Contact Pamela Cornell, Director, at email@example.com or 206-227-1611
December 2, 2020
Welcome music-lovers! Scroll down to find the following in this month's volume of Mozart's Monthly Memo.
Feature Article: The Other Mozart Prodigy
Move Over Mozart references the child prodigy, Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart. But did you know there was another Mozart prodigy? Maria Anna Mozart, affectionately known as Nannerl to her family, was Wolfgang’s older sister by 4 1/2 years. When their father started teaching Maria Anna harpsichord lessons, young Wolfgang was fascinated! He was only 3 years old, but he wanted to follow in his sister’s footsteps and learn as well. So their father taught them both at the same time. Then, between lessons, Maria Anna would tutor her little brother, demonstrating and interpreting the concepts as only a peer can do.
Wolfgang and Maria Anna were very close. She adored her younger brother and he idolized his older sister. They had quite the vivid imagination together! They created an imaginary kingdom called, “Back,” where they ruled as King and Queen, and they invented their own secret language that only the two knew and could communicate. Their father, Leopold Mozart, was a violinist and court composer. His intense, stubborn and determined personality propelled him to be successful as a musician, and to push this strict regime onto his children. Their mother, weak and frequently sick, was very submissive to her domineering husband.
As the children progressed in their musical studies and abilities, their father decided to take them on the road. Maria Anna was the accomplished musician, considered superior to other musicians of her day, even though she was just a child of 11 years. Wolfgang at age 6, was cute and endearing, a fine musician as well, but in the beginning, still as a young child. Their father showcased their musical talent as well as exploiting their tender ages and toured across Europe, performing in all the famous venues of the day.
What an exciting experience this would’ve been for Maria Anna! She clearly thrived in the limelight of performing for royalty. Music gave her opportunities as a young child many took a lifetime to experience! She was definitely well-received, hailed as “virtuosic,” a “prodigy,” and a “genius.” However, her performance days ended. Once she turned 18, her father decided it was not appropriate for a grown woman to be performing. She was taken off the performance stage and sent home, eventually getting married and having several children and step-children.
We do not know exactly how great of a musician Maria Anna actually was. Some history buffs wonder if she exceeded Wolfgang’s musical talents? He was definitely a prolific composer— but if Maria Anna composed, none of her work has survived. While Wolfgang continued into adulthood with music at the center of his life, Maria Anna left music to become a caretaker for her aging father and later for her husband and children. She did not perform publicly again. Also, it is widely accepted that Wolfgang’s musical talent is a credit to his sister’s influence as much as it is to his father’s. And it is thanks to Maria Anna that much of Wolfgang’s compositions have survived to this day. Would he be the composer we know today without his sister?
Also, “Mozart’s Sister” by Nancy Mosier—historical fiction, but a delightful read. There are a few other children’s book about “Nannerl” available that I have not yet read.
Each week we showcase a different student from our classes. You can click on their names for the links to hear their piano pieces. Like us on Facebook to see the new student each week. Watch Videos
Aarnav, age 8, performing Deck The Halls, private student of Miss Pam.
Jaya, age 6, performing Sea (C) Song, Primary MOM student of Mr. Josh.
Joses, age 7, performing Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Advanced Elementary MOM student of Mr. Josh.
Upcoming MOM Events
We will be having our first online recitals! Contact Miss Pam for a link to join any of them.
Tuesday, December 15, 5:15 & 6:00
Friday, December 18, at 5:00 & 5:45
Move Over Mozart will be closed with no classes offered December 24 - January 1.
Because of the holidays, our December session will still cover four weeks of lessons, but the students will have five weeks to complete the activities. This is to allow more time if needed during the hustle and bustle surrounding the holidays.
Next Parent Meeting: Monday, December 7, at 6:00 pm. At the meeting, we will show how our practice app works, review our objectives, and answer any questions parents may have. All are welcome to join us. Just click the link below.
December Session begins, Tuesday, December 8. Use the coupon code, "NEW" for 20% off your first month. Click on this link to sign up.
Our online classes run in 4-week sessions. Each session includes 4 mini-private lessons and 4 weekly videos, as well as access to our motivating practice app. Our next session will begin on Tuesday, December 8. Students are put into one of 4 classes, depending on their age and musical ability.
Pre-Reading - Ages 3 - 5 years, or students not yet reading,
We use a color-coded method for the students to match their five fingers to five keys on the piano. New songs using only those 5 notes are given each week.
Primary - Ages 5 -7 years or older and brand new to music,
This group is for the very basics of piano playing. Students learn to play simple rhythms, correct hand position, and the names of the white keys on the piano.
Beginning Elementary - Ages 7-12 years or younger and reading notes,
This is for students just starting to read notes on the staff. Students are taught how the staff relates to the piano and how to translate the notes to making music. Also, having the students memorize a few key notes on the staff will help greatly with their ability to read music.
Advanced Elementary - Ages 7 - 12 years with previous piano lessons
This group already reads notes on the staff and can immediately identify many of the notes by name. They will learn more advanced technique and music theory beyond the initial basics of learning to play.
Parents Ask Pam
Have a question for Miss Pam? You can email, text message, or message on Facebook your questions. She will respond immediately to you, and your question might be featured in future newsletters.
Q: What can I do when my child doesn't want to practice?
A: "Practice" can mean different things, so let's start with what the ideal practice time would look like. Always start and end with something fun. Maybe a song they already know and enjoy playing? Maybe they create their own music? Then, when they do practice their assignment, instead of setting a time goal, have them set a different goal. Maybe they play 3 times with correct rhythm? Maybe they play a short section of the song 3 times with correct notes? Maybe they play the whole song super slow? In our Move Over Mozart curriculum, we also include videos each week with supporting activities, so watching the video and doing a worksheet would also count toward practice time. But what about the times your child just doesn't want to play the piano at all? There are other activities they can do that will promote their musical ability. Listening to music, or perhaps dancing to music, or drawing a picture describing the music. Or for our analytical musicians, creating something with legos while listening to music will all assist the musical ear as well as encourage their motivation toward playing another time. Playing a musical game is also a good alternative to playing the piano. You can ask your piano teacher for game suggestions, or just create your own game. Having a day of singing is also a great alternative to playing the piano. We all get tired of doing the same thing every day! Mixing up the activities and finding a way to make it fun can create the energy and excitement needed to keep the mundane interesting.
Your Comments And Questions
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Click here to join our online classes. Get 20% off your first month by using the coupon code, NEW.