Happy 4th of July!!

Summer is in full swing and our Vivaldi Seasons classes are celebrating Independence Day this month by learning all about the musical history of America. Students will explore our country by taking a tour across the USA through George Gershwin’s classic work “Rhapsody in Blue”, they will also hear historical and modern American folk songs, and study all things piano.

She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain”, “Yankee Doodle” and “This Land is Your Land” are just a few of the many songs the Seasons classes will hear this month. Don’t forget you can find the entire playlist for each month on our Spotify profile.  All of the folk songs heard in July will expand students’ vocabulary associated with America, patriotism, and American folklore as well as help students identify patterns and practice rhythm recall in different musical pieces. 

George Gershwin’s 1924 musical composition “Rhapsody in Blue” will be a big focus in classes this month. This classical and jazz combination piece of music will teach students to discover the ways music can be used to represent different moods, personalities, cultures, and experiences. This Gershwin classic will introduce students to the piano, it’s sound and how it can be played. They will learn the variety of sounds the piano can make and be able to start note identification and begin to learn finger patterns on the keys.

We look forward to seeing you in class!!


Grab Your Safari Hats...

Seasons-June-Blog.png

Because Vivaldi Seasons is going to Africa to explore all the wonders found on the second largest continent on the planet! This month students will learn about the West African drum tradition, discover the animals of the safari, learn folk songs from the Congo all the way to Morocco and explore all things percussion!

Percussion is a big part of music in many African cultures and in our Seasons classes this month students will explore a variety of percussion instruments. A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck, scraped or rubbed by a beater, hands or another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice. The most popular and well known of the percussion family, the drums, will be utilized to explore three different pieces of African drum music "West African Drum Music," "Congo," and "Sky" to learn about different rhythmic interest and articulation and the way rhythm can be used to illustrate mood or tell a story.

Africa is home to the largest-remaining populations of lions, elephants, rhinoceros, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards.

This month Seasons students will hear African folk songs in their native tongue, including A Ram Sam Sam (Morocco), Kye Kye Kule (Ghanian), and Funga Alafia (Yoruba). They will also learn about the geography, music, and vocabulary associated with Africa and the Safari. We look forward to starting summer off with lots African Safari Music Adventures!

And don’t forget, the Vivaldi Seasons Winter class (ages 4-6) will perform on Sunday, June 23rd at 2:00 pm at the University of St. Thomas - Cullen Hall. The students are preparing for the performance in their weekly classes. This is a great opportunity to give them a recital experience and to expose them to instruments by being able to see students in private lessons perform.  If your student is in the Summer, Spring, or Autumn class, you are always welcome to attend the recitals to help gauge which instrument your little musician is interested in starting once they graduate from the Seasons program!





Come One, Come All

Seasons-Carnival-2019.png

Vivaldi Seasons classes are taking a trip to the CARNIVAL OF ANIMALS this month! French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’s famous ballet suite - the “Carnival of the Animals” has inspired us to explore the world of the circus and learn about the music inspired by these festivities and the creatures that can be found within them.

Seasons students will hear folk and modern songs like “Animal Fair” and “Baby Mine” from Dumbo that tell the tales of life in the circus. These songs and many more will be used in activities to introduce the names of lines and spaces of the musical staff. Learning and identifying these lines and spaces are a key element in students beginning the music reading process.

“Baby mine, Don’t you cry
Baby mine, Dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Baby of mine”
— Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo

As mentioned, the humorous suite “Carnival of the Animals” inspired our journey this month and will be a big focus for our Seasons students. This fourteen movement piece was arranged with a large orchestra in mind with a variety of instruments. All fourteen movements use these different instruments to personify an array of carnival animals including elephants, donkeys, swans and many more.

So step right up to Vivaldi Seasons’

GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!





Springtime-Paris-1.png

Bonjour Spring!

April is the time of year when everyone starts to take off their winter scarves and jackets and head outside to enjoy the wonderful weather that Spring brings. Flowers are starting to bloom, birds are starting to chirp, and a bottle of sunblock is always nearby. In Texas, April is all about Bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brushes, and enjoying outdoor activities before the sun gets too hot!

Our Seasons classes are celebrating this time of year by taking a trip through Paris to enjoy all the musical inspiration that has come from the City of Love in full bloom. Our Seasons students will be learning traditional French folk songs like the famous Frère Jacques and the classic lullaby Fais Dodo as well as learning about the history of traditional French works that were inspired by Springtime. Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring are two major works by French composers that capture the beauty of spring and will encourage our Seasons students to take notice as the seasons change.

Legato & Staccato

Legato and staccato are musical techniques that your kids will be tackling in Seasons classes over the next few weeks. Staccato (Italian for "detached") and legato (Italian for "connected") are paired terms used to describe the way notes are articulated when played or sung. Mastering these musical techniques will help students determine the affect and mood of a piece, develop their very own personal musicality, and be able to perform a variety of styles and genres as they continue their musical journey.

So buckle up, s’il vous plaît, and let the world of Pari’ take you away!










Howdy Partners!

Seasons-March2018.png

There’s nothing quite like Houston in March! The weather is perfect as The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo rolls in bringing with it all kinds of musical talent and wild west fun! In honor of Houston’s rodeo, our Seasons classes will be exploring songs about life on the farm and all things Texas.  

Our Seasons students will continue to work on rhythm reading, solfeggio and aural skills, as well as musical coordination and listening skills through classical and regional folk music. Students will listen to famous folk songs like “Home on the Range”, “Old Texas”, “Pretty Little Horses” and, of course, “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.

Aaron Copeland was an American composer who was referred to by his peers and critics as "the Dean of American Composers". The open, slowly changing harmonies in much of his music is typical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music. This sound creates images of our Country’s vast landscape and pioneer spirit. Works in this vein include ballets like Appalachian Spring, Rodeo and “Billy the Kid”; the last of which can be found on our Seasons Spotify playlist. Copeland’s pieces will will be played in many of the Seasons classes this month to get everyone in the cowboy spirit!

So grab your boots and spurs and head on over to the Seasons Corral!!


Amore, Grá, Grádh, Amor, Amour, Love!

Seasons-Feb-Jazz.png

February is known as the month of love, sweets treats, and of course, the Super Bowl! Most importantly, February is also Black History Month. This month we celebrate love and recognize the achievements and heritage of African Americans throughout U.S. History. Vivaldi Music Academy celebrates this month by teaching our Seasons students the history of Jazz music and why it is an important aspect of music history.

Our faculty will share with our Seasons students various Jazz artists including Bobby McFerrin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Scott Joplin as well as Ragtime favorites like Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton. You can find all of these various artists on our Seasons Spotify Playlist for your enjoyment!

Jazz and Ragtime are a great way for your kids to learn a different type of rhythm - syncopated rhythm. Syncopated rhythm is the interruption of the regular flow of rhythm or, simply put, emphasizing the the upbeat rather than the downbeat. Practice as a family finding the syncopated rhythm in songs on the radio to help your child understand the importance of both the down and up beats!

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, love is in the air!  We are hearing love songs everywhere! Harmony is a common music tool used in love songs and another aspect of music our Seasons students will be learning about this month. Ella Jenkins uses harmony a great deal in her music. An excellent example from our Seasons Playlist favorites is her song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

We look forward to hearing all our wonderful Seasons students harmonize this month as we sing about love and All That Jazz!


Ring in the New Year!

January-Seasons-Monthly.jpg

Happy New Year to all our wonderful Vivaldi families!! We hope you stayed warm over the holidays and are ready to ring in the new year with lots of music and learning!

January marks the coldest month of the year and to celebrate, it is not only National Soup Month but National Hot Tea Month as well! Here at Vivaldi, we are keeping warm with fun new lessons and activities to start the year off right.

Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic fairytale ‘Peter and the Wolf’ will be the focus of January’s lessons. David Bowie famously narrated Disney’s film adaption of the tale and this can easily be found for you and your kids enjoyment online. Through this tale our Seasons teachers will continue to explore rhythm and beat with their students.

The Carnival of the Animals’ is another piece our students will be introduced to this month. It is a fun and humorous musical suite composed by Camille Saint-Saens and explores different sounds represented by different animals. This piece allows great imagination and creativity to take place as the teacher’s guide them through the 14 movements and animals.

Both of these compositions will teach the students about a variety of instruments and how they all have their own unique sound. This month, try to listen to music as a family and see if you can point out the different sounds of the different instruments together!

We look forward to another great year exploring all that music has to offer!


'Tis the Season to be Musical!

December-Seasons.png

Happy Holidays from Vivaldi Music Academy! While every month is a musical one at the Academy December allows us to share music that may be familiar to our young students. This month we will pretend that snow falls in Houston and embrace the cooler whether that is (hopefully) to come singing songs and dances like Frosty Weather and Little Snowflakes! Our Seasons students will also be listening to movements from The Nutcracker. Help them imagine what might be going on while the music plays!

December is always an exciting month for our Seasons Winter class as they get ready to perform in our Winter recital! They will performing on Saturday, December 15th at 1:00pm at Rice University! There will be no class on Saturday, December 15th for our winter classes due to the recital Although it is only our oldest group who will be taking the stage we encourage all Seasons families to join us at our Winter Recital! This is a great opportunity to expose your child to instruments that they will be able to learn once they are ready for private lessons! Winter parents please note that you do not need to sign up online for the recital and this is an optional performance. Please arrive 15 minutes early as the Winter class will be opening the show!

Don’t forget! The Academy will be closed for Winter Recess from Friday, December 21st - January 2nd. Classes will resume on Thursday, January 3rd. The Holidays are a great time to enrich your child in Holiday-themed music from cultures around the world!  Enjoy the Spotify playlist and keep the handouts handy to sing with your little one! 

Have a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you all next year!