Sunrise Classes 2017

The natural energy and music children ages 2-3 years old have within them is amazing.  You will often find them singing, moving to a rhythm or beat or dancing.  Sunrise is an exciting and innovative pre-school music & movement program with a flexible format that fits the level of development of these children perfectly. Teddy Bears help teach the children rhythms and puppet friends Buzz, Buddy and Mellow guide children on their music journey and instruction with singing, and ear training. This child-centred curriculum includes stories, songs, and games to ensure that all children feel and achieve a high level of engagement and success.

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The Sunrise preschool class is a fun introduction to the foundations of music and makes for a smooth transition to the Sunshine piano program at age 4.  Registration is now open for a new session starting February 15, 2017!  Classes will run weekly for 45 minutes from 11-11:45am on Wednesday mornings.  Registration includes a workbook, CD, finger puppet, rhythm instrument and backpack as well as the 10 lessons. Register now or email mmmusicstudio@hotmail.com for more details!

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Piano News November 2016 Edition

 

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). 😊

PRACTICING

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:

https://www.pianoinaflash.com/blog/child-doesnt-want-practice/

FALL BREAK

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!

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.”

December News

 

Wow, it’s so hard to believe that it’s December 3rd already!  And the biggest news of this newsletter is, of course, that our Christmas Recital is now only 8 days away!!  Unbelievable!  Next Friday, December 11, at 6:30pm our 15th annual Christmas recital will begin!  Plan to arrive at the church (14320 94 street, First Church of the Nazarene) about 10-15 minutes early so that we may start promptly at 6:30.  My goal is to finish by 7:45pm.  Also, we will enjoy a bit of social time afterward with a “potluck” reception, so please bring a plate of goodies or 4 litres of juice to share.  I will provide napkins, cups and plates!
We will end of recital portion with a song sung by all students and the lyrics and a video to sing along with were sent out again this week by email.  All students will be asked to come to the stage at the end for a photo op and to sing.  I am hoping to have the lyrics on the screen for those that may not have it memorized and for the audience to join in if they can.  Feel free also to copy and paste these lyrics and print off a sheet to bring if needed.  Our recital is meant to be a beautiful showcasing of Christmas and seasonal music and we work hard to do our best, but keep in mind this is meant more to be just a simple sharing of the gift of music.  Encourage lots of practice, but also emphasize the fun and enjoyment rather than stress and pressure.

We will have one more regular lesson next week to make our final preparations for recital.  We will go over bowing and recital etiquette, be sure to have students practice this at home when they practice their recital piece all next week.

The week following the recital, December 14-17, will be our last lesson before the Christmas break and it will be a special Christmas Master Class/Piano Party, there will be no regularly scheduled lessons that week instead you will have the opportunity to sign up for any one of the specially scheduled master classes, just as you did at Thanksgiving.  This last week before Christmas is historically a busy one with many school concerts so hopefully these master classes will give you a bit of flexibility during a busy time as you can choose whichever day works for you, they are also un-parented so you will have the opportunity for a last minute errand to the grocery store or Londonderry mall during that hour OR a quiet cup of  coffee at the local Tim Horton’s or Starbucks.  Please RSVP by email with your child’s name and the day/time you choose for the master class in the subject line.

Monday, December 14, 6-7pm
Tuesday, December 15, 4-5pm
Wednesday, December 16, 5-6pm

Our Christmas Break will be from December 17-January 3 and the studio will be closed.  Lessons will resume in the New Year on January 4!

Summer Practice Super Star!

Well, it is hard to believe that September is here already and we are soon to be back at the piano lessons and music making!  Over the summer, I challenged my students to make a short practice part of their daily routine as much as possible.  My one student, Elizabeth, set a goal for herself of 50 days of practice spread out through out the summer and she exceeded that goal!  I am so proud of her.  That is a very big achievement!  Having a goal and a plan is the key to success and in the pictures you can see that with the help of her mom, she put together a review and practice plan that helped her achieve that goal…and little sticker rewards along the way to help her track her progress! Well done, Elizabeth!!!
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Ahoy Mateys!!! A Pirate-y Practice Challenge

March is here but I sure do have a few students dragging their poor little feet into piano lessons lately!  Every time I say, “Hey there!  How are you doing today?”  the response is always, “Tired”.  It seems that Spring Break cannot come soon enough.  So, I have a little something to put some pep in their step…well, some pep in their practicing at least!

keep calm

Just kidding! That’s not it.  Although, I have to confess that just might be my mantra for the month! 😉  What I DO have for my students is a brand new practice challenge with a fun pirate-y theme that I found from the brilliant Dows of Teach Piano Today.  Now I did tweak it just a tiny bit to match up a bit more with what I know motivates my students (that’s the great thing about sharing ideas with other teachers, it can spark our creativity and inspire us to put our own little twist on it!) and I will be rolling it out in the studio tomorrow, but you can see a little bit of what it is here:

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