Student of the Month

MARCH’S STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Sabrina Yang

Arabesque – Burgmuller

Sabrina Yang is 10 years old and attends Bissonet Plaza Elementary School.  Reading is her favorite subject and also her favorite hobby.  In addition to her studies at Bissonet, Sabrina also attends Chinese School once a week on the weekends.  She enjoys her piano lessons because she likes receiving new pieces and learning them on her own at home.  Sabrina recently participated in the Louisiana Federation of Music Club’s Festival Competition where she received her third consecutive Superior Rating.  She will be receiving a Gold Cup trophy for 3 Superior Ratings at her annual Piano Recital this Spring.

Student of the Month

FEBRUARY’S STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Sarah Fath

Festiva! – Goldston

Sarah is in the second grade at Atonement Lutheran School in Metairie, LA.  Her favorite subject is Math, and she is enjoying learning how to write in script.  She is an excellent student, receiving all A’s and B’s on her report card.  In addition to her studies, she plays volleyball and recently won a trophy in soccer!  She enjoys piano because she likes the sound of the piano and likes her teacher.

Festival date

Hello everyone!

I wanted to let you all know that I finally have the Festival date for this year.  It will be taking place on Saturday, February 12th at Delgado Community College.  It is particularly early this year, so please be sure that all students planning to participate attend ALL of their lessons between now and then and are working on their two festival pieces at home.  For those who are new to this event, students will have to prepare and memorize 2 pieces to play in front of a judge.  Please check their notebooks for the most up-to-date information on what they should be practicing at home.  Thanks!

 

Student of the Month

Hi parents!

I recently came up with an idea to start recognizing one student a month on the website, and I wanted to gauge everyone’s thoughts on that idea.  Each “Student of the Month” would have a little paragraph about their school accomplishments, outside activities, and any special awards or recognition they have received in piano or otherwise.  I will include recordings for any students who have already made some in their lessons, as well.  I think this is a good way for the students to get to know each other better and for each student to be individually recognized for their work.  What do you think?  I welcome all opinions and suggestions!

Christmas Holidays

Hi parents!

It’s that time of year again, and I know many of you will be leaving town for the holidays.  Those students whose lessons are on Fridays and Saturdays will need to speak with me about their plans for rescheduling lessons for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day.  I can make arrangements to reschedule one or both lessons, but I will need plenty of advance notice.  Also, please let me know if you will be taking any extended vacations, so we can make arrangements for makeup lessons if necessary.  Please call or speak to me at your child’s next lesson!  Thanks, and check back soon for some new website updates!

Practice tips for the younger beginner

One of the questions I am probably asked most often by parents is, “Is it normal for my kid to not want to practice.”  The answer is yes.  Unfortunately, I have not had many students who do enjoy practicing, and I certainly wasn’t the exception to the rule.  The process of practicing is usually not nearly as fun as just about everything else when a child is 7, but when the student sees things getting easier and pieces becoming a little bit more interesting, this will usually change.  For my students ages 6-9, I have some tips that might make practice time a little easier for everyone.

1. Create a routine. Make a specific time each day for practicing, just as you would dinner time and bath time.  The more automatic it becomes for a child to go to the piano, the more independent they will become in their practicing.

2.  Sit with your child. It makes all the difference in the world for you child to know that their practicing is as important to you as it is to them.  They may need help learning the note names and placing their hands on the correct keys in the beginning.  It is important for the parents to be encouraging and provide support when the child gets frustrated.  The more practice time becomes a chore, the less willing your child will be to participate in lessons.

3. Let your child teach you. One of the best ways to learn is to teach others how to do what you do…I know from personal experience!  Not only will you be able to help you child practice, but you will also be able to see how much they know and what they may still need to work on.  It is fun for children to be able to teach their parents, for once!

4. Break up the time. Younger children often have trouble sitting through an entire 30-minute practice session while still maintaining focus.  Try having them practice 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, or 15 minutes right when they get home from school and 15 minutes after homework.  30 minutes of practice can be accomplished in many different ways.  Give your child options, and they will be more willing to put in the time they need at home.

5. Give them a free day. When I was little, my teacher used to give me one day a week that was dedicated to practicing old pieces or pieces I had already finished.  Not only was it a much needed respite from the typical practice day, but it also ensured that I would always have something to play when people came over and helped improve my long-term memory!

6. Ask questions! If you are not sure what my notes mean or simply need me to explain what I have been doing with your child in the lessons, then please feel free to ask!  Even if you do not read music yourself, it is easy to learn the very basics in order to help your child.  Please come to me with any questions or concerns about your child’s progress!

7. Make it fun! The most important thing a young child can learn about music is that it is supposed to be fun!  While we all know it is hard work, that work is 10 times harder when you’re not having fun.  Make games out of some of the information I ask the students to learn and keep it light-hearted!

Thank you all so much for your time and dedication to your children’s musical endeavors!  I am always amazed at just how much young children can learn when they are encouraged and pushed in a positive direction.  Music is a great escape, and it will stick with your children for their entire lives.  Thank you!

The New Orleans International Piano Competition

Dear students and parents,

We are lucky enough to have a great professional piano competition take place every other year right here in our own back yards!  MASNO’s International Piano Competition is coming up next week from July 18th-25th.  The Competition features FREE master classes scheduled at Loyola throughout the day, as well as the competition rounds in the evening.  The evening performances are absolutely incredible, but please plan on buying your tickets ahead of time if you are interested in attending.  I will be at as many evening rounds as I can work around my teaching schedule, in addition to many of the daytime master classes.  I encourage all my students to take advantage of this great opportunity to learn from some very well-respected teachers and see what it takes to become a professional!  You can go to MASNO’s website for more information.

Combating the Idea of Instant Gratification

In an age where most people have come to expect what they want when they want it, mastering a Classical Instrument has become a bit antiquated.  One of the toughest things to overcome as a teacher is the young student’s idea that everything can be done in a day.  Here is another video from Norman Krieger on the importance of integrity and excellence to a career in Classical music.

How to Prepare Your Child For A Career In Music

Parents,

Please check out this great video about preparing your children for a career in performance.  Norman Krieger is an Associate Professor of Keyboard Studies at USC, and he makes some excellent points about the patience and dedication it takes to succeed as a musician.