Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah and Michael: Piano Performance

In the video below, I played two pieces, one is a Sonata by Beethoven and the second is an Invention by Bach.

Beethoven composed during the Classical and Romantic period. .He was born on December 16,1770 in Germany and was gifted in music as a child. He played both piano and violin which he learned from his father. A few years later he started losing his hearing. And then they noticed he was completely deaf,  but he still was able to compose music. 

 Bach was a German composer and was born in Eisenach, Germany on March 21, 1685. Bach's parents died before Bach was 10. Then he went to live with his older brother. His older brother taught Bach to play the clavichord and harpsichord. He wrote music during the baroque period.  Bach studied music. Bach wrote 30 inventions which are exercises for students. In the video below, I played Invention No 13.  I really like pieces by Bach and Beethoven


I played 2 songs Musette in D Major by Bach and and Etude by Nikolayev. Bach wrote Musette as a gift for his second wife, Anna Magdalena.  In 1722 and 1725, he gave his wife two notebooks, and this piece was part of the second notebook as a gift to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday.

Etude is usually a short piece that is written as an exercise for the piano.This is a fun exercise to help my fingers play faster.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A school trip to Astrocamp

Hiking through the forests
A few weeks ago, I went to Astrocamp located in Idyllwild. We drove for three and a half hours to get to camp, but luckily we were on a comfortable bus meant for driving to faraway places.  We stayed at Astrocamp for three amazing days and experimented with gases, launched rockets, rock climbed, swam, and dropped water balloons from the balcony. Some of my teachers were our counselors, such as Mrs. Duncan, and Mrs. Bostrom, and they spent a lot of time making sure everyone had an incredable camp experience.

My cabin group
On the afternoon of the first day, we had two evening classes learning about gases and  gravity. During our gasses lab, someone was holding a fire stick and another person was holding two balloons. They lit the fire stick, and touched it to the balloon, and suddenly a loud boom filled the room. Everyone jumped out of there seat, after the explosion. Our gravity lab was done in the pool, where we had to try to build a cube without touching our feet to the ground. This was how astronauts trained before going into space. It was difficult to communicate with students within our group because of a  no talking rule, and therefore we used hand signals and signs to communicate.

Chemistry lab
The next morning, we went rock climbing. We learned about mars, and then had to tell one of the counselors what we learned. After, we were attached to a safety rope, we were allowed to climb. The counselors let us choose a climbing path of easy, medium, or hard. I climbed the hard path three times and made it to the top every time. This was my favorite activity.  After climbing, we went to a room to make our rockets. We brought a two liter empty bottle with us on our trip, and designed the bottles how we wanted our rocket to appear. Then we went to the launch site and launched our rockets. When it was my turn, I filled my bottle with air and water, and then pressed a button to launch it. It soared through the air before it hit the roof and fell. This was my favorite school trip, and I look forward to going to Catalina next year. 

My friend and I taking a selfie

My rocket is the second one on the left.

Getting ready to go swimming

What interesting school trips have you been to?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fall Orchestra Rehearsal

About 1 week ago,  I had an orchestra concert. I tried out in the summer for the Preparatory Strings orchestra, and I made it in .  I go to orchestra every Thursdays, from 5:00 to 6:15. The conductor gave me 5 pieces to learn, and the orchestra is supposed to learn the pieces at home, and then the conductor helps us put it together. This orchestra has strings and winds such as violins, cellos, violas, bass, oboe, clarinet, flute, french horn, tuba, and many more. I sit in the second violin section, and next year, I will improve, and hopefully move up to the first violin section. Hannah plays in the first violin section in the youth strings. Unfortunately, my Mom couldn't get a recording of her pieces.

The first song we played was called Dance Infernale by Stravinsky. It was a very loud and aggressive song, and the most important instruments were the winds. Then we played Go West by Ralph Ford. The violins were the most important instruments in the piece as they had the melody. The next song we played was called Bercuese and Finale and it was a very mysterious song with numerous trills.  After that, we played The Pink Panther, which I enjoyed playing the most. Lastly, we played the Typewriter, and for this piece, there was someone typing on the type writer while people were playing there instruments. 

This was our last practice before the concert. I hope you enjoy!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah: A day at the beach

My Family and I 
During winter break, My family and I went to the Santa Monica Beach. It was a really fun day. Michael and I took our scooters because we wanted to ride on the bicycle path, and Sarah, Miriam, and my mom wanted to go rollerblading.

My sisters
 The beach was very crowded that day, and we were lucky to find a parking spot right near the bike path.  Michael and I took our scooters out of our car and helped our sisters get on there roller blades. It had been a warm day, and the sky was very blue. After my sisters and my mom got there roller blades on, we started walking to the bicycle path. Michael and I went ahead of our sisters. My dog Romeo was pulling my mom while she was rollerblading. Romeo really wanted to be in front of Michael and me, so the faster we scooted the faster my dog would pull my mom. After skating and scootering for an hour, we were ready to turn around and go back to our car to each lunch. My mom brought with her sandwiches and fruit for lunch.

Michael and I

Michael climbing the rope
After we ate, we saw some bars, rings, beams, and ropes to climb. We took some chalk, and my family and I went to do some pull ups and leg lifts on the bars.  Then Sarah and I went to climb the ropes. she climbed to the top first, and then I climbed underneath her. Afterwards, we went to the rings. Since Michael was going first, we told him to hold on to the rings tight. Then we started pushing him back and forth. He was easy to push because he was light. When his hands started to hurt, he jumped off, and it was my turn. My siblings pushed me very hard and I flew up high like a bird. It was really fun.

Swinging high on the rings

Sarah practicing her beam routine for gymnastics
Then we went to the beam. We took turns playing this really fun game that we made up. We have never really made a name for this game, so we just call it knock them off. The game is played with two people on the beam, and each person has to push the other person off the beam. Michael and I played against each other, and Sarah and Miriam played against each other. Sometimes Michael pushed me off, and  sometimes I pushed him off first.

Sarah on the tight rope
Finally, we saw people trying to balance on a tightrope. My siblings and I really wanted to try balancing on it, so we asked if we could try. Sarah tried first. She was actually the best of all of us. When It was my turn to try to balance I kept on falling off, so I asked Sarah if she can hold me while I walk across it. It looked really easy when the experienced people walked the tight rope, but it was hard when I tried it. When we were done taking turns balancing on the tightrope,  it was time to go home. My family and I had an amazing time and hope to come back to the beach more often.

My sisters, brother, dog and I

What did you do over winter break?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guest Post by Hannah: Hiking at Malibu Creek Park:

A few days ago, my family and I went hiking at Malibu Creek Park. It was a warm sunny day with no clouds in the blue sky. We invited some friends of ours to go with us. As we arrived we started hiking to see the rock climbers. I could see dust coming out beneath my feet as I took every step. It smelled like horses were just walking there. My siblings and I wanted to get some exercise so we started running. Along the way we saw a high hill with rocks that we could climb. Sarah, Michael, Miriam, and I helped each other get to the top. We were planning on scaring our parents when we saw them walk by. Right when they came we said BOO! When we got down they told us that we scared them. As we continued to walk to the rock climbing wall, we saw a beautiful creek.

As we arrived to see the rock climbers we were starving. I could smell the delicious sandwiches as my mom began to unwrap each one.  After we finished eating we climbed up a high rock.  We then continued our hike to the MASH site.

Eating lunch

Malibu Creek Park was used to film many television series and movies.  Between 1972 and 1983, a television drama about the Vietnam war called MASH was filmed at Malibu creek Park.  The set had street signs, cars, and a shed. We really wanted see the inside of the car so my siblings and I climbed inside from the trunk. As we walked to the front of the car we noticed that the car didn't have any wheels or pedals.

 Once we finished exploring the MASH site, it was time to go home.  As we walked back to our car,  I was really tired and Sarah gave me a piggyback ride. When we got to our car we drove home to have lunch and take a nap. 

Describe your favorite hiking spot?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Student's Concerto Duet

Over the weekend, Hannah and I recorded a duet together called Student's Concerto, by Seitz. Fritz Seitz was a German Romantic Era Composer.  He was a violinist who served as a concertmaster, wrote chamber music, and eight student concertos for the violin. The duet was difficult at first as I needed to learn my part very well, and Hannah also needed to learn her part well, and we needed to play it even, to be together. Hannah had the melody while I mostly had chords, however I had some solo parts. This piece is rowdy and has some fast parts, but also slow and melodic in other parts. Hannah has improved through her years, and is now currently playing in the first violin section at the Conejo Valley Orchestra. She played part of this song for the audition.  I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Hannah!

Preparing banana bread
 I really love preparing for Thanksgiving. This morning we got up really early to play finish playing piano and violin. Then we started cleaning the house. We all had different jobs. I dusted the furniture, and Michael and I vacuumed. Sarah swept and washed the floors. Miriam cleaned the bathroom, and Michael did the laundry. We also had to clean up our own rooms. Once the house was cleaned, we got to bake.

We have twins! 
Sarah and I made banana bread, while Michael and Miriam made pumpkin bread. We worked on opposite sides of the table. Sarah and I worked on one end, and Miriam and Michael worked on the other side. Sarah helped me crack the eggs, she did one and I did one. Miriam and Michael also had some eggs to crack for their pumpkin bread.When Miriam was cracking one of the eggs she had twins! There were two yolks in one egg. Then she let Michael have a turn to crack but when he cracked his egg it was just a regular egg. Now it was our turn to crack our eggs. I let Sarah go first, and when she cracked it we also saw twins. When I cracked my egg I noticed it was just one big yolk. To make banana bread, we also had to add the flour, sugar, butter,bananas, and the best part was lots of chocolate chips.The pumpkin bread had flour, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, spices, and of course lots of chocolate chips.  After we mixed all the ingredients, we put the batter on a greased pan, and set it in the oven to bake for one hour. The kitchen smelled delicious while the breads baked.  

Mashing up the bananas

Michael and Miriam making pumpkin bread

 pouring the batter
adding chocolate chips
All done! Banana and pumpkin bread fresh out of the oven

While we were making the banana bread and pumpkin bread, my dad and grandma were preparing the turkey. They had to clean it, stuff it with fruits and vegetables, season it, and put it in the oven to bake for 5 hours. 

cleaning the turkey

stuffing the turkey

 After baking, we had to put all the ingredients in the right place, wash the dishes and clean the table. Then we are ready to make stuffing. We had four cutting boards. Michael and I cut celery, Sarah cut carrots, and Miriam cut onions.  The onions made Miriam and Sarah cry because Sarah was sitting right next to her. Then Miriam sauteed all the vegetables, and we combined it with the stuffing crumbs and chicken broth.  It all went in the oven to bake.

chopping celerey

peeling carrots

chopping onions and celerey 

sauteing  vegetables 

mixing all the stuffing together

Finally, It was time for cranberry sauce. To make cranberry sauce, we used one bag of cranberries, one cup of orange juice, and one cup of sugar.  It all cooked in a pot until the cranberries popped and thickened into a sauce. It tasted a little sour and sweet at the same time.

making cranberry sauce

Now we have to wait for dinner, and our whole family is coming over. We are going to have aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all come over to celebrate Thanksgiving.

What did you do to prepare for Thanksgiving? How are you going to celebrate?