Sonatina Celebration 2019 Success

Last Updated on 2024-02-17 | Originally Posted on 2019-11-15

The Scenario

Seven of my piano participated in the annual Sonatina Celebration held at NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) on November 9, 2019. I didn’t post on last year’s festival, but you can read my first go-round at the Sonatina Celebration in 2017.

The group sponsoring this, the NW Arkansas Music Teachers Association, is a local affiliate of the National Music Teachers Association (MTNA). A group of local teachers started this festival in 1995 to give students an additional chance to perform with no other testing included.

How it Works

Each of the students must perform a piece with Sonatina or Sonata in the title. They choose two contrasting movements to play by memory. The exception is if the piece is an advanced one, in which case only one movement is required. Each session includes around 10 pianists, most of who don’t know each other. In this situation, even the most confident kids sometimes admit to being a little nervous at first.

Students receive award based on their performance, not how they do versus their peers. Groups perform by age, not ability, so there is sometimes a wide range of pieces within each group of students.

The Choral Hall at NWACC – One of the two performance spaces of the Sonatina Celebration

The Results

Three of my students received the highest Superior Plus rating, typically only earned by about 25% of all students. The four others received the second-highest Superior rating, which accounts for about half of all students. Lots of practice went into that level of achievement. I was lucky to be the one to help these kids along the way.

It’s Fun but It’s Not Everything

The halo from the Sonatina Celebration 2019 has lasted for the past week, but it’s not the end-all goal. Learning the piano is developing a skill that can provide joy for a lifetime. It provides a connection back to centuries of music and musicians. It opens the door for an understanding of the arts in general, which in turn makes life pretty awesome!

sonatina-celebration-2019-participants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *