So proud of Top Notes Music Studio student Hannah and her younger brother Sam who gave up a whole day of their school holidays to travel to Bowral with Sam’s clarinet teacher, Lindsay. Hannah and Sam both performed on piano, and then took to their second instruments flute, and clarinet, to entertain and delight the audience of the nursing home with their performances. It was a special moment for Sam and Lindsay, as Lindsay’s mother is a resident and was in the audience. Congratulations to both young people for such a lovely way of sharing their talents and giving back to the community. Lindsay said, “They played beautifully. I am so proud of them both.” Performing for audiences is also a great way to work on overcoming those performance nerves and developing confidence for more stressful situations like exams and auditions.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been asking my students for their thoughts on What Makes a Good Musician? We compiled them all on a poster and I was very impressed by the insight and sophistication of some of the answers from my younger students. Clearly, it is never too young to start the conversation!
It was a pleasure today to accompany three wonderful students who participated in the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW Hills District Junior Music Festival. Joyce Chen (pictured) earned a Third Place against 13 competitors in the Intermediate Section, whilst her younger sister, Grace, gave her first public performance in the Novice Section. Charlotte S also gave a wonderful performance and earned a Second Place from a field of 11 competitors in the Late Intermediate Section. I was so proud of all the girls who put a lot of effort into polishing their performances and delighting the audience with their contributions. Top Marks to these Top Notes students!
Another year is fast drawing to a close at Top Notes Music Studio, exams are done, reports digested, results celebrated, and resolutions made for things to work more intensively on next year! It is now time to congratulate all the students who took their nerves in hand and put themselves on the line to have their playing and their years efforts assessed. Here they are: Caleb Chan – Grade 6 – Credit; Charlotte Choy – Grade 1 – High Distinction; Alyssa Collins – Grade 3 – Credit; Caitlin Handel – Grade 4 – High Credit; Clara He – Grade 5 (Recital) – High Distinction; Anika Pandey – Grade 1 – Honours; Caitlin Power – Grade 8 (Recital) – High Pass; Charlotte S – Grade 4 – High Pass; Hannah Wang – Grade 2 – Honours. Well done everybody – a relaxing holiday is now well deserved!
Ten Top Notes Music Studio students had a wonderful day showing off their talents last Sunday when they participated in the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW Hills District Junior Music Festival. It was wonderful to see many students come well prepared and smartly dressed, and give impressive performances of pieces they have worked so hard on over the last few weeks. Caitlin Handel and Anish Joseph received Participation Certificates, and the following students received special commendations from the adjudicators. A special mention should be made of Charlotte Choy who was also awarded a Highly Commended for her piano performance in the Intermediate section. Well done to everyone for participating – and being the only Woodwind representatives in the entire Festival!
Elementary Section (Grades 1-2)
Charlotte Choy ~ Highly Commended
Adhav Manoj Pillai ~ Highly Commended
Anika Pandey ~ Highly Commended
Hannah Wang ~ Highly Commended
Intermediate Section (Grades 3-4)
Charlotte S ~ First Place
Joyce Chen ~ Third Place
Late Intermediate Section (Grades 5-6)
Clara He ~ Third Place
Carol Xu ~ Highly Commended
Three Top Notes Music Studio students entered for AMEB exams in this mid-year session, and I am very excited to report that all of them were awarded As (Honours) passes and glowing comments on their reports! Congratulations to Clara He and Carol Xu who did Grade Four, and Joyce Chen who did Grade Two. Fabulous results and well earned rewards for regular and consistent work. Well done girls!! Special thanks too to Clara’s Mum, Amy, who accompanied Clara and Carol so proficiently for rehearsals and on the day of the exams.
It has been a very exciting week for Top Notes Music Studio, Pravin Chanmugam, his family and myself as we received the wonderful news that Pravin had been successful in his AMusA (Associate in Music, Australia) diploma exam conducted by the Australian Music Examinations Board. At the age of 17 this is an outstanding achievement for Pravin, who is now entitled to use the letters after his name! Pravin’s achievement will also be recorded on the Honour Board in his school’s Music Department, where he will be the first student in the school to have achieved the AMusA on Flute. Pravin has managed to juggle preparation for this exam with many other extra curricular activities in a schedule that makes me feel positively exhausted just hearing about it! He has been supported every step of the way by devoted parents who have been real partners in his musical journey. Thanks should also go to his brilliant accompanist, Anne Hopkins, who has been available for rehearsals late into the evening, and flute teachers Melissa Hoile and Jocelyn Fazzone who have given Pravin additional lessons, tips and pointers over the last few months. I’m looking forward to some more relaxed times with Pravin playing duets in the months to come as he prepares for his next challenges – his driving test and the HSC!
A special commendation this week to Top Notes Music Studio flute student, Hannah who took time out of her busy schedule to play in a concert organised by the Inner Wheel Club of Baulkham Hills to help raised funds for disadvantaged students attending Stewart House. Hannah is also an advanced level pianist, and she played Marriage of Love, made famous by Richard Clayderman, and a Tarantella by Mendelssohn. Hannah learns piano from Mariana Batkhan. The Assembly Hall at Kellyville High School was packed on Wednesday night for the performances by local public school students, and Hannah carried off her first performance to such a large group with confidence and flair. Well done Hannah!
Yet another success for Year 11 student Pravin Chanmugam, as he continues his musical journey towards the coveted Associate Diploma in Music on flute. Pravin has sandwiched his study for Grade Five Theory of Music in between a term as an exchange student at a school in Johannesburg, South Africa, participating in his school musical and Cadet Camp. Hoping to just get enough marks to pass and meet the Theory requirement for his Diploma exam, Pravin amazed even himself by passing with no less than 91%. A focused student who manages to keep many balls in the air at once, Pravin is a hard worker who always gives his best, even when his life seems to become overwhelmingly busy. Congratulations Pravin, a fine achievement yet again!!