Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gymnastics Level 6 State meet

Awards after the competition 
I recently attended a a gymnastics state meet competition in San Diego. In order to compete at States, a gymnasts needs to receive a 32.00 all around score or higher during a previous meet. This was my first year being an optional. An optional gymnast is allowed to choose her own music and choreography for the floor and beam routine. There are four events, floor, beam, vault, bars, and my highest scores were on beam and vault. My scores were 9.550 on beam, 9.20 on bars, 9.275 on floor, and 9.475 on vault. I got 6th place on all around with a score of  37.50.

On vault, the only difficult part is to stick the landing. I stuck my first vault, however took a small step on my second. On floor, the difficult part is also the landing, however you also have to make the tumbling passes powerful. The higher the flips, the more points you receive. On beam, the hardest element for me is the full turn, as I get nervous on that and wobble. I wobbled a little bit on the turn, so I didn't get many points off. Another difficult skill is the back walk over back walk over. To get full credit, you have to stick the landing, and connect both of the back walkovers. The last skill of the routine is the dismount. The dismount is a front pike off the beam, and you have to stick the landing to not get any deductions. Bars is the hardest event for me because it is easy to fall. The hardest part is the cast handstand. It is hard to get the cast exactly at handstand, as you could cast a little to hard and go over, or not cast hard, and not make it to hand stand. I luckily made my cast handstand on both the low bar and the high bar. My dad couldn't video my bars, as it was too far away from where he was sitting, however he got all of my other events. 

Next year, I will be a level 7, and my routines will get even more challenging. I hope you enjoy watching!

In the previous competition, I got first place on floor with a 9.600. Here is the video of the floor routine from that competition.

 Beam and Vault Routine from my state competition

Do you participate in a sport?
If so, which one?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah and Michael: Piano Performance

In the video below, I played two pieces, one is a Sonata by Beethoven and the second is an Invention by Bach.

Beethoven composed during the Classical and Romantic period. .He was born on December 16,1770 in Germany and was gifted in music as a child. He played both piano and violin which he learned from his father. A few years later he started losing his hearing. And then they noticed he was completely deaf,  but he still was able to compose music. 

 Bach was a German composer and was born in Eisenach, Germany on March 21, 1685. Bach's parents died before Bach was 10. Then he went to live with his older brother. His older brother taught Bach to play the clavichord and harpsichord. He wrote music during the baroque period.  Bach studied music. Bach wrote 30 inventions which are exercises for students. In the video below, I played Invention No 13.  I really like pieces by Bach and Beethoven


I played 2 songs Musette in D Major by Bach and and Etude by Nikolayev. Bach wrote Musette as a gift for his second wife, Anna Magdalena.  In 1722 and 1725, he gave his wife two notebooks, and this piece was part of the second notebook as a gift to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday.

Etude is usually a short piece that is written as an exercise for the piano.This is a fun exercise to help my fingers play faster.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A school trip to Astrocamp

Hiking through the forests
A few weeks ago, I went to Astrocamp located in Idyllwild. We drove for three and a half hours to get to camp, but luckily we were on a comfortable bus meant for driving to faraway places.  We stayed at Astrocamp for three amazing days and experimented with gases, launched rockets, rock climbed, swam, and dropped water balloons from the balcony. Some of my teachers were our counselors, such as Ms. Dickinson, Mrs. Duncan, and Mrs. Bostrom, and they spent a lot of time making sure everyone had an incredible camp experience.

My cabin group
On the afternoon of the first day, we had two evening classes learning about gases and  gravity. During our gasses lab, someone was holding a fire stick and another person was holding two balloons. They lit the fire stick, and touched it to the balloon, and suddenly a loud boom filled the room. Everyone jumped out of there seat, after the explosion. Our gravity lab was done in the pool, where we had to try to build a cube without touching our feet to the ground. This was how astronauts trained before going into space. It was difficult to communicate with students within our group because of a  no talking rule, and therefore we used hand signals and signs to communicate.

Chemistry lab
The next morning, we went rock climbing. We learned about mars, and then had to tell one of the counselors what we learned. After, we were attached to a safety rope, we were allowed to climb. The counselors let us choose a climbing path of easy, medium, or hard. I climbed the hard path three times and made it to the top every time. This was my favorite activity.  After climbing, we went to a room to make our rockets. We brought a two liter empty bottle with us on our trip, and designed the bottles how we wanted our rocket to appear. Then we went to the launch site and launched our rockets. When it was my turn, I filled my bottle with air and water, and then pressed a button to launch it. It soared through the air before it hit the roof and fell. This was my favorite school trip, and I look forward to going to Catalina next year. 

My friend and I taking a selfie

My rocket is the second one on the left.

Getting ready to go swimming

What interesting school trips have you been to?

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!