Dear Parents,
Happy 2010!

Dr. Kataoka’s article on the essence of Tibetan Buddhism, “One day is a lifetime,” draws the connection between each moment and each sound being important for human beings. Dr. Kataoka says in that article:

“Whether we are talking about each and every day or each and every note, the fact that every single unit is precious and important is the same. When you live each day and every day with your heart and soul in the best natural way, there is a continuum which results in a wonderful lifetime.”

The You-tube link below is to an incredible video from the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit with the Dalai Lama, and other Nobel laureates and leaders.. Much of the Summit focused on education as a key to peace. Education of the heart.  This whole clip is a session on Creativity with various speakers. One of the speakers, Eckart Tolle, talks about how to tap into the creative source, and the necessity of developing ability in order to use creativity. He begins talking about the penalty shootout in a soccer event , and relates it to concentration and the process of going within to tap into a creative source.  Please specifically watch this part of the video as it is right on point with the use of “ready” and the development of ability.
After the video begins fast forward to 29:30 (drag the red circle to the right with your mouse) to get to Eckart Tolle’s talk which is about 7 minutes.
2009 Vancouver Peace Summit-Creativity Session

On the assignment:
Twinkles: Eckart Tolle’s concept of “going within” from the video is the “Ready” or becoming still physically and mentally. “Ready” also includes physically still in a natural balanced position which enables the student to efficiently produce the best sound and performance.Continue with “ready go” for Twinkles A, B, and C. On Twinkle D “theme”, please spot 5 times or so the beginning “Do-Do-So” while listening for legato. After this please have your child play the whole Twinkle D while you sing the solgege, and also have him play without any singing (or any instruction) It is good to have your child experience the concept of the whole piece and play freely even if it is not all the way legato. By doing the spot every day, the ability to play legato will transfer into the whole piece.

Finger numbers: Please go over Left hand numbers every day as well as the right, switching back and forth between the hands. We will be starting Left hand twinkles shortly.

Note names: Please have the child find notes from one end of the piano to the other in the same way we did in the group class. Have them say the name as they play the note. You can switch back and forth between letter names and solfege. It is good to do this standing up with the bench out of the way.

On the Video recordings:
The video camera has become an important part of the studio and the learning process. The video recordings are an invaluable aid for parents to review the lesson points, observe the posture and sound, and follow through with the assignment. Since lessons are only once a week, this is an ideal way for you to get extra help without leaving your home. This Twinkle class is the first time I have recorded lessons and then posted them online for parents. In the process of doing this I have spent a lot of time reviewing the lessons myself. I have really learned so much from this.

The lessons are becoming longer now and so I want to make them more usable by having them in smaller parts. The easiest way to do this is to add tracks to the video recording. You can do this by pressing pause and then record again. This way each section such as Twinkle A, Twinkle B will have a separate place on the recording, will be easier to upload, and easier to view small sections. I will show you how to do this at the next lesson.

Looking forward to a great year,
Day by Day,
Leah Brammer