Friday, June 7, 2019

Composition Contest 2019 WINNERS!

One reason I love Let's Play Music is how we encourage students to learn more than just reading/performing music; we teach them to create something new! Now, it's Spring... and that means a huge group of students are bringing BRAND NEW music to the world!

These students (now ages 7-9) write music full of expression, creativity, and skill...and they've only been using a piano for 2 years!

Imagine where they will be in a few more years, now that they have such a strong foundation.

In 2019, over 1700 third-year students in the US and Canada composed music with us.  We want to show you some of our favorites, as selected by our guest judge, Barbara Russel.



Best Melody: 
It's Burton Time by Casten B
From the Studio of: Kim Thomas

"The reason I wrote this is, it reminds me of going to Oregon. You'll hear Ella, the dog, jumping up to greet me." Listeners should be listening for a special coda:




Best Use of Chords: 
Bunny Crossing by Madison C
From the Studio of: Luanne Harms

This is a tale of 3 bunnies. One of the bunnies meets a lion and must run fast to make it home safely!





Best Use of ABA Form:
Sushi Mania by Chauncey R
From the Studio of: Karin Riedel

Be careful not to eat any bad sushi after listening to this.



Most Original:
Golden Rainbow by Elise C
From the Studio of: Stacie Raddatz

Listen closely and you'll hear a double rainbow form!



Best Story:
A Sister Story by Grace S
From the Studio of: Tina Gosney

I wanted to write a song about my baby sister, Elsie, because she's so cute. I'm not the only one singing to her...the animals are singing, too!  Be sure to listen to darling lyrics to this song! 




Best Overall Composition:
Weather by Vinh L
From the Studio of: Amber Barney

This song is exciting, and it's about all kinds of weather. You'll hear Vinh's interpretation of: sunshine, rainbows, clouds, a windy tornado, lighting, thunder, snow, hail and rain!



Honorable Mention, Best Melody:
Running Free by Liv C
From the Studio of: Jennifer Bigley

Honorable Mention, Best Use of ABA:
I Love Jessie by Bryant L
From the Studio of: Marie Guthrie

Honorable Mention, Most Original:
The Skeleton by Jayna B
From the Studio of: Steph Simmons

Honorable Mention, Best Story:
The Easter Egg Hunt and Discovering by Hattie Allred
From the Studio of: Paige Allred

Congratulations to these kids, families, and parents AND all who have successfully composed, published, and performed their very first piano piece!



Our guest judge, Dr. Barbara Russell, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Eastern Illinois University, and holds Master of Music and Doctorate of Music degrees from Arizona State University in
Piano Pedagogy and Performance. She created original curriculum, taught both group and private lessons in the ASU Piano Prep and Conservatory Program for 19 years under Dr. Janice Meyer Thompson, and served as an adjunct faculty member at Scottsdale Community College, where she taught Music Theory and Rock History.

She was a student of Dr. Catherine Smith, a student of Hungarian composer, conductor, and pianist, Erno Dohnanyi. Dr. Russell owned and directed Spoelman Piano Studio from 2009 to 2015, where she created group lesson curriculum and oversaw the teaching of over 100 private students per week.
She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through MTNA, maintains Permanent Professional Certification, is a Co Chairman of the Arizona Study Program for the East Valley Music Teachers Association, and serves on the Arizona Study Program State Committee. She currently maintains a private studio in Mesa, Arizona.

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