Saturday, April 20, 2013

International composition festival

The end of February marked one year that Grace has been taking music lessons. Her teacher, Ms. Nancy, is a former elementary music teacher who now is one of the few teachers in Ohio that participate in Music For Young Children.   MYC currently has more than 24,000 students annually, 900 teachers, and is taught on 3 continents.  Their curriculum is very structured and comprehensive, exposing children to singing, listening, rhythm ensembles, keyboard instruction, reading music, conducting, and composition.  In the 1-hour class each week, Ms. Nancy changes activities every few minutes to keep her four students (all 5-6 years old) engaged and interested.
In March, all of Ms. Nancy's MYC students (she teaches several MYC classes of different levels as well as private piano students) were invited (okay, told) to compose a song to be submitted to the MYC International Composition Festival.  This was DIFFICULT.  Kyle and I have no music background so what we know has come from going to music class with Grace.  He goes with her every Saturday and I just fill in when he has something else going on.  So, we didn't have any experience to draw on to help Grace with this task.
One day in the car, Grace and I came up with the rainbow after the rain idea and some basic words to a song, and then Kyle took it from there.  This is what her song looked like when it was submitted to the contest. 
Her song was sent to MYC in Canada where she competed with other students from the United States in her level class (called Sunshine II).  Overall, 9,500 students from 8 countries submitted pieces.  They were put into groups based on regions and the level of students.  The regional 1st place winner for each group was then judged internationally.  The judges spent weeks playing the music submitted by children from around the globe.

We were AMAZED to find out that Grace's piece won 4th place in her level and region!  She (and Kyle) did a fantastic job together.  (I looked up the international winners for Grace's class level and her song wasn't that different. Mostly they were longer and a little more complicated.)

A friend who is a music teacher posted this on Facebook a few weeks ago:
The same can be said for why children should study music.  Admittedly, some days it is a struggle to get her to practice, but, overall, I know Grace is getting so much out of it.


cathybcareers said...

Great Job Kyle and Grace. I love to see the notes and words. I need you to play this music for Ba and Nana soon.

Phyllis said...

WOW WOW WOW....I knew that I loved your song when you sang it for Ba in the hospital, and in the car. I can't wait to hear you sing it and play the music.