A Simultaneous Spiritoso

By Jeanine Noyes

My name is Jeanine Noyes and I am a teacher at the North York Suzuki School of Music. 

In April of this year I had my fourth online studio recital. These have been a great experience for all of my students as they made home recordings of their very best performances. With the expert help of a very generous parent, Andrew Gallagher, these videos were edited into a seamless show, complete with wonderful graphics. 

April’s recital was extra special in that there were seven graduates (unusual for me), five of whom were graduating from Book 3! I’ve never before had such a gaggle of graduates from the same book in all my years of teaching.

Usually student graduation performances involve three pieces (student’s pick, teacher’s pick, and a lucky draw). Since there were 5 students I thought, “what a great opportunity to hear Book 3 in its entirety!” So, we met on Zoom and each student chose their favourite pieces, and with a bit of jostling we had a performance planned. The big challenge was that my “teacher’s pick” for every Book 3 graduate is the Spiritoso movement from Clementi’s Sonatina Op. 36 No. 3, so we decided that the students would play the piece in unison! 

Here’s how we did it: I played the piece with a click at a tempo agreed upon by the students. I did this on GarageBand with my keyboard so I could quantize the performance  – mechanical and uninteresting but just right for our purposes. Then each student performed along with that audio file using earbuds or headphones. They are quite proud of the results. Andrew did a beautiful job of highlighting each student and showing the ensemble as well. 

I think this is a lovely example of invention rising from these strange circumstances. We hope you enjoy it.