Incentives, Master Classes, Newsletters, Piano Lesson Success, Recital, Seasonl/Holiday, Uncategorized

Christmas Recital & Masterclasses

December was a busy but beautiful month! We spent hours of practice time preparing for the recital. I personally spent an extra amount of time in daily practice as I was challenged by family members to do an advent calendar of piano music!  For each day of practice we all did, we added a link to a paper chain. You can see our Christmas Practice chain really filled out!
Our recital went off with only one technical hitch and the audience enjoyed dozens of beautiful piano solos, several festive ensembles and a ukulele led carol sing!

We wrapped up 2019 with Christmas Master Classes the week after recital! It was a fun way to celebrate and bond!

We played a few rounds of Holiday Who Am I.

Then we reviewed note naming (key naming for the preschool class) with a Snowball Fight Game. Teams raced their way up the mountain to see which team would be the first to declare “snowball fight”!

We did a little improvising utilizing the “snowflake technique” a repeating pattern found in The Piano Guys video “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.


And we did a little solo playing.

3BC54074-3978-450D-B9F3-2CB534F2E38DWe wrapped up our class with popcorn and one more favourite Piano Guys video:

Incentives, Newsletters, Seasonl/Holiday, Uncategorized

Practicing for Pennies!

Tis the season for giving … and spreading kindness, love and cheer. And we hope to do a lot of that at our studio here through the music we are learning and preparing to share with you for the upcoming Christmas recital as well as throughout the holidays. But that’s not the only way we hope to share kindness and cheer this holiday season.

Last week, on November 13th, was World Kindness Day and my daughter remarked, “What? There’s actually a day designated to be kind to each other?” Yes, there actually is! And it got me to thinking that maybe it is meant to remind us that we should be spreading kindness each and every day…and why not start now! So, I am putting a challenge out to all my students to practice for pennies….and share with those less fortunate this Christmas.

I am going to pledge ONE PENNY PER PRACTICE MINUTE to each and every one of my students. All they need to do is track and log their practice minutes between now and their last lesson prior to the Christmas Recital. I would encourage my students to ask their parents or relatives to match my pledge of one penny per practice minute and see just how much money we can raise between now and our Christmas recital. Then during the week of the December master classes (the week after the recital) we will choose gifts and countries to give to from the Food for the Hungry gift catalogue.

So, what do you need to do? Practice! …of course… but also tally your practice minutes each day and then again at the end of the week. Bring me your final total to your lesson during the week of December 9-13th along with a record of any other people who have pledged as well and how much you’ve raised on your own. That way I can add up the total number of practice minutes and share that at the Christmas recital. If you let me know of other pledges you have then I can add that to the total raised. Then collect those funds (if applicable) and bring them in to the master classes during the week of December 16-18. I will be able to total it all and we can choose our gifts and countries.

So, let’s get practicing….after all, you only have until your last lesson before the Christmas recital to log those minutes! My challenge to you is to see if we can reach 10,000 minutes of practice as a student body between now and our Christmas Recital!

Remember: participation in this challenge is completely optional and it is up to you whether or not you want to keep track of practice minutes. It does NOT require extra practice time or extra pledges unless that is something you feel you want to do. I just thought it would be a nice way to use our time and our talents to help someone in need. 🙂

Newsletters, Recital, Seasonl/Holiday, Uncategorized

November/December Newsletter 2012

I can’t believe we are heading into our last week of November! Where did the month go? I really need to get a start on my Christmas shopping. Anyway, I have a newsletter full of what the upcoming weeks will hold for us and some very important dates! Read carefully….remember no skim-reading!!

A couple of our students took part in a Young Composer’s Workshop for 4 weeks this fall and congratulations go out to Delaney. She was partnered with George Andrix, composer and violinist for the ESO, and was chosen by him to play her piano composition at the upcoming Contemporary Showcase Gala Concert on November 30th at Alberta College. For any other students who are interested in composing, we will have a chance to look at that in the New Year!

We have just 3 more lessons to go before the Christmas recital arrives. All the students are working on Christmas pieces right now and we will spend these next few weeks making sure we are prepared. Our recital, once again, will be held on December 14th from 6:30-7:30pm in the main auditorium of the First Church of the Nazarene, 14320 94 street. I usually send out an Evite invitation via email around the first week or so of December with an map attached so keep your eyes open for that.

The next three lessons will take place on our regular days and times as we prepare for recital, but the week following the recital will be a little different. The last week of school this year is December 17-21 and is often full of school Christmas concerts and so traditionally we have special themed group lessons that week with many flexible times to choose from and sign up for. During that week of December, regular lessons and classes will be cancelled and instead I will have special group lessons offered on various days at various times so that you can choose which hour works best in your schedule for that particular week. These special group lessons are for ALL the piano students whether they are in Sunshine, Sunbeams, Moonbeams or Private Lessons. They are UN-PARENTED and mixed ages and levels and give the students an fun opportunity to get to know other students as well as giving our faithful parents an hour or so to themselves during the busy Christmas season to grab a coffee or do some last minute shopping. Classes usually last about 60-75 minutes and can accommodate roughly 10 students per class. I will be sending out the exact days and times to choose from in another week.
The theme of this year’s December group lesson will be: “Christmas at Mr. Bach’s House”. The students will be getting a fun dose of music history while learning about the life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach, listening to some of his creations and finding out what Christmas might have looked like at his house. A little fact sheet about Mr. Bach will be sent home to read over with your child to prepare them for some of the activities and since Mr. Bach loved having music played at his house, I will be asking them to prepare a SOLO piece to play for their group…it can be different from their recital piece or the same, whatever they would prefer. Stay tuned for more info!

Following that we will break for Christmas from December 21st to January 6th.

Lessons will resume on January 7th at their regularly scheduled times. We will begin a bit of a composition focus in January. All the MYC students will begin learning about composing and compose their very own piece of music ton enter in the MYC Composition Festival. All the private students will have the opportunity to compose as well or they may choose to work on arranging a favorite piece of music using a lead sheet as a guide or focus on improvising on a theme–this will all be with the goal in mind of sharing and showcasing our creations during our very own mini-recital/contemporary showcases here in studio during the third week of February.

Bu,t as you are keeping these upcoming plans in mind, please note on your calendars that I will be away from January 20-27th. There will be no lessons that week, however we will still have plenty of time left in the year to get all of our 34 lessons in by the mid-week of June.

Thank you again to everyone who has liked the studio Facebook page! We now have 18 likes, my goal is 30 by the New Year. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out: