October 2015 Prodigy Piano Newsletter

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all as excited for October as I am! This is, in my opinion, the best month of the year for us New Englanders. The air smells so fresh and clean, and the trees are starting to change color. It’s so inspiring to me!

Practice Incentive

I recently came across this picture from about six years ago.... Scary! I think I was playing with my new computer at the time.

I recently came across this picture from about six years ago. Scary! I think I was playing with my new computer at the time….

This month I’m holding a studio-wide challenge. All of my students are wanted outlaws, and need to complete practice challenges to rid themselves of their wanted status. We’re entering the Wild West! Every student will have their own Wanted poster up in my studio. As you can see, I, too, was a wanted criminal in my past. Fortunately I completed the necessary practice challenges!

Older students may choose to opt out of this challenge. Don’t be afraid to tell me you don’t want to be a part of it, but don’t feel like you’ll look silly if you participate, either! This is just a way for everyone to have a great time. 🙂

Student of the Month

I decided not to start the Student of the Month award last month because it was such a busy time of year, and I don’t think anyone would’ve been ready to think about it. Now that we’re all settled, it’s time to start! The student who earns the most stickers in their notebook this month will win the Student of the Month award. I can’t wait to see who the first champion is!

Skype/Facetime or Video Make-ups

As most of you know, I’m unable to switch your lesson day if you won’t be available, because it’s just impossible for me to constantly be trying to juggle my schedule to accommodate everyone else’s. I really do wish I could, as I want to be as helpful as possible, but it’s just not practical. However, you have still reserved that time slot, so I would like to make it as profitable for you as possible. I’m offering two alternatives this year:

  1. Skype/Facetime calls, at the scheduled lesson time. For students under 12, a parent should be present to make sure things are running smoothly. This kind of lesson is actually really popular. It will work great for days when a ride can’t be arranged, or for snow days (as long as there’s power!). Skype is free for video calls, and if you think you may use this alternative in the future and you don’t have an account, I would recommend that you sign up now to avoid having to go through the process right before a last minute cancellation! My Skype username is amycompmusic.
  2. Video lessons. These will be shorter (5-10 minutes) because I have to factor in time to setup beforehand, and edit and upload the video. However, since there will be no correspondence with the student, these videos will be right to the point. Since most reschedules tend to be because of sports games or other conflicts, this will be great because the student doesn’t need to be home during their lesson time like they would need to be for a Skype lesson. If you use this alternative, I will send you a secret link to the video on YouTube as soon as it’s ready.

Halloween Recital

Our Halloween recital is coming up soon! We’ve had a great time learning all of this scary music. I hope that many of you who weren’t able to make this recital will be free for the next one, in December. But keep in mind, these mini-concerts are completely optional. I don’t want any of my students and families to feel pressured to participate if they don’t want to. Just a reminder for those of you who are playing, the recital is on October 17th at 1:3o, at Granite Ledges of Concord. The address is 151 Langley Parkway.

Bring a Friend Week

Bring a Friend WeekI think the biggest thing that most piano students lack is a sense of community. When kids play team sports, they can only win the game if they have great teamwork, and that sends a great message. It’s made me think about what I can do to provide a similar experience, so I’ve been brainstorming ways to bring kids together to make music and start to see it as something fun they can do with friends, rather than a lonely solo activity. At some point I would like to make a collaborative piano program, where students will have the opportunity to make music with other young pianists, and eventually, with kids who play the violin, cello, clarinet, etc. With all of the other new things I’m introducing this year, I think it would be too much for both you and me to add anything else, but it’s something I’m seriously considering for next year.

In the meantime, I’d like my students to get a taste of how nice it can be to involve others in their music-making. Next month, I’ll be hosting Bring a Friend Week. Of course students can choose to not participate in this, but I think this will be a great opportunity to bring kids together with music, and just have a great time.

Bring a Friend Week will be the week of November 2nd. I’m looking forward to meeting my students’ friends!

Featured Performer

I’m proud to introduce our first Featured Performer. Becca has worked so hard the last few months. It’s been fun watching her advance so quickly, and I think she would attribute it to her increased focus when she’s practicing. Great job Becca, keep it up!

Concerts

A couple weeks ago, the NH Philharmonic was joined by a very special guest. David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia orchestra, performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with us, and it was outstanding. Our next concert coming up is a Halloween concert. The dates are October 31st at 7:00pm, and November 1st at 2:00pm. We’ll be playing lots of spooky pieces, inluding The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Night on Bald Mountain. You can find more information about the concert and purchase tickets here. I hope to see you there!

On October 9th, Harel Gietheim and Kanako Nishikawa, pianist and cellist, will be putting on a free concert at Saint Paul’s School. Saint Paul’s only hires the best, so you don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity! Read more about this concert, and other concerts coming up at Saint Paul’s, here.

Happy fall!

-Amy