Archive for the 'Charlotte NC Piano Lessons' Category

Jun 5th 2014 Summer Piano Lesson Ideas

Now that summer piano lessons have begun, what kind of ideas can we use to mix up the routine.

1. Pick a theme- learn patriotic music, learn Disney music, pick a theme and have everyone learn a piece of their choosing.
2. Try some new techniques- use a different ear-training book, pick songs that are catchy to work on intervals
3. Have a measure contest. Who can learn the most measures in a week.
4. Have the student’s pretend to be the teacher an coach their teacher on a piece.
5. Ignore the practice chart. Test the students and see if they can accomplish their goals without having to practice a certain amount of minutes. Are they learning to self-regulate practice time.

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May 28th 2014 Summer Lessons

This just a reminder that summer lessons begin next week. If you are a new student looking to start lessons you might select our 6 week lesson plan. Pick 6 weeks out of June and July for a 30 minute lesson each week. You will receive 2 books appropriate for your musical level. The cost is only $175. You will then be eligible to be among the first to pick a fall lesson time. Summer lessons are not just for a child interested in piano lessons. Summer piano lessons are for teens and adults as well.
Brunner Studios is also offering tutoring for students wishing to get a head start on their AP classes and exams.
We are happy to welcome students in the area for the summer. College students who wish to maintain their skills in a less formal environment and have coaching on pieces that you are carrying over for next semester are very welcome.
Contact Brunner Studios in the Charlotte area to fulfill your piano lesson needs for the summer of 2014. Scheduling for fall lesson times will begin in August.

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May 7th 2014 A Little Inspriation

As the year wears on sometimes we just need a little boost of inspiration. Creativity comes in many forms. Last weekend I attended the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. To meet so many people that are passionate about their craft was wonderful. The amount of new ideas was also inspiring. Sometimes I feel that as musicians we get so rooted in tradition that we forget to look outside the box. So this week take a look around. Whether you are taking piano lessons, playing the piano for enjoyment, singing in a choir, or just trying to make it to the end of the school year, try to find something new and fresh.
Here is a picture of one of my purchases. It is a supported spindle that is hand turned by a friend.

20140507-093403.jpg

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Feb 15th 2014 For the Love of Music

Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, my thought is just to ask you one question. Who inspired your love of music? Was it a piano teacher? A parent? A recording artist? If you are able to thank that person, do so. They would love to hear that they’ve had an influence on your life.

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Oct 14th 2013 Upcoming November Performances

Brunner Studios students will be performing twice in the month of November. 

On November 2, they will be presenting a studio class performance at the Little Flower Retirement Village in Mint Hill.  Play for the elderly and infirm is a great opportunity for the students to serve the community.  We will be playing Halloween music, Patriotic music, classical, pop, and show tunes. 

On November 23, students will be performing at Miller Piano.  This will be our winter recital.  Christmas music, classical music, and everything in between. 

The November 23 performance is open to all who wish to attend.  There are plenty of seats.  The Nov. 2 performance, students will be limited to 2 guests as there is very limited room at the facility.

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Sep 13th 2013 A Little Inspiration

IMG_0401A thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park.  What music would you pair with this picture?

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Sep 4th 2013 A Return to Lessons

Brunner Studios in Mint Hill, NC, will begin the fall semester on September 10.  Hopefully everyone has had time to get those school schedules settled and is now ready to either resume or begin music lessons.  Brunner Studios offers piano, voice, oboe, theory, and music history lessons.  Tutoring for AP Music History is also available.  We will be having recitals and performance opportunities throughout the year. 

Please call  or email and ask about scheduling a trial lesson to decide if Brunner Studios is the right musical home for you or your student.

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Aug 22nd 2013 Curriculum Questions

As students are heading back to school here in Charlotte, NC, and all over the country, we should ask ourselves; are we teaching the way students learn in today’s environment.  Honestly with the competition between extra curricular activities we as teachers need to be up to date on the latest methods and learning styles.  Are we incorporating the newest technology in our lessons?  Are we excited about teaching?

What are questions that we should ask ourselves as teachers and what same questions should parents be asking?

1.  What curriculum do you use?  And part two of this question.  Why do you use this curriculum?

As as teacher, do you use the same material because it is always what you’ve used, or because you believe it is the most relevant to today’s students?  Do you use the best correlation with local festivals?  Do you try to expose students to a wide variety of music and print styles? 

2.  Are your students active in the community?  Festivals, talent shows, recitals, playing at nursing homes. 

3.  Do the students use technology to help keep them interested during the challenging parts of the curriculum?  Online apps or flashcards?  Notation software?  Youtube performances?  Are you utilizing these resources?

4.  Are you following a curriculum of any kind that can aid a parent in understanding the rate of progress for the student?

5.  Are the students learning about areas outside of music that relate to music?  Roman numerals, world history, different cultures that have influenced nationalistic music?

Many times I think as teachers we can get in a rut.  Even with a tried and true curriculum, there are opportunities for evaluation and introspection.  As parents are calling and emailing, do you seem excited about the coming year or are you feeling the grind of hearing those same pieces again?  It is up to us as educators to try to instill excitement for music and knowledge in our new and returning students.

No Comments » Posted by heather / Charlotte NC Piano Lessons and Charlotte Piano Students and Music Development Program and NCMTA and NFMC and Oboe Lessons Charlotte NC and Piano Practice and Recitals and Theory and Voice Lesson Charlotte NC

Aug 13th 2013 A Break, A Sabbatical, A Vacation, A Return

I’ve been either in school or teaching full time since the fall of 2000.  That is a long time!  The month of August is a notoriously slow month on the lesson front.  This year, I decided to do something different.  The studio is closed for the entire month of August and the first week of September.  What about the students?  Most were vacationing at least part of the month, and all were glad not to have to negotiate the first few weeks of school with an after school activity. 

 

I’m using this time to think about my methodology and where I want the studio to go in the next year.  What’s been working and what needs a revamp? 

 

The most useful thing that I’ve done this year is to have started using either a candle or incense on lesson days in the room off the studio.  This combined with a quite minute.  The quality of lessons has improved dramatically.  So many of my students come directly from school or other activities.  The students just aren’t as focused on that 30 or 45 minutes as they should be.  As the student enters the studio we talk briefly about how the day went and get the books arranged at the piano.  Then I ask the student to close their eyes and think about “how you practiced, what did you improve upon, and what you want to show me in your lesson.”  Just a minute of silence for most of the students allows them to reset and leave the rest of the day at the door.  I feel as a teacher that I’m getting a more accurate read on what the students are accomplishing during the week.

 

As we come back in the fall, I hope to have more students signing up for The Music Development Program exams.  Previously known as RACE and the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program.  This is a program that I believe in strongly.  Whether the student takes the exams or just uses the principles laid out in the curriculum, my students are on a stronger and more through track than ever.  Having an internationally recognized standard makes it so easy to know how a student is truly progressing in the literature.  If you would like to find out more about this program, please let me know.

 

As always, Brunner Studio is scheduling lessons.  Just because the studio is on break doesn’t mean that my email and phone don’t work!  Please call or email if you would like to know more about piano, voice or oboe lessons for this fall.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

No Comments » Posted by heather / Acheivement Program and Charlotte NC Piano Lessons and Charlotte Piano Students and NCMTA and NFMC and Oboe Lessons Charlotte NC and Piano Practice and Recitals and Voice Lesson Charlotte NC

Apr 30th 2013 My Baby…Grand That Is…Was Sick

Nothing like a sick piano to make a piano teacher break out into a sweat.  Last Monday one of my students was playing a Chopin Nocturne.  Since this student can a time be little gung ho with the arm weight, I recommended trying the Una Corda.  It was a good effort, but didn’t produce the desired results so we moved on to other ideas.  The next thing I knew the piano was sounding a bit odd and the student said that the und corda pedal was not working correctly.  Oh boy.  Sure enough it was stuck in the ‘on’ position. 

Tuesday morning I called my wonderful tech to set an appointment.  The soonest he could come out was next Tuesday.  That was a week of odd sounding lessons.  I thought it was interesting that some students noticed the strange sound and others didn’t.  I many have to explore that issue.  So the tech finally made it out today.  Turns out that it really was a case of being stuck.  A little Teflon power later and we were back in business.  The tuning was in pretty good shape so other than some minor adjustments it was a quick fix.

Come back later this week to find out which group of my students has had the best long term success based on what time of year they started lessons.  The answer might surprise you 

No Comments » Posted by heather / Charlotte NC Piano Lessons and Charlotte Piano Students and Just For Fun and Piano Practice

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