Hi everyone! We’re nearing the end of another awesome year! Man, how time flies!
This semester, I was required to take the General Music in Elementary & Secondary Schools course for my degree plan. I’ll be honest, I was pretty apprehensive at the beginning. I knew we would have to teach Kindergarten-5th graders at some point, and learn how to teach general music, not band or flute. I also knew for a fact that I ultimately don’t want to teach elementary school, so I was pretty much going to just glide through the course and that would be that.
SURPRISE!!! It turned out to be my favorite class this semester! Teaching elementary school kids and children was a BLAST, creating a mash up of pop songs on garage band instruments was definitely a highlight, I could go on and on about this class! Gosh, I had so much fun, and the best part was that I actually learned something; something that I could take and use in my band classroom. Honestly, I still can’t see myself teaching elementary school, but my teacher (who is absolutely FANTASTIC) has given me all the resources I’ll ever need and made me feel as if I could teach general music well if I wanted to.
So, our final project of the semester was to create a digital portfolio where we could keep our General Music resources and share them with others. If you look at my menu, I’ve added a General Music Portfolio tab. There, you’ll find lesson plans, songs and chants, videos, listenings, and my music education philosophy! Please feel free to explore all those tabs, and if you ever get the chance, take a General Music class or teach children for a day. This course was seriously eye-opening and life-changing for me, and I think it can do everyone some kind of good if you stick with it. :)
I will be conducting one of my flute choir arrangements of “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre with my studio’s flute choir at our studio recital on November 18th!! I’m very excited because this is my debut as a conductor/director (I’m also leading the rehearsals)! If you can, please come out and support our studio as we try something new and different! There will be a reception, as well!! :)
And just like that, my third year at the University of Houston is gone. Wow. I can’t believe I only have one and a half years left! That’s incredible…
For next few months, I will be:
Continuing to tech at Keller Central HS
Working on more arrangements that expand away from flute
Practicing for UH concert band auditions and upcoming lessons with flute teachers
Working as the Administrative Assistant for the Young Saxophone Institute’s North Texas camp
Traveling to Houston to work as a Medical Coordinator/Head Counselor for the UH Cougar Band Camp
- Possibly taking a trip to South Korea with one of my best friends???
Visiting family in Nebraska
After my most hectic semester yet, I’m looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying summer. :) I hope it doesn’t pass by too fast!
If you need me, I will always be a call, text, or email away! Enjoy your summer everyone!
This semester, I’m taking (and rather enjoying) an Intro to Ethics class with the awesome Dr. Tamler Sommers. One of our textbooks is a book he wrote that’s full of interviews he conducted with different people who had major influence on the world of ethics. This book, surprisingly, takes a refreshing neutral viewpoint and is there to inform, not state an opinion.
This gave me an idea. What if I interviewed different music educators, composers, conductors, and performers, and created a book that defined different teaching and performing concepts in more detail, a variety of insights into different methods of composing, and so on and so on. Some examples of interviewees could be: Eddie Green, John Benzer, John Mackey, Eric Whitacre, and Steven Bryant, John Corigliano, Jerry Junkin, etc.
Wouldn’t that be cool?! I hope it would be as meaningful as I want it to be, but, I think in the long run, this is going to be a long-term project of mine.
I am FINALLY finished with my Duo recital with one of my best friends, Kelsey Garagnon! Let me tell you, putting together a recital in three months (which I thought was a lot of time…) was stressful!! A week and a half before the recital, I had these horrible sores in my mouth that made it difficult to even create an embouchure. I literally did not play for that entire week and a half, which only gave me 4 days to get my tone back!
Luckily, by Friday, the sores were completely gone, but my embouchure was completely out of shape and my instructor, Melissa Suhr, was worried that I wouldn’t be able to build up the muscle in time. But, to my surprise, I managed to practice for hours on Friday, one hour on Saturday, and then did not pick up my flute until an hour before the recital. And DANG DID I SOUND GOOD.
Everyone, including Melissa, was pleasantly surprised and many said that was the best they’ve ever heard me play. I would agree to that statement. Looking back, I feel extremely proud of how the recital went: I was calm and relaxed all day (whereas I usually have the butterflies since I wake up), my tone sounded amazing, and I was comfortable performing in front of over 70 people in a small recital hall.
That being said, I’m just glad it’s over with and I can focus on my schoolwork (I have 3 tests and 2 papers coming up…). That recital was also Kelsey’s last flute/piccolo recital of her entire musical career (she’s now allowed to focus more on composing, which means no more performing for her!), so she’s pretty stoked about that in a bittersweet kind of way.
My recordings can be found here. I didn’t upload Kelsey’s performances, but you can probably find them on her website… After I show her how to put them up. ;) I’ve also already started planning for my Spring 2015 Senior Recital, my last undergraduate flute recital before I student teach in Fall 2015.
Yesterday, I talked with Creative Pride blog writer, Mike Emery, about today’s Rodeo Parade, the Spirit of Houston, and a little bit about me and college.
Read the entire blog post here: http://blog.chron.com/creativepride/2014/02/uhs-victoria-hitz-brings-cougar-pride-to-2014-hlsr-parade/?cmpid=houtalkshcat
Thanks to Mike Emery for the opportunity! Thoroughly enjoyed it.
It’s already been a week since TMEA and I can’t wait for next year… Is that a bad thing?
Since so much happened in 3 days/4 nights, I’ll just give some quick highlights of each day.
- Left for San Antonio with my good friends, Alexa and Laura around 8 pm. It was dark…
- We talked about soccer and Manchester United for about an hour and a half.
- Stopped in Columbus for a restroom break… The place was a GHOST TOWN. Super scary!
- I was finally allowed to fall asleep at around 9:30 pm.
- Didn’t wake up until we were at our super sketchy hotel. I mean, broken chairs, missing dresser drawers, and a Magnavox TV.
- First concert of TMEA 2014: SFA University! Performed John Mackey’s “The Frozen Cathedral”. I may or may not have cried.
- Second concert of TMEA 2014: TCU Wind Symphony! Got to see some of my high school friends.
- Third concert of TMEA 2014: UT Wind Ensemble! Performed the Liebermann Concerto for Flute and premiered John Mackey’s new “Symphony for Band: Wine-Dark Sea”. Again, I may or may not have cried…
- Sang with my Brothers and Sisters from other chapters around the state and surrounding states!
- Attended a lot of clinics…
- Lunch at Mi Tierra’s with friends! Yum!
- Even more clinics…
- Met up with my good friend, RJ Cappa, and caught up.
- Enjoyed seeing a lot of alumni and friends at the University of Houston College Reunion.
- Left the dinner a little early because I was super tired…
- Favorite clinic of TMEA 2014: “Let’s Talk Band!” with 3 great women band directors!!
- Lunch with my friend Henry turned into an adventure.
- Met up with my Little Brother, Jessie, and her friend Tim… which turned into another adventure.
- Watched the All-State Philharmonic and 5A Symphonic Band.
- Got John Mackey and Steven Bryant to sign my journal. :) <3
- Had dinner with my high school band director and caught up!
This past week, I have never felt more rejuvenated and inspired to keep pursuing music. And because of this, I’ve had a very productive week with catching up on class work, getting organized, and being creative!
But, nevertheless, I am so ready for next year’s TMEA already. I’ll be one year closer to graduating and, thus, my job as a band director. :)