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What's New and Exciting at FortePiano Studio This Fall!

Sunday, August 16, 2020 by Kara Myers | news

Hi piano students and parents,

Thanks for your amazing flexibility and support as we navigate these unprecedented waters of covid-19! I've heard back from almost everyone on their online/in-person/blended preferences, but if you haven't already, please send me a quick email to let me know which you'd prefer. 

The majority of you are picking blended, which I'm really excited to try. As you might imagine, prepping for this fall has been crazy, between physically moving my studio; sourcing in-person hygiene and protective equipment; researching, ordering, and setting up new-and-improved online lesson technology; and upgrading my music library to include a copy of nearly every book owned by every student. But I'm super stoked to be able to bring you guys the very best that piano during covid has to offer!

Here are the upgrades you can look forward to if/when you or your has an online lesson this year!

  • Zoom platform: 
    • Login to each lesson conveniently using your account on My Music Staff. 
    • Gives the option for optimized sound transmission through the enablement of original sound (tutorial to come). 
    • Allows screen sharing of apps for ear training, improv, technique, and theory, annotation, whiteboard marking, displaying multiple camera angles, and more!
  • High-definition Logitech webcam with mic: speaking of multiple camera angles, my new webcam is being shipped as we speak! From now on I'll be conducting remote lessons via my laptop and webcam, with my iPad connected as a second overhead camera. 
  • Classroom Maestro: Basically, I hook up new keyboard up to my laptop, and it displays the exact notes on the keyboard that I'm playing, plus shows them written on the staff. Great for online rote teaching, theory activities, scales, chords, and more!

If/when you come in-person, my new, larger studio now features:

  • A digital piano: great for MIDI composition, playing with a harpsichord sound (the primary keyboard instrument in the Baroque era), duet playing, and more!
  • A challenge board: a groundbreaking motivational tool for students of all ages and levels! "Gamifies" structured learning of scales, chords, note names, memorization, and more!

Whether online or in-person, young students can get excited about a variety of challenges and projects this upcoming year, including:

Retrace Bach's iconic and history-altering 400-km trek on foot from Arnstadt to Lubeck, participating in technique, ear training, composition, music history, and other challenges along the way! 

Starting September 2020!

Movie scores are the current-day operas. Discover how every piece of music can be categorized as a song, dance, story, or painting, then use your newfound knowledge to compose your very own soundtrack!

Starting February 2021!

For those of you who were asking, a finalized fall schedule should be out in a day or two. There have been some slight tweaks, but nothing major. Piano will be starting on Monday, August 31.

Can't wait to see you then!


Winner of the 2020 Digital Piano Contest!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by Kara Myers | challenges

Hey everyone,

A couple months ago we announced the beginning of a digital piano contest to keep everyone inspired and motivated as we transitioned to self-isolation and online piano lessons. Everyone recorded their practice minutes, sight reading cards, goals, and 60 S Challenge triumphs on My Music Staff's student portal, and in return their names were added to a draw for a special prize! 

For the final draw, see the video below!

Thanks again to everyone who participated! I look forward to seeing you this weekend for our first-ever Zoom recital. 😊

Together We're Not Alone: 2020 YouTube Recital Winners List!

Saturday, April 18, 2020 by Kara Myers | challenges

This year's YouTube Recital coincided with the necessity of social distancing due to the covid-19 pandemic. In a world when it's dangerous to come together to share music, writing music and sharing it online like this was a wonderful way to remind each other that we're not alone! Each student composed, notated, and recorded an original piece, then watched the playlist and voted for their favorites. The compositions that received top votes are featured below.

Level 1 Compositions were notated using finger numbers on black keys or the whole tone scale. Danae's "Reading and Writing" and Daniel's "Sleeping Dreams" tied for third place, Shiloh's "A Leprechaun Lives in Ireland" and Katalina's "Jeffe" tied for second, and Jonah's "BB8" (video below) came in first!

Level 2 Compositions were notated on the treble staff with the left hand accompanying in parallel motion or with simple chords. Abby's "Slow Sloth" came in third place, Yuna's "Playful Bino" came in second, and Frankee's "Jumping on the Trampoline" (below) came in first!

Level 3 Compositions were notated on the treble staff with the left hand accompanying using advanced chord patterns, including waltz, boogie woogie, Alberti bass, and stride bass. Michael's "Alberti Bass" came in third place, Maya's "Blues" came in second, and Calie's "Quarantine Blues" and Charles' "Cobaka" (both below) tied for first!

Congrats to our winners, and thanks to everyone who participated!