Monday, February 26, 2018

Spring Updates - Sonata Festival Winners - Cancun!

Spring Updates!

  • Spring Tuition is Due at FaithSlaker Music March 1: Invoices to follow.
  • An updated swap list has been posted for the spring term. Please always let me know if you are arranging a swap.
  • No Lessons April 27 - May 4. I'll be teaching in Mexico that week!
  • Please let me know ASAP what your travel plans may be for spring break, if you are going to miss lessons. I try to accommodate spring break whenever I can. Reminder - one makeup lessons is offered per term.
Congratulations to Diego Carrasco, Declan Flaherty, Martina Bianchi, and Whitney Thomas on silver medals in the recent Chicago Area Sonata Festival! Congratulations to Anna Shao on a gold medal in the same event! Good work!
Suzuki pianists - join me in Cancun May 1-5, 2019 for the first ever Suzuki Convention of the Americas! Pianists must audition to participate in masterclasses and the concerts. Speak to me, or click here for more details.
'Music is an invaluable resource when it comes to children's mental health – and yet it's under attack.' See article.
The Steinway Gallery has opened a new boutique shop on Oak Street. It will be open through the end of March and I'm thinking of scheduling a demo there for my Suzuki group classes on a Saturday that month. Please let me know if you would be interested in an event tailored for your child at the Steinway Gallery in lieu of regular group class one week!
As many of you know, I am working on becoming a Certified Suzuki Piano Teacher trainer for North, Central, and South America. This is an enormous undertaking, and I'm hoping to make a bulk of the progress on the application this term. I am no longer teaching on Fridays in order to devote the necessary time to this project. I will be working on capturing some of our best lesson-moments on video (including your attentive presence in lesson) and really appreciate your help with this. If, for any reason, you do NOT want your child on video (this is used for educational purposes only), please let me know! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
  • April 8: Deadline to Register for Roberta Savler, advanced level competition in Chicago.
  • April 29: Roberta Savler Competition.
  • April 27 - May 4: No lessons, I'll be teaching in Mexico!
  • May 20/21: IMA Contest 
  • May 24 - 28: Suzuki Association Conference, Minneapolis - no lessons.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Autumn Updates - Halloween Pictures!

The Winter Studio Recital is Saturday, December 16th at 4pm in the Sherwood Recital Hall!

Newest Pictures from FaithSlaker Music Studio
All SORTS of creatures play the piano! Happy Halloween! 2017

Suzuki Book 1 Group Class learning to play the piano from notes on a staff!
Exciting stuff, clearly. November, 2017

Newest Videos from FaithSlaker Music Studio

Quentin has some advice for new pianists
October, 2017

Charlotte JUST STARTED lessons and now she's in charge of the birthday song in her house!
November, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer Updates and Learning Harmony

Newest Pictures from FaithSlaker Music Studio

Performers in the Summer Studio Recital, June, 2016.

Newest Videos from FaithSlaker Music Studio

Harmonic Change Practice for Suzuki Book 1 Kids, August, 2017

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Autumn Updates - Halloween Costumes, Tambourines and Bach!

Quentin, Ophelia, Orazio and Lia, dressed for Halloween and practicing the piano!  Way to go!

Sherwood Suzuki Level 1 Students:  Leyla, Kayla, Ophelia, Colin and Finn!
Putting rhythms to a beat.

Homemade Tambourines make the best steady beat.
Lia, Orazio and Anthony

Molly, playing Hot Crossed Buns, October 2016.

Colin's model Variation B, September 2016.

Mary, Ready for her Graduation Recital, November 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Contest 2016

It's my favorite time again!  Time for the summer contest!!

This year, there are two contests:

1.  The first contest is to accompany yourself in some way.  You may play something for me using the piano AND another instrument.  You may use technology to perform a duet with yourself!  Use your imagination!  This may be repertoire we have already been working on ornamented with the sounds from another instrument or it may be something I've never heard you play before!

2.  The second contest is to listen to the following song, "Saturday Sun" by Nick Drake, and put together a performance of it to your playing level.  This may be a part of the song, the whole thing, the melody, or the piano part.  


Entries must be received by midnight on September 2nd (via youtube, vimeo or mp4) and winners will be announced via blog/twitter/facebook during the first week of classes.  There will be one winner for each category and the winners will be awarded fun sheet music to work on in lessons as well as the privilege of having their performance shared and admired. 

Now, head on over to the piano, warm up with your performance pieces, and see what you can do!  I look forward to watching all the entries!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Getting Ready for a Performance

Suzuki Book Graduation Recital, Anyone?  As there are several of my students coming up on this momentous event, I thought I'd share with you the performance descriptors as set up by the Suzuki Association of the Americas so you know exactly what it is that I am looking for in a graduation performance:

SAA Performance Descriptors
For use in Evaluation of Teacher and Student Performances

  1. Repertoire
    • Technical and interpretive demands of the selection(s) are commensurate with performer’s technical and musical abilities.

2.   Physical aspects:
*    Demonstrates balanced, erect posture.
*    Demonstrates ease of movement, efficient motion (e.g., no unnecessary tension evident).
*    Appears physically comfortable.

3.  Tone production
*    Tone is pleasing, resonant and full.
*    Tone varies when appropriate.
*    Volume is even but varies when appropriate.

4.  Technical accuracy
*    Plays correct notes.
*    Intonation is accurate.
*    Tempo is appropriate.
*    Musical pulse is steady, yet varies when appropriate (e.g., rubato, ritard).
*    Rhythm is accurate and precise.

5.  Musicianship
*    Dynamics are varied to create expressive effect.
*    Notes are articulated appropriately and consistently.
*    Creates motion in melodic line (phrase shape, rise and fall).
*    Phrases end gracefully (e.g., tapered dynamics, ending notes sustained).
*    Performance is consistent with (within the bounds of) stylistic convention.
*    Interpretive choices are consistent.
*    Performance conveys the character of the piece (e.g., march is march-like).
*    Performance demonstrates voicing of melodic lines and accompaniment.

6.  Stage presence
*    Demonstrates appropriate poise and bearing.
*    Acknowledges fellow performers (if applicable).
*    In the event of error, continues without pause.
*    Bows when appropriate.

7.  Focus of attention
*    Performance conveys sense of concentration.

*    Performance conveys sense of confidence (little hesitation or timidity evident).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Winter at FaithSlaker Music

Palm trees in the reflection on my piano. Yes, please!, January 2016

Suzuki Association of the Latin Americas representatives, January 2016