Performances 3 & 4 at the MMTA Convention (6/11-6/13/2023)

I’m attending 25 performances by the end of 2023!

As this was a convention full of music teachers, there were plenty of opportunities to attend some performances.

For this report, I want to focus on 2 student performances that were memorable from the weekend.

The first came from the Music Bridges participants. Music Bridges is a program where students pick a theme that interests them and prepare 2-to 3 pieces of standard repertoire to perform. It is a nongraded performance, but gives the students an opportunity to share their creativity and music making, as well as get some performance experience in a less stressful way than a contest or formal recital.

The first performer looked to be in elementary school. She picked Movement as her theme and performed 3 pieces. I think one was titled Kangaroo Jump. She’s also an ice skater and dancer, so she showed a video of her skating to music and choreographed a dance to The Beatles “Twist and Shout” that she shared with us at the end.

The next was a girl close to graduating high school who picked the composer Aram Khachaturian. Before her report and performance, I only knew him for The Sabre dance due to it being played at Buffalo Sabres Hockey games growing up. She shared some wonderful waltzes as well as a duet with her brother. For the creative part, she reported on his history as a perceived “Soviet” composer and shared a photo that she recolored by hand to better reflect Khachaturian’s true nationality and political beliefs. She clearly took hours on this project alone. and played beautifully all the way through.

The second performance came from the guitar showcase.

Although most of the presentation was talking about the MMTA guitar cirriculum that they offer, there was a performance from a young student, probably only 11 or 12 by their appearance. This student came in from Wisconsin to perform for us. What inpressed me the most was how determined and focused he was during his performance, and it was a treat to hear him as well.

They ended the showcase with a trio of Latin American music shared between the student, teacher, and presenter. It’s not every day that you get to hear a guitar ensemble, let alone one that was clearly having fun in the moment of reading and performing this piece for us!

My only regret from the convention is that I forgot to write down the performer’s names in my program as I was too busy listening and enjoying their art. If they see this blog post someday, I hope they can smile at the fact that they brought me joy from listening to them and that I hope they continue making music for the love of it!

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