Monday, April 4, 2011

Putting on the Brakes!

If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks, and that means you're not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more changes to learn and win. ~John W. Holt, Jr.

Finally, I have an afternoon to relax and write. The weather is warm and sunny and just beautiful, so I should be out playing in the dirt, spreading around those most excellent bunny berries as our fertilizer, and sprucing up the gardens. That is what I would be doing if my back was not so sore right now. I had a flare-up this week and would be over it by today had I not had to face paint all day yesterday. Oh, before I get ahead of myself, I will have to back up quite a bit since it has been...I just realized that I have not posted for nearly three weeks! Yikes! I meant get back to updating my blog before this, but I really have been too busy to even think of writing...well, writing in my blog, that is, because I had an article due also.

If you are interested in what kept me away for so long, I will have to fill you in bit by bit, because it is too much to read in one sitting, let alone write it all. As you may recall, we had at least one major event on each of three Saturdays in a row since my husband's return from the United Kingdom, where he had trained for his new job.

The first Saturday was the Children's Talent Competition for the Nazarene Churches in our district. It was a two-hour drive for us and we were from the furthest church out to plan being there. The event was meant to be from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, but it was over soon after lunch. The reason being that there were only fifteen children from the four participating churches, including the host church. Isn't that a sad turn out? I was a bit surprised at the lack of interest, but I should not have been, because this event has not been well planned in the past. This was a post I wrote about it two years ago: Competition Cancelled. I do not even remember why we did not try to go last year, perhaps it was no better planned and we received the notice too late again or had something else going on. That is not to say that the host churches did not do an excellent job, but rather that our district just does not seem to give much in the way of support for the event and no one from the district was even there.

Still, the Princess entered four categories. The rating was from 1 to 4 with 1 being the highest.


Judge #1
Average Score: 1
Comments: Very creative! It makes me think of a bridge between heaven and earth.

Judge #2
Average Score: 1
Comments: Excellent! I am so impressed by this piece. You are incredibly talented.

My own critique: Appealing colors and nice use of texture, but most of the flowers were painted too heavily for the watercolor medium. My average score would have been 1.3 at the most.


Judge #1
Average Score: 1.2
Comments: Very good work! Good attention to detail. I love the bird in the boat.

Judge #2
Average Score: 1.3
Comments: You are a very impressive young lady! Keep up the good work!

My own critique: Some areas look unfinished or hurried compared to others. My average score would have been 1.5 at the most.


Judge #1
Average Score: 2.1
Comments: A good poem to emphasize God's great love. You have a neat work and I loved the picture! Keep writing.

Judge #2
Average Score: 1.87
Comments: I especially like the first verse where you compare what God does for nature with what He does for us. If you could have continued that idea in the second verse―comparing sunshine with His love for us, it would have continued the theme and been more consistent. However, you basic thought was excellent.

My own critique: (I missed that she had misspelled one word; on the other hand, I know she should have known the correct spelling.) Although I see the point made by Judge #2, I felt both judges missed the symbolism of promised hope and forgiveness in the rainbow. My average score would have been at least 1.3.


Judge #1
Average Score: 1
Comments: Great job. Challenging selection and you did great. Even though you messed up in one spot, you did a great job in recovering.

Judge #2
Average Score: 1
Comments: Very nice performance! You did very well with the staccato notes―they were crisp. Work on your memorization.

Judge #3
Average Score: 1
Comments: Minus the loss of continuity in the repeated measures 8-9, the performance was excellent. The key is to relax and feel the music. Remember you are playing to the glory of God. Learn the technical but move past that to the understanding the music.

My own critique: (This is a Baroque piece originally written for the harpsichord, which is an instrument that cannot be played with much variation in dynamics, that is, louder or softer. The beauty of this piece is in the technical as typical of the time period, but Judge #3 differed on this opinion because of his familiarity with Bach from the perspective of playing such pieces on guitar.) She played this piece from memory and had a slight mess up, but she did recover well. A very good performance with nice poise also. My average score would have been 1.1.

The poem was sent in with our registration and the rest was judged on the day we attended. A few children sang and there was only one other on an instrument, also piano, but just a beginner playing with only her right hand alone. Most were younger children doing this competition for the first time. One performer really stood out though. He was a boy with short blondish hair and glasses. He was quiet and seemed to be a more introverted type. Dressed all in black, he got up on the stage and we waited as the music was loaded. He did not sing however, he signed the song and not just the typical American Sign Language, but highly dramatized signing. It was just so unexpected that it just took my breath away!

So, now you know what we did three weeks ago on Saturday, March 19th. More coming....

~ My Lord, I thank you for the opportunity of this competition. It was a very good experience. I hope that You will urge more children to participate next year. ~


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