Summer means many things to me as a teacher. It means a more relaxed teaching approach, keeping my students engaged while giving them a bit of a break from the higher expectations I have for them over the school year. It means a revised schedule with more morning lessons and free evenings (LOVE this!). It means trying to stay on top of just who's on vacation from one week to the next ;). And, last but not least, summer always finds me inspired to try and accomplish some personal goals.
I'll admit that I waited until Saturday morning to post about the new project I started mid-week simply because I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it off. But, with a little extra effort on Friday, I did!
With one week of summer lessons behind me and the new schedule starting to feel more familiar, I decided to set a summer sightreading challenge for myself. The first week of lessons found me, as usual, pulling out repertoire and considering music for students, and in the midst of the planning I realized just how much music I had that I'd never played through! I try my hardest when purchasing books for my students to use the book well so that they get their money's worth out of their purchase, but it was suddenly clear that the same couldn't be said of my personal repertoire collection. I was ashamed to see how many books I had purchased (many by the request of my teachers) just to play one song from the entire book. It was time to make a change!
The book contains 15 of the Waltzes, and my goal was to sightread through 2 or 3 of them each day, finishing all 15 by Friday. I had so much fun playing through this set of pieces, and felt a great sense of accomplishment on Friday afternoon as I completed number 15. Now I have a more personal, comprehensive grasp of Chopin Waltzes and a clearer idea of which I'd recommend to my students. There's nothing like actually playing potential repertoire to assess more accurately the technical aspects inherent to each piece and which student would best benefit from a study of that piece. In addition to that, the index is marked with my favorite selections and I plan to work on these a bit more intensively in the coming weeks to add to my base of repertoire.
What a fun start to my summer! I've already given my shelves a critical look to try and determine what book will be chosen for the coming week...hmmm, that book of Bach Inventions, maybe the Mozart Sonatas, Debussy...??? so many choices!
Have you set any personal musical goals for the summer? Do you have any repertoire suggestions for me? What are your favorite Chopin Waltzes? I'd love to hear about your personal goals or suggestions for music I might enjoy looking at!