National Guild 2019

National Guild 2019: an unequivocal success!

May 30 was a BIG day as the National Guild Auditions took place in our Studio with judge Preta Laughlin.  Whether this was your first (Calvin & Madison) or 10th (Lilia) and everyone in between, this is no small feat!  Each student prepared 10 or 15 memorized pieces and technical phases.  Gavin, Isabella, and Chloe have reached 5 years of Auditions at the National Level--this milestone will be noted in the National Piano Guild Magazine.  Chloe took on a double program with the Sonatina Plaque, 5 complete sonatinas (15 movements), as well as the National Level Audition.  Lilia tested for her 10th year and High School Diploma/Scholarship, which 15 advanced level memorized repertoire pieces and technical phases, a 90 minutes marathon test.

EVERYONE PASSED WITH SUPERIOR OR SUPERIOR PLUS! HOORAY! You students all amaze me! You should all feel proud of what you accomplished this year!

Results:

Superior:

Madison, Isabella, Lucas, Calvin, Sky, Viveka

Superior Plus:

Lilia, Luke, Judson, Gavin, Chloe, Chloe Sonatina, Megan

17 Young Olympia Pianists Learn and Master over 550 pieces! 

40-Piece Challenge Results for 2019!

Yes, this number is true!  Five hundred fifty!  Each student keeps track of pieces they have learned over the year as part of the 40 piece challenge.  40 pieces, you ask, is this for real?  It is a huge challenge, especially as they advance and pieces become harder.  Even if a student learns 10 pieces, this is a substantial accomplishment!  30 pieces... Astounding.  And 40 is positively Monumental! 

As a teacher, I love to have students learn pieces of many styles and periods.  It broadens their repertoire and helps them learn to read on sight.  The more one reads through music, the better reader they will become!  They also learn more composers’ styles and ways to express themselves.

There was one problem with this challenge:  beginner students had much shorter pieces to learn, while some advanced students are tackling pieces that may be 500+ hundred measures in length!  So to make it more fair, this year we allowed for advanced students to count each 50 measures as a piece (75, if it was a concerto, due to the orchestral tutti sections).  

We have a tie for first place with 36 pieces:  congratulations go to Lilia & Linnea!  Good job!  2nd place with over 30 pieces go to:  Chloe and Landon!  3rd place, yet another tie with 26 pieces:  Judson and Gavin! There were quite a few others not far behind that, and with every piece, each of you accomplished something with the amazing and beautiful pieces you learned.  These are now *your* pieces!  WAY TO GO, EVERYONE! 

Scale Olympics 2019!

Our final group class of the year featured the SCALE OLYMPICS! Everyone had 3 minutes to demonstrate their Guild Technical Requirements. They included scales (major, all modes of minor, contrary), chords and inversions, arpeggios, plagal and authentic cadences, and dominant and diminished 7th chords. Wow! You guys know your “stuff”! It was a fun way to have a practice run before the Guild Auditions. Even those who did not receive the top three spots did AMAZING. Anyone who can do this technique has accomplished much and will improve their music-making!

Results:

4-5pm Class:

Gold: Sky (40!)

Silver: Chloe (36!)

Bronze: Isabella (30!)

5-6pm Class:

Gold: Lilia (41!)

Silver: Viveka (36!)

Bronze: Lucas (31!)

MCE Competition Results!

Masterworks Chorale Ensemble hosted their 18th annual Young Musicians’ Competition on May 4, 2019. Students from 3 divisions (Elementary, Middle School, and High School) participated, with four distinguished judges on the panel. The level of energy and nerves was high, and the level of playing was very impressive! Sky and Chloe represented our studio; both played so well. Maya (student of L. Henderson) and Ramona played in the HS division.

WINNER: Congratulations to Chloe, winner of the Middle School division! As a winner, she will receive a scholarship and a performance at a MCE concert in the 2019-2020 season. Congrats to Maya as well, winner of the High School division!

So proud of these talented young musicians!  Sky played an exquisite “Meditation from Thais” and Chloe won over the judges with her “Fantasie Impromptu”.

So proud of these talented young musicians! Sky played an exquisite “Meditation from Thais” and Chloe won over the judges with her “Fantasie Impromptu”.

Music Artistry Program 2019 with Jee Wong

The 2019 M.A.P. was a huge accomplishment for all of our students! Every student participated, including a student of student teacher Lilia. Our visiting artist, Jee Wong from Las Vegas, had some wonderful comments for each young pianist. A few are listed below. Congratulations to everyone: Landon, Linnea, Gavin, Sky, Madison, Megan, Judson, Calvin, Lucas, Lilia, Alexander, Luke, Viveka, Isabella, and Chloe! What an enjoyable way to spend a day, listening to all of you!

Winners were chosen for the OMTA Honors Recital. Congratulations to these wonderful young pianists! Click below to see their performance:

Sky, Handel Sonata https://youtu.be/zPZ9_EFSIM8

Chloe, Chopin Fantasie Impromptu https://youtu.be/ItKURoYtH8o

Megan, Chopin Polonaise in AM https://youtu.be/NmIFR2sbJ6A

Alternates are: Lilia, Calvin, Isabella

Good job and thank you for all of your hard work!

Some comments by Jee Wong:

Keep your bridge firm. If a spaceship were to land on your bridge, would it hold it up or collapse?

Press into this molding clay. That’s how hard you need to press the keys.

For accents, imagine I’m going to suddenly put an ice pack on your back!

How do you say the same thing 4 times loudly? Scream, yell, scold, raise voice.

Feel the forward momentum of the music. Make a wheel with your arm and spin!

Bounce your wrist, like you are dunking a teabag into a cup of water.

You know your notes, now let you and show FREEDOM!

Big chords and accents: grab a dandelion and yank it out by the roots!

Chopin NW 2019 News

Due to the 2019 “Snow-pocalype”, Chopin NW was moved forward a week to Feb. 16. Lilia had planned to play her Scherzo #1. Megan performed the Polonaise in A Major and Prelude in F# minor. Chloe played Trois Nouvelle Etude #1 and Fantasie Impromptu.

Video clips will be available soon!

Update: Chloe won a Silver Medal in Division 3. Way to go, Chloe!

AMAZING PIANO PAL PROJECTS!

At last month’s group lesson, students filled out a short questionnaire about themselves, then were secretly assigned a “pal” to compose for. The results were amazing! Everyone was able to write something meaningful and delightful, despite finals week for our high schoolers!

Piano+Pal+1.jpg
Piano+Pal+2.jpg
Piano+Pal+4.jpg
Piano+Pal+5.jpg
Piano+Pal+6.jpg

CONCERTO 2018 RESULTS!

This year, we had 8 students participating in the Concerto Festival: Luke, Viveka, Calvin (Lower Intermediate); Isabella, Sky (Upper Intermediate); Chloe (Advanced A); Megan and Lilia (Advanced B). Every one of you played VERY WELL! I’m so proud of all of you! Of course, with 60 of the best young pianists in the region, not everyone will get a prize, but you should all be proud of your efforts and your ability to do your best under pressure. You are all fantastic young pianists!

Winners:

Lower Intermediate: Calvin, 3rd place.

Upper Intermediate: Isabella, Honorable Mention.

Advanced A: Chloe, 1st place!

Advanced B: Lilia, 1st place!

Advanced B: Megan, Honorable Mention.

The first prize winners in the Advanced A and Advanced B sections win a performance with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra in February. It is always a spectacular concert, and I hope many from our studio will be able to attend to watch and support Chloe and Lilia! They will be performing from Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto and Mendelssohn’s 1st Piano Concerto.

Calvin (3rd prize), Luke, and Viveka: Lower Intermediate Division

Calvin (3rd prize), Luke, and Viveka: Lower Intermediate Division

Sky and Isabella (Honorable Mention): Upper Intermediate Division

Sky and Isabella (Honorable Mention): Upper Intermediate Division

Chloe (1st prize), Advanced A division:  she performed Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto, 3rd movement.

Chloe (1st prize), Advanced A division: she performed Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto, 3rd movement.

Lilia (1st prize) and Megan (Honorable Mention):  Advanced B division.  Lilia performed Mendelssohn’s G minor Concerto, 3rd movement, and Megan performed Shostakovich’s Concertino, Op. 94.

Lilia (1st prize) and Megan (Honorable Mention): Advanced B division. Lilia performed Mendelssohn’s G minor Concerto, 3rd movement, and Megan performed Shostakovich’s Concertino, Op. 94.

All smiles after the competition!

All smiles after the competition!

Concerto Recital and Competition

As you may know, the OMTA has put on a Concerto Competition for many years. This year, it will be Saturday, Nov. 17, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (1601 North St. SE). It is free and open to the public. There are 5 divisions and start times are listed:

Elementary - 8:05am

Lower Intermediate - 9:55am

Upper Intermediate - 12:30pm

Advanced A (Baroque/Classical) - 2:10pm

Advanced B (Romantic/Contemporary) - 4:40pm

We will be having a Concerto Recital the week before on Friday, Nov. 9, 7-8pm (at my house) featuring 8 students from our studio. Please feel free to come to either, or both! The level of playing is fantastic, and I know you will enjoy hearing these young pianists! I especially encourage anyone considering next year's Concerto Fest to come. Cookies will be served!

For the students performing at the competition on the 17th, please check in 10 min. before your division's start time. Bring your music for the judges and make sure the measures are numbered. As discussed in lessons, it's time to get into "performance practice" mode! Thank you all for your hard work!

It's been an exciting fall, full of good music learning. I am thankful to be working with such an amazing group of kids!

Tiny Piano Creations!

Judson came to his lesson today with some of the tiniest pianos I have ever seen, all created by himself!

The first piano is made of nano blocks of his own design. Since he also plays the cello, note the little white cello leaning on a chair, and the music stand. So creative!

The first piano is made of nano blocks of his own design. Since he also plays the cello, note the little white cello leaning on a chair, and the music stand. So creative!

The black piano and bench is an origami design he found online.

The black piano and bench is an origami design he found online.

Note the black endpin detail for the cello.  P.S. You should ask Judson about his ship designs sometime…amazing!

Note the black endpin detail for the cello.

P.S. You should ask Judson about his ship designs sometime…amazing!

Build a Piano, Eat a Piano?

Can you build a piano and eat a piano, all in the same day?  One student proved it is possible!  Here are some pics from Gavin's mom to prove it!  

<generated-44b101146c8c8c5fb7d68befc3cb7691@messagingengine.com>.jpeg
<generated-fa0529dca83d0d73bc779735a8fc393b@messagingengine.com>.jpeg
<generated-5c235a4f9bf2028e400593f3dc6f35b0@messagingengine.com>.jpeg
<generated-518372e2c8d114a4ec67fa5ad87b95a9@messagingengine.com>.jpeg

This piano looks amazing!  And delicious!  Gavin, will you please bring an edible piano to our next piano party?!  

National Guild Update

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL GUILD PARTICIPANTS!!  I'm pleased to announce ALL students received a Superior Plus or Superior rating!  Wow!  We also had three perfect scores:  Lilia and Chloe (2x!).  Four scored 40 or over!  Lilia, Chloe (2x), Alex. Good work to everyone!  

SUMMER MUSIC MAKING IDEAS

A sheet was passed out to students at the Spring Recital for summer music making ideas.  Anyone who completes 8 of these by the first fall lesson will get a prize!  

1.  Attend a live music concert!  Write down your favorite songs and what instruments you saw.

2.  Perform a mini-recital for your relatives or friends.  Make your own recital program on the computer.  Be sure to include a bio of yourself and list at least 4 pieces you will perform.

3.  Learn 2 new pieces from your lesson books, and surprise me at your next lesson!

4.  Purchase a new piece of music from the local music store or online with your parents and learn it!

5.   Teach a piece to a younger sibling or friend.  Write your friend's name and the piece title you chose!  If you do this twice, this counts twice!

6.  Compose a simple, short piece.  Give it a title and perform it for me at your next lesson.

7.  Listen to at least one piece of music by each of these composers online with your parents:  Franz Liszt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Sergei Rachmaninoff.  Write down your favorite!

8.  Play all of your scales and technique with metronome.  Write down the metronome speed for each day.  Stay with the metronome and see if you can get 4 notches faster!

9.  Listen to piano music while you eat your breakfast every morning.  Mix it up to include different styles!

10.  Learn a duet and play with someone.  It can be with another pianist or a different instrument.  

11.  Watch 4 "Piano Guys" videos on youtube with your parents.  

12.  Research how an acoustic piano works.

13.  Listen to a bird song and see if you can replicate it on the piano

14.  Research how to safely clean your piano and give those keys a good scrubbing!

15.  Interview aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents and find out what instruments they know how to play.  How many people in your family play an instrument?

16.  Make an Origami Piano (https://www.alfred.com/blog/free-piano-origami-activity/?utm_source=silverpop&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Social_All_20180701_BlogRecap_July%20(1)&spMailingID=13821053&spUserID=NjQ5Mzg1ODk1NzgS1&spJobID=1440424276&spReportId=MTQ0MDQyNDI3NgS2)

17.  Give your piano a big hug when you return from a vacation, and play your favorite piece!

VICS Recital at Panorama!

Four musical friends presented a delightful concert for seniors at Panorama on Monday, June 18 @ 6pm.  Viveka, Isabella, Chloe and Sky (VICS) performed on piano, cello and violin in solos, duos and even a trio!  Next time, we'll have to find a quartet!  The audience loved it and had wonderful encouraging comments for all of them.  Thanks for sharing your music with our community!

Lilia and Megan perform at Panorama June 15 @ 6pm!

Lilia and Megan delighted a group of seniors with an amazing recital at Panorama's Quinault Auditorium on Friday, June 15, 2018.  The audience was enthusiastic as they nodded and hummed along to a number of pieces.  The girls performed 3 sets of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.  After "guest artist" Lucas performed a couple pieces, Megan and Lilia played several modern pieces, ending with a flashy duet of Chopsticks.  After the recital, we found out a number of members in the crowd were former musicians, band members and singers, even one was a former music professor at Dekalb!  The concert was followed by a delicious dinner at local "Hot Stone" and "Grandpa's Ice-cream".  

The crowd loved the "C.S. Variations" duet as well as the other pieces performed!

The crowd loved the "C.S. Variations" duet as well as the other pieces performed!

0615182120b.jpg
IMG_8022.jpg

End of the Year Piano Updates & Summer Lessons

Happy Mother's Day 2018!

END OF THE YEAR:  GUILD, RECITAL
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and Guild/Recital/End of Piano Quarter is even sooner--three more weeks as of this coming Tuesday!  I will be sending home Guild sheets this coming week which contain a summary of all required elements of the exam at the National level--10 items!  I told many students that THIS WEEK is the week to get the pieces polished and memorized, so there is enough time to feel comfortable and focus on artistry and expression, rather than notes and memory.  I am so proud of these kids, they have worked hard all year and really sound wonderful!  Quite a few students have learned over 20 pieces this year; several are over 30 pieces, and one is close to 40!  Families, wouldn't it be a great experience for students to put on a mini-recital for grandparents, neighbors, and friends?  Please consider having them share their music with others!  If any of you are interested in playing in a retirement center or nursing home or other community center, let me know, and I can help you set something up!  They are so appreciative!

SUMMER LESSONS AND CAMP
Summer lessons are available these weeks on a limited basis.  Please let me know which weeks would work for you.  If your student is planning to do the Concerto Competition in November at the Intermediate or Advanced levels, 2 lessons *minimum* are required.  
June 11
June 18
June 25
July 9
July 16 (also Ensemble Piano Camp at my home)
August lessons (TBA)

Music Artistry Program 2018 Update

The 2018 Music Artistry Program (formerly known as Adjudications) took place the week of March 15, with Sandra Mauchley as our adjudicator/Visiting Artist.  Sandra was positive and encouraging and had helpful comments for everyone!  Students all worked hard, showing excellent preparation.  She selected these students for special honors:

HONORS RECITAL -  Winners:  Alex, Lilia and Megan--congratulations!  Alternates:  Chloe, Sky and Gavin.  Good job to everyone!

WSMTA HONORS RECITAL COMPETITION -Lilia and Chloe received an Honorable Mentions and will receive a gold medallion on their certificates!