This week we are working on establishing a more disciplined practice routine for our musical instrument practices. I’ve seen quite a few great encouragements that I’ve shared on FaceBook. One of my favorites this week has been from Harmony Art Mom and The Piano Guys.
“Don’t only practice your art,
But force your way into its secrets,
For it and knowledge can
Raise men to the Divine”
Ludwig van Beethoven
You may watch the video on either link above – one of the most amazing things – is that the boys love One Republic and The Piano Guys – to listen and watch such a brilliant performance – which would not have worked without the youth orchestra in the surrounding background – is just breath taking. How many times do you think they practiced? How long do you think they worked on their individual pieces alone – before they began perfecting the video performance? The boys asked the questions aloud as we listened.
We moved on Thursday to study Jackson Pollock and Leonard Bernstein as our Artist and Composer focus for the next few weeks. We enjoyed watching “Lennie” conduct an amazing piece, the Candide Overture, which he also composed.
Again with the verbal observations of the boys – Nate looking at the percussion section – and how intently they need to follow the composer and the music sheets to stay on track. Jon talking of how the conductor, Lennie, can make the musicians infuse feeling into their playing by the way he dances and winks and wiggles. I sit back and enjoy their discussions.
Now that they have been in the Music and Art routine for the past few months, they start to see more layers of the pieces. Instead of “good music” or “boring music” – their verbal observations are more direct.
Which brings us to studying Hokusai yesterday – The Artist in our ARTistic Pursuits book. We are reading about Warm Colors, spent a while reviewing what we have learned about the color wheel so far – when we read an interesting quote about Hokusai that I will share in just a bit. ARTistic Pursuits also shared some history – that Landscape painting had not always been popular, and that the artists papers were often used as wrappers, discarded works – thrown away. Unvalued. Until the Impressionists saw them, and were influenced by Holusai, his simplicity of form. Anyways – we didn’t get far with Pollock (Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)) today – enjoy the following from Hokusai –
Katsushika Hokusai (1780-1949)
In the postscript to this work,(100 views of Mt. Fuji) Hokusai writes “From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.” View of the 36 Views of Mt Fuji – here Quote from 100 Views Here
Nate and Jon in the same room – Jon working on a volcano scene, Nathan looking up “What is Chemistry”. Mom – drawing a picture of Madras with Mt. Hood in the background, with lots of ponderings in my heart – as we all take time to grow and learn together. Never finished.
By the way – for the blogger who shares everything – they made a version of the above video with the words sung to the song – Secrets. I think you might like it too.