Young pianists have the right touch
Emily Butt and Danica Robichaud were both recently awarded the Conservatory Canada Award of Excellence for the Highest Mark in Newfoundland and Labrador for their respective piano grades.
“I didn’t understand how big of an award it was when I first got it,” said Danica with a laugh.
They were officially awarded the medals in November of 2015, receiving them in the mail that same month. However, the Newfoundland and Labrador convocation ceremony was not held until Jan. 28.
Emily was awarded the Highest Mark for grade three piano, and has since graduated to grade four, while Danica was awarded the Highest Mark for grade four piano, and has since graduated to grade five. In total, there are 10 grades in the curriculum.
Emily is a grade six student at St. Francis School, and Danica is a grade nine student at Crescent Collegiate. Both students share an obvious passion for music.
“Sometimes, I don’t play my piano songs — I’ll practise, but then I’ll find a song in another book and learn how to play that,” admitted Emily.
“I like the different ways you can play a song. Someone can play a song loudly, and someone else can play it quietly and connected and it still sounds amazing,” said Danica.
Marcia O’Neil of Carbonear teaches piano to both of the girls.
“I’m hugely pleased with both Emily and Danica’s success,” said O’Neil. “Music lessons always ask you for a little more than you think you can do.”
Emily has been with O’Neil for seven years now, ever since she has been four years old, while Danica has been receiving lessons from O’Neil for six years.
And what does the future hold for these girls?
Neither have any intentions of dropping their music lessons any time soon. And though both possess the talent, potential, and ability to pursue music as a career, both girls have expressed interests in different fields. Emily says she has considered dentistry, while Danica plans on becoming a psychiatrist.
But when you’re this young, the possibilities are endless.
“I like the different ways you can play a song. Someone can play a song loudly, and someone else can play it quietly and connected and it still sounds amazing,” -Danica Robichaud
Danica Robichaud (left) and Emily Butt.