Original Studio Art - Free Digital Print!

One of my projects during our studio break in May of this year was to get the artwork on our studio walls sorted out to be a little more thematic, and 'put together'. One of the things that had been holding me up in this previously was that I didn't have any art to hang right behind the piano that would really help bring the room together.

So, during our downtime, I decided to go ahead and create some studio art that could fill this space! You can see the image below with the 5 original prints hung in a collage form behind the studio piano. We will also be using these as our grand prizes for the studio practice challenges this year! Each student who completes their 40-hour Piano Maestro Challenge will choose a print of their choice to be personalized with their name & achievement, framed and presented at our Spring Recital!

Now for the freebies! The Treble Clef print pictured here is free to you as a digital download if you would like it. All you have to do is enter your…

Early Childhood Music Education - Why It's Important

Did you know that day old infants will breathe differently depending on if they are listening to Mozart vs. Stravinsky? This is because as soon as we are capable of hearing music, we are already responding to and interacting with that music as a vehicle for emotional and cognitive development. Traditional methods of teaching music have often started children around 7 or 8 years old with instrumental & technical learning, but a lot of research is now available to show that early childhood music education and integration is so incredibly valuable for essential development.

In today's post, I'm sharing two different articles highlighting the benefits of early childhood music education. One is from the National Association for Music Education and the other is from Carnegie Hall. 

This first article from NAfME outlines their position on Early Childhood Music Education, and that every child deserves play-based and developmentally appropriate music education. I'm dropping my fa…

Autumn 2020 Video Recital

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 7th at 11:00 am CST/9:00 AM PST because that's when we'll be hosting our Fall Video Recital! 

As we've done the past couple years, our Fall Recital will be a recorded video recital that I will edit together into a single video file for online viewing.

One thing that will be different this year, we are going to try a Live Watch Party on the studio Facebook page! I'm excited to give this a try because it will enable us to all sit down and watch the recital together with our videos synced up in real time, and to comment, cheer each other on and interact together while watching the performances. You'll also be able to invite friends and family to tune in with us making this something more akin to a live recital experience. For those of you who use Facebook, you can RSVP to the Fall Video Recital here to get updates on how to tune in for the watch party, and you are welcome to invite friends and family as well if they want to be …

Young Composers 2020

It's that time again! We are unveiling our Young Composers Project for 2020. This project is highly anticipated by both teacher & students each year because we get to enjoy a change of pace for the summertime, and turn our attention towards writing original music. Engaging in writing music has several great benefits. It enhances our understanding of music theory, note reading and music fluency, while exercising some creativity.

How Young Composers works: 
Each year in the summertime, all of our piano students explore creativity through writing music. The ways we approach this are adapted to all levels, from preschool up through advanced students. AND continuing students who have a working knowledge of note reading, as well as at least 6 months of playing experience, also have the opportunity to notate their original music using Noteflight notation software, and to record a track of their composition during our recording week in the studio. For online students who are unable to c…

Practice Challenge - 2020

Practice Challenges help keep piano students motivated and progressing throughout the school year session. So in today's blog post, I'm outlining our practice challenges for the 2020-2021 School Year. 
Year-Long ChallengeFirst, our year-long challenge this year is going to be a Piano Maestro 40-Hour challenge. Any student who practices 40 hours or more in Piano Maestro over the course of the school year will receive a special prize (TBD) as well as some serious studio bragging rights. This adds up to a little over an hour a week, so making a 10-15 minutes of Piano Maestro a part of your every day practice might be the best way to reach this one. 

The chart below is tracking our 40 hour challenge (which is 2400 total minutes!)

Month-Long ChallengesWe will have 4 month-long challenges spread throughout the year. These are good motivators because they are short-term and make for easily measurable wins for students who track them. Here's what it will look like for this year:


Piano Senior Spotlight presented by Tamara M.

Today's blog post is a Senior Spotlight featuring the studio's graduating senior of 2020, Tamara Masri. 

Performance Program: 
Night Thoughts by Barbara Arens
Graffiti by Barbara Arens

These pieces are from a collection of Nocturnes called Rendezvous with Midnight, in which each piece has a short poem associated with it. You'll see the text of these poems in Tamara's video.

And without any further ado, I will turn it over to Tamara to introduce herself & perform her selections.  Hi, my name is Tamara Masri. I am a graduating high school senior and I have been playing piano for 14 years. In the fall of 2020, I will be studying Neuroscience at UCLA. 
Learning to play piano has made music a very important part of my life. Playing an instrument is a huge stress-relief, as well as an effective way to express myself.

And if you wanted to hear a little more from Tamara, she's also written two original pieces of the music over the past couple years as part of our Young Compose…

Studio Piano Maintenance

Piano Maintenance is a vitally important part of being able to practice, build healthy technique, and to play well. Our studio piano was due for a tuning this summer, and I also asked Chuck Vetter, our technician here in town, to see what he good do about the tone. Our studio piano is pretty old, and it sees a lot of regular use by lots of young, very eager pianists, so the action needed some TLC. I grabbed some photos while he was working because I thought students would enjoy seeing the inner workings of the piano, and here was the result: 

If your piano kid enjoys seeing the 'how things work' side of the piano, be sure to keep an eye out for our September Piano Party, which will be all about how the piano works. From identifying some of the key components and mechanisms in the instrument, to what happens when we strike a key to make a sound, and what all the pedals do, we'll get an up-close look under the lid!
And if your home practice instrument is due for a tune-up, the…