Showing posts from August, 2020

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 is that the recital video will air as a Video Premiere 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 w

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 u

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 Challenge First, 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 Challenges We 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

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 coupl

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:  Removing the Action from the piano to work on the voicing. We also took the opportunity to vacuum out the large dust bunnies that inevitably settle in over the years. The cabinet without the action. To improve the tone, Chuck worked on adjusting the felt on the hammers (on the left of this photo) so when they hit the strings they will create a warmer tone instead of a harsher sound. This process is called Voicing the piano. Re