Ezra Eaton, age 7, comes from a very musical family. He and his two brothers play piano, while his sisters make up the strings section, playing cello and violin respectively. They love to play music together, and have performed many duets and trios over the years. When we learned of Ezra's recent achievement in composition, winning first place for his age category in the CFMTA Student Composer Competition, we couldn't resist finding out more about this remarkable young musician!
On his award winning composition piece, "Blue Butterfly":
Ezra's piano composition, "Blue Butterfly," is about the process of a caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly. He worked on this composition for several months as it gradually took shape.
In his own words: "During the summer I spend a lot of time outside chasing butterflies. I named my composition after the Silvery Blue butterfly that is easy to find in Alberta. My piece starts with a chubby caterpillar preparing to sleep. The caterpillar starts climbing up a branch and rolls up in a chrysalis. The chrysalis begins to shake and a blue butterfly hatches. Now the butterfly finds his family. He flies away and sees another caterpillar on a tree making a chrysalis. The other caterpillar will become a butterfly too."
On his approach to composing music:
Ezra likes to sit at the piano throughout the day to compose music. Recently his teacher assigned him to compose a piece about the sea - he put on his swimming goggles while he worked on this assignment!
On his favourite composers:
Christine Donkin is Ezra’s favourite composer. He attended her composition workshop and even had the opportunity to perform her piece Crazy Comics for her. Ezra also prefers the composer Boris Berlin.
On his favourite hobbies outside of music:
Besides playing piano, Ezra plays basketball, chess, marbles, and spends time with his siblings. He enjoys playing outside- especially chasing butterflies!
We asked Ezra's mom, Sarra, to share advice on how she keeps her children motivated to practice:
We have taken care to find music instructors that inspire us by sharing their passion for music. We had a teacher who taught us to “only practise on the days that we eat.” When it comes to practicing their instruments, the kids have not known anything different. It has been a part of their daily routine from an early age. We’ve found that playing music with peers is very motivating- the kids love to play in group settings, whether it be orchestras, music camps, or church groups. We have our 8th annual family Christmas concert for the grandparents coming up this December- it’s neat to have more children participate as the years go on. We have tried to emphasize the privilege it is to learn music. It has been a sacrifice of time and energy for our family to take part in music lessons. Our kids understand that we do this because we believe it is a gift they will enjoy through out their lives and that they will hopefully share with others along the way.