Click here to read Barrington's Country Magazine for a spotlight article on our founder and president Mary Anne Block.
Three students participated in the Illinois State Music Teachers Association Achievement in Music Online Exams on Sunday November 15th, all earning high scores in performance of repertoire, theory and musicianship skills. The non-competitive nature of this comprehensive exam provides students very attainable goals. The outside evaluation serves to motivate students while offering concrete tools to measure their progress.
Our Music Blocks students persevered again! Continuing lessons on-line for the last two months and culminating in a virtual recital. Fabulous solo performances by all 16 students who mastered the distance learning environment-even those without access to an instrument until a few weeks ago! So proud of these kids and thankful for the donated keyboards and pianos that have made it possible for these students to continue lessons and participate in this year-end performance opportunity!
So happy to reach some of the Music Block’s students through on-line lessons thanks to FaceTime! Continuing to play through these difficult times is so critical! These kids need an outlet for the anxiety and and uncertainty they are facing and some semblance of their normal routine also helps.
A fun evening for several Music Blocks students performing at the annual Barrington Area United Way Power of the Purse event as the 2019 grant recipient! But some disappointment when realizing they were just background music and not the center of attention.
Music Blocks students engaged in the rare opportunity to present their performance skills and share in group musicianship activities at the Barrington Area Library! Some students joined other Barrington area students in aural skills and musical terminology games.
What does it take to perform on a strange instrument in front of a room of strangers with limited opportunity to practice your piece? It takes a lot of courage and a love of music. These students overcome a lot of challenges and know how to persevere!
In connection with Music Blocks' new Adventure Discovery Program, a few Music Blocks families enjoyed the Lyric Opera mini-cast performance of "Earth to Kenzie" at the Vittum Theater in Chicago. The 45 minute production is specifically catered to third to sixth grade students and first time opera attendees. It presented the perfect opportunity for Music Blocks to offer an arts enrichment activity to supplement student music lessons engage the Music Blocks families in the world of music and theater. The day included a train ride to Chicago, viewing of the historical theater and personal meetings with the Lyric Opera cast members.
Music Blocks presented the first set of group classes for the school year, where students practice performing for their peers and participate in stimulating theory and musicianship activities, including rhythm games, note identification and ear training skills (clapping back rhythms, identifying short melodies) all in a cooperative group learning environment to supplement their private and semi-private lessons.
As a thank you to our valued donors, Music Blocks presented an intimate cocktail reception and piano performance in the Barrington Hills Estate of Pamela and David Conroy, featuring the return of piano virtuoso Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner.
One of the highlights of the year include the year-end recitals, where students perform their favorite repertoire, sometimes solo and often playing with another student or teacher in ensemble arrangements. For a more formal and public venue, 16 students also chose to play at the Barrington Area Library concert, where they could invite extended family members, friends and enjoy a complete post-concert reception. One student commented that she "felt like a professional pianist" with the opportunity to play on a "real piano" in such a beautiful setting!
This past weekend two Music Blocks families were treated to a tour of the vast collection of pianos, organs and other historical items located at the Sanfilippo Foundation Estate. The tour included a magnificent organ performance on the world’s largest restored Wurlitzer Pipe organ and a ride on an 1890 Eden Palais restored carousel. The event was a Celebration of the Arts fundraiser for the Barrington Club of Rotary International and the Barrington Fine Arts Boosters. Thank you to the generous Barrington resident who donated 4 tickets to this event for our families!
Thank you to all of our Music Blocks supporters who helped us win the 2019 Power of the Purse (POP) Grant from the Barrington Area United Way! Mary Anne Block, founder and president, was present at the POP luncheon on Thursday, March 7th to accept this exciting grant. The grant will be used to fund instructor expenses as well as additional equipment and materials for piano lessons. Thank you Barrington Area United Way and Music Blocks supporters! We look forward to putting these funds towards our mission!