Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter April 2014

MTNA National Conference 2014

I just returned from the Music Teachers National Association Conference held in Chicago. I make every effort to attend these conferences, because I believe in professional development and continuing to learn as a teacher. I picked up lots of teaching tips and new ways to inspire students. This year’s conference was a particularly special one for me, because I was invited to present a showcase session for Music Teacher’s Helper. It was nerve breaking to speak in front of seasoned music educators from all over the country, but I truly had a great time!

Hal Leonard Composition Competition

Another highlight of this year’s MTNA conference for me was that, the winners of the inaugural Hal Leonard Composition Competition were announced at the conference, and one of the students from our studio, Emma Erickson, received 2nd Place (Silver)! Here is a little something about the competition:

Hal Leonard, the world’s largest publisher of songbooks and music educational materials, created this online student piano composition competition in honor of Carol Klose (1945-2013), a popular piano teacher and prolific Hal Leonard composer. The purpose of the competition is to encourage the creative musical spirit that Carol always fostered, by giving piano students a platform to compose, perform and share their original pieces.

Nearly 200 contestants created original compositions and submitted YouTube videos of their performances in the competition’s three age categories: Junior Composer (ages 12 and under); Teen Composer (ages 13-18); and Collegiate Composer (ages 19-23).

This is a huge accomplishment for Emma, and I am so proud of her! You can read more about the competition here. Emma’s winning composition can be heard in the March Newsletter.

April Schedule

April 5 – I will be playing in the Inland Valley Symphony Concert “Carnival of the Animals.” This is going to be a great family concert, featuring famous music and story telling from Peter and the Wolf, Swan Lake, Carnival of the Animals, Flight of the Bumble Bee, and Firebird. If you have not gotten tickets, there is still time to get special family package. Email me for details!

April 12 – The following students will be playing in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival: Charys Hong, Rachel Hong, Charmaine Tan, Cheryl Tan, Chanelle Tan, Ron Lycan, Alexa Willis, Emma Erickson, Hudson Erickson, Hunter Erickson, Claire Howard, and Catherine Howard. Good luck to them!

April 26 – I have been invited to judge the Northern San Diego Music Teachers Association Romantic Festival. This means I will not be teaching on that Saturday. All lessons will be rescheduled to Sunday April 27. Please check your emails for your rescheduled time.

Student of the Month – Emma Erickson

Optimized-IMG_2209Emma is 8 years old and is in second grade. She is homeschooled with her 2 older brothers. Emma loves being outside, taking horsebackriding lessons and riding her little dirtbike. Catching lizards and adopting them is also a favorite activity! Emma’s passion however, is creating. Whether she is creating a fort out of a cardboard box, a boat out of wood, or a beautiful piece on the piano, she is always dreaming and imagining her next project. From the time Emma was a baby, she was nicknamed the “Angel of Music”. First, she was dubbed this for her powerful vocal chords 🙂 and then as a toddler for her love of making up songs and singing. Now she’s our Angel of Music for her love of making beautiful music on the piano and playing from her heart.

Teacher comment: In all my years of teaching, I have come across very few students that have accomplished so much at still such a young age. In addition to winning Silver for the Hal Leonard Composition Competition, some of Emma’s other major achievements to date include:

Winner, Temecula Young Artist Piano Competition

Winner, Inland Empire Piano Competition

Winner, Southern California Junior Bach Festival, Regional Competition

This year, Emma sat Certificate of Merit Level 3 and received 5+ Branch Honors. She will also be doing the National Piano Guild Auditions for the 4th consecutive year. She did her first Guild audition (10 piece program) when she was 5 years old, after only a few months of lessons. I am so proud of you, Emma!


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