Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fall Orchestra Rehearsal

About 1 week ago,  I had an orchestra concert. I tried out in the summer for the Preparatory Strings orchestra, and I made it in .  I go to orchestra every Thursdays, from 5:00 to 6:15. The conductor gave me 5 pieces to learn, and the orchestra is supposed to learn the pieces at home, and then the conductor helps us put it together. This orchestra has strings and winds such as violins, cellos, violas, bass, oboe, clarinet, flute, french horn, tuba, and many more. I sit in the second violin section, and next year, I will improve, and hopefully move up to the first violin section. Hannah plays in the first violin section in the youth strings. Unfortunately, my Mom couldn't get a recording of her pieces.

The first song we played was called Dance Infernale by Stravinsky. It was a very loud and aggressive song, and the most important instruments were the winds. Then we played Go West by Ralph Ford. The violins were the most important instruments in the piece as they had the melody. The next song we played was called Bercuese and Finale and it was a very mysterious song with numerous trills.  After that, we played The Pink Panther, which I enjoyed playing the most. Lastly, we played the Typewriter, and for this piece, there was someone typing on the type writer while people were playing there instruments. 

This was our last practice before the concert. I hope you enjoy!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah: A day at the beach

My Family and I 
During winter break, My family and I went to the Santa Monica Beach. It was a really fun day. Michael and I took our scooters because we wanted to ride on the bicycle path, and Sarah, Miriam, and my mom wanted to go rollerblading.

My sisters
 The beach was very crowded that day, and we were lucky to find a parking spot right near the bike path.  Michael and I took our scooters out of our car and helped our sisters get on there roller blades. It had been a warm day, and the sky was very blue. After my sisters and my mom got there roller blades on, we started walking to the bicycle path. Michael and I went ahead of our sisters. My dog Romeo was pulling my mom while she was rollerblading. Romeo really wanted to be in front of Michael and me, so the faster we scooted the faster my dog would pull my mom. After skating and scootering for an hour, we were ready to turn around and go back to our car to each lunch. My mom brought with her sandwiches and fruit for lunch.

Michael and I

Michael climbing the rope
After we ate, we saw some bars, rings, beams, and ropes to climb. We took some chalk, and my family and I went to do some pull ups and leg lifts on the bars.  Then Sarah and I went to climb the ropes. she climbed to the top first, and then I climbed underneath her. Afterwards, we went to the rings. Since Michael was going first, we told him to hold on to the rings tight. Then we started pushing him back and forth. He was easy to push because he was light. When his hands started to hurt, he jumped off, and it was my turn. My siblings pushed me very hard and I flew up high like a bird. It was really fun.

Swinging high on the rings

Sarah practicing her beam routine for gymnastics
Then we went to the beam. We took turns playing this really fun game that we made up. We have never really made a name for this game, so we just call it knock them off. The game is played with two people on the beam, and each person has to push the other person off the beam. Michael and I played against each other, and Sarah and Miriam played against each other. Sometimes Michael pushed me off, and  sometimes I pushed him off first.

Sarah on the tight rope
Finally, we saw people trying to balance on a tightrope. My siblings and I really wanted to try balancing on it, so we asked if we could try. Sarah tried first. She was actually the best of all of us. When It was my turn to try to balance I kept on falling off, so I asked Sarah if she can hold me while I walk across it. It looked really easy when the experienced people walked the tight rope, but it was hard when I tried it. When we were done taking turns balancing on the tightrope,  it was time to go home. My family and I had an amazing time and hope to come back to the beach more often.

My sisters, brother, dog and I

What did you do over winter break?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah: Hiking at Malibu Creek Park:

A few days ago, my family and I went hiking at Malibu Creek Park. It was a warm sunny day with no clouds in the blue sky. We invited some friends of ours to go with us. As we arrived we started hiking to see the rock climbers. I could see dust coming out beneath my feet as I took every step. It smelled like horses were just walking there. My siblings and I wanted to get some exercise so we started running. Along the way we saw a high hill with rocks that we could climb. Sarah, Michael, Miriam, and I helped each other get to the top. We were planning on scaring our parents when we saw them walk by. Right when they came we said BOO! When we got down they told us that we scared them. As we continued to walk to the rock climbing wall, we saw a beautiful creek.

As we arrived to see the rock climbers we were starving. I could smell the delicious sandwiches as my mom began to unwrap each one.  After we finished eating we climbed up a high rock.  We then continued our hike to the MASH site.

Eating lunch

Malibu Creek Park was used to film many television series and movies.  Between 1972 and 1983, a television drama about the Vietnam war called MASH was filmed at Malibu creek Park.  The set had street signs, cars, and a shed. We really wanted see the inside of the car so my siblings and I climbed inside from the trunk. As we walked to the front of the car we noticed that the car didn't have any wheels or pedals.

 Once we finished exploring the MASH site, it was time to go home.  As we walked back to our car,  I was really tired and Sarah gave me a piggyback ride. When we got to our car we drove home to have lunch and take a nap. 

Describe your favorite hiking spot?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Student's Concerto Duet

Over the weekend, Hannah and I recorded a duet together called Student's Concerto, by Seitz. Fritz Seitz was a German Romantic Era Composer.  He was a violinist who served as a concertmaster, wrote chamber music, and eight student concertos for the violin. The duet was difficult at first as I needed to learn my part very well, and Hannah also needed to learn her part well, and we needed to play it even, to be together. Hannah had the melody while I mostly had chords, however I had some solo parts. This piece is rowdy and has some fast parts, but also slow and melodic in other parts. Hannah has improved through her years, and is now currently playing in the first violin section at the Conejo Valley Orchestra. She played part of this song for the audition.  I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Hannah!

Preparing banana bread
 I really love preparing for Thanksgiving. This morning we got up really early to play finish playing piano and violin. Then we started cleaning the house. We all had different jobs. I dusted the furniture, and Michael and I vacuumed. Sarah swept and washed the floors. Miriam cleaned the bathroom, and Michael did the laundry. We also had to clean up our own rooms. Once the house was cleaned, we got to bake.

We have twins! 
Sarah and I made banana bread, while Michael and Miriam made pumpkin bread. We worked on opposite sides of the table. Sarah and I worked on one end, and Miriam and Michael worked on the other side. Sarah helped me crack the eggs, she did one and I did one. Miriam and Michael also had some eggs to crack for their pumpkin bread.When Miriam was cracking one of the eggs she had twins! There were two yolks in one egg. Then she let Michael have a turn to crack but when he cracked his egg it was just a regular egg. Now it was our turn to crack our eggs. I let Sarah go first, and when she cracked it we also saw twins. When I cracked my egg I noticed it was just one big yolk. To make banana bread, we also had to add the flour, sugar, butter,bananas, and the best part was lots of chocolate chips.The pumpkin bread had flour, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, spices, and of course lots of chocolate chips.  After we mixed all the ingredients, we put the batter on a greased pan, and set it in the oven to bake for one hour. The kitchen smelled delicious while the breads baked.  

Mashing up the bananas

Michael and Miriam making pumpkin bread

 pouring the batter
adding chocolate chips
All done! Banana and pumpkin bread fresh out of the oven

While we were making the banana bread and pumpkin bread, my dad and grandma were preparing the turkey. They had to clean it, stuff it with fruits and vegetables, season it, and put it in the oven to bake for 5 hours. 

cleaning the turkey

stuffing the turkey

 After baking, we had to put all the ingredients in the right place, wash the dishes and clean the table. Then we are ready to make stuffing. We had four cutting boards. Michael and I cut celery, Sarah cut carrots, and Miriam cut onions.  The onions made Miriam and Sarah cry because Sarah was sitting right next to her. Then Miriam sauteed all the vegetables, and we combined it with the stuffing crumbs and chicken broth.  It all went in the oven to bake.

chopping celerey

peeling carrots

chopping onions and celerey 

sauteing  vegetables 

mixing all the stuffing together

Finally, It was time for cranberry sauce. To make cranberry sauce, we used one bag of cranberries, one cup of orange juice, and one cup of sugar.  It all cooked in a pot until the cranberries popped and thickened into a sauce. It tasted a little sour and sweet at the same time.

making cranberry sauce

Now we have to wait for dinner, and our whole family is coming over. We are going to have aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all come over to celebrate Thanksgiving.

What did you do to prepare for Thanksgiving? How are you going to celebrate?

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Edublog Nominations

I am very excited to be part of the Edublog nomination process.  I have been blogging for 3 years and have made many friends from all around the world.

Here is my list of blogs that I nominated:

Best Student Blog

Miriam's Magical Moments

One of my favorite student bloggers is my older sister, Miriam. She was the event finalist one year for the best student blog. She has been blogging for four and a half years and has taught me many things about blogging. She has a new and interesting post up at least once a month and always responds to all her comments.


Best Class Blog

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog

Mrs. Yollis helps make her classroom interesting through blogging. She has a new interesting post up almost every week and supports her student bloggers by leaving comments on their blogs.  She also comments back to many of her readers on her blog.

Best Group Blog

Mrs. Yollis 365 Project 

I love the 365 blog because it has really encouraged me to take pictures.  It has grown and expanded so much that people from around the world contribute to it.  I now carry my camera everywhere I go thanks to Mrs. Yollis.


Library/Librarian Blog

The Bulldog Readers By: Mrs Hembree

Mrs. Hembree is a great librarian who inspires children everywhere to read. She has interesting posts about  books I can read. I also really like her Summer reading contest, where she asks us to submit photos of us reading in  interesting places and ways. 

Check out these great blogs!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Piano Performances

Over the weekend, Hannah, Michael and I recorded our recently learned piano pieces. 

I played Sonata no 6 by Mozart and Album Leaf by Grieg. Mozart was an Austrian composer, and is considered to be the most creative composers of all times. Together with Haydn, he was the leading composer of the classical style of the late 1700's. Mozart started playing at age 4, composing at age 5, and at age 6 he played for the Austrian empress at her court in Vienna! Leopold, Wolfgang's father, took Wolfgang on concert tours through much of Europe, and Wolfgang gave many public performances in front of a large crowd. He also met many famous musicians, and played the organ in many churches. The piece I played was a fast, rowdy piece with numerous sudden changes in dynamics (e.g. louds and quiets). I had to play with strong fingers throughout the piece, as it had many fast notes. I worked very hard to learn the piece by memory, and to play the rhythm evenly. 

The second piece I played was Album Leaf by Grieg. Grieg was a very famous Norwegian composer that composed music for the piano, chorus and orchestra, and numbers for small instrumental groups during the Romantic period. Most of his music was written in the style of Norwegian folk songs and folk dances. Griegs most famous music includes Album Leaf, the song that I recorded, and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, a song that I am learning to play now. Album Leaf is a very repetitive song, and at the beginning, it has a steady beat in the left hand, and a melody in the right hand. In the middle, however, it changes up, as the right hand has a steady beat, while the left hand has the melody. The hand with the melody needs to play louder than the hand with the rhythm. which was a bit challenging at first. I hope you enjoy listening to these pieces. 


This week my mom recorded me playing two pieces, Sonatina 3 by Clementi and Sweet Dreams by Tchaikovsky.  Clementi started playing in a church at the age of 9 and when he was 14 he was invited to England to study music. Clementi composed during the classical period and was considered the best pianist of his time. He composed over 100 Sonatas! He died at age 80 in the English countryside. The sonata is very fast, and I had to have strong fingers to play this piece. It also had many dynamics, such as louds and quiets. The second piece I learned was Sweet Dreams by Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer in the Romantic period, and his pieces had a lot of melody and emotion. He was known for composing many symphonies, operas, and concertos. Sweet Dreams is part of his Children Album, and it is dedicated to his favorite nephew, Vladimir Davydov. This piece was very slow, and is played with the pedal. I hope you enjoy listening to me play!     


I recently recorded a piece called Clowns by Kabalevsky. Kabalevsky was a Russian composer that created music for young people, like me.  He wrote pieces for the orchestra, operas, and many instruments. He also composed pieces for children’s choruses. Dmitry Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersberg on December 30th 1904 and died on February 10th, 1987. One of the most important things that he did was try to teach children to like music. He wrote pieces that children would like and set up music programs in schools. The song I played is a fast piece that  has many staccatos. It took a lot of time and practice to learn it because  it was very fast.