Master Classes and Merry Christmas

Christmas break is here! We’ve had so much fun this week in our master classes and are now officially finished until January 6th!

We started each master class with a short Christmas carol sing (this was the students’ idea!)

Then we spent part of our class composing. The older students were able to review what a motive was (a musical idea) while the new students got their first taste of composing…a great jump-start to our January composition spree!

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The students were also given a Christmas fun handout I received as a gift from Teach Piano Today, designed to keep them playing the piano over the break–not practicing–just playing! 😉 If you missed the master class due to illness or otherwise but would still like the handouts to try out over the break, please let me know! You are welcome to come by and pick them up.

We had solo time, of course, and then played a rousing game of Stinky Stocking with a musical theme that involved sight reading, ear training and musical charades! The students just loved this game and I was so glad I purchased it from composecreate.com. We also chose gifts from the Food for the Hungry catalogue. Thanks to 10,000 minutes of practice and extra pledges, the students raised $295 in just three weeks!

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The students practiced over 10,000 minutes during the three weeks prior to recital. They were practicing for pennies in order to raise funds for Food for the Hungry. I sponsored each child at one penny per minute but thanks to extra pledges from Brennan, Rowan, Hope, Patience and Caleb, we raised $295!!! So, each master class got to spend a few minutes choosing and voting on gifts to send from the Food for the Hungry gift magazine. What fun we had choosing chickens, fruit trees, school supplies, sports equipment, art supplies and clothing to send!

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We also had a peek at the final installments of the December Videos of the Month! And we took our practice snowflakes off the tree to take home…hopefully they will be a reminder of all the hard work that has been accomplished over the last several weeks!
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I was overwhelmed with love and gifts and thank you all for the beautiful treasures and delicious treats! I hope you all enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break filled with love and family! I am looking forward to it myself but I also look forward to seeing you all back here again in 2014!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Practicing for Pennies!

Tis the season for giving … and spreading kindness, love and cheer. And we hope to do a lot of that at our studio here through the music we are learning and preparing to share with you for the upcoming Christmas recital as well as throughout the holidays. But that’s not the only way we hope to share kindness and cheer this holiday season.

Last week, on November 13th, was World Kindness Day and my daughter remarked, “What? There’s actually a day designated to be kind to each other?” Yes, there actually is! And it got me to thinking that maybe it is meant to remind us that we should be spreading kindness each and every day…and why not start now! So, I am putting a challenge out to all my students to practice for pennies….and share with those less fortunate this Christmas.

I am going to pledge ONE PENNY PER PRACTICE MINUTE to each and every one of my students. All they need to do is track and log their practice minutes between now and their last lesson prior to the Christmas Recital. I would encourage my students to ask their parents or relatives to match my pledge of one penny per practice minute and see just how much money we can raise between now and our Christmas recital. Then during the week of the December master classes (the week after the recital) we will choose gifts and countries to give to from the Food for the Hungry gift catalogue.

So, what do you need to do? Practice! …of course… but also tally your practice minutes each day and then again at the end of the week. Bring me your final total to your lesson during the week of December 9-13th along with a record of any other people who have pledged as well and how much you’ve raised on your own. That way I can add up the total number of practice minutes and share that at the Christmas recital. If you let me know of other pledges you have then I can add that to the total raised. Then collect those funds (if applicable) and bring them in to the master classes during the week of December 16-18. I will be able to total it all and we can choose our gifts and countries.

So, let’s get practicing….after all, you only have until your last lesson before the Christmas recital to log those minutes! My challenge to you is to see if we can reach 10,000 minutes of practice as a student body between now and our Christmas Recital!

Remember: participation in this challenge is completely optional and it is up to you whether or not you want to keep track of practice minutes. It does NOT require extra practice time or extra pledges unless that is something you feel you want to do. I just thought it would be a nice way to use our time and our talents to help someone in need. 🙂
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