Archive for March, 2007


Metronomically Speaking..

Happy Spring!  That sound you hear out in the swamp alerts us to the awakening of the Spring Peepers–what a great sound.  I hope that you all are enjoying the warmer weather as much as I am.

Metronomically speaking, many of you have asked if you need a metronome for home practice.  At this point in your studies, I’d say no, but there are benefits to having one.  It’s a want vs. need sort of thing.  Metronomes help us determine the tempo (speed) of a piece of music.  We use them to help students develop a feeling for a steady beat, and a clock works well, also.  A metronome provides a guide to help us feel a given tempo, and if the student has a hard time feeling a regular beat, it helps to establish one. 

Metronome markings are found at the upper left corner of the music.  The initials M.M, which stand for Maelzel’s Metronome, are part of that marking, though in more contemporary music it may be missing.  All metronome indications include a note and an equals sign (=) followed by numbers.  The numbers indicate the beats per minute.  The note shown gets one click, and usually gets one count in the time signature. 

Metronome markings are not set in stone, except at music festivals, contests, and auditions. 

Most of you have seen the two types of metronomes in general use that I have here at the studio.  One is a Seth Thomas pyramid-shaped wooden windup model, and the one that I use most often is an electronic model with a killer battery that hasn’t been changed in years!  And yes, I do use the metronome!  I hope that this answers some of your questions about metronomes. 

Student of the Month:  Chaundre Broomfield.  Improvisational skills to die for.  Watch this space for an audio clip of his playing.

Schedule notes: Lessons will be held on schedule without interruptions as far as I know.  Let me know if you will be gone during spring break. 

Business Notes:  Please call if you will not be at lessons.  I will charge for missed lessons when I have not be notified ahead of time of your absence. 

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Riddle: How are a fish and a piano alike?

groupsmallpiano.JPG   Performance Class in October

  If you missed Performance Class, you missed out on this riddle and other fun.  Thanks to everyone who came to Performance Class on Saturday. It’s too bad that more of you couldn’t come.  Besides playing for each other, we worked on ear training, rhythm, and recognition skills.  Thank you, parents, for taking the time out of your weekend to come.  The class was short–only thirty minutes.  The next class will likely be in late May, in preparation for the June recital. 

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Performance Class Time Again

groupsmallpiano.JPG    Students who attended the class in October.

 Performance class is March 10th at 9:30 AM sharp!  The more who attend, the better.  Because of limited space, parents are asked to drop off and pick up at 10:00.  These classes are very helpful in preparing the students for future performances.  See you there!  (Please RSVP ASAP!)


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March Monthly News

We almost got through the winter without any major interruptions caused by the weather.  The redwinged blackbirds are back, singing in the wetland, and soon the spring peepers will be chirping away.  Though this week will be cold and wintery, it won’t be long before spring fever hits us all. 

We’ve had a great month in piano.  All of the students are working on their repertoire lists, and it’s nice to see all of those little black books filling up with favorite tunes.  Now it’s time to start to put them into use.  The first PERFORMANCE CLASS of the new year is this next Saturday, March 10th at 9:30 am.  For those who are new, the class is for students only, is free, and it is here that they will gain experience in performing for others.  It’s a sort of dry-run for recitals.  Also, depending on the number of students who attend, there will be a short theory and history lesson taught.  I will give out more individual information at lessons, but feel free to call if you have any questions.  Or email me at 

The Student of the Month for March is Melissa Homa.  Melissa walks from Washingtonville high school after school for lessons, and that’s dedication!  She’s shown some solid improvement in reading skills, which comes from practice.  Congratulations, Melissa. 

Lessons will continue on schedule this month with the exception of Tuesday, March 13th.  If you have lessons scheduled that day, I will talk to you this week about a possible lesson shuffle for that week’s lesson. 

I will be posting on various topics this month, so please check this site occasionally.   


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