More Phenomenal Students or Gifts for Our Children, Violettes by Becky Youth Music Composition Competition

More Amazing Phenomenal Students ---

How do You Supplement Your Child's Education? 

Gifts for Our Children

My son was reading before Kindergarten (Reading Harry Potter in Kindergarten). He could do all times tables in his head in Kindergarten. (He learned by quizzing his older sister for her tests). My daughter was just as smart, but with a slightly different set of talents such as language and management. (My son didn't talk until he was almost 3. It was a little scary). How would you (or did you) supplement your children's public school education? Honestly, what I did was give them what I always wished I had had. (Isn't that what everyone does?) -- And also what was available and feasible in our city. Since I was a pre-teen, and saw Suzuki violinists on TV, I  wished that I could do that. In high school, I begged my parents to let me go to jazz camp. Going to the camp turned out to be pointless without the proper background. (At that time the camp was chaos with no sessions for beginners.) So my kids took classical and jazz violin and piano. Gifts for our children! But as they got older, they both got busy with their own interests such as acting, school clubs, volunteering, sports (basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis, frisbee, girls).

Anyway, what fun to be able to compose. These brilliant talented students are lucky to be able to have fun becoming skilled in this art. The judges and I really enjoyed listening to the entries. At least locally, competitions for kids that include music composition seem to often have no or maybe one entry. 

Two phenomenal composition students. Congratulations!!!

Music Teacher Gfits Fiona Abney-McPeak, 2nd Place winner

Fiona Abney-McPeek, 15, enjoys playing violin with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and with a chamber trio. She has studied composition with Elliot Cless, Teddy Niedermaier and Tonia Ko and is in her fourth year of participation in the Composition Seminar of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Fiona also volunteers as a teaching assistant in the Chicago Math Circles, and she is active on her school's science and math teams. (This year she and a teammate built a musical instrument for one of her Science Olympiad events.)

Fiona's Program Notes for her Brass Quintet Composition titled, "Unstable Equilibrium"

"Unstable Equilibrium"  is inspired by the intersection of order and disorder --- the inevitable imperfections in even nature’s most orderly creations, and the hidden order behind what seems like pure chaos. Neither orderly, nor disorderly, this piece finds stability in the fact that it is constantly evolving. It is not confined by form, melody, key or rhythm, yet it never gets out of control, developing organically as a self-contained system. Unstable Equilibrium opens with a stable, yet slightly bouncy motive whose 3-eighth-note idea makes a little rippling wave through the ensemble. This idea of waves, or ripples, disruptions in something otherwise orderly, appears throughout. The waves lengthen in duration and amplitude near the beginning of the piece, and appear at the end in the form of ripples moving up in register through the ensemble and transitioning into an off-kilter version of the original motive.


music teacher gifts Youngest entry, age 13

Alexis Cai is a 7th grader at Foothill Country Day School in Claremont, California. She has been studying classical music since age five. Alexis is a skilled pianist, flutist, a classically trained singer, and an aspiring young composer. She has been composing since age ten, and is currently studying with Mr. Charles Davis at Upland Music School. She has won 2nd place in music composition category in the California State Reflections Arts Program. Two of her solo piano pieces were featured in Claremont Symphony Orchestra’s annual Concert for Young People. She also composes choral music for her school choir to perform in both spring and winter concerts. Alexis has been a flutist with Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years. She is a pianist and flutist in Chamber Ensemble Program at the prestigious Colburn School in downtown LA. Over the years, Alexis has won multiple prizes in piano, flute, and composition competitions including: Lansum International Music Festival Competition, San Diego Flute Guild Festival Competition, and John Child Walker Music Competition. As a winner of 2018 Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Alexis had her orchestral debut in February 2019, performing 1st movement of Mozart Piano Concerto no.23 with Claremont Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Alexis is accepted into Juilliard 2019 Summer Performing Arts “Young Artist Program” in Geneva, Switzerland. She will be joining talented young musicians from around the world, and studying closely with Juilliard Faculty to take her musical artistry to the next level.

Piano Composition by Alexis, "Koi Fish"


Happy composing you two. Thanks for sharing your work with us. We hope to see your work next year again.

My kids have both finally rewarded me for my efforts in the way I would want - With music gifts of their own doing.  For Xmas, I got a recording of my son playing his newish ukulele and singing (with girl friend back ups) and for Mother's Day, I got a recording from my daughter playing violin in a trio with her boyfriend on the piano. The best gifts ever!




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