New Music Season

brain on music 2Summer Vacation has been GREAT!  I hope that everyone has fully enjoyed this special time of the year.  And now – let the new school year begin!

Music lessons will start the third full week of school – the week of September 26th.  All students from last season have been given priority for registration until September 1st. Registration is now open to all.

You may start by going to  REGISTRATION & INFORMATION REQUEST

                               It’s now time to register for the coming year!  

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Tips to Arrive Prepared for a Music Lesson

Mother and Children Waiting for a School Bus --- Image by © Jim Craigmyle/Corbis

It’s that time of year again.  Time to transition form the carefree summer holidays to the new schedule of school.  Mornings are rough in every household.  Sometimes students come to their lessons with it all – every music book needed – as well as their assignment book!  And, other times they arrive wrinkled and with no books.

It’s possible to train your troops to work in tandem for a smooth, synchronized morning. It will definitely help them to have an organized and smooth progress in their studies.

1. Prep the Night Before
The key to morning efficiency is in what you can do ahead of time.

Establish a morning routine for your kids, and encourage them to check their backpacks before bedtime to make sure homework and books are packed – especially music books the night before their lesson day. Perhaps have them put an alarm on the calender of their MP3 player or phone.

2. Reward Consistency + Practice
It’s really tough to get yourself ready while trying to get someone else ready, too. One strategy is to get up a half hour before your kids, but there’s another way: make it into a game!

Announce to your children that whoever’s ready for the school bus gets a sticker on a “morning routine chart.”  Once they’ve reached five stickers, reward them with a small but irresistible prize — like music control in the car for the week!

3. Bundle Books
Prevent the panic of being halfway out the door only to realize you have no idea where all of the books are. Put all essential items in the same spot every time that they are finished. It’s preferable to have a special bag to keep the books in whenever not actively using them.  This keeps them all together and handy for “grab and go” when they were unfortunately forgotten in the previous night’s backpack check.

Overscheduled Piano Students

Some students have too much on their plate to enjoy life!

Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

Here’s a snapshot of overloaded kids FOLLOWING their Friday afternoon piano lessons.

MOM: “Shiloh, Get ready for swimming. Your towel is folded into your backpack…. Math Club reminder. Your cubic folder is on top of your cups. (athletic protectors), and grab your Ukelele for choir. (The private school purchased 150 ukeleles so each over-booked kid got one.)

“Honey, your fanny pack has three snacks separately wrapped and labeled. They should last you until Ian’s mom swings by for soccer. Grab your cleats, shin guards, and uniform, please. Benedict’s dad should be parked behind the goal posts to take you both to horseback riding. Pack the saddle and riding boots. And put your snorkeling gear on top of your dresser for tomorrow, before Swim Meet and Soccer Play-offs.”

Lila, the older sister, had tennis lessons, breast stroke, harmonica ensemble and miscellaneous. Mom doubled on all instructions, hardware, software, everything short of making sure…

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It Takes Two Generations…

15 guidelines for fast-tracking your family’s musical development!

Elissa Milne

This year I have had a handful of gorgeous beginners taking lessons with me. I’m trialling new material for beginners and I need a cohort of children of different ages, genders, interests and learning styles so I can really test a range of approaches I believe will be more effective than the approaches I’ve used in the past. I haven’t auditioned these new students prior to accepting them into my studio –  inviting a diverse group of children to explore the piano and learn musicianship and performance skills with me gives me my best chance of testing my material (as well as keeping me on my toes!).

Of all the diversities amongst these beginners the greatest is probably this: some children come from families of professional musicians while some come from families where no one has ever learned an instrument.

What does this mean? On the surface it means that…

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4 Things You Can Do to Help Your Child Learn Piano

Searching for creative and constructive ideas for motivating a child’s practice habits? PIANO Mama has some great ideas. Check them out!

Diary of a Piano Mama

Did you know that when an aeroplane takes off they use about half of the fuel required for the flight from take-off to level off? That’s an enormous amount of energy in the few minutes at the very start of the flight before they reach their cruising altitude.

Just imagine if you and your child made a massive effort in the first 6-12 months of piano lessons and then your child was able to enjoy ‘cruising’ along the learning-piano process for the next 10 years!

Here is what we did with PianoGirl. Perhaps it could work for your child too!

1.Timetable practice into your daily schedule.

Seriously.

Nothing but nothing but nothing (but nothing) will replace actual time spent on the piano, each day.

With any luck your child will have a lovely time spending 30mins each week with a piano teacher – piano teachers are notoriously lovely people, after…

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