Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hannah's School Talent show

A few weeks ago, I had a school talent show and I chose to play Turkish March by W.A. Mozart. Mozart was born in Vienna, Germany. At the age of four, he started taking keyboard lessons, and by the age of five he was already composing short pieces. When Mozart and his sister Nannerl were traveling to preform in concerts, Mozart also learned to play the violin and organ.When Mozart was 8 years old, he published two Sonatas for the harpsichord. Some of Mozart's most famous pieces was Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for string orchestra, which means 'A Little Night Music', and Ah vous dirais-je, Maman for piano solo, which has a total of 12 variations on a french tune. On December 5, 1791, Mozart died at the age of 35 from a high fever, and left behind a collection of 600 compositions.

After the show, our dad surprised us by taking us out for dinner to The Cheesecake Factory! We all had a great dinner and a delicious ice cream sundae for desert.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sarah's Violin Performance

I recently celebrated my 12th birthday, and at my party, I played two pieces on the violin. My first piece was called Theme from Schindler's List by John Williams, an American musician, composer, and conductor. John Williams received his 29th Academy Award nomination for Schindler's List, and he composed many other famous pieces for movies such as Fiddler on the Roof, Star Wars, and E.T. In addition to being a famous violin piece, Schindler's list is also a movie about Oskar Schindler, a famous businessman. In the beginning of World War II, Oscar owned a factory in Poland in which he used the Jewish workers. After seeing what the Nazis did to the Jews, he decides to try and save as many Jews as he can by creating a list of essential workers.  The people put on his list got saved. Today, Oskar Schindler is remembered as a hero who saved over 1100 Jewish lives, and this movie and piece is based on his life story. Schindler's list is a very melancholy piece, and although it captures a heart-breaking event in our history, I really enjoyed learning and playing it.

In addition to playing Schindler's List, my sister, Hannah and I prepared a duet called Canon in D Major by John Pachelbell. This piece is often played at wedding's, or for a special occasions, Although it is a very famous piece, not much is known about it. Historians don't even know the exact date it was composed. They believe it was composed around 1680, and people believe it was written for Bach's brother, Johann Christoph's wedding on October 23, 1694. Pachelbell wrote over 500 classical music pieces during his lifetime, and he composed during the Baroque period. He was an organist, and even taught the man who became Bach's teacher. This piece has a lot of emotion to it, and many challenging parts.  When playing a duet,  both players have to listen to each other. I played two boxes ahead of Hannah, and it was difficult to always stay two boxes ahead, and not play too fast or too sow. In the end, Hannah and I succeeded in working well together, and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we do.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Post by Hannah: Fun Time at the Ice Skating Rink

 Over winter break, we went ice skating with my uncle, cousins, siblings, and grandparents. We woke up early to get dressed in warm clothes, and get all the stuff packed. When we got at the rink, my grandpa helped us all get our skates on tight until it opened. It was really cold inside, and I was wearing  a ski suit to keep warm.  Right when we got on the ice, it was very slippery, and I kept falling. After doing a few loops around, I got used to being on the ice, and was able to go faster.  After we ice skated for 2 hours, we went to my grandparents house with my uncle and we ate delicious chicken with some tasty rice.  It was a really fun day getting to spend time with my cousins and I hope to go again.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sarah's Violin and Piano Recital

In September  I had a violin recital held in a local church. I played Preludium and Allegro by a famous composer named Kreisler. He was born on February 2, 1875 in Austria and he died January 29, 1962. He was one of the most famous violin masters of his time, and is regarded as one of the greatest violinist. He is known for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing. Preludium and Allegro was published in 1905, and it is a piece in two sections. The first section consists mostly of quarter notes and is melodic and slow. However, the second part is quick paced, and uplifting. I practiced many hours for this performance, as the fast part was very hard and required a lot of practice. I hope you enjoy listening.

After I played on the violin, it was again my turn to play on the piano. I played October ("Autumn Song") by Tchaikovsky and A complaint by Grechaninov. Tchaikovsky is a Russian composer of the late Romantic Period, and he was born May 7, 1840  and died November 6, 1893. His works are among the most popular in the classical music. October is a beautiful and very melodic piece that I really enjoyed learning and performing.  Grechaninov was a Russian composer who also composed during the romantic period. He was born on October 25, 1864 and died on January 3, 1956. He wrote many pieces for the piano, and a complaint was a very dramatic piece filled with many dynamics. These dynamics made the piece interesting to listen to. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hannah's Piano and Violin Recital

In September, I had a music recital. I played two pieces on the piano and one long piece on the violin. My first piece that I played was called Sweet Dreams and composed by Tchaikovsky. This piece is pretty slow and is beautiful. Tchaikovsky is a Russian composer born on May 7, 1840. He is considered the most popular Russian composer in history. The style that he did was called Romance, and he wrote many beautiful melodies on different instruments including piano. His most famous works were Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.    Tchaikovsky died at the age of 53. My next piece that I played was called Sonata by Mozart. Mozart was born in Vienna on January 27, 1756, in Austria, Vienna. He was a composer of the Classical Era, and he created many operas, concerts, symphonies, and sonatas. He died at the age of 35.

For violin, I played Concerto No. 1 by Accolay. It was a very long piece and hard to learn by heart, so I had to practice a lot of hours. Accolay was a Belgian composer who composed during the romantic period. He is best known for his student concerto in A minor written for the violin and an orchestra. He was also a violin teacher, and violinist. This piece was so long that I got a little bit nervous and forgot what I was playing but I quickly relaxed and finished playing the piece. I hope you enjoy listening! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah: Thanksgiving Dinner

helping prepare dinner
Every year, we have a Thanksgiving party at our house with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. I am thankful for my wonder family and the food that we have. For thanksgiving we had turkey, special yellow rice, stuffing, and salads. For dessert we had banana bread and pumpkin bread. My siblings and I each got to help out by baking something. We decided to have a contest where we tallied who liked which cake better.  My sister Miriam and my brother Michael both baked pumpkin bread and my other sister Sarah and I baked banana bread. More of our family liked the banana bread, so Sarah and I ended up winning, but it was a close vote because everyone liked both cakes.

My sister cooking the stuffing

my dad hanging the turkey
My cousins

all the guests

My great aunt and cousin

Add caption

cleaning up

After eating and playing with everyone, it was time to clean up and say goodbye. I can't wait for next year!

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Putting it all Together

Puzzle #1
Puzzle #2
Over the past couple of months, I have been working on completing multiple puzzles. The first puzzle I attempted was a 500 piece puzzle of a lake with swans swimming around, and beautiful houses in the back-round, with fireworks. When doing any puzzle, you start by doing the edges, which are the outer border of the puzzle. After that is done, you start doing the inside, by picking any small object in the picture to start with. You continue doing that, until you put the final pieces of the puzzle together. After completing the 500 piece puzzle, I decided to challenge myself by trying a 1000 piece puzzle. This is a gorgeous puzzle that describes a snowy winter night in the forest with the aurora lights in the sky. Gray wolves are seen lurking around and howling in the background.

After finishing a puzzle, I glue it onto a piece of card board, and put it up on my counter. This is a multiple step process starting with flipping over the puzzle onto the back side. To do this, we sandwiched the puzzle by two card board papers, and quickly and carefully, flipped it over. After that was done, we spread glue all over the puzzle, and left it to dry for about two hours. When we came back, the puzzle was completely stuck together, so none of it fell apart when we picked it up. Finally, we cut the card board to fit the size of the puzzle, and glued it on.  Puzzles are one of my favorite hobbies, and I hope to attempt another beautiful image soon! 

All the pieces are stuck together

Almost done!

What is  your favorite hobby? 
Have you ever tried to complete a puzzle?