Conservatory Canada Gold Medal

Congratulations go to my student, Jessica! She received the Conservatory Canada Gold Medal of Excellence for the highest mark in Alberta for a Level 2 Contemporary Idioms Piano Exam. I am extremely proud of her and the other two students, Dexter and Delaney, who decided to challenge the relatively new Contemporary Idioms exams last June. This was the first I had ever prepared students for this type of exam and being a classically trained pianist and Royal Conservatory alumnus through and through, it was a bit of a learning curve for me and definitely out of my comfort zone! But with one student receiving a Gold Medal, one receiving Gold standing and one receiving First Class Honors, it was a great reminder to me that trying something new, no matter how intimidated or unqualified you may feel, can be extremely rewarding! I am incredibly grateful to Canadian composer and teaching colleague, Andrew Harbridge, in Ontario for answering all of my emails so promptly and thoroughly, his support and encouragement kept me going! What an exciting journey this has been and what fun to take part in this exciting and inspiring new Conservatory program!
jessicagoldmedal

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Fun with Rhythm ~ Cups Tutorial 2

Here’s the second installment in our fun with rhythm! I was so pleased that so many of my students enjoyed my last goofy Cups tutorial video. If you’re finding the rhythm easy to play you can now try playing it along with the lyrics we will be using at recital. When that becomes easy, try singing along as you play for an extra challenge! 😉
This can be your Spring Break Challenge!

Fun with Rhythm – Cups Tutorial Part 1

We’ve been having a bit of fun with rhythm in our lessons and classes the last couple of weeks and part of this fun has included learning the Cups rhythm from You’re Gonna Miss Me. It’s not just the students who are enjoying it, we have parents joining in ,too, and that is so great! However, some parents wondered if I could make a tutorial similar to how I’ve broken in down in class. Yesterday, I sat down and put together a basic and short tutorial on just the rhythm. Later this week, I will try and put together another video with the rhythm and vocal so that, once you are very comfortable with the rhythm, you can start working on the vocal part or work on being able to keep the rhythm going continuously. We’re hoping to make this a part of our upcoming Spring Recital on May 9, 2014.

Enjoy working along with this little video. I did it simply in one take, so it does have a few “bloopers”. 😉
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bja72G0oBqc

Stay tuned for Video 2 😉

March Video of the Month

March has kind of gotten away on me and I ALMOST forgot about our Video of the Month! Almost! I actually had this video picked out in February when it was first released. In fact, I even woke my daughter up early the morning it was released so she could be one of the first ever to see/hear it….it’s pretty much her favorite non-Katy Perry song right now! 😉 When I heard it, I knew I had to make it the March video….and a week ago, amidst the freezing cold temperatures, it sure seemed appropriate!

The Piano Guys have done it again: pairing a new, contemporary favorite with a classical piece. Both “Let It Go” from Frozen and Vivaldi’s “Winter” are beautiful and dramatic…together they really do give me goosebumps! I love how they use the main themes from each of the three movements of the Vivaldi.

Curious to hear what Vivaldi’s own full version of Winter sounds like? See if you can find the main themes. I LOVE this piece (I could listen to it on repeat ALL day!) and think that Vivaldi was a little ahead of his time! 😉

Oh and that back drop for The Piano Guys video? That wasn’t a green screen like last month’s video! That was ALL real. Want to see how they did it?

March News and 2014/15 Registration

March certainly did come in like a lion with icy, cold temperatures and a wind chill that made me want to hide in my house! What a relief to be looking at double digit temperatures on the plus side of 0 for the upcoming days!

It’s hard to believe we are already almost halfway through March. Actually, this is Week 24 of our lesson year which means we only have 10 more lessons to go before summer break is here! And as one year closes, I am always thinking about the one upcoming. So here is a quick look ahead for the next several weeks.

SPRING BREAK
There will be no lessons during Spring Break, March 31-April 6. Lessons will resume on April 7th and I’ll have a brand new practice incentive cooked up for you by then! 😉 I think we will have a bit of fun with it as it brings our focus towards the upcoming Spring Recital. Let’s just say it’s going to “rock”!

SPRING RECITAL
Our Spring Recital is scheduled for Friday, May 9th, at 6:30pm in the main auditorium of First Church of the Nazarene. First Church is planning some big renovations, so there is a small possibility that they could begin around this time. We may have to be flexible in the when and where of our recital, but I will keep you posted! In the meantime, we will plan on this and mark our calendars! 😉 UPDATE: the church renovations have been officially scheduled for late May through end of June so our May 9th recital is a GO!

2014/15 SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION
I am currently working on the schedule for next year and hope to have it up by Spring Break so that we can begin re-registration and new registration for the fall when we return from Spring Break. Next year my daughter enters grade 10 and over the last couple of week’s she had an interview and acceptance at Strathcona Christian Academy in Sherwood Park. She is very excited, but it does mean that I will likely be driving her both to and from school as there is no bus from Edmonton to transport her there. This will certainly impact what I can or cannot add to my schedule for next year and will limit the number of new classes or private lessons that I can add into the schedule for next year.

APRIL MASTER CLASS
There will be another master class in April, during the week immediately following Easter Monday. More information will come out after Spring Break.

YEAR END
I will be away during the last week of May. I actually have a conference in Las Vegas! We will still get all 34 weeks in the schedule, though, and are set to finish up by or slightly before June 12.