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!  

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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!

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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!

 

Chloe Performs for the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble Concert!

On April 14, our own Chloe was the featured "Youth Guest Artist" onstage at the Washington Center for the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble Concert.  As the winner of the MCE Youth Competition last spring, Chloe was given this opportunity to perform, as well as a cash scholarship.  Way to go, Chloe!

MCE's concert was all about Women Composers, entertaining the crowd with pieces by Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, Fanny Mendelssohn, and others. Chloe played Polonaise 1 & 2 from Clara Schumann's Quatre Polonaise, Op. 1.  Clara was the same age as Chloe when she composed these four pieces.  Chloe played with a youthful energy that those listening could imagine Clara herself had! 

 Chloe smiling in front of her poster at the Washington Center. &nbsp;This must be after her performance,&nbsp;she looks so happy!

Chloe smiling in front of her poster at the Washington Center.  This must be after her performance, she looks so happy!

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 Biography from the concert program

Biography from the concert program

 Concert program cover art

Concert program cover art

Allen Studio Featured in National Piano Magazine!

Our entire studio was selected to be featured in the Spring 2018 issue of "Piano Guild News!"  Especially mentioned are our 5-year National Winners, Eleanor and Luke.  Congratulations to everyone!  I'm looking forward to another great Guild Performance from each of you!

 L to R: &nbsp;Hannah, Gavin, Lucas, Luke, Judson, Lucy, Eleanor, Makayla, Megan, Tyler, Lilia, Henry, Chloe, Isabella, Viveka, Ramona

L to R:  Hannah, Gavin, Lucas, Luke, Judson, Lucy, Eleanor, Makayla, Megan, Tyler, Lilia, Henry, Chloe, Isabella, Viveka, Ramona

Lilia and Chloe take on the Chopin NW 2018!

Two students from our studio, Lilia and Chloe, took part in the 15th Chopin NW Piano Competition.  Featuring all piano music of Chopin, it was a day filled with beautiful music and incredible performances.  There were 6 divisions according to age, from under 9 years old to 18 year olds and adults.  

RESULTS:  Chloe won the Silver Medal in the 10-11 year category!  Congratulations on your hard work and exceptional performance, Chloe!  You can see her competition performance:  https://youtu.be/_xkC1QK_zLE; as well as her performance at the Winners' Recital here:  https://youtu.be/fa89RkPE7rY

A message from the President of the Chopin NW, Allan Park, summarizes the event:

Dear Chopin NW Winners, RESONANCE Manager, teachers and board members,

WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY! Four rooms, four judges, 170 contestants, 32 hours of Chopin’s music and thousands of practicing hours brought us to this pivotal point to say CONGRATULATIONS to you all! You deserve the spotlight and I am certain that we will have a beautiful Gold and Silver Medalists’ Concert tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 pm (Gold Medalists) and 4:30 (Silver Medalists)!

 Chloe and Lilia are all smiles after the Chopin NW!

Chloe and Lilia are all smiles after the Chopin NW!

Concerto Competition 2017 Results

Congratulations to Luke, Gavin, Viveka, Isabella, Sky, Chloe, Lilia, Megan and Alex for beautiful performances at the 2017 OMTA Concerto Competition!  It was an impressive group of almost 60 young pianists from the greater Olympia region, performing concerti from Elementary to Advanced repertoire.  The audience had a memorable time, as the above students played so musically and masterfully.  Full results can be found on the olymta.org website in the next few days.

From our studio, special awards go to:  

Isabella (2nd prize, Lower Intermediate);

Sky (HM, Upper Intermediate);

Chloe (1st prize, Upper Intermediate);

Lilia (HM, Advanced A);

Alex (2nd prize, Advanced B);

Megan (3rd prize, Advanced B).  

Congratulations to all of you!

 

 Viveka and Isabella played beautifully in the Intermediate A Division. Isabella received 2nd place!

Viveka and Isabella played beautifully in the Intermediate A Division. Isabella received 2nd place!

 Sky and Chloe performed in the Intermediate B Division. Sky received HM and Chloe 1st prize! Michael (student of Beecher who photobombed us and also was accompanied by Ramona), received 2nd prize.

Sky and Chloe performed in the Intermediate B Division. Sky received HM and Chloe 1st prize! Michael (student of Beecher who photobombed us and also was accompanied by Ramona), received 2nd prize.

 Megan performed Rhapsody in Blue and was awarded 3rd prize in Advanced B. Lilia played Mozart #21 for an HM, and Alex was awarded 2nd prize for his Shostakovich #2!

Megan performed Rhapsody in Blue and was awarded 3rd prize in Advanced B. Lilia played Mozart #21 for an HM, and Alex was awarded 2nd prize for his Shostakovich #2!

 Alex and Megan show off their hardware!

Alex and Megan show off their hardware!

Fall Master Lessons & Classes

Dr. Oksana Ezhokina (PLU) has a knack for putting a new spin on our music!  Fun(ny) and helpful phrases include:  "Be a drama queen!"  "Make it sound like melting chocolate."  "Be surly!  Show us your swagger!"  "Have fun jumping!  Feel like you're punching a cookie cutter."

Daniel Lebhardt, a young Hungarian pianist of YCA fame, came to St. Martin's Univ for a concert and masterclass. Mr. Lebhardt was extremely detailed, quietly listening for every tiny nuance!  He urged the students to "Be strict with yourself!  Ask yourself, was it good enough?  If not, do it again until it is.  Another quote of his:  "Always remember, you play piano with your ears, not your hands!"  

 

Summer 2017 Music Making

Summer Recitals by Chloe, Isabella, Lilia & Megan:

These four students performed recitals at local retirement centers this summer, much to the delight of those in attendance!  

Chloe performed her first solo recital (at 10 years old!) and did a musical and masterful showcase.  

Isabella and her two brothers, Ben (violin) and Jacob (cello) perform as the Swords and Shields Trio.  They were very well received, especially an original composition by one of the brothers!  

Lilia and Megan performed a duo recital to a lovely and appreciative crowd, pleasing them with their National Guild concert repertoire.  

What a wonderful way to contribute to our community and to create a musical afternoon or evening for others!

Other summer musical activities included:  

Lilia:  Icicle Creek Piano Camp, Appletree Productions (piano)

Megan:  Poomba in the Lion King (CTE), Appletree Productions (piano)

Alex:  CTE and Appletree Productions--lighting, stage design, piano and violin

 

 

Chloe wins the MCE Youth Competition!

Congratulations to our own Chloe on winning the Elementary Division of the Masterworks Chorale Ensemble!  She performed a Chopin Prelude and a Waltz for a panel of 4 judges.  Competition was stiff, as the level of playing was very high!  As a prize winner, she will be featured in a MCE concert for the 2018-19 season, along with the winners of the Middle and High School division, Maya and Caddie.  Good job to all three of them, and to all who performed!  

For information on MCE and their upcoming concerts, please go to mce.org.  

 

Hannah and Chloe receive accolades at ACM!

On April 1st, Hannah and Chloe participated the 8th annual ACM Young Musicians Competition.  Hannah played Liszt's Liebestraume No. 3 and received 2nd prize (Div. 4), and Chloe played Chopin's Minute Waltz and received an Honorable Mention (Div. 1 only receives HM's). The adjudicator was Dr. Balabanova.  Congratulations to both of you!

Adjudications 2017

Congratulations to everyone on a successful Piano Adjudications 2017!  Professor Jeffrey Gilliam, professor of piano at Western Washington University, had many helpful insights for all.  Good job, everyone!

Quite a few of our students were selected as winners for the Honor Recital:  

Upper Level Winners:  Hannah, Megan (Alternate:  Lilia)

Lower Level Winners:  Isabella, Judson (Alternate:  Viveka)

Honorable Mentions:  Alex, Eleanor, Chloe, Gavin