Mentoring Program

Whimsical Play

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This is a classical style piano piece that is complemented by the violin. It was written by Rosie Perkinson and Myriam Huener. We like the interesting rhythm in the piano part. We would like help with the violin part and are wondering if we should add more instruments or make it longer.
Grade Level: 5
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Piano and Violin
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#14 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-04 15:43
Dear Myriam and Rosie,

Thanks for entering your piece, “Whimsical Play” for Opus 32. Unfortunately, it was not chosen for performance. However, I congratulate you on the work you put into it. I’ve really enjoyed mentoring you, and encourage you to keep composing. I’ve appreciated your very upbeat attitude and I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future and hope to work with you again. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

#13 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-30 15:58
Dear Myriam and Rosie,

You are so very very welcome for the advice and it’s been such a pleasure working with you! It is truly wonderful when you get to hear a piece you composed come alive when live people play it. I agree that the computer sounds can never measure up to that human connection and quality.

Your score looks great and thank you for the hard work you did!

Here are a few details to tend to if you can to make your score look even neater:

mms. 6-7 - move decrescendo up so it lines up with the crescendo before it

m. 9 - move the mf as it’s bumping the slur

Good luck to you and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have them!

#12 Myriam Huener 2017-03-30 11:37
Dear Lee,
We thank you dearly for all the sensational advice. We have recently finished our piece (Whimsical Play) and worked on polishing the dynamics and making them sound as we would like them to be played by people rather than the computer. We are very eager to meet you soon. Have a exceptional day.
Wish us luck!
Sincerely Myriam & Rosie
#11 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-29 18:22
Hello Myriam and Rosie,

This is just a reminder that you must have your piece ready to submit to be considered for the Opus 32 concert by tomorrow, Thursday, 3/30/17.

Please see my notes from 3/26!

You might want to make sure you’ve added details like:

Articulations (legato, staccato, accent marks)
If you don’t write these in throughout the piece everything will be played detached, so if you want it to flow - use slurs for legato (flowing) or if you want it detached and short sounding use staccato. For accented attacks use accent marks. If you don’t put anything in (and sometimes you may want this) each note is played somewhat separated from the next.

Descriptive markings
In the beginning and at different points in your piece if the mood changes, you can use words to describe what you want, such as “sparkling” , “lively”, or whatever words you think best describe your piece and how you want it played. This really helps the performers and especially when there’s not a lot of rehearsal time this really helps the performers to understand what you want as the composer. Be specific!

You’re on the home stretch! Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions!

#10 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-26 11:17
Dear Myriam and Rosie,

Great job on your piece and I like your new title “Whimsical Play”! I think it’s very fitting.

I think it’s OK to leave the LH piano part the way it is from mms. 5 - 8.

In terms of the order of parts in the score, the piano should be on the bottom, so it should be from top to bottom:

English horn

Here's what to do to move the piano. In the upper part of the toolbar is a stringed instrument logo, with "instruments" written under it. Click on it and the instruments show up in the vertical order of the score. You can either drag an instrument up or down to re-position it, or click on the little dotted rectangle to the left of the name. When you do that, arrows show up for all the other instruments and if you click on the arrows, you can move the particular part up or down, leapfrogging the part above or below it, depending on what direction it needs to go. It's really pretty easy. Let me know whether this helps.

I would still love to see the violin be more prominent as it’s such a beautiful melodic instrument and so lovely in its’ higher register. Right now a lot of your piece is in the same register from middle C - up one octave, so the violin just blends into the texture. Try letting it stand out!

Though the RH of the piano is higher in mms. 5 - 8, maybe the violin could be in a higher register in mms. 9 - 15. Also remember that it’s nice to have a melody move stepwise as the other instruments are already outlining the chords.

In your English horn part in m. 10 first beat - it can only play one note at a time, so choose just one. This happens again in m. 15 first beat - choose one note.

Good job with your dynamics (volume). There are a few little changes needed -

3 - piano - move the mp over to the end of the decrescendo in m. 4.
In m. 6 - since you crescendoed to a mp you should end the decrescendo on something softer, so change the mp to a p.
In m. 14 move the mp over so it’s not bumping into the crescendo sign.
18 - delete the “m” under the piano part
m. 18 - change the rests in the English horn part to a whole note rest.

Now you need to add articulations - legato, staccato, or accent marks.

You could also add pedal to piano if you think it fits at different points.

Let me know if you have any questions and good luck as you’re getting the final touches on Whimsical Play!

#9 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-23 15:11
Dear Myriam and Rosie,

How’s everything going with your composing? I will get back to you again very soon regarding your questions, but I just wanted to check in with you and to remind you that you’re in the home stretch. You need to have your final draft of your composition ready by one week from today, Thursday, March 30th.

We will then select the pieces that will be performed on the Opus 32 concert. If your piece is selected, we will then work together on polishing all of the details for the final submission of your score to give to the performers.

Let me know if you have any questions and how I can help you, and please work hard to get things ready by next Thursday, 3/30.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

#8 Myriam Huener 2017-03-22 11:31
PPS I, earlier in my message said that IT would work that way. By it I meant this "From mms. 5 - 8, it would be easier for the pianist to read if you change the piano left hand into treble clef, then switch back into bass clef at m. 9."
Thanks so much!
#7 Myriam Huener 2017-03-22 11:29
Hi Lee,
Thanks for all the suggestions. Myriam checked with her piano teacher, Claire, she said that it would make more sense to just keep it like that because most of the song works that way. If you know for sure that we should change it, please tell us. We will try to add more chords in C. Thanks so, so, much for everything. We look forward to meeting you.

P.S. We are both girls

Best, Myriam and Rosie
#6 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-18 10:10
Dear Myriam and Rosie,

I hope you’re both doing well! That’s great that you changed the French Horn to English Horn. For starters, the order of your instruments in your score should be violin on top, then English Horn, then piano on the bottom. Please change that in Noteflight.

As the violin is your highest melodic instrument you could take it up an octave and it would come out more instead of being in the exact same register as the RH of the piano. Also, remember you could make the melody more “melodic” by going more stepwise as opposed to just outlining the C chord 1-3-5 harmony. You could also do this with your English Horn part.

And please remember to try and add more chords other than C. (See my suggestions from February 10th).

That’s a good idea Myriam to ask your piano teacher about putting the LH piano in treble clef, as it’s always a good idea to double check with another professional musician, but I assure you both that pianists are used to seeing that and it won’t confuse them.

That’s great that you’re working on your dynamics and articulations.

You asked if I was a girl or a boy, and I am a girl (or I should say woman, as I’m a bit older than you). Thanks for asking.

Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

#5 Myriam Huener 2017-03-08 11:34
Hi Lee,
Thanks for all the great advice! We are still working on responding to all your suggestions. We changed our French horn to the English horn. We also added some D's and F's to the English horn part as you suggested.

We are wondering about your suggestion for moving the left hand part onto the treble staff because it might be confusing. Myriam is planning to talk with her piano teacher about this when she has her next lesson.

We are continuing to work on the English horn part and adding/ changing the dynamics and articulation marks, like slurs. We look forward to meeting you at the Opus event. Are you a girl or a boy?

Myriam and Rosie

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