Saturday, September 05, 2015

First Mini-Tour

Last weekend Dylan, Haley, and I went on their first "real" mini-tour. Their "first" because it is the first time they have traveled out of state for the sole reason of performing in multiple venues without other things like camps going on as well and "mini" because it was only a few days long. It did give them a taste of what being a touring musician is like.

It was almost simply a trip to Kentucky to perform on WoodSongs because we did not get a confirmed date until two weeks prior (we had to fit it into our busy schedule). Doing WoodSongs would have been exciting enough but a few very last minute inquiries with friends and radio stations we've sent CDs to and Chris, a musician who also hosts a radio program in Charleston, WV, put in a lot of work to get the kids a couple gigs on our way to KY. Our first stop, thanks to Dan from the band, Across the Pond, was a small Irish pub in Gettysburg, PA called Garryowen Irish Pub. We arrived in Gettysburg early in the day so had time to tour the museum and watch the movie on the site before going to dinner at the pub. (The food there is excellent if you get a chance to go.) The kids then performed for a couple hours and when they had finished friends stopped in and we went downstairs for a bit of session-style playing before going back to the hotel to bed.

We had a five hour drive from Gettysburg to Charleston, WV. Dylan and I took turns and it was a beautiful drive through the mountains. We checked into our hotel, rested for about an hour, then found a great taco place we could walk to for dinner. After dinner we met Chris and his band members at Taylor Books to get set up. Chris' band began the evening music then Haley and Dylan played for an hour. They had a nice, appreciative crowd.

We got up the next morning and drove three more hours to Lexington, KY. We went for lunch at the home of a wonderful violinist, Skye, who we met in Laredo, TX last January. Skye's mother, Grace, cooked us some delicious Korean food for lunch. After lunch Haley, Dylan, and Skye played some music for each other. Haley and Skye played through a Bach Partita together.

We checked into our beautiful hotel, The Carriage House Inn, then relaxed in the evening, watched The Shining because Haley thought it was one she needed to see, then went to bed.

We had to get up early on Monday morning so the kids could be recorded at the local CBS affiliate TV station for their noon news hour. Haley and Dylan thought it was really cool to see the inside of the studio. They played their tunes through once for the recording then the guys in the station allowed them to sit at the anchor desk, give the weather green screen (including the cloak of invisibility) a try, and showed them some of the neat things in the studio you wouldn't know by watching (like the hole the weather guy stands in so he is as tall as the seated anchors and their empty coffee cups that sit on their desks (wait…maybe I wasn't supposed to tell the secrets).

We went to a late breakfast at the Lexington Diner after the TV station. You really need to eat there if you get a chance. (We loved it so much we went back for breakfast early the next morning before driving home!) We then drove back to the hotel room. Haley and I sat on the beautiful veranda and read books, Dylan worked on his schoolwork in the room, and we all watched the 12 o'clock news so they could see themselves at the end of the broadcast.

We had to be at WoodSongs by 4pm so we hung out in the hotel then drove into town a little early to check it out. The kids did the WoodSongs Kids spot on the show. The other performers were The Mavericks and a singer named Whitney Rose. We watched the stage crew set up, kids did a sound check and talk with Michael Johnathon so they'd know what to do during the show, and ate some dinner provided by our now favorite diner, Lexington Diner. A trumpet player we know from Philly, Matt Cappy, was performing with The Mavericks on this part of the tour. It was great to see him so far from home…small world and all that.

We sat in the audience for the first half of the show then Michael Johnathon brought the kids to the stage, introduced them, then they played their tune and he interviewed them briefly. They sat on stage for the second half of the recorded part of the show then after the recording was finished, the kids did an encore tune set followed by The Mavericks with Whitney Rose doing their encore together. Raul Malo, the lead singer of The Mavericks, asked Haley and Dylan to join them in their encore. They did their hit song from the 90's All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down. Haley and Dylan had never heard it before that they remembered (they weren't even born when that song was a hit) but they both joined in and Haley didn't even pause for a second before improvising when Raul asked her to take a bit of a fiddle solo in the middle of the song. It was a fun night!

Haley and Dylan with Michael Johnathon, the host of WoodSongs.

Haley and Dylan with Raul Malo from The Mavericks.
Tuesday morning we woke early, had a quick breakfast at Lexington Diner, then drove all the way home…almost 10 hours. It was a nice drive until we hit traffic around Baltimore but that only slowed us down a little.

This weekend we actually get to stay home all weekend before the fun starts again the following week!! 

Here's a little video of a set the kids played in Charleston, WV...

Fun little mixed set from last night's gig at Taylor Books in Charleston, WV.
Posted by Donna Richardson on Sunday, August 30, 2015

Homeschooling Plan 2015-2016

This is technically Haley's 8th grade year. I have been going back and forth with a number of things when planning for this year. I am trying to keep everything doable with our busy music/travel schedule while still covering everything I want her to learn and that she wants to learn. I went back and forth with science this year. She did High School level Biology this year and my original plan was Chemistry but then with all her other subjects especially a rather heavy history plan (and lack of a burning desire to actually do chemistry), I decided Chemistry can wait until next year. This being her last non-high school year, I'd have her do more of an overview of science course and fit in some science subjects she is interested in like zoology which she has not gotten to delve into in depth.

Here's the plan for this year:

          Algebra 2: PLATO Algebra 2 
          English: Windows to the World
                        The Power in Your Hands
         World Literature
                         Work with writing tutor weekly
           Latin: Second Form Latin (one lesson per week)
           History: The History of the Ancient World/ workbook
  with various Teaching Company video lectures
           Science: Joy of Science videos with experiments in Chemistry and Zoology
           French: Bon Voyage (1 chapter every 2-3 weeks)
           Music Theory: Well Trained Mind Academy Intermediate Music Theory 
           Art: The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland 

This plan is not set in stone and may change depending on how the year progresses and leaving room for some bunny trails as needed.