Liana's Piano Studio

Liana's Piano Studio

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Festival Prep

The deadline for applications is coming up!  Your students have been working hard getting ready, but we still have much to do.

Compositions: Last week we started writing their songs. They are due on February 6th. The completed song needs to be turned in with a recording. After we finish their songs this week, I will email you the song so you can print it and the kids can start practicing it. (I don't have a printer or I would do it for you) You will need the computer program Finale to open and print the file. (Don't worry, it's safe and free) Just go to and download Finale Notepad. We will record the songs the first week of February, and I will turn them in with the festival applications.

Applications: There is a $35 fee for Festival. Please include a separate check (or cash) made out to the Heber Valley Piano Festival the first week in February so I can turn it in with their applications.

Practicing: Please Please Please work with your students to practice as hard as they can!  We've a lot to be ready for. Look over their notebooks each week and make sure they are practicing everything I have assigned. The judges are pretty awesome, but your students will feel more comfortable playing if they are completely prepared.

Notes: If your kids don't know the notes, they can't sightread music. I will do all I can here, but most of the memorization needs to happen at home. If you notice that their notebook is telling them to say the notes out loud every time they play it's because they are probably struggling. Listen and make sure they are naming those notes. It will help them so much with their piano lessons and they will be able to progress so much faster. I will also be sending notes tests home with them each week to help practice.

No lessons next week, I will be out of town. We will arrange to have an hour long session in February to really practice for festival.

**Note** Parents of my newest students: We haven't done much to prepare for festival yet. Their pieces will be simple enough that we can learn them quickly. This year we want to make this as fun as possible.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Check-in

Welcome to December! It is my very most favorite time of the year. We'll continue to learn Christmas songs as well as work on pieces for Festival!

I am so excited for the recital tonight!! Your children have prepared unbelievably well, and will do a fantastic job.  I made a mistake, though and told you the wrong time. Oops!! When I reserved the room, I told them 7...that's when the residents of the Abbington will be showing up to hear everyone. I hope this doesn't screw anything up.  Again, if you can please bring cookies or a treat to share. We will have a short reception after.  Sunday dress for the performers. There is plenty of room, so invite any who would like to come.

It is a new month, so just a gentle reminder that money is due this week.

We will not have lessons on the 15th or the 17th. We will have lessons Christmas week, but I would like to try and do those during the day. Obviously, we won't have lessons on Christmas eve or Christmas, but we'll make sure we can find a time for everyone.

Festival is the 2nd weekend in March.  We've already made some great progress.  This month we might have a lesson that is only about composing a song.  Also, there is a $35 fee that is due at the time of registration. (Money goes to the piano festival, not to me.) There may be songs or books that I need you to buy, but I'll talk to you before I buy them.

Thanks again!!  I'll see you all tonight!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Notes

Hey all!  Thank you so much for everyone's hard work. Just a couple notes as we get closer to the Christmas Recital!!

The Recital is on DECEMBER 1st at 7:30 PM at the Abbington (The retirement home by the Library.) Dress is Sunday best.  I have asked everyone (with a couple exceptions; my newest students) to have their pieces memorized.  Please keep a watchful eye as they practice this week.  Make sure that the Christmas songs that they are playing actually sound like the Christmas Songs they are learning. :)  If anyone could bring a treat to share for after the recital, that would be fantastic.  We'll have time to mingle with each other and the residents of the Abbington.

There will be no lessons on Thanksgiving. (Obviously) I'm not offering a makeup day, but I will want to meet with everyone briefly before the recital to go through their pieces.  Call or text me to set up a time.

We will have our regular lessons on Thursday, December 3rd.

Congratulations to Madison, Savannah, and Stella for winning the practicing contest.  You all did a fantastic job.  (Practicing was so good, that I just might do it again.)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Practicing contest standings

Stella : 60 minutes
Diego : 70 minutes
Laynee : 65 minutes
Mikee : Didn't turn in
Olivia : Didn't turn in
Tommy : Didn't turn in

Aedel: n/a
Gwen: n/a
Savannah: n/a
Madison: n/a
Tandi: n/a
Peyton: n/a

I'll update the n/a's on Tuesday. If I didn't get cards back from your kids on Thursday you can text me a picture of it and I'll add the times to the list. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October "Check-in"

Your kids have been doing great!  I've noticed a huge improvement with their practicing. Keep up the good work.  

I am starting a "practicing contest" for the month of October. I will send a card home for your child to record the number of minutes practiced per day.  Sign off on the card and bring it back for each lesson.  The student with the most minutes practiced at the end of the month will get a prize at the group lesson.  (I will break this into to levels so that the beginners aren't competing with the more advanced students.) I will post times on the blog so everyone knows what they have to do to stay in the game.

Keep working on reading notes! 

We are preparing songs to play at our Halloween group lesson/party that is scheduled for Thursday October 29.  It will be from 4-6.  We are taking songs that are in a Major Key (Sounds happy) and turning it into a minor key (sounds sad).  We will also have a dynamics (Louds and softs) contest.  It will be judged by one of my neighbors, so listen for those louds and softs while they practice.  They will also get to pick a new name for the song. This is for all students.

Remember that October payment is due this week. (The first day of the month always sneaks up on me!)

Christmas recital: We have scheduled our Christmas recital for December 1st.  Since we are running out of room at my mom's house, our recital this year will be at the Abbington Senior Community by the Library.  They have a beautiful piano and a large room with lots of chairs so invite your families.  The residents will also be invited so we will be able to give the gift of service this Christmas.

I received the dates for the Heber Valley Music Festival.  It will be March 10-12.  I already have some of your kids working on pieces for this.  I hope everyone will be able to participate. It's a fantastic experience and teaches so much.

Thanks everyone!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Things You'll Want to Know for the Group Lesson

Group Lesson: Tuesday from 5-6
This will be in place of our regular lessons. It is going to be a crash course on reading notes.  They don't need to bring their books. We'll have a timed written notes exam, a review on the basic notes, and a Jeopardy type game. They'll be able to earn treats, so the more they practice, the better chance they have to earn.

Things to practice:
Treble clef
Bass clef
Grand staff
Landmark notes
Skips and steps
All Cows Eat Grass
Good Bridges Don't Fall Apart
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
The names of the white keys

I hope everyone will be able to come. It will be super beneficial.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Treat Challenge and a Couple of Other Things

This Sunday, the 30th, I will be on Music and the Spoken Word with the Bells on Temple Square.  It airs on KSL and BYUTV (not kbyu) at 9:30.  If you aren't able to catch it there, you can watch it all day on . If the kids can tell me the names of the 3 songs that the Bells play, I will have a treat for them.

Notes on practicing: Please look over your child's notebook after each lesson so you know what you should be listening for while s/he practices.  S/he will generally have 3-5 songs to learn each week.  Each song should be played at least 3 times a day, sometimes more.  If you are only hearing a song played one time through, than s/he is not practicing correctly.  Repetition is the key to solidifying each new concept. Also, at this point s/he should be practicing at least 20 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.  It's better to have several shorter practice sessions than to have one mega session at the end of the week.

Payments: Remember that payment is due the first week of the month.  If it is late, please include the $10 late fee. If you'd like a reminder text, please let me know.

Christmas Recital:  I've started assigning songs for the Christmas recital.  Right now I have it scheduled for Tuesday, December 1.  If that date won't work for you, let me know.  There is still plenty of time to pick a different date.  This year, I would really like each student to have their recital pieces memorized. Any help you can give them with that would be great, even if it is just making sure they are working hard on learning the songs throughout the week.

Note Naming:  Several of my students are struggling with reading music. Reading music is hard!  It takes lots and lots of extra practice at home.  It's something that really just has to be memorized. Think of it like memorizing your multiplication tables. Flash cards work great, there are several apps on phones or tablets, and is also a good resource.

Very often I will ask them to name the notes WHILE they play.  If they do this every time they practice they will be able to memorize the notes.  It is so so important that they memorize the notes. If they can't read music, it makes starting a new song nearly impossible. There is only so much I can do with them during the lesson to learn the notes.

Thanks all!!