Studio Piano Parties

5 times during the year, this studio hosts a Piano Party, previously called a "bonus studio-wide group class," open to all students who would like to attend. Heading into this coming school year session, I've decided to re-name them "Piano Parties" because it's less of a mouthful, and is a better descriptor of the fun I am hoping students will have at these events. 

What do we do at Piano Parties, you ask? Well, each one has a distinct musical focus on a topic that may not always get the spotlight in lessons:
  • In July, we do a Rhythm party. With so many new students in the studio trying out lessons, and everyone feeling the energy to move around with the warm weather, summer a great time to reinforce rhythm reading & awareness by pulling out some of the more physical movement-based rhythm activities. 
  • In September we'll start off the school year with a look Inside the Piano. We'll learn more about what makes our instrument so special and all the moving parts that are there to help us make our music. 
  • In November we'll do a Music History theme and learn about the major Classical music periods and some of their distinctive composers with some crafts and listening activities. Each year will feature different composers, so students who come for consecutive years will be exposed to a variety. 
  • In January, we'll have a Composing or Improvising party. Each year the style of music we compose may change, this year (2019-2020 Session) I'm planning a Pop Composing class using the 4 chord composing model. Students will write an original pop-style melody to play over a chord progression accompaniment. Because of the nature of this class, this is the only one that will be limited to students who are reading on the staff.
  •  And finally in March, we'll have a Performance focus to help students prepare for our upcoming Spring Recital and KMTA Progressions. At this event, we'll discuss ways to be confident and expressive performers, we'll practice stage ettiquette and acting out or drawing the emotions in our music, and finally we'll finish with a peer performance. This class helps us celebrate the value of sharing music with others, and being confident doing it.
Who can attend, When are they, and how do we RSVP? 

Who: All students who are actively enrolled with monthly all-inclusive tuition are invited. 

When: All piano parties will be on Monday evenings as follows: 2nd Monday of July, 1st Monday of September, 1st Monday of November, 2nd Monday of January & 1st Monday of March. The dates & times are also available on the studio calendar.

RSVP: A week or two before the class, a studio newsletter will go out to eligible students with an invitation to RSVP. If you are unable to attend because you are an online student or have scheduling conflict, don't worry! There will be an online version of the class made available that you can do at home. 

I'm going to wrap up this post with a sum-up of why the studio offers these. First, the administrative reason, with the all-inclusive tuition model, each student has 4 flex weeks during the year to offer flexibility when conflicts, illness etc arrives. Piano parties are a way to catch a few extra lessons during the year in case you want to use some of your flex weeks. Second, and most importantly, I do this because these concepts are important to growing well-rounded musicians. The more students understand what they're learning, and have different ways to access the fun and joy of it, the more they will play and their music and understanding will continue to grow.