Holiday Cheer!

We’re finally wrapping up 2020 on a high note – with our wonderful students’ performances in our pre-recorded Holiday Recital!

Once again our students came through with festive, excellent performances!

For our own performance this year, we decided we needed something different from our usual Tchaikovsky Nutcracker duets. After months of feeling like we couldn’t catch up because of the extra work remote lessons required, we wanted something simple, yet still fun. We looked for a duet of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, because we’ve loved that music since we were tiny kids. We did find a published duet version of it, and we tried practicing it. It was very simple to play, but it really didn’t sound like the actual music from the TV special, so we found it difficult to feel motivated to practice it. After a few weeks of this, we decided the only thing to do was to make our own version of it!

So Bonnie listened to the recordings from both the audio CD and the DVD shows over and over, and transcribed the music. Eventually she got the “Transcribe!” app to help finish the task. This app is SO useful – allowing the user to slow down the playback tempo of the music to be transcribed, without altering the pitch. This allows the user to hear the faster notes more clearly, making it easier to figure out each note and write them all down.

We found that once we had a version that sounded the way we wanted it to, it was much easier to enjoy practicing it. We had so much fun with it! We’ve put our recording on the Videos page along with the rest of our Christmas duets.

We even got Grinch plushies just for the occasion! The Grinch, his dog Max, and Cindy Lou Who. And did you notice in our video that Mystie was asleep right next to Amy while we played our duet? She always helped us with our rehearsals too!

We are missing our students and their families! Since we would normally have had our mini-recitals and parties here, we wanted to post here some of the things our students look forward to at our parties! Here are our 2 Christmas trees. Can you FIND THE PICKLE??? (Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the same photos marked with the location of the pickles…)

And now a short video of our “Santa’s Marching Band” bells. It plays Christmas carols for about half an hour, but we chose just one of them – Carol of the Bells!  Kermit makes a special appearance in this video!

Here is one carol from our “Symphonium”, the music box, playing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

And now we’d like to share photos from our piano families!  It really warmed our hearts to see our students, their families and pets, and favorite decorations.  We hope these festive photos brighten your day as much as they did ours!

Our pets have helped us all through the pandemic this year!  They deserve our special attention.  Here are some very Christmasy pets and their people!

We made our usual Sugar Cookies to eat while we watched the recital.  Yum!

And of course our kitties have been helping us with all our Christmas preparations!  Even Kitty-kitty, our semi-feral outdoor kitty, was getting into the spirit!  He’s been enjoying his heated mat, heated water-and-food bowl, and heated house (although it took 3 months for him to get over his suspicion of it and discover how warm it is inside!).

Our kitties received a wonderful gift from a piano family – and Kermit couldn’t wait for it to be opened, he got right up on the table to supervise its opening and then play with it!  It’s OK, it’s Christmas!  : )  He soon found Mystie plotting to take it from him even though she had her own…

Our Christmas Star Wars plushies, along with our Snoopy and Sam the Snowman from the Rankin-Bass “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”, are some of our favorite decorations!

And here is our favorite Christmas decoration of all time – The Christmas Mouse!  This mouse was hand-made for our grandmother by a woman she cleaned house for, in the 1960s.  He has been so treasured by our whole family ever since then, that now since our grandmother is no longer with us, we decided to have “shared custody” so that each household can have their turn enjoying a Christmas with the Christmas Mouse!  This year was our year! 

And now, here are the photos of our 2 trees – this time, with red circles showing where the pickles are!

We wish all of you the happiest of holidays, and a Happy New Year!

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