End of the year!
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 by Kara Myers | news
Can you believe we're already wrapping up 2021? Maybe it was just me, but it felt like it just whizzed by! I probably say that every year. 😋
The students of FortePiano Studio capped off the holiday season with a recital hosted by the legendary Irene Besse herself, at Michael Lipnicki's Fine Pianos. They gave us the rare privilege of playing on a $250 000 9 foot Bechstein grand!
It was so nice to be able to host a live event again, even if numbers were limited. Our last in-person recital was two years ago, in December 2019, before most of us had any idea of the chaos that was about to unveil. I must say that the events of the last 24 months have been humbling, and have taught me to be very appreciative of the things I once took for granted. Things like performing for my lovely studio!
Calie performed two selections: "Carol of the Bells" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
Julianna performed "Angels We Have Heard On High" for her first-ever live recital
Tyler's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" had us all tapping the beat
Ms. Kara chose George Winston's arrangement of "Carol of the Bells", from his "December" album
With our recital completed, we're enjoying a week of unwinding with games and activities, joined by my students' amazing parents. We're in the middle of our annual Holiday Name That Tune! contest, and I'll be sure to update this post at the end of the week when we have our winners.
Congratulations to the following parent-student duos who each scored the highest possible score in our Holiday Name That Tune! contest. You really know your Christmas carols!
Julianna & Nana
Calie & Alana
Charles & Joanne
Tyler & Renee
Arya & Catherine
Willow, Zephyr, & Barb
Maya & Kelly
Merry Christmas everyone!
Saturday, September 11, 2021 by Kara Myers | news
Well, it's been a couple weeks since we started back at FortePiano Studio, and after the usual small bumps as we all adjust to getting back into routine, everything seems to be running beautifully! We're working through new repertoire while reviewing old concepts, goofing around with our new fun pointer pals (see below!), making goals for what we hope to accomplish this year, and setting good practice habits.
The cool ones were made by my very creative hubby Ben. The boring ones are mine. ;P
This year, our focus will be on two very important things: the beat (a tricky thing to define and even trickier to master), and effective weekly goal-setting. We've already started on both, and parents, watch for an email with more info!
Each week, students give me a self-assessed ranking from 1-5 based on how focused they were in their practices. At the end of the lesson, I also award them a ranking based on how well they achieved their goals from last week. The rankings are: 1=out to lunch (had fun but didn't do the work), 2=avoided hard parts, 3=not bad, 4=nailed it, and 5=supercharged.
Speaking of goal-setting, yesterday's group class put the power of effective practice habits to the test! After creating weekly practice schedules, we used the 3x in a row strategy to memorize music terms, then the "starting with small bites" strategy in a fiercely competitive game of mini-golf! Lastly we listened to Ms. Kara botch "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and helped her figure out how to correct her mistakes, all before tallying up our points and announcing the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists!
One last announcement on the topic of practice: a big round of applause to Katalina, who my goodness has once again won our Summer Practice Challenge! Katalina won a $10 iTunes gift card, which she can use to purchase a music-themed app (perhaps ReadRhythm, an app I'm going to be talking lots about this year!).
Katalina's our Summer Challenge winner 3 years running!
Great job also to Jesse, who not only gave Katalina a run for her money this summer, but also learned and personally arranged the meme song "Coffin Dance" on his own (below). Also congrats to Evan, our other runner-up!
It makes me beyond happy when students learn stuff for the love of it!
December news and highlights!
Friday, December 18, 2020 by Kara Myers | news
Thanks to our performers and audience for putting on a great show over Zoom in our "Not-So-Silent Night" Zoom Piano Recital on Monday. It wasn't totally without technical hiccups, so thank you for your patience and your enthusiasm in making our second Zoom recital a great success!
Also thank you to all the parents who tuned in to our last lessons of 2020 to make music and play games with their kids. I hope you had as much fun as I did! Speaking of which, the winners of our 2020 Holiday Name That Tune! contest were:
Team Charles and Joanne
Team Abby and Deidre
Team Jesse and Sarah
Team Calie and Alana
Amidst all the craziness that 2020 brought, I would again like to thank all my amazing students and parents for their passion for music, commitment to learning, generosity of spirit, and support.Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!