity to grow.
Yesterday in Ellie’s guitar lesson I saw the same struggle in her, although to a lesser degree.  I decided that I would make a better effort to play with her as she practices.  We had our first session yesterday. I held her back in a few ways, but in more important ways, we kept each other with a focus of sharing and giving.  Our minds didn’t go near any intention to impress.  There was joy in learning for me, and truly if I can focus on a motive to give in all aspects of my life- the work in practice will be so much sweeter.