What a chilly November morning!! I feel like a bit of a broken record when I say that October went by in a flash! I expect the next several weeks will too! Here are a few things to keep you updated:
DRESS UP WEEK
The boys of my Moonbeams 3 piano class requested that this week be “Dress Up Week” . If you are not already sick of dressing up from a weekend of fun and yesterday (they assured me that they would definitely NOT be sick of dressing up!) then feel free to come to lessons in costume this week for a little bit of extra fun (Oct 31-Nov 4).
The students have been using the “What’s in my Musical Mind” posters to share with each other what they’ve been learning each week and how many days they’ve been practicing. It’s a little bit of accountability and motivation rolled up in to one. We will continue this both this week and next week before we roll out our new practice incentive after the Remembrance Day/Fall break. Speaking of practicing, I came across this great article and just shared it on the Facebook page:
My children and several of my piano students have most or all of the week following Remembrance Day off, so there will be NO LESSONS November 11-18….instead, students will be encouraged to spend that extra time on the Christmas pieces they will be assigned both this week and next week in lesson….and I will be using that time to really start organizing and preparing for our big annual Christmas recital…which will be?? That’s right!
DECEMBER 16, 6:30pm ANNUAL CHRISTMAS RECITAL
Mark your calendars for our annual Christmas Recital on December 16th at 6:30pm in the main auditorium of First Church of the Nazarene, 14320 94 street. Our theme is: Christmas in Our Jammies….feel free to dress accordingly! There will be photo ops AND photo props! We will begin preparations this week. Expect fun ensembles, lovely piano solos and yummy treats!
What a busy but wonderful week of music making we had this last week. It was so wonderful to chat with returning students and hear about their summers and start some new music AND it was fabulous to meet the new faces and begin a musical journey with them.
Along with new pieces to practice, we talked about our goal of 5 DAYS of practice…not a new goal for many but sometimes a bit of an adjustment to make after a summer away from lessons or for a new student not yet used to playing the piano each day. I have each students name on my chalkboard and each week they reach the goal of at least 5 days of practice they may add a colored chalk checkmark under their name and see how many they can collect between now and Thanksgiving.
With the year off to a galloping start, I just wanted to give you a few upcoming dates in this newsletter. First is that we will have our first all studio master class the week following Thanksgiving, October 11-13. Many of you are old hats at master class week, but some of you are new and I’ve had a chance to tell you a bit about it and look forward to sharing it with our new students. More information including the exact master class times for you to choose from and RSVP for will come out at the end of the month or beginning of October. If you’re new and would like to see what a master class looks like in my studio of enthusiastic musicians, check out this link and scroll on down. I’ve not been organized enough to post them all but there are several there to take a little peek at: https://mmmusicstudio.com/category/master-classes-2/page/2/
Another important date coming up this fall is the Christmas Recital (yep, I said Christmas!). Our annual Christmas Recital is booked for Friday, December 16, 6:30-8pm at the First Church of the Nazarene 14329 94 street. Already this week, a few of the students were asking about this and you can’t help but catch their excitement. Each year I build sort of a mini-theme/title for our recital….usually inspired by or based around a special ensemble piece or a song…and we dress up in our Christmas finest and present it to you. Sometimes the students request a theme. Last year one of our classes were inspired to wear Christmas sweaters and that was a lot of fun. Now, I have had a student ask again and again and again if we could have a pajama party recital and I’ve always said, “oh maybe one day we will try that” So, imagine my surprise and delight when in looking for Christmas music and ensemble inspiration I stumbled across a little song called, “Christmas in Our Jammies”. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is! And so that will be this year’s Christmas Recital: Christmas in Our Jammies. Wearing jammies will not be mandatory but encouraged as I think it would be fun. Families can get it on the action too and come in jammies! What could be more fun than enjoying beautiful music and yummy refreshments in warm and cozy jammies on a chilly, December evening?
I keep a calendar for our studio posted on my webpage and am often updating it. You can also subscribe to this webpage/blog and be notified of any updates or new postings. So far I have it updated all the way to Christmas and you can find it here:
Also we have a studio Facebook page, feel free to follow (“like”) it for updates, practice tips, inspiration and more and feel free to share on it anything you find inspiring! https://www.facebook.com/mmmusicstudio/
So….just a quick hello from me and a few dates to mark on your calendar. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!
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!
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!!!
Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!
After a wonderfully refreshing, albeit quickly passing, holiday, it is absolutely delightful to look forward to having your children back in my studio again starting this Monday, January 4th!
I wanted to take the time before we launch into the new year to thank each and every one of you for your efforts this past fall, culminating with our fantastic Christmas concert. Being a “piano parent” is a big commitment, and I feel so fortunate to be connected with families who see the immense value of music. Learning to play piano can be a life-changing experience and I’m humbled that you have chosen me to be a part of this exciting gift that you continue to give your children.
I’ve spent some of my holiday time planning an exciting second term of lessons and I thought I’d give you a “sneak peek” of just some of what’s to come! This term your children can look forward to:
- Exciting and fun practice incentives, including a Caught Practicing Event
- Fun new piano theory games.
- A composing unit with a “Mail-A-Motive” composing activity.
- A field trip to Edmonton Opera to see Carmen (those of you who signed up for this in November: watch for an email regarding ticket payment coming on Monday!)
- A super-fun master class week coming up in February with a PJ party theme!
- Our Spring Recital coming up in early May, chock full of solos, ensembles and more fun!
I also wanted to reach out to you to let you know that I very much understand the life of a piano parent. Please know that, while I spend most of my time motivating and assisting your children, I’m also here to support you as well! Working as a parent/child/teacher triangle is the optimal way to ensure your children’s success and enjoyment.
You are always welcome to ask for advice on making home practice work, for updates on your children’s progress or for any other musical assistance you may need.
We’re kicking off the “New Year” with a practice event designed to get your children excited and motivated right off the bat. Please watch for information coming home next week. I’m always so appreciative of your assistance and enthusiastic participation in these fun events!
Seeing your children grow, improve and learn to love music is truly the most rewarding part of my job. This past term I saw confidence, progress, creativity, pride, feelings of success and major accomplishments on a weekly basis. These are powerful memories your children are making, and these are invaluable skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. What a gift to your children… what a gift to yourselves to experience … and what a gift for me to be a part of!
See you in the studio!