Archive for August, 2006


September Newsletter

Welcome back to piano!  With September comes school, routine, piano lessons, sports, shorter days, and cooler days and nights.  If I haven’t spoken with you yet concerning your spot on the schedule, please call or email me with your preference and I’ll try to accommodate you.  Every year I think I have the best group ever, and every year I am not disappointed. 

I will be teaching Monday through Thursday this year.  I would like to have the schedule set by September 15, so please let me know your wishes as soon as possible.  Please leave a message on my telephone or email me.  I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.  There are no lessons Sept. 1-11.  The regular fall schedule begines Sept. 12.  I am looking forward to seeing all of you who took the summer off. 

Please be sure to bring all of your materials to class, including a three ring binder.  Most younger students will be using the spreadsheet practice record this year, in addition to the calendar.  The binder keeps all of those things organized, and I prefer placing music that I have printed myself in it, too.  The Piano Explorer magazine should also be kept in the binder, so that by the end of the year, you have a year’s worth of magazines.  (They are only 16 pages long, so they don’t take took much room.)

Performance Class   There will be a performance class held on Saturday, October 28th at 9 am at my studio.  This will be for all students–sorry, no parents or family this time due to lack of space.  More to come on this later. 

Piano Journals   Students of middle school age and above are encouraged to keep a piano journal this year, in which is recorded all pieces learned.  It is fun to see the repertoire grow.  The journal can be an inexpensive small notebook, and should be kept with the binder and other piano materials.

The Student of the Month will return soon.  See you all in September! 




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Mike’s looking for a piano

I have a student who is playing on an electronic piano and is in the market for an acoustic piano, preferably a small console.  If you have a relative or friend or neighbor who has a piano that they don’t use and might want to sell it, I have a buyer for them.  He doesn’t want anything too big (no old uprights) or grand (no room for a grand).  Let me know if you have a lead on one and I’ll pass that information along. 

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New to Piano Lessons?

Within the first few lessons most students are very comfortable with the routine of coming to my studio.   At the introductory lesson I visit with the new student to learn the individual’s interests, piano history, and general attitude about school.  Usually I can identify their learning style within a few lessons.   If the student is a transfer student, I will ask he or she to play for me, and we’ll talk about what kind of music interests them.  The first introductory lesson for young beginning students is primarily spent on making them feel at ease with me.  I explain what happens at each lesson, and what is expected of them, and show them where the restroom is, etc.  First impressions are important, and I try to make each student feel welcome and ready to learn.  Parents can help at home by approaching piano study in a positive manner, giving honest praise and encouragement when appropriate.  If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me.  Or make a comment below and I will answer it online.  Just click on the “no comments” or “comments” below and enter your name and email address when asked.  Neither will be published;  it is for access only.  Leave the blank box asking for website, blank. 

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Odds and Ends

A student of mine in Idaho came up with a great use for those butterfly hair clips.  They make great music page holders.  Just clip one to the top of the open pages, and there you are!

I hope you are enjoying the Piano Explorer magazine.  Once again this year it is free of charge, my gift to the students.  In the current July/August issue, page 7, there is a section called The Year in Review, with some questions about items that were covered in the Beginner’s Corner section of the magazine during the past year. I’ll be using this page during August and September lessons as a review aid, so it might be nice to get out those old copies of Piano Explorer and review those Beginner’s Corners again.  It could be a nice rainy day activity?

I will be emailing invoices for lessons in June and July today, August 1st.

This website will have weekly notes from now on, so check back often.  Have a happy and safe August!  


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Summer laughs

  About 17 years ago I was teaching a little boy named Jared in Boise, Idaho.  It was summertime, and one of those fast and furious thunderstorms came up.  All of a sudden there was a big flash of lightening, and at the same time, a big thunderclap, and zoom!  Jared jumped up in the middle of his lesson and ran down the hallway, like a scared cat.  I followed, and after calming him, I told him a story.  “When I was a little girl,” I told him, “I was so afraid of lightening and thunder.  My mother always told me not to take a bath or a shower during a storm, lest the lightening electrocute me through the plumbing.  I was so afraid, I was even afraid to use the bathroom!”  Jared sat there listening, and after a pause he asked, “were you afraid that it was going to become the Electric Chair?” A true story. 

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August schedule notes

Soon those school bells will be ringing, and a more structured lifestyle will return for famililes with school-age children.  This fall I will be teaching on four days of the week, Monday-Thursday.  If you need a change to your present lesson schedule, please let me know as soon as possible.  I will be here for the entire month of August and do not plan to miss any lessons this month.  Please confirm your preferences for lesson times for the fall as soon as you can.  Thanks! 

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