Saturday, June 27, 2015

First movement of Sonata No 11 in A major

Over the past few months, I have been learning the first movement of Sonata
 No. 11 in A Major by Mozart.  This piece has many different sections each taking on a different variation of the first section.  If you listen closely, you can hear the melody of the first variation in all of the other variations.  This piece has a gorgeous melody and I especially enjoy playing the first, second, and last variation. 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer who created many gorgeous operas, concertos, symphonies, and sonatas that helped build the beautiful music of the classical era. 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, and was the youngest son of Leopold Mozart, a composer and instructor. Music was an important part of his family and his father took Nannerl, Mozarts sister, and Mozart on tours around the country. Mozart was a child prodigy and from the age of four he could play full symphonies and by age 6 he was already composing pieces and performing in Vienna and other parts of Austria. He was best friends with Haydn which he later dedicated a composition to him. Throughout Mozart's life, he composed many pieces that were known throughout Europe and he traveled around Europe to perform his many works. Sadly, on December 5, 1791, Mozart died at age 35 from illness, leaving behind 600 compositions, including works for symphonies, the piano, and the opera. Some of these compositions are considered to be the finest works in the Classical period. 
My sister and I have both been learning a piece by Mozart so if you enjoy listening to Mozart, here is a link to her post. In a couple weeks I will be finished learning the third movement of this sonata called Turkish March so stay tuned.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Great Grandfather, Samuel Zarotsky, Sept 1919-June 7, 2015

At my aunts wedding
On June 7th , one of my greatest role models past away at the age of 96, my great grandfather. My great grandfather lived a long life full of happiness and tears.  He survived the holocaust and rebuilt his family here in the US.  My great grandfather and I have spent a lot of time together over the past few years and these pictures show all of the wonderful memories. I am really lucky to have met and spent time with my great grandfather as most children don't get to meet their great grandparents.  As a tribute to my great grandfather, I have written a poem for him.  

In our hearts
In tears we saw you sinking,
We watched you fade away,
Our hearts were almost broken,
Until we figured out,
That those we love don’t go away,
They travel with us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near
In our hearts still loved and very dear

Children of Samuel

Grandpas birthday

Family photo at home

Celebrating Ben's Birthday

My Grandpa, Great Grandpa, and I

To family and friends, please leave a comment with your favorite memory with Samuel.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Guest Post by Michael: Track

My sister and I before the race
This year I decided to try a new sport, track.  My sister has run track for a long time, and I thought it would be a fun sport.  Track practice was two months long, and we practiced Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. At first I didn’t know which event I should do. There was the 100 meter, 400 meter, the 800 meter or the 1500 meters, and I tried each one.  After trying all of the events, I decided that I enjoyed the 1500 meter run the most. The 1500 meter run is about one mile and is the longest event I can do. 
After training for a couple weeks, I had my first meet. I was very nervous that I would get last place when I ran, but I did great! Every track meet is very busy, and there are many people watching, cheering, or competing in a race. Before every competition, I have to warm up and get my hip number to determine which lane I ran in.  After warming up, all the competitors are put on the track, and a gun sets us off.  I went to many different meets at different high school tracks this season. At my first competition, my time was 6 minutes and 14 seconds, and I got 3rd place. Over the past 2 months, I have been to about 6 meets, and at one of the meets, I got my best time of 6 minutes and 7 seconds receiving 2nd place. 
After working hard all practice we had a track party.  It was at a beautiful park, with a big field and playground. There were also many kids with enormous water guns. I forgot to bring my water gun so I borrowed someone’s. After I squirted a lot of kids, I was extremely soaked.  Then, my coach gave out the trophies. I got a trophy that had my name on it, and my sister also got one that had her name too.  Track is hard work, but I have learned a lot this season and have had fun! 
At the start line

Running to the finish

Friday, April 24, 2015

Guest Post By Michael: Spring Break Hike at Malibu Creek Park

Recently, my family and I went to Malibu creek park. We decided it was a beautiful day to go hiking. When we got there, it was gorgeous. Everything we saw was green such as the grass, trees, and leaves from a few days of rain. Although we had a couple of days of heavy rain, California is still in a drought so the river was very dry and easy to cross. As we were hiking we got to this hill. My mom thought it was a beautiful sight so she decided to take a photo right near the tall grass.  As we were standing to take a photo, Miriam cried SNAKE just to scare us.  After the photo, she saw a real snake and once again cried SNAKE! This time, we didn't believe her, until we looked and saw she wasn't kidding. On the ground was a  long brown garden snake. We didn't hear a rattle, so we don't think it is a poisonous snake, but we did see its tongue.

As we continued to hike, Sarah did a back-walk-over on a long log. When we got to a resting point, we climbed this humongous rock. We all ate a delicious lunch in nature. After lunch, we went to the place where the river pools, and we saw many people feeding a duck. The duck was gorgeous and big.  The duck came really close to shore because people were feeding it. Then we saw this boy jump off a really big rock into the water. The water was freezing, so he quickly jumped out of the water. When we were walking back to our car, we all raced each other; I raced against Sarah and Hannah. I lost against Sarah but tied against Hannah. Then Miriam raced against Sarah and Miriam won. When we got back from the hike everyone took a long rest. I had the best time ever.
The beautiful green background

Too bad the river dried up

Back walk-over on the log

Duck begging for food

Have you ever seen a snake while hiking?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Piano Performance

Over the past few months, I have been learning two piano compositions, one by Gustave Lange called Schelmerei and the other one by Haydn called Sonata in F major.  Gustave Lange is a German composer born in 1830 and died in 1889.  He wrote music during the Romantic period.  The piece I played is called Schelmerei which means playfulness.  This piece is the first of six characteristics of music that he wrote. I especially enjoy playing this piece because it makes me feel happy and upbeat.  All of the sharp major notes really bring the piece to life.

The other piece I played is called Sonata in F Major by Haydn. Joseph Haydn is an Austrian composer who composed in the Classical Period in the mid 1700s.  Haydn composed many wonderful Sonatas and Sonatinas. I have played a few pieces by Haydn over the years and you can listen to it on this link. The Sonata in F Major has both peaceful and rowdy parts in the composition which makes it interesting to listen and play.  I hope you enjoy!

Over the last few months, I played a piece called Clowns by Dmitri Kabalevsky.  Dmitri Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 30, 1904. He is a modern composer but was still able to have successful career.  When he was young, Dmitri's father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a math mathematician like him.  But eventually he followed his dreams and became an accomplished pianist.  He is most famous for his piano solo pieces "24 little pieces." This piano piece was easy but it took a while to learn by heart.  It was fun to play and had a lot of staccatos. It is a happy, light, and fast piece. 

Do you play an instrument? 
What is your favorite piece to play?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Guest Post by Michael: Happy New Year

My Grandma and my siblings and I
On New Years I went to my grandparents house for a big party with my whole family. My aunts, uncles, and cousins came. First, we went to eat my grandma's many delicious dishes such as chicken, beef ,potatoes, and many types of salads. It was also my aunt's 29th birthday, and we lit the candles on the cake and sang happy birthday. My aunt and all of the children helped blow out the candles on the cake. Then we quickly ate the cake and went to watch the ball drop on television.

My Aunt and Uncle
After eating the delicious frosted colored cake we poured champagne into plastic cups. When my aunt opened the champagne bottle it popped very loudly. There was a second champagne bottle so my mom wanted to open it. This was my mom's first time opening a champagne bottle and when she opened it she freaked out. Every grown up drank champagne while watching the big ball drop. When it was 11:59 my sisters counted down to the last minute until 2015. Afterwards,  we all said Happy New Year and gave each other hugs. It was all ready 12:00 and was time to go home. That was a really fun New Year party, and I hope we will have another wonderful year.

Blowing the Candles
My New Year's resolution is to listen and be kind to my family.  I will be very nice to my sister's even when they annoy me. I will also play tag, basketball, handball, tennis, and hiding-go-seek with my siblings.

Toasting to the New Year

Grandpa and my sister

The Big Boys

How did you celebrate New Years? 

What is your New Year's resolution?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Racing a 5k

The race day finally arrived.  After training for the 5k with a cross country group for 3 months, I was ready for the big day.  Training for the 5k was tough. My group ran Monday, Wednesday, Thursday in our local mountain trails and our neighborhood streets.  

My day started on a chilly morning with the sun just starting to peek its way through the clouds.  I warmed up with my track and field group that were also getting ready to run the race.  There were a couple hundred people watching, walking, or running the race. While I was resting from my warm-up,  I looked around, and tried to  find the start line. Since there were so many people, I couldn't even see it! There was also a DJ warming everyone up before the race.  A giant clock counted down until 8:00 am and the horn blew the start of the race.

Our race course was a large loop around the streets in our neighborhood. The week before the race, I ran a couple times for practice and felt ready for this race.  After the half way point, I got a cup of water and poured it over my head to refresh myself.  It felt so nice that I sprinted the rest of the race.  While I was running the race, my siblings were at work making a me a sign to cheer me on.   As I made my way to the finish line, my mom, sisters, and brother cheered me.

When I had finally finished, I had run the race in 23: 30: 38 and came in 5th place in my age group and 20th overall.  

As a part of the Cross Country Team, we also had competitions on the weekends running 3k on mountain trails.  Below are some photos from my warm ups and races.  

What do you do to push yourself to achieve?