By Frances Miller
The AHS Music Education Program is an exciting opportunity available to students of the harp at ANY level. The Minnesota Chapter of the AHS sponsors these evaluations annually as a service to the student community.
The Evaluations Program is NOT a contest, NOT a master class, and NOT a test of your teacher, but it is a chance for you as a harpist to be heard by two musicians (who do not play the harp) who may have suggestions about style, phrasing and musical thought, to help you understand, interpret, and enjoy your own music more fully.
The Program operates as follows:
FOR THE FIRST EVALUATION:
Each student will play two pieces (of the student’s choice) currently being worked on at his or her lesson. These pieces do not need to be memorized. You will be shown a variety of theory papers and asked to choose at least one to complete. Pick two or three at different levels to challenge yourself! The corrections will give you a chance to learn new material. They will NOT be graded – they are for you! The evaluation will be recorded along with the comments of the evaluators.
FOR THE SECOND EVALUATION:
The student will play the two pieces of music from the first evaluation, this time from memory (with attention being paid to the suggestions made by the evaluators). A third memorized piece of the student’s choice will be added. The student will be given an oral listening exam covering size and quality of intervals, rhythms, melody and some chord identification. The afternoon after the second evaluations are completed, there will be an informal recital. Each student will perform a solo of his or her choice in a warm encouraging atmosphere.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS:
- Either the teacher or the student must be a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Harp Society.
- Pedal or non-pedal harps will be provided for both pre-evaluation practice and the evaluation itself.
- Two copies of the music to be played at both evaluations should be brought to the evaluations – no photo copies, please!
- The recording is intended as an accurate representation of your performance and the comments of the evaluators. Take it with you to your next lesson and share your performance with your teacher.
After completing both phases of the Evaluation, you will be presented with a Certificate of Participation from the American Harp Society. You will also have your recording, evaluator’s comments, and theory and ear-training results – the makings of a truly educational experience. As each year goes by, you will be able to chart your own personal growth through annual participation in the Music Education Evaluations Program.
This program is usually held on Saturdays in the months of February and March at the Totino Fine Arts Center, University of Northwestern – St. Paul. It is important for the student to be available for both dates and for the recital in the afternoon of the second evaluation. Fees for the evaluation and recording are $25, made payable to the MN Chapter AHS. The application and dates for each year are published in the newsletter.