Piano Olympics 2014

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope the last couple of weeks have held moments of joy and even some of peace and rest for you. It is unbelievable how quickly a couple of weeks can go by and suddenly we have officially entered 2014!

Our lessons will be resuming this Monday, January 6th, and we will be gearing up for our first ever studio-wide Piano Olympics. I’ve been wanting to run a Piano Olympics alongside the Winter Olympics for a very long time now but have just never seemed to actually get around to getting it ready in time–those darn Olympics seem to sneak up on me…every 4 years! 😉 During the 2010 Winter Olympics, I decided I would try and plan ahead a bit better so that it would be possible for 2014 when the Winter Olympics resurfaced again. So, this fall I’ve been searching ideas and planning our own little Olympics. I mentioned this desire to some of my fellow teacher’s at my APTA Pedagogy group and they loved the idea and wanted to spend an entire meeting brainstorming and sharing ideas…which then committed me to it! 😉 Of course, being me, I did still leave it until Christmas break to try and pull it all together. So, I’ve spent the past several days pulling together all my ideas, some ideas from Jennifer Foxx (of Foxx Piano Studio, Goodyear, AZ) and a few from our APTA meetings and sending them off to my fellow teachers and then printing off event sheets and flags for my students and our studio wall….but it’s going to be fun! Here are the “events” and what each student will need to do if they want to “go for the GOLD”! We will begin preparation next week and run our Olympics until February 15th wrapping up with Master Classes the week of February 18-20 in a “Closing Ceremony” theme where each student will receive special recognition for their participation–possibly even a “gold medal”! 😉 Here are our Event Rules:


PIANO OLYMPICS, EDMONTON, 2014 sponsored by MMMusicStudio
Welcome to our Piano Olympics. This January and February we are going to train like Olympians, participate in events and go for the GOLD! To participate in our studio Piano Olympics, you may choose from and complete any of the events listed below:

Complete ANY 3 events for BRONZE Level
Complete ANY 4 events for SILVER Level
Complete ANY 5 or more events for GOLD Level

Each event can be completed only once, but there is no limit to how many times you can challenge it. Students who complete/pass even just 1 event will be presented with a special certificate of participation. Chosen events must be completed/passed by February 15th, 2014! As each event is completed, students will be given a special sticker to place inside one of the olympic rings on their flag.

__Best Lesson Challenge: complete 4 “best” lessons: arrive on time having completed 5 days of practice, have all piano materials ready to go and show best effort in attitude, posture, hand position, rhythm, note accuracy and dynamics.
Teacher must initial: ___ ___ ___ ___
__Technique Triathlon: Be able to play 3 scales learned so far this year with fluency and accuracy AND from memory.
__Freestyle Composition: Compose a brand new piece of your very own and perform it at the February closing ceremonies (group lessons). Your composition MUST be a minimum of 4 measure long and you MUST be able to play it yourself! 😉
__Practice Persistence: Practice 7 days in a row WITHOUT missing a single day.
__Memorizing Marathon: memorize TWO elementary level pieces (level 1-3) OR memorize ONE intermediate level piece (level 4-6)
__Patriotic Spirit: Learn to play Oh Canada at an appropriate level
__Lead Sheet Wonder: add LH harmony to an assigned lead sheet
__Video of the Month Master: watch both the January and February Videos of the Month and be able to name both. Then write a brief summary of ONE.
__YOYO Challenger (You’re On Your Own): learn a new piece all on your own and share it with your teacher and at least 1 family member or friend
__Passionate Performer: perform a recital for three or more people. Level 1-3 should play 3 pieces and level 4-6 should play 2 pieces, level 7 and up can play just 1 piece. Be sure to introduce the piece, telling your audience the title, composer and style of each piece and play with utmost expression and dynamics! Have each audience member autograph this sheet. PS Don’t forget to bow!
__Stunning Sight Reader: sight read ONE piece at gold level accuracy (90% or higher)
__Ear training Expert: complete ONE clapback and ONE playback at gold level accuracy
__Note Relay: complete assigned flashcards or a note-naming sheet in under ONE MINUTE


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