Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Family Blogging Month Winner: Sarah Plays Chopin!

Sarah was one of the winners of Family Blogging Month! Each student won a free-choice post here on Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog. Please enjoy Sarah's post about Frederic Chopin!

Frederic Chopin composed music in the early Romantic Period (1820 to 1850).  The Romantic Period began as a reaction to the more formal music of the Classical period. The music in the Romantic Period had more feelings and emotions to the music and Beethoven began to write such music in some of his later works even though he lived during the Classical Period.


Chopin was born on 1810 in Poland, and died in 1849 when he was just 38 years old. Chopin mostly composed music for the piano. He gave his first concert when he was seven years old and was compared to Mozart and Beethoven. No other composer could play the pinao with as much feeling as Chopin. He was sick most of his life and died from tuberculosis.

The Waltz in A-flat major, also called "The Farewell Waltz,"  was written in 1835 as a farewell piece to Maria Wodzińska. Chopin was supposed to marry Maria but her parents didn't allow her to marry Chopin because he was very ill.   

I really like this piece because I like how the rhythm changes.  In some places it is faster and in other places it is slower. When I play, I feel the music and decide where to play faster and slower. The musical term for this is Rubato, which is expressive shaping of music.  Chopin was famous for this. I also really love the melody of this waltz.

Have you ever listened to Chopin before? What is your favorite piece?

What do you think of his music?

Do you play an instrument? 


  1. Dear Sarah,
    Just excellent! Superb! Unbelievable!
    Genius! Spectacular and amazing in every way!
    Grand father,

  2. ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥

    Dear Sarah,

    ¡Brava! (Remember that Italian from when we listened to opera?) I think some students might need a pronunciation key to pronounce his name so I will add one here: Chopin (sho - pan).

    Your playing of Chopin's waltz was magnificent! What a great way to introduce students to his magical music! Chopin's compositions are so exciting to listen to, and your performance of his Waltz in A-flat Major was terrific!

    Here are some questions I have for you:

    ♪ Do you pick the songs you'd like to learn or does your teacher?

    ♪ What are you working on currently?

    ♪ Where do you get your facts for your paragraphs?

    Mr. Yollis and I enjoy listening to all kinds of music, but Chopin's waltzes are a house favorite! We have a CD with several on it. I need to get that out and have a listen! Thanks for reminding me about it through your post!

    How sad that Frédéric Chopin died when he was only 38 years old! He created so much music is his short life. How old would Chopin be if he were alive today?

    Your proud teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

    ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥

  3. Dear Sarah,
    Bravo Sarah. I love how you played the piano.

    Interesting question I have not lisented to Chopin before.

    My favourite piano piece is The Man in the Moon.

    I play the piano as well.

    Sarah if you did not play the piano what instrument would you play?

    From your pal,

  4. Dear Sarah,
    You improved so much in the past year, it's take a lot of your time to learn such a difficult peace.
    I hope you will continue to play and all of us will enjoy you playing.
    All of our family is proud of you,
    Love you,
    Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene

  5. Dear Sarah,

    Wow you played with such confidence. It was a pleasure to sit here and watch you play the piano.

    I, wish I had learned how to play the piano.
    BB plays the piano and I really love listening to her play.

    Once again thank you for sharing with us all the love of playing the piano. As Mrs Yollis puts it Bravo!

    From your friend down under,

  6. Dear Sarah,
    We*ve read your blog with great
    interest. You can teach a lot of
    people much older than you.I*m sure for your classmates and not
    only for them Chopin*s biography is
    very interesting.
    Chopin is one of my favorite composers. In spite of the fact what
    language people speak they can understand his music. It*s called
    music language.
    I like the way you play the Farewell Waltz. I can hear sad and happy moments in it. I*d like to hear you playing the violin together with your sister Miriam as
    an accompanist.
    We love you,we are proud of you!
    Your Grandpa and Grandma Isay and Mila

  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Thank you for your complimentary comment. I also didn't know how to pronounce Chopin until I started playing piano. I really like his music and will ask my teacher to help me find another piece that I can play.

    My piano teacher believes that I should like the music that I play and helps me choose the pieces. I also go on the internet with my mom and we listen to different types of composers and music. Together with my teacher we pick the pieces that I can play and that I like.

    Right now, I am learning 3 pieces: Sonata in D major by Haydn, Czardas by Vittorio Monti, and Invention No. 4 in D minor by Bach. I will be participating in Sonata competition sometime in April and will play the Sonata by Hadyn.

    I find the facts about the composers from a couple of different websites on the internet. I first try Wikipedia but it usually has too much information that is difficult for me to understand. My mom helps me find a couple of websites that teach children about composers that I can read and use to write the post.

    It is really sad that he died so young. If he was still alive today he would have been 202 years old! I subtracted his date of birth from 2012 to find out how old he would be today. Did you play the piano when you were young?


  8. Dear Sarah,

    I think that you are amazing at playing the piano! My mom is astonished by you playing from memory!

    No, I had not heard of Chopin, or heard his music before I watched your video. My favorite part of the Waltz you played was when it went fast, then slow, then fast again.

    Sometimes I play my drum set, but haven't had any lessons. Maybe someday I will have them.

    How long have you been taking piano lessons?
    Do you like your piano lessons?


  9. Dear Sarah
    I enjoyed listening to you play and I think it is marvelous that you can play so well from memory.

    I learned to play the piano at your age, but I was very shy and didn't enjoy playing in front of an audience so gave up after several years.
    Later though, when I first started teaching, there was a piano in my classroom and I would play for the children as they sang.

    What age were you when you first started to learn piano?

    warm wishes
    Mrs McKenzie

  10. @Great Uncle David,

    Thank you for leaving a lovely comment to me on our blog! I was really surprised to see your name as this is your first comment. I hope you continue to leave some comments on Mrs Yollis' blog. You could also leave a comment on our 365 posts as well.

    Did you ever play an instrument when you were my age?


  11. @BB,

    Thank you for your lovely comment. I think it is great that you play the piano too. I also play the violin and I want to learn the viola. I play the violin in the orchestra and the conductor promised to teach some of us to play the viola because we don't have enough people playing the viola in the orchestra. Do you want to learn any other instrument?


  12. @Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene

    Thank you for leaving a lovely comment! I really like to play in front of you. Maybe you could come to my next piano competition.

    Love you,

    ♫ Sarah ♫

  13. @AA

    It is so nice of you to leave a lovely comment to me on our blog. BB must really like it when you listen to her play. Who is your favorite composer?

    Sincerely your pal,

  14. Dear Grandpa Isay and Grandma Mila,

    I am very happy you left a lovely comment to me. Maybe I could call you and then you can listen to my sister and I playing the piano and violin together. Miriam has been busy learning her own piano pieces and hasn't had time to learn how to accompany me on the violin. I hope you will continue to leave some lovely comments on our blog.

    I know you used to play the piano when you were young. What was your favorite piece or composer?


  15. @Rexon,

    Thank you for being the first student from our class to leave a lovely comment! I have been having piano lessons for about two years. Before that, my mom taught us to play the piano. I really like piano lessons because we learn many new pieces to play. Do you like to play the drums? Do you play in the house or in the garage? Is it really loud? Do you want to play in a band?

    ♪ Sarah ♪

  16. Dear Sarah,

    I thoroughly enjoyed you playing such a great piece by Chopin. It is a hard piece to play because of the different tempo which can change depending on how you feel the music, and you did a great job. I could hear and see that you put a great deal of emotions during your performance. You are improving very rapidly. I am so proud of you.

    Great-aunt Olga

  17. Dear Sarah,

    Wow! You play the piano so beautifully!

    I have heard of Chopin, but I was not familiar with the piece you played. I think it's beautiful!

    I have been playing the piano for two and a half years. One day when I am as good as you are, I would love to play a Chopin piece. To get there, I know I have to practice a lot, something I don't like to do that often!

    How long did you practice to master this song?


  18. Dear Sarah,

    You played beautifully!

    I play the piano, but I'm not as good as you. I am only a beginner but I hope that I can play Chopin one time!

    My piano teacher is very nice and I even like practicing.
    I love classical music and we listen to it in the car a lot.

    What is your favorite piano piece to play?


  19. ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥

    @Mrs. Mckenzie,

    Thank you for leaving me a lovely comment. That is really nice that you play piano for your students. What kind of songs do you play for them? Are you still get shy to play for your students?

    I was 6 when I started to learn the piano and my mom was my first teacher. I enjoy performing in front of people if it is just for fun and not for a competition. I get really nervous at competitions.


  20. @Olga,

    I was very pleased to see you leave a comment to me. I really like it when you help me improve my playing. Maybe you could come to my next piano competition. Who is your favorite composer? What did you play when you were my age?

    ♫ Sarah ♫

  21. Dear Sarah
    Thank you for your reply. I don't get to play piano for my students now, but I used to when I first started teaching, quite a number of years ago.

    What I'm thinking would be a lot of fun now is for the students to make a little band using the ipod touches as our instruments.
    We have downloaded a bongo app and a keyboard app, and I'm sure we can find a guitar app. I think that will be a project for our new term when we go back at the end of January.

    Good luck with your sonata competition later in the year.

    warm wishes
    Mrs M♔Kenzie

  22. @Leila,

    Thank you for leaving a lovely comment to me! I had to play for about 4 months until I mastered this song. I have some questions for you:

    ♫ Do you like to play the piano? Is there another instrument that you would rather play?

    ♫ Do play in recitals?

    ♫ Who is your favorite composer or song?

    From you friend,

  23. You have a talent Sarah, they say everyone has one, I don't know what mine is! My favourite piece by Chopin is 'Grand Polonaise'.
    For me the beauty in your music is the lightness of touch and you achieved that well. I expect you have been practicing today, I wonder how many people just watch the telly?
    They say to be a concert standard pianist you need to practice 10,000 hours!
    Importantly you have already reached a standard where you bring pleasure to others.
    Happy New Year

    Mr E

  24. Sarah,

    Your piano playing was so beautiful. We know you play the violin also. Which instrument do you enjoy playing more? Is one instrument tougher to play than the other? Does knowing one instrument help you learn others? We both used to play the piano when we were little. It turns out that if you don't practice, you forget how to play!

    We are so proud of you, Sarah.


    Aunt Elana and Uncle Lloyd

  25. @Elana and Lloyd,

    Thank you for your lovely comment to me! I enjoy both instruments, but right now I am much better at playing the piano. The violin is probably harder because you have find the correct notes by listening for the correct sound. While on the piano, if you press the correct key you get the correct sound. It is easier if you learn the piano before you learn the violin because after you learn the piano you already know all the music notes and you just have to learn where they are located on the violin.

    Do you regret that you quite piano lessons? Is there another instrument that you would have liked to learn?


  26. @ Sarah,

    You played a beautiful song on the piano! I love Chopin, and he is my favorite composer!

    I play the piano, too! It's a beautiful art. Ever since I was young I loved Chopin. I have been so amazed with his art.

    I have been a piano player since I was young.

    What is your favorite song on the piano?
    How long have you been playing the piano?
    Have you ever heard Beethoven?

    Your classmate,


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