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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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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Oct 17th 2012 Fall Recital

Brunner Studios is happy to announce that our fall concert has been scheduled.  We will be playing at Miller Piano on Independence Blvd on November 17 at 3:00.

Recitals provide an excellent opportunity for students to practice their performance skills and to show off what they have been working on.  Students will be able to perform up to 3 pieces.  Right now the studio is having a competition to help us memorize those recital pieces. 

I would love to see community members and other teachers in the audience.  The more the merrier!

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Sep 2nd 2012 Voices of Liberty

Here is the next update of my Disney Music blog series.  This is a video of the Voice of Liberty in the American Pavilion at Epcot.  These might be my very favorite entertainers in all of WDW.  I spoke with the group leader and he indicated that not all of the singers have professional training but many of them do. 

 

I will be posting more vidoes throughout the week.  The woman in the light blue dress is my favorite performer.  She is a fantastic soprano with excellent technique. 

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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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Jun 18th 2012 Summer Lessons Stats

Summer is always a tricky time for music teachers.  You want your students to continue taking on a normal schedule if possible but many families travel extensively in the summer.  So as a teacher you have to be prepared for the drop in pay during the summer months.

The past few years I taught piano, voice and oboe at a school of music here in Charlotte, NC.  It seemed like a pretty good deal as far a summer lessons went.  Students were required to take 6 lessons in order to obtain VIP registration for the fall.  People would twist and turn their schedules and gripe and complain, but mostly they seemed to fit those lessons in.  Only 1 or 2 of my 35 odd students would take more than 6 lesson.  Everyone was just so busy in the summer.  On the surface, it seemed beneficial to have a required amount of lessons.

Fast forward to this summer.  I am teaching exclusively from my home studio and I was really worried about how summer was going to pan out.  While not wanting to pressure students into lessons, paying my bills is important as well.   So, I highly encouraged my students to take lessons if they were in town.  If they are traveling, don’t worry about it and you don’t pay for that lesson.  However, if you are here I expect to see you in the studio those weeks if at all possible. 

Talk about surprising.  Almost all of my students are taking a full schedule for the summer.  We are moving lesson days to accommodate summer plans, but the students are really stepping up to the plate.   The flexibility of being able to change lessons with little notice is really keeping the lesson going. 

So fellow teachers I would encourage you to give your students a little wiggle room in the summer.  They might surprise you with their dedication. 

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May 2nd 2012 Summer Lessons Are Now Being Scheduled

How did May get here so quickly?  School will be out soon and vacation is just around the corner.  That means it is time to start thinking about your summer lesson plans. 

 

Piano, Voice and Oboe lessons at Brunner Studios run year round.  Summer lessons have a slightly different policy.  As always lessons are paid for at the start of the month.  However, you will only need to pay for the lessons that you take.  I encourage my students to stay on an as normal schedule as possible, but I know there are lots of extracurricular activities in the summer.  Lesson times are available in the morning as well as the evening.

 

Brunner Studios has lesson availability but the time slots are going quickly.  Call or email now to set up your summer lesson schedule. 

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Apr 2nd 2012 Spring Break

It is spring break here in Charlotte, NC for the CMS school district.  Yes, we are having lessons this week.

In fact, this week would be a great time to schedule a trial lesson for piano, voice, or oboe.  As a teacher, I find it very important to meet and evaluate potential students.  It isn’t an audition but a chance for me to see what methods might work best for the student and what a student might already know.

As always, trial lessons are free at Brunner Studios.

Give Brunner Studios a call to see about scheduling your trial lesson.  Even if you don’t want to begin lessons until school lets out for the summer, now is a great time to meet.  Students of all ages are welcome. 

Contact information is: 704-787-4644 or heather@brunnerstudios.com

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Mar 15th 2012 The Little Engine That Could

You know what is great?  When you get a student who just works at a steady pace.  The child isn’t doing anything spectacular or anything out of the ordinary, but is just doing the work.  The next thing you know, the student has zipped through 3 levels of books in less than a year. 

Keeping working! 

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Mar 5th 2012 Wednesday Is Now a Wait List Day

If you have been looking for lessons at Brunner Studios, there is good and bad news.  The good news is that Tuesdays are now open for lessons.  The bad new is that Wednesdays are now a wait list day.  Wednesday is officially full.  If you are looking for a Wednesday time slot as a new student or to change your regularly scheduled time, please contact me.

It is so exciting to see the studio growing and adding students of all ages!

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