Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter August 2013


Welcome Back  and Congratulations

Cecilia and Koralynn
Cecilia and Koralynn

I hope everyone has had a fantastic summer! The studio has been busy. In June and July, 25 students participated in the National Piano Guild Auditions, from Elementary A to Preparatory B levels. There were 2 District winners, 22 National winners, and 1 International winner. Everyone did an amazing job, and I am so proud that everyone scored a minimum of Superior Minus rating. This is a great accomplishment for our studio. Thank you to all the students for working so hard, and to all the parents for helping the students to succeed! Click here for details.

I would also like to congratulate Meijke Balay-Mickelson and Catherine Howard for being the first two students from our studio to participate in the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This was the first year this new music exam was run in Temecula. Catherine and Meijke both sat the Level 7 Piano Performance assessment. Meijke passed with Honors, and Catherine passed with First Class Honors! I am so proud of them!

Another highlight of my summer was my attendance at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago. I learned so much and am excited to share some of the great ideas with the students.

Music Improvisation

One of the featured presenters at the NCKP conference was Dr Richard Grayson. I attended his Improvisation Workshop, and am convinced that this is such an important skill for students of the 21st century. Dr Grayson has very kindly shared his knowledge and expertise in this field by making available his Improvisation Workbook. I would like all students to download and print this book and bring it to the lessons, so we can start improvising on the piano!

Online Music Theory, Games, Ear Training

At the NCKP conference exhibit hall, I came across a fantastic company called Music Learning Community, offering internet-based music games that teach theory concepts and ear training. I am excited to announce that starting from Fall 2013, the studio will subscribe to this website, and every family will receive a username and password. The studio will cover all expenses and there will be no additional charge for the students. I have no doubt this will benefit our students tremendously, and students can learn Theory and Musicianship Skills at their own pace. This will save us a lot of valuable lesson time. The best part is that students can learn while playing games! The website is also fully compatible with iPads and MIDI keyboards. Please check your emails as I will be sending out usernames and passwords in the next week or so. Email me if you have questions.

Jonathan and Hailey
Jonathan and Hailey

Student Opportunities

As we begin the new school year, it is time to plan a course of study for each student. As always, I will list all events and activities through the monthly newsletters. Please read carefully and sign up for those events you are interested in participating. Please take special note of the deadlines – my deadline is earlier than the official deadline (which is usually only a couple weeks before the event), so it gives me time to source the materials for you and plenty of time for you to practice and prepare. Unless otherwise stated, all registration fees must be paid to the teacher (me!), not the organizing body, and must be paid by cash or check (no Paypal).

Halloween Recital

October 26, Temecula Public Library (Pauba Road), $5 – This is organized by MTAC-TV, registration is limited to the first 10 students of each teacher. If you are interested, please email me ASAP as space is limited.

MTAC Sonata/Sonatina Festival

November 2, Temecula Public Library (Pauba Road), $15 – Click here to read details. Register by emailing me before August 31.

Certificate of Merit

March 1, 2014, $60 for levels 1-5, $80 for higher levels – This is a statewide standardized music testing program. The test includes Theory, Technique, Repertoire, Sight Reading, and Ear Training. You can read more details on the official website. The registration fee includes all required test music and past Theory exam papers. I would like to recommend this program for students who have previous audition experience. If you have participated in any sort of adjudicated events before, and would like the challenge of a formal test, please do not hesitate to sign up! If you are unsure of your level or if this is right for you, you can email me. If you are ready to sign up, please email me the following information before August 31: Student Name, School Grade, Date of Birth.

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