Practicing Contest!

Practicting ContestHello Everyone!  Announcing our new practicing contest that will begin at your lesson THIS week.


1. For every day that you practice 20 minutes or more you will pick one bead to add to your studio ribbon.

2.  You  must complete a chart each week and it MUST be initialed by a parent before your lesson.

3.  Contest will end when the first student receives 30 beads.  To be fair – everyone else THAT WEEK that accomplishes the task will be included among the winners.

4.  It is hoped that many will practice at least 30 of the 40 or so days leading up to our big recital, so the prize will likely be announced at the show.

Now – GET PRACTICING!  And don’t forget to include your parents:  THEY MUST INITIAL your sheet EACH WEEK.   A copy of the final practicing sheets will be emailed to your parents when the contest ends.  ENJOY your playing – you are all amazing!

Clark Wood Academic Field Day

Audrey’s Piano Studio was asked to be a presenter at Clark Wood’s bi-annual Academic Field Day. Our four students who attend Clark Wood assisted Audrey with the presentations are shown below. Thanks to all of you for helping with the piano presentation for the classes who came to see us. They were a great audience! We would like to thank Clark Wood for inviting us.

Ensemble Rehearsal

The majority of our students were on hand tonight for our first big “rehearsal”. We learned how to be a good performer: Start with a bow (‘Did I shine my shoes today? Yes, I shined my shoes today.’), be sure to lift our wrists and gently place our hands in our lap after each song, end with a bow (stay and smile!) and then exit the stage.

It’s also important to remember that while we do the best we can, and prepare to do our finest – perfection is not expected or required. If we make a mistake – show no fear! The audience may never know if we handle it in stride. Keep going no matter what and if you feel the need to begin again, that’s your decision to make.

It is our goal to have everyone memorize their solos. Are you having trouble with that? How about practicing in general? Getting stuck on a hard spot? There are all sorts of tips and tricks found via links on our website. Navigate to > miscellany > practicing tips. There are lots of great ideas! PLEASE visit this for help in making your practicing more fun and more productive.

Levels One (ages 5-9) & Two (ages 9-11)

Levels Two & Three (ages 11-13)

Levels Three & Four (ages 13-23)

Levels Four & Five (ages 12-23)

The Summer 2011 Puzzle Books are READY!

I would like to thank the 10 students who submitted items for our Musical Puzzle Book! Thank you ALL for your participation – you did a great job. Each of the ten participating students will receive one complimentary copy of the finished book. All other students will receive one special puzzle, inspired by each one of them and created by Audrey.

If anyone would like to receive additional copies of the puzzle book, they are available for the cost of materials – $2.00 each and would make a great gift for family and friends.

Puzzle cover contest winner: Audrey! (who was the only submission – and yes, it’s clip art *sigh*) 🙂

Special thanks to Sylvia Williams, who tirelessly proofread every single puzzle and even submitted one!

Puzzle Book: “DESIGN THE COVER” contest!

I am now taking submissions for our “DESIGN THE COVER” contest. Everyone is eligible, whether you submitted a puzzle or not. We need something that will well represent Audrey’s Piano Studio and our Summer of 2011 Musical Puzzle Book. Cover size: 8.5 x 11 normal printer paper. It can include text, art, or both. It can be hand drawn or computer generated. Designs may be submitted via email or handed in at your lesson. DEADLINE: August 10 – that’s just two weeks!

As for the puzzles themselves, I’ve extended the deadline to August 10 as well. REMEMBER: Puzzle submissions are not limited to Word Searches and Crosswords: You may include anything: A dot to dot, a picture to color, another type of puzzle – ANYTHING!! You are only limited by 1) our musical theme and 2) your imagination.

Solfege – Sight Singing

Many are aware of the famous song from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” called “Do-Re-Mi”. The lyrics teach the solfege syllables by linking them with English homophones (words that are pronounced the same (or nearly the same) as another word but differ in meaning). It begins, “Do (Doe) a dear, a female dear. Re (Ray), a drop of golden sun. Mi (Me), a name I call myself.”, etc.

The 1959 show tune was a huge hit with me as a child, but sadly, the current generation doesn’t seem to know it. We shall attempt to remedy that – at least locally. Piano Guild Auditions have a musicianship phase called “Ear Training” in which first year students can earn a song credit, and thus a point, for singing the solfege from any given note. This is an excellent goal/skill for any piano student to attain.

I have here demonstrated the solfege in the Key of C, but it can be sung using any scale, and thus beginning on any given note.

On a side note, one of my favorite authors, Douglas Adams, noted in his article “Unfinished Business of the Century” that, while each line of the lyric takes the name of a note from the sol-fa scale, and gives its meaning, when they hit “La” something went awry. Read on for his humorous thoughts:

“‘La, a note to follow so…’ What? Excuse me? ‘La, a note to follow so…’ What kind of lame excuse for a line is that?

“Well, it’s obvious what kind of line it is. It’s a placeholder. A placeholder is what a writer puts in when he can’t think of the right line or idea just at the moment, but he’d better put in something and come back and fix it later. So, I imagine that Oscar Hammerstein just bunged in a ‘a note to follow so’ and thought he’d have another look at it in the morning.

“Only when he came to have another look at it in the morning, he couldn’t come up with anything better. Or the next morning. Come on, he must have thought, this is simple. Isn’t it? ‘La… a something, something… what?’

“One can imagine rehearsals looming. Recording dates. Maybe he’d be able to fix it on the day. Maybe one of the cast would come up with the answer. But no. No one manages to fix it. And gradually a lame placeholder of a line became locked in place and is now formally part of the song, part of the movie, and so on.

“How difficult can it be? How about this for a suggestion? ‘La, a…, a…’ — well, I can’t think of one at the moment, but I think that if the whole world pulls together on this, we can crack it. And I think we shouldn’t let the century end with such a major popular song in such an embarrassing state of disarray.”

Audrey’s A440 (a.k.a. pianoforte) – The Cache / Travel Bug

With our recent lessons in A440, we’ve all be getting to know “Audrey’s A440” – a tuning fork about to go on an adventure! Read more to find out about it:

Ever hear of geocaching? It has absolutely nothing to do with piano, of course, but our studio has become involved in that we’re sending a new travel bug on a journey around the world, and hopefully to many musical places. In addition to that, the travel bug’s namesake will be a brand new cache right here in Osceola. If you decide that you’d like to join in the fun, please visit the geocaching site and get started! All you need is a GPS and a sense of adventure.