The sounds of OPYO's orchestras are warming up these chilly evenings, and your children, who are playing at higher and higher levels, inspire all three OPYO conductors. Please come early to pick them up, go into the rehearsal, and hear the beautiful results your children are creating. And thank you so much for bringing them to us.
Listening to the rehearsals and watching and working with your young musicians reminds me constantly that ensemble participation challenges and enriches the lives of young people beyond measure. Becoming proficient on a musical instrument and learning to play in an orchestra equips them with skills they'll use throughout their lives, especially: listening to others and being responsible both individually and as team players. OPYO brings students together from a wide variety of backgrounds, schools, ages, and skills to learn, play, and grow together. At rehearsals, your children make new friends, develop their musicianship, play and grow together, and have lots of fun while doing it. The conductors, too!
We all know that today's young people have so many important activities and time choices to make, and I congratulate you on choosing OPYO as a priority! As life's tempo picks up approaching the Holidays (and OPYO's December 14 Holiday Concert is barely a month away) I want to share some ideas about getting more done in less practice time. If they follow my suggestions, they'll have more time to study, pick up their rooms, and ask how they can help around the house! All this can be done in 10-15 minutes a day - tops! And once those tough spots have become easy, it'll take even less.
As much as possible:
- Practice in the same place and at the same time.
- Make sure your practice area is neat so your eye isn't distracted by stuff.
- Put a wood pencil on your stand - and use it to write yourself notes (mechanical pencils don't mark dark enough) - and use it.
- When you don't need the notes - and your music is too marked up - you can erase them.
- Mark tough spots in rehearsal so you know what to practice at home.
- Practice those spots over and over even if you can play them; as you know, things can get goofy during the concert.
- Be sure to identify - and work on - the exact problem in the spot; it can just be going from one note to another.
- Repeat slowly enough to play those spots right; don't rush to get them "up to tempo."
- Leave phone in another room, preferable another floor - turned off. If this causes a panic attack, at least turn the phone off and put it across the room.
Following these suggestions will help your young musicians get lots done in ever shorter time...and feel really good about their OPYO participation.
Thank you again for sharing your family with ours. I look forward to being in touch in the weeks ahead leading up to the December Concert, In the meantime, be well, and if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please don't hesitate to being in touch.
Warmly - David