Read on for American Grands Elementary Coordinator and longtime participant Stephanie Spolum's
take on the performance experience of our younger participants.
Thank you to Stu and Stephanie!
So says Stephanie Spolum
, who has played in American Grands concerts since 2008, and has had as many as 20 of her
piano students involved annually.
This is the second year Stephanie has served as Director of Performance for Elementary Level players, the majority of whom are ages 7 and 8.
With a Bachelor of Science degree in piano performance from Michigan State, she
will soon complete her
work for a Master of Arts in Elementary Education.
She has also been a private piano teacher in St. Charles for ten years and, as Music Director at St. Patrick's Elementary School in St. Charles, she is quite aware of what motivates young musicians.
Shephanie shared some great insight into the joys and benefits of the American Grands performances for young musicians.
When asked about the benefits and skills young musicians gain by performing with other pianists at American Grands, Stephanie
says "they learn to work as a team member, while preparing and presenting music with other players.
They gain confidence when performing as part of an ensemble; [which is] especially important with pianists, who are commonly "solo performers".
They learn to budget personal time between sports, other school activities, homework and of course piano practice.
There is also accountability to other pianists and their piano teacher."
adds "realizing the thrill of knowing you are performing before your parents, other family members, and hundreds of audience members at the American Grands concert and the unique thrill of recessing into the auditorium at the concert conclusion to the music of "Stars and Stripes Forever" as performed on 12 grand pianos and 24 skilled pianists.
It's very cool."
When asked if there will be any new music opportunities for the elementary players in this year's program, Stephanie
shared a neat new feature of this year's performance.