ESPS Student Participates in the Clementi Sonatina Project

While I am an ESPS teacher, I am also a member of ARMTA (Alberta Registered Music Teacher’s Association). One of the benefits of membership is that my students can participate in some interesting performance opportunities. The following article is by my student, Mark, who participated in the Clementi Sonatina Project. Rhonda McEachen

On February 3, 2019, I got to play with members of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra as part of the Clementi Sonatina Project, led by conductor, Mr. Michael Massey.

The Opus 36 Sonatinas are some of Clementi’s most popular works. There are 6 Sonatinas each with 3 movements, and four of these movements are featured in Suzuki Piano Book 3! With the help of my teacher, Ms. Rhonda, I learned the 3rd movement of Op.36 no.3.

Muzio Clementi was a classical composer. Like Beethoven and Mozart, he wrote many piano sonatas and sonatinas. Unlike Beethoven and Mozart, he did not write many piano concertos, larger works for the piano and orchestra. Mr. Michael Massey decided to “help” out Clementi by taking piano accompaniments for the Opus 36 Sonatinas and reworking them for an orchestra.

On the day of the Clementi project, there were 12 students who each got to play one movement from the Opus 36 sonatinas. We each had about 20 minutes to practice with the orchestra, then play a performance for everyone.

The “mini-orchestra” included 4 first violins, 2 second violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, and 1 bass player. It was the first time I had ever played with string instruments. I was amazed at all the different sounds they could make. I learned how the conductor keeps everybody in time, and how to follow his direction. I discovered that when you play with an orchestra, your “fortes” can be louder, and your “pianos” can be softer!

I really enjoyed the Clementi project. I hope one day to play with an orchestra again.

Mark Rico-Lam