Piano Notes – Studio Newsletter November 2014

October Events Recap


The TVMTA Halloween/Fall Recital on October 18 was huge fun! Congratulations to all the students who performed! Click here for more pictures.


On Oct 30, the studio invited John Mario, the new music director and conductor of Inland Valley Symphony to give a Masterclass to the students doing the MTAC Sonata/Sonatina Festival. It was a great experience for the students to receive valuable performance and technique tips from the maestro!

November Schedule

November 11 – I will be playing in the Inland Valley Symphony Veteran’s Day Concert. This is a FREE outdoor concert sponsored by the city of Temecula. Bring your picnic chairs, blankets and snacks and be there at 5:30 pm for a spot on the lawn or courtyard. Concert starts at 6:30pm. Program includes Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, lots of patriotic favorites, including “God Bless America,” “Hymn to the Fallen,” “Armed Forces Salute,” Sousa marches, and music from the musicals “Chicago,” “Carousel,” and “Oklahoma.” Temecula Civic Center 41000 Main St, Temecula, CA 92590 – Free parking. Hope to see some students there!

November 15 – Good luck to the following students who will perform at the MTAC Sonata/Sonatina Festival at Temecula Public Library: Fiona Harley, Meijke Balay-Mickelson, Sam and Thien Sa Luyen, Emma, Hunter and Hudson Erickson, Rachel, Charys and Noelle Hong, Jessica and Jeffrey Kim, Katherine Shepherd, Shania Jin, Ethan and Abigail Phan, Claire Nguyen, Cameron Chang, Ron Lycan, and Kelly Rausch.

photo-29November 19 – I am giving a presentation to MTAC Irvine Branch on private studio management. If you have lessons that day before 3pm, it will be rescheduled.

November 22 – I will be performing lots of chamber music at the Inland Valley Symphony Library Recital at Grace Mellman Library. Come hear Mozart Horn Concerto, Weber Clarinet Concertino, lots of beautiful music for  violin and piano, and of course more beautiful music with my good friend Kate Prestia-Schaub on flute. The recital will start at 2pm and is free to attend.

Student of the Month – Alexa Willis

650Alexa Giuliana Willis was born July 21, 2003 (11 years old) in Dallas, Texas. Soon after relocating from Texas to California at the age of 6, under the influence of her father who always admired pianist and whom never learned himself, she began playing piano. She has two brothers ages 17 and 9. The 9 year old brother Cole also plays the piano. Alexa remains very active. She is an avid reader and she is involved in soccer, basketball, violin, singing, piano, and horseback riding in the Hunter Jumper category. Alexa is fluent in sign language and is currently attempting to learn Spanish. She is undecided as to what she will eventually pursue, but currently she aspires to be either a marine biologist, a school teacher, or have her own nonprofit one day. Recently, this past summer (2014), Alexa and her family moved back to Dallas, Texas however still spends much of their off time in the Southern California area. She continues to be taught by Yiyi Ku via FaceTime lessons long distance.


Teacher comment: It has been a pleasure to be Alexa’s piano teacher. She has come a long way since her first lesson as a 6 year old! Alexa is very musical and plays very expressively. She has performed in the National Piano Guild Auditions 4 times, always a National program winner. At the most recent audition in 2014, she scored a Superior Plus rating in Intermediate D category. She received Branch Honors for Certificate of Merit Level 3 earlier this year, and will be doing Level 5 in 2015. Since Alexa started lessons in the summer of 2010, she and her brother Cole have participated in every single studio recital! What makes teaching Alexa truly enjoyable is her personality. She is genuinely happy, and her positive energy and spirit is infectious! I had no idea (though not surprised) that she is also talented in so many other areas. I think all of her various experiences help to shape her interpretation and expression in music, and vice versa. This is one student I know that will always keep playing the piano because she likes it! Alexa now also has the grand title of being my first ever “online student” in my teaching career! I am grateful that her father sent me the necessary equipments to make that possible. I look forward to helping Alexa continue to grow in her piano skills and find joy in her music-making.

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