Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter July 2014

Studio Summer Recital 2014


Yiyi at MTAC Convention in LA

I hope everyone is having a nice summer holiday! The studio has been extremely busy in the last couple of months. We have had a myriad of student competitions and exams, our studio recital on June 14 was a great success, I played two solo recitals and three orchestra concerts, and I attended and presented at the Music Teachers Association of California Convention in LA.

Yiyi at The Merc Solo Recital

I have many exciting projects lined up for our students. Please note that the studio will resume lessons on July 7. I will not be teaching on Fridays and Saturdays until school starts, so if your regular lesson falls on Friday or Saturday, you will get an email to reschedule.

Royal Conservatory Music Development Program

Congratulations to the following students who did the RCM exam in May. The results are in, and I am very proud of their achievements! They represent some of the highest levels from the Temecula exam center.

Kelly Rausch – Level 7 Piano (Performance) – First Class Honors with Distinction
Kelly Rausch – Advanced Rudiments Theory (Academic) – First Class Honors
Meijke Balay-Mickelson – Level 8 Piano (Performance) – First Class Honors
Catherine Howard – Level 9 Piano (Performance) – Honors

The Royal Conservatory has a very long and reputable history in Canada. The Music Development Program was launched in the US in 2012, and is becoming more and more established and recognized in this country. I would really like more students to participate in this exam next year. Please visit the Royal Conservatory Website to find out more.


Keys for Life – Charity Concert for American Cancer Society

There will be a 24-hour Relay for Life Charity Concert from 9am August 17 to 9am August 18. The concert is organized by a local neurosurgeon Dan Friedlich and will be held at the Aces Comedy Club. Our studio will be participating! It is a great opportunity for students to involve themselves in a stress-free performance that focuses on giving and teaches that even at a young age one can make an impact using your own talents. 100% of money collected as donations will go to American Cancer Society.

We will provide four hours of music to this worthy cause, from 12-2pm and 5-7pm on Sunday August 17. I encourage everyone from our studio to participate. To help me plan, please email me to let me know if you would like to perform.

Student of the Month – Jessica Kim

National Piano Guild Auditions Preparatory B National Winner

​Jessica Kim was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and just finished her sophomore year at Murrieta Valley High School. She has been studying with Yiyi for one and half years and as her parents say learned “musicianship” from her. Because of her hectic school schedule, Jessica cannot devote as much time as she would like to piano but she is grateful to have such a wonderful teacher who inspires her to play the best that she can and to just enjoy music.

​Jessica’s JV Tennis Team was undefeated this past season and won the Southwestern League Championships where she played singles in the starting line up. She is actively involved in the Science Olympiad program at school where she will be co-president next year. Even though the Science Olympiad program is only 2 years old, Jessica’s Science Olympiad team placed 1st place at the regional competitions and made it to State. She has participated in the Rotary Model UN program in San Diego for the past 2 years and won 2nd place in the Rotary Four Way Speech Competition this year. Jessica has also been involved in Debate since Middle School and she is presently part of an international debate team where she traveled to China last summer and will be traveling to the Czech Republic this July. She will also work as a Debate Counselor this summer for Middle School students.

​However, Jessica’s newest passion is her Etsy Shop. She learned to make jewelry from her grandmother who passed away Christmas 2012 from Pancreatic Cancer. She wanted to combine that love of jewelry and do something to help battle this terrible disease so she has created her Etsy Shop: Earrings 4 Life. She sells handmade, quality earrings and will donate 50% of all the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. So visit her shop at www.etsy.com/shop/earrings4life and help support her cause. Save a Life While Looking Good! Thank you and I hope to see you at my shop!

Teacher comment: Jessica is a great role model for all the students that have a busy high school life with their intensive academics and sports involvements. By continuing her piano study, Jessica will be able to build an impressive resume for her college applications when she graduates from high school, as many colleges and universities value extra-curricular activities, especially in music. Recently, a high profile Senior from New York was interviewed by major newspapers on how he got into every Ivy League School – his essay was on how music impacted his life. If you have not yet read about this impressive young man, click to read this article. 

Jessica is also a great example for students that study music for their own development. Her busy life does not allow her to devote time to study repertoire for competitions, but she can still make tremendous progress by challenging herself to complete requirements for music exams such as Certificate of Merit and National Piano Guild Auditions. In the short time she has been with Yiyi, she has completed Certificate of Merit Level 6 (Branch Honors), and National Piano Guild Auditions Preparatory B National Winner (Superior Plus rating). Our goal is to continue with both exams, so by the time she graduates high school, she will have completed Certificate of Merit Senior Medal, and National Piano Guild High School Diploma. Jessica, I am proud to have you in my studio! Keep up with piano, and let’s continue to work hard to achieve our goals! PS – I love your earrings and your Etsy shop!


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