Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Piano Recital

Caleb had his Winter piano recital this last week. It was at a big fancy house up above the capitol building. It was nice, but they had the piano turned around back in a corner so all you could see was the top of his little head.

He did really well on both songs. Here he is playing "First Sorrow" by Schumann:

Here is his 2nd song, "The Spinning Song" which he started right off from the first song that used the pedal, so he almost forgot to release it going into Spinning Song.

We had many requests to actually be able to see Caleb when he played the Spinning Song, so here he is at home practicing:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Piano Performance at School

Caleb recently had a 2nd grade Christmas program at his school. He got to sing lots of songs and then they let him play a couple of songs on the piano at the end.

Here he is playing Away in a Manger and Christmas Bells:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crazy about the Pedal

Caleb's teacher finally gave him permission to use the pedal in one of his recital songs coming up. Of course now he thinks he should use the pedal for everything. Hopefully it won't make his songs too blended all together!

Here he is playing Stars Were Gleaming with a little too much pedal. Or what do you think? (This isn't a recital song, just a song he is learning at church.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Caleb's 1st Composition

Recently they had a contest for the arts at Caleb's school. You could enter in art, dance, photo, or music. Caleb wanted to enter the musical composition category so he came up with a song, wrote the composition and played it.

(Sorry, this scanned pretty badly and so it cut off the bottom line and sides.)

It turns out his composition won out of his school and so they sent it on to a regional competition. Word came this week that he won the region competition and is now going on to state!

It's just a simple song, but good job Caleb for becoming a composer as well as a pianist! Here he is performing his composition:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Russian Songs

Caleb's teacher has given him some songs from Russia to play. He doesn't know what their names are or what they're about, but his teacher says they are dear to her heart. Here is one of them he is working on:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Piano Evaluations

This last month Caleb did a sort of "practice" piano competition. He got to play for 2 live judges who would evaluate his work. He played his Sonatina and The Wild Horseman. He did wonderfully! He did even better than at his recital! I think he was just nervous that day, but this day he was supurb! The judges gave him great remarks and he received a certificate with a gold seal! We were very proud of our little Caleb! He is excited to do real competition next summer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Caleb's Fall Recital

Caleb performed in his 2nd piano recital on Wednesday at the University of Utah. He played 3 songs. There were a few mistakes here and there and maybe the tempo was a bit slow, but overall he did a pretty good job.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms

Caleb is excited his recital is coming up and his piano teacher is letting him play 3 songs! Here is the most recent song he's been working on, Hungarian Dance:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Perfect Pitch?

So, we were watching some documentary late night on tv about kids in Russia that went to this music school which was incredible, but they all had to pass some kind of evaluation to get in. We watched the evaluation process where kids would come in and they would sing or play the piano or what not. It was kind of funny listening and saying, "that kid is not getting in!" or "wow, that kid is good!"

Anyway, most of the kids were pretty impressive, but it got to this one girl who was about 8 years old and they sat her down to a piano while an instructor sat at another piano. The instructor would play any note and then the girl had to play the same note on her piano.

Now I would think this is no big deal, but the girl couldn't watch the instructor and so had to play by her own memory to the sound of the note she had heard.

Then the instructor played a few notes in a song or like a little tune, and the girl would have to repeat it. And again this was without looking at what the teacher did.

This girl did it all and I was pretty impressed. Now, we think it is pretty easy to repeat a tune that someone hums or a note someone sings, but I guess that is because we know our own voices and could figure it out, but a piano? I could maybe guess the note higher up or lower on the piano if someone played a high or low note, but to know the exact note someone else plays just by ear and not seeing where they played? Well, we tried this and not Caleb's mom, dad, brother or sister could do it.

So we were interested, and decided to play a little game with Caleb. This is how he did:

Ah, pretty lucky I think, he can tell some white key notes, but what if I try to throw in some random sharps or flats? That will be too hard for him! So I tried:

OK, so he was pretty good. How about if I played a little tune?

Or what if I played some chords?

This one I was surprised at because I didn't want to play the first chord and so played the 2nd chord, and Caleb played them both.

Well, hence to say we were surprised. This is probably no big deal to anyone that plays piano. ??? Can piano players just do this? I mean Caleb is just 6. Finding a note on a piano that is that exact sound is the same as if we were in a choir class and someone sang a note and a person could say, "Yep, that's a B flat." Well, this non perfect pitched mom is impressed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"I'm Not Good at Piano"

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with Caleb. He kept telling me he was not good at piano, and I didn't understand why he was saying that. I told him, "No, you are good." And he kept saying, "But I'm not." I said, do you know this person, and can you play better, and I asked him if he could play better than me or Daddy, and he said yes. I told him how everyone always wanted to hear him play, and isn't that because he was good? He said yes.

So I asked him, "Why do you think you're not good at piano?"

And he says, "It's hard for me to not be naughty when I play piano."

He didn't mean he wasn't good at playing piano, but he meant he wasn't good at behaving when playing piano.

Of course I laughed at this and asked him what he considered being naughty was when playing the piano. He tells me "not sitting on the bench all the way, standing up, playing more when the teacher told me to stop, not going fast enough, having to scratch my nose a lot......"

Poor little kid. We always have to remember he is just 6 years old. He's just a little kid, and yes it is hard to sit still and play piano the way the big kids do. I told him he's not being naughty, it just takes a little practice to learn to sit still or do things exactly right. He doesn't have to be perfect. He'll learn as he gets bigger and it won't be so hard.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Transposing Music?

Interesting enough, Caleb doesn't just play the songs he gets by reading the direct music. In this, we mean many times he will take a piece and transpose it into a minor key. Most of us have no idea how to play the song as it is, let alone change the key to be minor.

Here is a familiar song, but he has changed it into a minor key. This is the spring time song "Popcorn Popping", but here it sounds like the scary Halloween version or like a funeral march.

And then how did he even come up with the idea to transpose it or how did he know what notes even make a minor key?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sonatina Op. 36, No. 1

Here is Caleb's latest new song he has been working on. It has 7 pages with many repeats, but this is just the first 2 pages. We are wondering if he will be learning the rest, or maybe he'll be doing this for the next recital. We will see. We are quite entertained by all his hand flying.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nocturne of Happiness the Extended Version

Caleb once again was lucky to play his mommy's favorite song. This one is a little more fancier than the one paged one he used to play. The music is written to use the pedal, but Caleb is still too short to reach them, so it makes the song not as flowing as it could be. He tries his best to connect those long stretchy notes!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Follow the Prophet

Caleb loves playing this primary song from church. I think it is because it has 9 verses and he can play it over and over and over again. Too bad you only get to hear 1 verse! Ha!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Wild Horseman

Caleb has a new song he likes to play. We think it sounds like one of those old silent movies that had people riding around on horses and shooting at each other. It's called The Wild Horseman.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Caleb's 1st Piano Recital

Caleb had his first piano recital tonight at a real concert hall. He got to play 2 songs he's been working on on a big stage in front of an audience. We were all nervous, but Caleb did an awesome job!

Here's a video of his great performance:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can You Tell The Difference?

Caleb has been taking piano lessons now for 2 whole months. Our question is; do you notice a difference in the way he is now playing, or do you see an improvement? We do! Here he is on that song he's been learning, now completing the whole thing and with much better timing:

What do you think?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Clair De Lune

Per his Grandpop's request, here is Clair De Lune. (Some of you may have become refamilarized with this piece due to the movie Twilight.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Caleb Gets to take Piano Lessons!

Finally we have a found a piano teacher for our piano player Caleb! After these last 2 years of just teaching himself to play, he will finally have a real teacher to help him get even better!

Caleb has been accepted by one of the best. He is now taking piano lessons weekly up at the University from one of the directors of piano who is a concert pianist herself. She is extremely talented and we are happy Caleb is lucky enough to have her.

Caleb is an interesting student. He already knows how to play most things but he has never learned proper hand position and technique. He has always had his own way of playing any song and of course his own sense of rhythm.

So, now the challenge begins......we will see if his talent of playing songs can be improved by actually playing them the "right" way....

Here he is working on a new song:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nocturne "of Happiness" 9/2 by Chopin

Caleb plays this song just to humor his mommy. She calls it her "Nocturne of Happiness" song. He is such a good boy to play songs for his mommy even if they aren't his favorites.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Name That Tune Once Again

Caleb loves to play the Name That Tune Game. Here is a new song he is working on, see if you can guess the name. (You can tell his little hands can't reach the back and forth of the bottom hand notes, so it's a little choppy moving his hand up and down, but I bet you can still guess it.)

Now this is a pretty new song on the radio, so if you're not up to speed with what's on the radio, then you might not get this one. He liked it from someone on American Idol singing it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fur Elise for Aunt Rachel

We told Caleb how his Aunt Rachel wanted to learn how to play the piano and so she would listen to Fur Elise on Grandma Mary's player piano until she figured out how to play it herself.

This one's for you Aunt Rachel:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Minuet by Bach

Not a very fancy arrangement, but a popular tune:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finally Uploaded--Caleb Playing at Maceys

So, we finally got video from our handycam to the computer. Here is back around Christmas time when Caleb was performing at Maceys. Here is just a partial of his March from the Nutcracker. The shoppers seemed to love this one the best. Carol of the Bells was a favorite too, but whenever he would play this song people would stop and watch and some would call their friends and have them listen through their cell phones. It was pretty entertaining.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New and Improved!

So, Caleb was playing Mozart's "Turkish March" and it kept coming to this chord near the end before the song closure that just didn't sound right. Now I have no idea how to play what Caleb plays, but I am always able to tell him if he's hitting a wrong note by the way it sounds. I have a pretty good ear for music although I can't play.

I looked at it the best I could and he was playing it the way it was written, so I thought, and Caleb's dad thought the same thing, but it still didn't sound right.

So after consulting with our piano expert friend down the street, she showed him how a particular sharp was actually a different one. So, now his song is great! And plus, after a week of practice he has done awesome! I really should wait until he practices a song a week before posting....I guess he's just always so excited to post a blog.

Here he is, new and improved with the correct note, thanks Debbie!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Caleb and His Songs Printed off the Internet

Caleb loves all sorts of songs, but mostly he loves to get on the internet and find free sheet music he can print off and play. Now you can't find just any old song, but you are allowed to print off most of the old traditional songs, Christmas, and classical music by the famous composers. Luckily, these are the songs Caleb likes to play best.

This past week Caleb found several songs he liked to print off and play.

The first one he wanted to play was Greensleeves:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Whole New World

Here is Caleb's latest Disney piano book song from the movie Alladin, "A Whole New World". He is getting much better on rhythm now, not rushing through everything so fast, although he still has his little rhythms of his own.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Under the Sea

A year ago Christmas Caleb got this Disney piano book of various songs. At the time we were thinking that they would be just about the right level that he could work on them and figure out how to play them after a while. He's been playing Christmas so long, that we just pulled it out and now it seems almost too easy.

He's pretty good now--able to play any of these easy piano songs on the first try. Maybe we can find a little harder version. Here is "Under the Sea" from the Little Mermaid: