May News and Year End Dates

Hello, Everyone!

It seems like just yesterday we had our lovely April recital and now we are in the second week of May with only 5 weeks of lessons left!

Our recital went so well and I cannot thank everyone enough for the help you gave and the many ways you all contributed!  It was our earliest ever Spring recital this year (one week earlier than last year) and because I was away for all of Spring Break, it felt like a short time to get organized, but with your help I think it came off better than ever AND I think the early time ended up working out really well as it kind of pumped us all up and has given us extra enthusiasm and a renewed energy for the remaining weeks of lessons! Something that will be especially great for those doing Conservatory exams in June…and for those that aren’t doing exams there is a renewed enthusiasm for getting some extra pieces learned before June! Some students have challenged themselves with learning 30 pieces this year! Phew!

A couple of you have shared a picture of the recital, but I would just love to see more–pictures or video.  I was not able to get pictures or videos taken myself as I have in the past and I missed getting a picture of all the MYC grads.  So please feel free to share!!

YEAR END DATES AND FINAL MASTERCLASS
The kids have all been asking when the next master class is.  Normally I have done a master class as the very last class of the year because I am often away during the May long Weekend week.  However, this year I am not going to be away!  So, I am changing up the schedule just slightly this year.  We will have our last master class of the year during the week of May 24th, immediately following the long weekend.  Then we will have two more regular lessons/classes before finishing up for the year on June 9th.

I will send out the master class times for May 25, 26, 27 in the very next email…expect that in the next day or so.  And you will be able to indicate the time you wish your student to attend, but putting it in the subject line of your reply to that email.

PRACTICE CHALLENGE
Also starting next week will be our final practice challenge of the year.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and offer some more creative ways to look at your piano practice to keep the energy going right to the end of the year…when I issue this year’s Summer Practice Challenge!  A handout will be coming home with each student next week and the summer practice challenge will go home with them at the last lesson of the year, so be sure to continue checking those music bags regularly over the next few weeks!

In the meantime, have a lovely day!  Looks like we’ve got some sunshine again!

April News and Registration

It looks like we are finally getting some Spring weather….just as our Spring Break comes to a close! I hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break. Mine was very busy…and felt rather short…but I am excited about the coming weeks ahead!

Our year is rapidly coming to a close. We have less than 10 weeks left in our year and many exciting things to fill these last few weeks. The month of April will be busy with recital preparations as we have only 5 weeks until our annual Spring recital is here. This week students will be busy choosing their recital piece and we have a few fun ensembles to rehearse together. Our recital will take place on Friday, May 9th, at 6:30pm at the First Church of the Nazarene. Extended family and friends are most welcome. Due to the busy-ness of the sport season and dance recitals, we will not be having a reception following this recital as we did with our Christmas Recital. Instead students will receive a refreshing treat and be encouraged to go and enjoy what will hopefully be beautiful spring weather! 😉

rockinthepractice

We are kicking off an exciting new practice incentive this month that is very relevant to our recital preparation as it’s all about performance preparation. Students will have 4 weekly projects to complete and are encouraged to try and complete all BEFORE our Spring recital, however, they will have to the end of May, if needed.

rockingpracticetree

The schedule for next year’s MYC classes is up and ready for registration. Private students, I will need to know ASAP whether or not you wish to register and return for next year in order for me to know whether or not I will be able to accommodate any graduating Moonbeams 3 students who might wish to continue on.

Slight adjustments have been made to both the schedule and the tuition fees so please be sure to go to both the Schedule page and the Piano Lessons page to check it all out.

Now…let’s get ready to ROCK! 😉

March News and 2014/15 Registration

March certainly did come in like a lion with icy, cold temperatures and a wind chill that made me want to hide in my house! What a relief to be looking at double digit temperatures on the plus side of 0 for the upcoming days!

It’s hard to believe we are already almost halfway through March. Actually, this is Week 24 of our lesson year which means we only have 10 more lessons to go before summer break is here! And as one year closes, I am always thinking about the one upcoming. So here is a quick look ahead for the next several weeks.

SPRING BREAK
There will be no lessons during Spring Break, March 31-April 6. Lessons will resume on April 7th and I’ll have a brand new practice incentive cooked up for you by then! 😉 I think we will have a bit of fun with it as it brings our focus towards the upcoming Spring Recital. Let’s just say it’s going to “rock”!

SPRING RECITAL
Our Spring Recital is scheduled for Friday, May 9th, at 6:30pm in the main auditorium of First Church of the Nazarene. First Church is planning some big renovations, so there is a small possibility that they could begin around this time. We may have to be flexible in the when and where of our recital, but I will keep you posted! In the meantime, we will plan on this and mark our calendars! 😉 UPDATE: the church renovations have been officially scheduled for late May through end of June so our May 9th recital is a GO!

2014/15 SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION
I am currently working on the schedule for next year and hope to have it up by Spring Break so that we can begin re-registration and new registration for the fall when we return from Spring Break. Next year my daughter enters grade 10 and over the last couple of week’s she had an interview and acceptance at Strathcona Christian Academy in Sherwood Park. She is very excited, but it does mean that I will likely be driving her both to and from school as there is no bus from Edmonton to transport her there. This will certainly impact what I can or cannot add to my schedule for next year and will limit the number of new classes or private lessons that I can add into the schedule for next year.

APRIL MASTER CLASS
There will be another master class in April, during the week immediately following Easter Monday. More information will come out after Spring Break.

YEAR END
I will be away during the last week of May. I actually have a conference in Las Vegas! We will still get all 34 weeks in the schedule, though, and are set to finish up by or slightly before June 12.

Spring Break, Registration for 2013/14 and a SURPRISE!

The middle of March is here already and Spring Break is just around the corner for our students. It’s exciting to see the days getting longer…now if we could only see some more snow melting!

SPRING BREAK
We will continue to enjoy another week of our regularly scheduled lessons next week and then the students can enjoy a break–Spring Break. There will be NO LESSONS OR CLASSES from March 22-April 1st. I know there are some students, depending on the school they attend, who have two weeks off for Spring Break, but the studio will just be closed for the one week and Easter Monday. The week of Easter Monday there will be lessons but NOT regularly scheduled lessons. Instead we will be having our 3rd special group lesson of the year and it’s going to be a big surprise…well sort of!

SURPRISE ME DAYS–special group lessons ONLY for April 2-4th, no regular private lessons or classes
During the week following spring break we will have another special themed group lesson in lieu of regular lessons and this time the theme is Surprise Me! This is the chance for my students to do a little bit of work on their own over the break and really surprise me when our lessons resume. I will be handing out a little assignment (both in this newsletter and in class) and they will have several guided options with which to surprise me and knock my socks off at the group lessons, in return I will surprise them with a little something for their extra work. We will also be studying a little bit about the composer, Haydn, and his life and music and learning a lot about one of his symphonies known as the “Surprise Symphony”! (are you seeing a theme here). Following is a list of the days as times that you can sign up for and the special SURPRISE assignments:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
6-7pm

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
4-5pm
5:30-6:30pm

Thursday, April 4, 2013
4-5pm

SPECIAL SURPRISE ME ASSIGNMENT:
Hey Kids, You Can Choose To…

1) Flip ahead 3 pages in your book and teach yourself to play the right hand of that entire piece.

2) Memorize a piece from your lesson or repertoire book.

3) Play one of your current pieces with all the dynamics, phrasing, articulation and expression in place… perfectly!

4) Compose an original piece or make an arrangement of a favorite popular and play it for me!

5) Flip ahead 1 page in your lesson book or repertoire book and teach yourself the first two lines hands together with exact rhythm and notes.

Have your student choose one of these 5 options and prepare it for me over the break. This will be such a great assignment for them because they will also be learning to take ownership over their own learning. They will be learning to problem solve using their skill set to teach themselves how to work through an unfamiliar musical task all with the goal of showing off their abilities.

REGISTRATION FOR 2013/2014 is APRIL 2-MAY 1

Once Spring Break is over, we will only have about 10 weeks left of lessons! We will be on the downward slope to the year end recital, and that does mean thinking about the next year already. This month, I have had close to half a dozen calls regarding available classes for next year and so over spring break I will be preparing newly updated registration forms and opening up registration for the fall. If you will be returning next year, you will need to register by MAY 1st to hold your place in the studio. This will allow me to know what it available to offer to transfer students and the MYC graduates who may be looking to continue on next year with private lessons, as well as new students. And MYC head office requires all returning MYC students to register by May 1st in order to get the early bird price, after May 1st there is an extra charge. Registration for brand new students will begin in May.

Registration time is here again!

Spring is in the air–off and on, at least! It seems that one day we have beautiful spring sunshine and the next day is a snowfall/blizzard warning!

Regardless of the weather, Spring is usually a time for cleaning and organizing for me. I’ve been sorting through the closets in our house, rearranging my studio and putting together my schedule for next year and opening up registration for the next term–September 2012.

As we begin to wrap up this year, we also start to plan for next year! Funny how that works. So, if you are planning your schedule and looking at registering or re-registering, you can check the schedule on:

http://www.myc.com/Teacher/MMiller/Check-the-Schedule.htm