Archive for the 'Theory' Category

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.

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Nov 2nd 2012 October Competition and Prizes

This month in the studio we have been having a competition of sorts.  With the recital coming up, the students needed a little added incentive to work extra hard.  So I purchased a few small prizes and then declared that the grand prize would be a hand knit scarf of the winner’s choosing.  Pretty much saying Harry Potter scarf did the trick.    Here were the ways to earn points:

1.  Meet Your Practice Goal- 5 points

2.  Exceed your practice goal by 30 minute increments – 15 points per 30 min. interval

3.  Perfect Technique- 5 points

4.  Pass Ear-Training Test- 20 points

5.  Complete a Piece- 5 points per page

6.  Theory Completed- 5 points

7.  Theory Completed with no mistakes- 5 points per page

8.  Memorization- 2 points per measure

9.  Memorize an entire piece in 1 week- 20 points

10.  Memorize a recital piece by Nov. 1- 50 points

The students did really well in earning their points and trying to beat each other.  I can’t wait to tell them how they did at their lesson next week. 

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Oct 22nd 2012 NFMC 2013

This is just a reminder that Brunner Studios will be participating in NFMC Festival and Scholarship Festival in February of 2013.  Piano, voice, and oboe students are welcome.  This is a great festival to learn the ropes or to participate in a competition.  Students will begin receiving music next week to reduce the stress of learning music over the winter holidays.

If you are interested in participating in this event or beginning music lessons please contact Brunner Studios.  It is not unreasonable to think that a student could begin lessons now and participate in this event in February.  National Federation of Music Clubs is a nationally recognized music organization.

For more information regarding piano, voice, or oboe lessons please contact Brunner Studios. 

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Oct 10th 2012 What A Problem To Have

I am teaching a wonderful group of students piano lessons right now.  In fact, they are so great they aren’t giving me much material to write about on how to run a studio.  What a problem to have!  We are learning Halloween music and Christmas music started leaving the studio this week. 

I am so proud of my younger students.  I have 3 students who just started lessons last year and are about to move from 30 minute to 45 minute lessons.  These kids are really practicing and excelling in their art. 

More students are participating in the National Achievement Program and one will be playing in a Piano Sonata competition later this month. 

This group of students is working hard!

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Aug 29th 2012 Music at Disney-Part I

I just got home from a few days out of town.  Disney World is great this time of year, but it wasn’t just for relaxing.  I want to show you some of the ways music is integrated into the Disney experience.  First up was the hotel.  Since this was a last minute trip we stayed at the All Star Music Resort.  This is a value resort.  The rooms are quite small but are still themed really well.  These pictures are not mine since I forgot to take photos in the room, and it was pouring rain 3 of 4 days.

It is a little hard to tell from these pictures but the border around the room is music themed and the print on the wall is Mickey Mouse conducting an orchestra. 

The resort itself is totally decked out in music décor. 

 

I will be updating this blog series throughout the week.  I am very excited for fall lessons to get started back here at Brunner Studios in Charlotte, NC.  Brunner Studios offers piano, voice and oboe lessons.  At Disney World, I saw piano and vocal performances and heard many selections of oboe music.  It’s funny how much you notice different instruments in scores when you are listening for them. 

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May 30th 2012 Clearing Out the Shelves

Last week I had a little bit of a snap.  My studio book cases are so full and there is literature on there that I just don’t use.  A few hours of work later, there was a huge stack of music that someone might like.  So this week I am having a music sale.  The students can pick whatever they want and the prices are 50 cents to $1. 

My book cases look a lot better now and it is much easier to find what I need.  Getting new music is always fun and getting new music cheap is even better.  How have you gotten rid of excess music or grown your collection in an inexpensive manner?

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Feb 17th 2012 Welcome to New Students

I just want to give a big welcome to all my new students.  Brunner Studios is growing at a very steady pace.  I am excited that we added piano and oboe students to the roster this week.  Wednesday lesson times are now down to 1 available slot. 

 

Keep up the good work parents and students.  Don’t forget that you get a 10% referral discount for any new students that give your name.

 

And here is a funny picture.  This is so true.  Well, except for that time in college when I was so sleep deprived that I tried to play with my music upside down.  It still looked like the top example in that case. 

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Aug 25th 2011 Counting Quarter Notes

Today as I was looking through yet another piano method book, I came across a new way to count 4 quarter notes.  Use the word- ELEVATOR. 

 

                                                       EL             E              VA           TOR

I wish someone had taught me these tricks before I got to college. 

1 Comment » Posted by heather / Charlotte NC Piano Lessons and Charlotte Piano Students and Just For Fun and Piano Practice and Theory

Aug 24th 2011 Thought for the Day

Czerny said:

“every pupil makes much greater progress when he plays all his lessons willingly and with satisfaction.”

 

 

As teachers, what can we do to help a student want to practice and to want to practice those pieces that they find less than fun?  We all know that once the piece is learned the student will admit it wasn’t so bad and that they might have even liked it after all. 

 

School starts this week here in Charlotte, NC and many piano teachers and other types of music teachers are starting back into their school year schedules.  I think we should challenge ourselves to help a student understand why they are playing particular pieces or works.  If the student can understand the reasoning they might be more willing to work through the problems to reach their next goal. 

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