August 9, 2018
THE 30 PIECE CHALLENGE!
I’m excited to introduce a new incentive program called the 30 Piece Challenge. This idea, inspired by the brilliant pedagogue Elissa Milne, has been very successful in helping students advance more quickly in their skills. It’s been one of the best ways to help students learn more repertoire, become acquainted with different styles, become better sight readers, and better musicians.
I am challenging each of my piano students to learn 30 new pieces this school year, beginning the week of August 20th, and ending May 31st.
Why in the world would I want to attempt this?
• Students will gain a wide and practical knowledge and experience in a variety of music forms. Instead of learning 1 jazz piece, they may learn 5. Instead of 1 Baroque piece, they might learn 4, etc.
• Students will become more astute sight readers. The best way to improve sight reading is to not only sight read more but read a variety of styles and formats of music frequently. The more repertoire that is “under their fingers” and “in their ears,” the more they can predict patterns and harmonies, thus read music faster and more accurately. Students also playing music from different composers and publishers will see a wide variety of notation styles which will keep them from getting “locked in” to a specific method.
• Students will play more musically in part because these pieces will be learned well. The better students are at sight reading, the faster they pick up the details of music. The more time they spend developing the fine art of communicating what they see on paper, the more their own musicality comes through.
• Students will be happier. The more music they can play, the more confident and proficient they will feel, leading to a generally happier student.
• Each student will receive a 30 piece challenge chart in each of their binder.
• The piece will be added to their list when it is first introduced. This helps motivation and excitement in starting something new.
• If the student chooses to stop learning the piece or not learn it in a musical way, it will be taken off the list.
• Pieces must be at least 16 measures (8 for beginning students) and at a variety of levels: challenging, at their level, and easier (below level). These pieces should be a balanced list of differing styles.
• Students may choose to begin pieces on their own as long as they are learning them with correct notes, rhythm, musicality, etc.
• Each piece will be marked complete when it is performed with nice tone, touch, and balance that is appropriate to the style of the piece, and with correct dynamics and technique. Minor interpretation comments may be needed, but overall, a complete performance.
• For 10 pieces completed, each student will receive a ribbon of completion.
• For 20 pieces completed, each student will receive a silver medal.
• For 30 pieces completed, each student will receive a gold medal and a $10 gift card to iTunes or Target.
July 29, 2018
1st day of school is just around the corner – August 20th! Please take a moment to look over your calendars and let me know if our lesson time still works with your schedule.
New updates to my website are in progress. Check out the Sheet Music & Tips directly below this post!
Referrals are the lifeblood of my business. Please feel free to give out my contact info. For every referral that signs up, your account will be credited one free lesson.
July 5, 2018
Summer is moving fast and August will be here before you know it! Lessons continue through the summer. Welcome new students Sydney, Kyla, Drew, Ruan, and Easton! If you know of anybody wanting piano or voice lessons, please feel free to give them my email address, phone number, or website. For every referral that signs up, your account will be credited one free lesson.
June 4, 2018
Schools out for summer! Lessons are conducted year round, including summers to ensure that your child continues to grow and stay active. Much can be lost over the summer requiring material to be repeated. This can sometimes be frustrating to the student. I work around vacations so please factor that in your summer plans. No Lessons Tue–Fri, June 12-15: My daughter’s big fat Greek wedding. No Lessons Thu-Fri, June 21-22: Texas Music Teachers Convention.
May 1, 2018
I have the following lesson openings: Monday: 4:30-5pm, Wednesday: 5:30-6pm, Thursday: 6:15-7pm. If you know of anybody wanting piano or voice lessons, please feel free to give them my email address, phone number, or website. For every referral that signs up, I will happily credit your account one free lesson. Saturday, May 5th: Piano Guild Auditions (updated), No lessons Thursday May 10 – Tuesday May 29th.
April 1, 2018
Saturday, April 7th-Romantic/Contemporary festival at UT Butler School of Music (Austin). Saturday, April 14th-Sonatina Festival at University Baptist Church (Clear Lake). Spring Recital-Saturday, April 28th from 4 to 6pm – Steinway Piano Gallery. Please let me know if you’re planning on attending. I have the following lesson openings: Monday: 4:30-5, and 6-6:30pm, Wednesday: 5-5:30pm, Thursday: 6:15-7pm. If you know of anybody wanting piano or voice lessons, please feel free to give them my email address, phone number, or website. For every referral that signs up, I will happily credit your account one free lesson.
March 1, 2018
Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 28th for our Spring Recital. This is a change from last month. Spring recital is booked at Steinway Piano Gallery from 4 to 6pm. Some last minute cancellations are occurring this month: No Lesson Friday, Mar 2nd as I will be travelling to Houston for the Gold Cup Festival. Wed, Mar 7: Romantic/Contemporary Festival (Austin) registration deadline. Location – UT Butler School of Music. Two pieces memorized with scale and cadence. Private judging only. Event cost is $16. No Lessons Thu-Fri March 8-16. I will be out of town, and it’s SPRING BREAK! Fri, Mar 23: Sonatina Festival (Clear Lake) registration deadline. Location – University Baptist Church on Middlebrook Dr. One piece memorized in Sonatina style. Recital or Private judging. Event cost is $18.
February 1, 2018
Busy February! We are deep into festival season with the Baroque/Classical starting things off on Sat, Feb 24 at UT Butler School of Music. Students, please keep the momentum going by establishing a good daily practice routine. Piano Guild Auditions will be here in May before you know it…. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 21st. Spring recital is booked at Steinway Piano Gallery from 4 to 6pm.
January 2, 2018
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday break. Lessons will commence for Austin students on Wednesday, Jan 3. Clear Lake students will return on Tuesday, Jan 9. Lot’s of registration deadlines occur this month starting on Friday, Jan 12: Gold Cup registrations due (Clear Lake) – registration fee is $18. No school/no lessons on Monday, Jan 15. Wednesday, Jan 24 is registration deadline for Baroque/Classical Festival (Austin) – registration fee is $16. Those students preparing for Piano Guild in May….start your engines! We will be working on a practice system to keep your skills and repertoire sharp with less stress. For my younger voice students – new Disney songs are on the agenda. Let’s ROCK this new year with momentum and inspiration!