Piano Pajama Day Master Classes

Happy Family Day!! I hope you have some time today to spend with your family!  Just a quick reminder that this week we will be having Piano Pajama Day Master Classes in lieu of regular lessons!  If you haven’t yet signed up, there is still lots of room on Thursday at 4:30pm as well as some room on Wednesday at 5pm!

Pajama’s are absolutely OPTIONAL but we have a lot of fun PJ party themed activities (including performances, improvising lullabies, ear training, sight reading and theory games!) as we kick off a fun morning practice challenge.  With Spring approaching and the days getting longer, I will be challenging students to do more of their piano practicing in the morning.  They will be challenged to collect 7 morning practices (a full week’s worth!) OR MORE over the next few weeks. Once they reach the 7 morning mark (not necessarily in a row!! Each week they come to lesson they can put a sticker on for each MORNING practice they did!), they will receive a LEVEL ONE morning practice super star certificate! 🙂  Let’s see who can get to level 3 by Spring Break!  Of course, they may continue to do after school or evening practices too, we still want those 5 practices a week….this is just a fun challenge that shows them the benefits of morning practice and how it frees up the  rest of the day!  And may develop a great habit for when soccer season arrives or warmer weather and more after school and evening activities begin!  Teaching colleague from BC, Andrea Dow, shares why she believes in morning piano practice!

“I was in Grade 11 (at exactly the same time I met my most massive time-stealer… Trevor) when I realized there was no way I was going to accomplish anything with my piano if I didn’t practice. And with homework, singing lessons, musical theatre, sports and… Trevor… it truly was impossible to get anything done after school or in the evenings.

So I did the one thing I absolutely hated to do; I got up earlier to practice piano. And it did wonders for my progress.

Why does morning practice work?

  • Studies have shown that sleep directly (and positively) affects the learning of a fine motor skill. We actually did an interview with Dr. Karen Debas on this topic.
  • No matter how many activities your students have scheduled after school, morning practice ensures their piano is never forgotten, crammed in or done haphazardly. Frenzied or rushed practice results in negativity towards the piano, practice fights with parents and other things we piano teachers would rather avoid.
  • The excuse of “no time” is completely eliminated. With a simple adjustment to the morning alarm, your piano students can have all the time they need.
  • The discipline of getting up early and practicing every day establishes habits that are pro-active and that will carry over into other areas of your students’ lives as well.
  • The likelihood of parental involvement in practice increases, as your students no longer practice alone while parents are at work, driving siblings to other activities etc.
  • As your students become teenagers, homework, jobs, friends and other extracurricular activities no longer pose a threat to their piano progress (none of those things happen in the morning!)
  •  The parental “guilt” from daily practice being repeatedly forgotten is eliminated, taking one more stressor away from busy families.
  • Starting a day off with music starts your students’ days with all of the wonderful benefits that music has been proven to provide such as mood improvement, stress-reduction, and mental alertness.

All of these factors combined means morning piano practice is one of the most powerful ways you can ensure that your piano students are practicing and progressing.”

February Newsletter

Hello, Everyone!

Well, here we are!  We made it through January! And a number of us ended it off with a night at the Opera on Thursday night!  What an experience that was!  If you missed it, Edmonton Opera has just announced next season’s line up and among it is Rossini’s La Cenerentala (Cinderella!!) and Puccini’s Turandot (a story of the kind -hearted Calaf who risks his life to melt the icy heart of Princess Turandot).  Hopefully one of them will have an evening education dress rehearsal again!
http://www.edmontonopera.com/season/2016-17

As we head into February, just a few things to bring to your attention:

1. CAUGHT PRACTICING!  We have 7 students up on our caught practicing wall so far!  Keep emailing those awesome pictures!

2. FEBRUARY MASTER CLASS:  The week following Family Day (February 16-18), there will once again be no regular lessons due to the holiday Monday.  Instead we will once again have special themed Master Classes.  February’s theme will be a Piano Pajama Party…because what could be better than wear your pajamas during the cold winter season! 😉  It will also lead perfectly into our brand new practice challenge that will be kicked off that week and run until Spring Break (How?  You’ll see!).  I will be sending out a Master Class sign up sheet separately in the next day or so!  As a heads up the Tuesday class will be 6pm, the Wednesday class at 5 and the Thursday class is TBD but likely 4:30 or 5.

3. SPRING BREAK:  February is a short month and I am sure Spring Break will be here before we know it.  The calendar on my website has been updated for you to check out but, in the meantime, I am letting you know that we will be having a 2 week Spring Break this year from March 21-April 3.  I have been invited on my daughter’s grade 11 class trip to Mandeville, Jamaica as a chaperone and have also been asked to run a music camp and piano clinic at the orphanage and church respectively while we are there.  In addition, we will be building some much needed extra room onto their buildings, teaching swimming lessons and doing soccer camps with the kids!  I’m looking forward to an exciting, rewarding and thoroughly exhausting time with the 14 teenagers and three other chaperones!  We will leave March 20th and return April 2.  Regular lessons will resume on April 4th.

4. RCM EXAMS:  For those of you doing theory or piano exams this May and June, the deadline to register is March 1st. I will be sending you more information including which centre to register for very soon!

5. SPRING RECITAL: Is officially MAY 6th!  Mark your calendars!!!