Spring Recital in Monroeville

It’s been two weeks since our Spring Recital when 19 students  entertained their families and friends with wonderful music. Afterward, the moment they’ve been waiting for finally arrived-they received their Piano Olympics medals for our year-long project of the 2013-14 school year. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded based upon completion of up to 12 music “events”, ranging from memorizing music, composing, organizing their own recitals at home and many others!  In case you weren’t able to be there, the students each  recorded one of their pieces for a slide show recital that will be making it’s debut to our YouTube channel soon. The Summer session begins this week, and we’ve got a great new incentive program planned for September!

Monroeville/Churchill GPS Recital

On Saturday, May 3rd, three of our students participated in the first Great Performers Series (GPS) recital presented by the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association for East suburban members. These recitals have been offered in the past in the North and South Hills, but never here out East. Beulah Presbyterian Church in Churchill graciously offered their facilities and had a reception for all participants and guests afterwards in their Fellowship Hall. Eight teachers entered students into this event, ranging from the youngest beginners to graduating seniors. Our representatives were, Tyler, Tim, and Andy. Congratulations!!

National Music Week

May 4-11, 2014 will be celebrated across the country as ” National Music Week”. The National Federation of Music Clubs ( The Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association is  the local chapter), has created the theme “Music… The Dance of Life” for events being held through the nation. Here in our studio we’re asking all of our students to see how many different dances they can name . From the waltz to the Electric Slide , every generation has had it’s favorites. Each student will be bringing home a sheet with 12 spaces to fill out -let’s see how long of a list we can compile. Dance is universal – feel free to add the national dances from your family’s homeland, as well the popular dances from your, or your parents, high school days. We’ll be adding them all to a wall chart in the studio next week-how long do you think our list will be?

Spring is Finally Here!

“Rhythm and Bulbs” at the Phipps Conservatory Sprin Flower Show

If the Flowers in your yard aren’t brave enough yet to poke their heads out of the ground, head on over to Phipps Conservatory and see the Spring Flower Show, ” Rhythm and Bulbs”- you won’t be disappointed! Music and the smell of  spring bulbs fill the air.

Music has been filling the air in our studio, as well. We’ve just completed our major project of the year, “Piano Olympics”. The bronze, silver, and gold medals that the students have earned by completing various music events will be awarded at our spring recital in June- so mark your calendars for Sunday, June 8th at 1:00. We will again be enjoying the hospitality of Monroeville Community Church on Tillbrook Road in Monroeville for this event.

Elena learning the musical alphabet

Kindergarten student Elena decided this year that she wanted to learn to play piano just like her big sister, Anna. Her she is placing small flash cards and alphabet blocks on a large floor chart of the piano keyboard. Little ones need to spend time “off the bench”, and our floor activities give them lots of opportunities to move around while learning about music.

There area few slots  available for the Winter term, but they generally fill up quickly-Santa often brings pianos and keyboards  for Christmas! If you’re interested, please drop us a line.

Our students "have the blues"!

But don’t feel sorry for them- they’re writing silly words to  a blues tune for a lyric writing contest being held by our friends at Ear Training and Improvisation

Our entries run the gamut from black cat blues and sleepy puppy blues, to hungry king cobra blues (I sure hope they don’t all run into each other!) The folks at Ear Training and Improvisation are awarding the winner an Amazon gift card- that should chase the blues away!

Piano Olympics

We’ve been back to piano lessons for a week or so and are happy to see so many returning students and new ones, as well.

Our first project of the year-and it’s a big one!-is “Piano Olympics”. The  project begins now and lasts through the winter , and, like the real Winter Olympics, our students are aiming for bronze, silver and gold medals!! No, they won’t be skating across the keys, or bench-pressing pianos, but they will have a dozen music events to choose from as they “go for the gold.” The events range from easy ones for the beginners to more challenging ones for the older students. If you want to know which events your child has picked, the Piano Olympics check sheet has been taped in the front cover of their lessons books- check it out!

Grumpy Grandpa’s coming to piano class!

No, not a real Grumpy Grandpa! Right Brain Music. Com has generously given us a set of their new music note flash cards. Visual learners (and the rest of us) will enjoy the wacky cartoon characters assigned to each line and space. Who needs that old “every good boy does fine”, when you can have Dopey Dogs, Fat Fish and Grumpy Grandpa’s to jog your memory? To see more of their learning aids, visit Right Brain Music at: www.rightbrainmusic.com

How can you help your child be successful in piano lessons?

Fall piano lessons begin in less than a month! It’s that time of year when we arm ourselves with school supply lists, inventory last years wardrobe (how could they grow that much over the summer?!) and set out to give  our children the best possible start for the new school year. Here’s a check list to help insure a great piano school year, as well.

Our New Fall Sheet Music!

I’ve been enjoying our Fall shipment of new sheet music from some of our favorite composers, and I know the students will when the come back in September, too. There’s something for everybody  (is that a piece about cats in the left corner?!)

Boxtoven says...

Does your child need a gentle reminder to practice during these lazy summer days? Andrea and Trevor Dow, creators of ” The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratnaninoff” have designed a great little reminder to nudge your little one back to the piano bench-” Boxthoven”! The Dows suggest you go to their website:  http://www.teachpianotoday.com/2013/04/24/leave-the-piano-practice-reminders-to-boxthoveen-a-fun-new-printable/ and down load a sheet of these little reminders. Cut them up and hide them in unexpected places-under the TV remote, in the fridge- you get the idea!! 

Summer Lessons

This is the second week of summer piano classes, and we’ve been having a lot of fun learning to compose music with a new publication for students called “The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratmaninoff”. Written in a comic book style, students help a dog (Muttzart) fill in the missing measures of a compositionthatIsabella,  his owner, has written for her piano recital. Of course, it wasn’t his fault that he chewed up her composition book- the family cat, Ratmaninoff, spread tuna juice on the pages, and, well, Muttzart just couldn’t help but chomp away on it!

The secondsession of summer classes begins July 30th, so there’s still time to sign up and help Muttzart get “out of the dog house”!