November Piano News! 2017 Edition

November is still a few days away but next week is going to be a busy week, so I wanted to post this newsletter before the weekend as there are a couple things coming up in early November to watch for!  It is chock-full of information and I apologize for the length but November is FULL of some great musical opportunities as well as some very important dates with our studio schedule!

 

OCTOBER 31st  NO LESSONS

After some feedback from studio families, I have decided to cancel lessons on Halloween. Whether you celebrate it or not, it was decided that no one wants to be out driving that evening unless absolutely necessary.

CHRISTOPHER NORTON CONCERT, November 1st, 7:30pm

There has been a poster by the door and calendar and I have mentioned this by email before but it is now less than a week away!!

Christopher Norton – a very famous jazz composer  from England – is coming on November 1 and I have had the privilege of helping to organize his visit! He is leading teacher workshops in the morning and some of my older students are able to participate in workshops as well as a masterclass with him that afternoon.
And….just as exciting: on that same November 1 in the evening he is doing a CONCERT for ANYONE who would like to attend!  The cost is BY DONATION.  So whatever you think you can afford, that is the admission!  I feel this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Many of the students have played his compositions in the Royal Conservatory grades….or will very soon and to hear this caliber of musician at a very minimal cost is unheard of.
The concert will be at 7:30pm, and although I realize it may be late for some of my younger students, being that it is by donation basis, just pay for what you think you will attend.  If you think your child will only last half an hour, it would still be a half an hour of an amazing connection for them, both with pieces they may know, a composer they may have played pieces by, and even a composer that is STILL ALIVE!  And if they haven’t played pieces by him yet, they will eventually and those pieces will make such a connection with them when they can relate it to the concert
The details:
When:  Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30
Where:  St Thomas Anglican Church, 4A Raven Drive Sherwood Park
Cost:  By Donation

This is an exciting opportunity that I hope you can all enjoy!

WEDNESDAY STUDENTS:  Reminder! There will be no lessons for you on this day as I will be co-hosting this event all day!

NOVEMBER BREAK  NOVEMBER 9-15, No lessons
Over the last few years both Edmonton Public, Elk Island and some Sturgeon school boards have introduced a fall break in November.  I have tried over the last few years to honor this break as I think it’s a nice way for students to have a bit of a break in their routine before we gear up for our annual Christmas recital.  I am working right now to ensure that all students have their Christmas recital piece to be working on over the break, so be checking their lesson assignments over the next couple of weeks.  The breaks do very a bit between the school boards and last year I went with the EIPS schedule as both my children were in the district and we had some “Stay-cation” plans.  This year I will be going with the Edmonton Public dates which are:  Thursday November 9-Wednesday November 15.  So, unless you are told otherwise (Tuesday and Wednesday students!)  there will be no lessons during that break.  A reminder will be sent out to you again in the week coming up to those dates!

Our very own annual CHRISTMAS RECITAL
This is not an November Event….but just had to get another reminder in:  Mark those calendars for our Christmas Recital:
Cookies and Carols, Friday December 15th, 6:30pm  at Bethel Community Church 14204 25 Street, Edmonton…roughly 12 blocks north of our studio!
OTHER UPCOMING CONCERT OPPORTUNITIES AND LISTENING OPPORTUNITIES
The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra kicks off their Symphony For Kids series on November 18th!  I will have the privilege once again of being involved in the pre-concert activity planning once again this year and though I am not yet sure if I will be at the November 18th concert, I will most certainly be at the December Candy Cane Family Concerts as well as the SFK concerts in the New Year.  These concerts are a wonderful way and introducing beautiful music to your children!
Also:  Arden Theatre in St Albert will be present Elf The Musical JR on November 28th! Another fun and musical event.
For those of you who cannot make it to these events as well as those of you who would like more beautiful music to share with your children/family.  I will be occasionally sharing a listening calendar with you.  By email today you will receive a listening calendar for November and December that you can print off. It was made by my colleague, Doreen Hall. Each day in November and December I will be posting that youtube video on the studio Facebook page…..but if you do not have Facebook, you can also find the videos at: pianoparents.net
I you would like tickets to Symphony for Kids, Candy Cane Family Christmas or Elf the Musical Jr:

https://www.winspearcentre.com/tickets/subscriptions/2017-2018-eso-season/symphony-for-kids/

Advertisements

September Piano News and Important Dates ~ 2017 Edition

Hello Everyone!

Well the weather as well as the dates seem to be telling us that fall is here!  We had a whirlwind of first lessons last week but we are settling in well this week and it’s been so exciting and encouraging to see that practice that has already begun and the piano pieces that are already starting to take shape!

In this newsletter I want to share a little bit about some important dates coming up as well as a resource or two you might find helpful as we head into this year and some other info!

POLICIES SHEET

I’ll start with saying that I did try to send home a policies sheets with each student but in case I missed you, I have just emailed a copy (or you can pick one up off of the music stand by the practice tree).  For those of you that have been taking lessons here a year or more, there’s really no change to the policies but I did add a little bit of helpful information to you as well as some suggested practice guidelines so it’s worth the read through.  I also added a place to sign and am asking that signed copies be turned in so I know you are familiar with everything on the sheet.  You will have the document attached to the email as your copy. 😊

CHRISTMAS RECITAL (New location!!)

I’ll put this next on the list as many of you have been asking about this already as you plan vacations, get-togethers and juggle other holiday events.  I had a tentative date on the website calendar and that has all been updated now.  The date remains the same but the LOCATION HAS CHANGED!  We have a new location for our recital this year just up the road from my studio.  This will be a big change for some of you who have been with me for a while but I think it will provide a nice central location for those coming from either east or west.  The recital will take place at Bethel Community Church, 14204 25 street on Friday, December 15th at 6:30pm.  Our theme is Cookies and Carols and we will enjoy a time of sharing refreshments after our program.  More details will come as we get closer to the date, but for now you can mark your calendars with the date, time and location!

THANKSGIVING MASTER CLASSES

We will have our first all studio master class the week following Thanksgiving, October 10-13.  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.  Just to re-iterate, during master class week, there are NO regular classes or lessons.  Instead we have all-studio master classes for all ages and levels.  It’s a chance for the students to build community, learn about composers, and have a small scale performance opportunity making recital time much more comfortable.  It’s also unparented and give the MYC parents a week off of helping in class.  More information including the exact master class times including a link to a sign up sheet will come out by the end of the month.  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/

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The best thing we can possibly do for our students is to support their practicing in any and every way we can!  Practice is the key to making progress and progress is the key to feel successful and joyful about piano.  I’ve shared both on my website and facebook page some ideas for creating a “practice nest”.  If you missed it, you can find it here:

Creating a Practice Nest

Another great resource is this book by Tracey Selle:  http://amzn.to/2yqsLwe   It’s called 101 Piano Practice Tips and is full of refreshing ideas whether you are new or you’ve been at this a while.

Another recommended (and easy as well as entertaining) read, especially for those with teens or pre-teens, is Coffee With Ray:  http://amzn.to/2jLkcsL

That should give you enough for now!  You can always the newsletters on this website where you can even subscribe to email updates every time something is added to the website.  You can find the studio Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mmmusicstudio

Enjoy a warm and cozy rest of the week!  Looking forward to a fantastic year!

 

 

 

*This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that by clicking on a link and making a purchase I may receive a small commission.  You will never be charged extra for this.

Back to School, Back to Lessons!

Happy Back to School for those of you who sent your kids off today (this is week two for us!).  We are less than a week away from our own Back to Lessons! Just a couple things to let you know this week!

Invoices/receipts were sent out last week on the 29th.  If you did not receive one by email, please check your junk mail.  I am using a new accounting system this year that automates and customizes invoices and receipts and your email may have not recognized the address origin (mailer@waveapps.com).  It will show Michelle Miller Music Studio as the sender.

Schedule and Calendar is up on this, the main website:  mmmusicstudio.com     You can bookmark this address OR I usually include it in my email signature to make it easy to find.   I am currently working on booking the Christmas recital so just know that is TENTATIVELY scheduled right now and will be confirmed hopefully very soon!  You will also find newsletters, announcements and practice tips posted there as well, so if you can’t find it by email, check out the site and it is usually posted there too!

I am off to get a little more last minute organization and re-decorating done in the studio now!  Looking forward to a wonderful new year of music making with all of you!!  See you next week!

July Piano Newsletter 2017

School’s out and sun’s out!  Some of you have already hit the road for summer holidays, some of you have been enjoying some exciting day camps and some of you may have just been enjoying some lazy days of summer (my son falls into this latter category!).  A special few of you actually spent some of this week with me doing a summer lesson and what fun we had!!  This year I decided to offer summer lessons in the form of a three lesson package OR a la carte, this week was our first installment and it was a beach theme.  We enjoyed it all, from beach themed games and music to a tasty beach themed treat!

beach day studio

For those of you who weren’t able to sign up for this week I’ll be sharing one of the games we played in case you’d like to print and use it at home over the summer to keep some concepts reviewed. It’s not too late to join the fun over the summer!  Our next summer lesson will be the week of July 18th and the theme for that week will be CAMPING!  There will be one more during the week of August 2nd and that theme will be ROADTRIP.  Email if you are interested in some piano lesson fun for your student and a little help and review/practice motivation over the summer.

No matter where you are or what you are doing, I hope music is a part of it!  Over the past several weeks on our Facebook page I have been sharing some resources and tips to help keep up that practicing over the summer.  Practicing the piano is a little bit like climbing a ladder, every time you practice you go up a rung, but when you don’t practice you end up going down a rung and long extended periods of practice can mean going down several rungs before lessons resume in the fall. Even the use of some great music apps can help the slip and slide!

For those of you who haven’t yet liked the Facebook page or are not on Facebook, here are some of the resources that have been shared over the past few weeks:

  1. A fun beach themed printable game from Teach Piano Today (instructions at the bottom of the post: beachdaycardpacks BeachDayGameBoard
  2. Some great apps to keep up the note naming skills:  Note Rush, Ningenius, Flashnote Derby  (name AND play the key—these can be used with your acoustic OR digital piano at home OR if you are on the road traveling you can use the little attached keyboard setting!)
  3. Creating an awesome practice nest that will help keep up that practice motivation over the summer: https://mmmusicstudio.com/2017/06/26/creating-a-practice-nest/

I can’t possibly share them all so if you like to keep up to date, like the Facebook page!  Enjoy and have a wonderful summer!!

 

Beach Day game instructions:

Single Player: Place your game marker on the “Start” circle and draw a card. Complete the task on the card.  If you complete it correctly, move forward the number of spaces shown on the card. If incorrect, move back two spaces and re-draw a new card. If you draw a “beach gear” card, keep it and put it to the side of the board.  If you land on an “Oops” circle then you lose one piece of your beach gear and the card is returned to the pile.  If you land on the “Shopping Spree” circle, you get to take back one piece of your lost beach gear. If you reach the finish with at least 3 pieces of beach gear you win and head to the beach! If you do not have 3, stay on the last space and continue to flip over and complete cards until you collect the 3 needed pieces of beach gear.  (single player ideas from teach piano today.)

Multi-player (Mrs. Miller’s version): Place game markers on the start circle and roll a dice to see who goes first.  Draw a card and complete the task on the card.  If completed correctly, move forward the number of spaces on the card.  If incorrect, turn goes to next player. If you draw a beach gear card, keep it and draw another card.  If you land on an oops return to the beginning! If you land on a shopping spring you can “shop” from another player.  If you make it to the end with the most beach gear, you win!

 

May Piano News 2017

Can I just say again one more time what a wonderful job was done by all the students at our recital!  Your children are just amazing and I appreciate all the work you parents put in to helping that all come together!  A huge thank you to Nada Malica for providing those awesome red cowboys hats and bandanas and to all of you who brought the delicious and creative refreshments!!  They were pretty special!
Well, we are on the downhill slide towards the end of the year with just a very few weeks of lessons left!  This is the time of year where sports enter the picture and can create a bit of a schedule juggle for some which is why a few years ago I moved the recital from beginning of June to end of April/early May!
The studio will break for the summer on June 9th, but I will give you just a few important dates to mark on your calendars right now as I have a couple of days away and many of  the students have requested one more master class before the end of the year!  This will also add in a little bit of flexibility to those of you dealing with sports schedules, so here it is:

NO LESSONS FOR TUES, WED and MON coming up!!
Tuesday, May 16th, Wednesday May 17th and Monday, May 22nd, there will be NO lessons…for a variety of reasons but one very important one is that I have some dental work that has to happen on the afternoon of Tuesday May 16th.  Monday, May 22 is the holiday Monday.  We will still finish the year with all 34 lessons no matter which day of the week your lessons fell on (Thursday students had to miss a lesson back in March when I was away at a convention).
MASTERCLASSES MAY 29-JUNE1
Our final masterclass of the year will be the week of May 29-June 1st.  This will not be our last class of the year, we will have one more regular class/lesson of the year the following week to wrap up and give students their summer assignments. Some years we have wrapped with a master class at the very end of the year, but this year due to some sports activity scheduling and my involvement in both the Children’s Festival AND my daughter’s grad that week just seemed like a good fit.  This master class will be for all ages and level (including Sunshine 1 kids) and I’ll send out a sign up sheet very shortly.
LAST WEEK OF LESSONS and Summer Lessons
The last week of lessons will be June 5-8 and then we will break for the summer.  Regular lessons and classes will resume on September 11th.  Summer lessons in a package of 3 will be available to those private students who are wanting to work towards a particular exam or complete a certain level that they may be partly through before lessons resume in September.  These three lessons will be able to be booked over the summer months around traveling and holiday schedules….more details to come in the next couple of weeks.
Well that should be enough information for now.  I am now opening up registration for new MYC students for the fall, so if you know of any preschoolers or students ages 5-7 years of age interested in beginning lessons, they are now free to email or call and even visit a class!

 

March Piano News

Here are some updates and news for the month of March!
SPRING BREAK
Though the weather hasn’t exactly felt very Spring-like, we are only 11 days away from Spring Break and I just wanted to remind you that there will be no lessons from March 24-April 2.  We will resume April 3rd and begin a full scale preparation for our Spring Recital of Canadian Music!!  Enjoy the Spring Break.

APRIL MASTERCLASS
There will be another master class in April immediately following the Easter weekend!  Lot of fun is being planned for that.

More information will be sent out AFTER Spring Break.
SPRING RECITAL
Just another reminder that our Spring Recital is booked for Friday, May 5th at 6:30pm.  It will be the same location as the Christmas Recital:  14320 94 street (First Church of the Nazarene auditorium).  Students will be choosing pieces to play by Canadian composers as we prepare to celebrate Canada’s 150th!!
REGISTRATION AND SCHEDULE FOR 2017/18
I have been working out the schedule and planning for next year and will be sending out registration forms in the next week or so.  The deadline to register for September will be May 1st.  Tuition fees and book fee prices are currently being updated on the studio webpage (mmmusicstudio.com) and will be included with the registration form email as well as the class times and lesson times for next year.
I know that you have a lot of expenses in your life and I am sure you are always wisely re-evaluating the value of these expenses. So I wanted to send you two things that will illustrate what you are receiving for your piano lesson investment.

The first is a link to an infographic that beautifully depicts both the primary and secondary benefits of music lessons. I know you’ll enjoy seeing all the benefits that piano lessons give to  your child.

I also want to share with you a webpage that explains all that your tuition covers, which is much more than the 30, 45 or 60 minutes I get to spend with your children each week. I know it helps to know that your money is always being invested in your child’s music education even when they need to miss a lesson. So be sure to take a look at what all your tuition covers:
Thank you again for choosing to enroll your children in music lessons in my studio. It is absolutely a privilege and honor to be your teacher!!
Now, back to picking out music, marking theory pages and lesson plans,

 

February Piano News

Here we are almost one full week into February!  We made it through January and I have been quite impressed with both the practicing and the composing that has been going on!  Each and every student whether in the MYC program or private lessons has been creating their very own composition and it’s been delightful to see their enthusiasm as well as their astounding creativity.  We are going to wrap up our compositions over the next two weeks.
There’s not always a lot of news at this time of year but there are a couple of important upcoming dates to go over including another all studio master class session.
SUNRISE PRESCHOOL CLASS
First and foremost is an upcoming Sunrise class for preschoolers.  I will be starting a Sunrise music class for ages 2-4 this month on February 15th.  This class will run on Wednesdays from 11-11:45am until May.  If you know of anyone in that age group who would be interested, feel free to share.  I’ve created an event on the Facebook page that can be easily shared. There is still time to register! Sunrise kids will play a special part in our Spring Recital. 🙂
FAMILY DAY MASTER CLASS SESSION
We will be having another masterclass session immediately following the Family Day holiday weekend.  February 21-24 there will be NO regular lesson schedule, instead we will be having all studio master classes.  I’ll be sending out a sign up sheet similar the one I sent out in December shortly, this way you are able to see that you signed up….and also change times if needed all on your own.  The theme of this master class session will be “Creative Keys”  and focus on creativity through improvising and other fun AND it will be a chance for all the students to show each other their very creative compositions as those will be their solo pieces.  Keep your eye out for that sign up sheet!
SPRING RECITAL
I am still working on officially booking our Spring recital, but there is a very good chance is will be May 5th.  I will let you know as soon as it is official!  It will be in the same place as Christmas!
SPRING BREAK
It is still several weeks away, but there will be no lessons during March 24-April 2 for Spring Break.  The studio will be closed and I will be away.
Well, that is all for now!  Have a great day….and stay warm!!