Tag Archives: students

New Year, Old Tracks

I meant to post some Student Salon highlights before the new school year, but time does seem to fly…

Here’s the playlist featuring my students’ commitment, work, and musicality:

Don’t forget, lessons begin September 11, 2017. Looking forward to seeing my students again!

If you haven’t already done so, do check out the Student Compositions page.

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A New Lesson Year About to Start!

I’m bracing myself for an incredibly busy year as I get back to my PhD work while teaching, playing, and watching a fascinating baby grow up. I’ll be getting lesson plans ready during the remainder of the summer to get a head start on all the work.

This year’s registration deadline is September 1st and lessons begin September 14, 2015. Don’t forget to check out the Calendar throughout the year for lesson and holiday information.

I’m looking forward to seeing my students again!

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House Music

On Saturday, May 23, we held the fourth annual Student Salon, an event I started so that my piano students could have a space to play without the stress of a formal recital. For the past two years, I’ve added the requirement that they play by memory. Keep ’em on their toes. I could see them more worked up over this and sometimes I’ve wondered whether this takes away from the casual music-sharing feel of the event. I even added a program so that they commit to pieces they have decided to play. No backing out last minute! It’s a tough thing, challenging them and making it feel like performing isn’t this be-all, end-all moment.

Last Saturday, though, I think it worked out. A couple of students surprised me by deciding to play, by memory, pieces that we had decided in advance to play with the score. I know how difficult this is in front of an audience and how vulnerable one can feel. And they handled it with humour and honesty. Students shared interpretations and even their own compositions. Every one of them got in the cypher and did their thing.

They're growing up! Missing some people in this shot, unfortunately.

They’re growing up!
Missing some people in this shot, unfortunately.

This could not have happened without the supportive audience that created such a comfortable environment for musical risk-taking. I wish I had this while developing as a musician. Instead, I only had recitals and competitions in which the pressure to be perfect made me anxious and messed with my focus on the day of performance. I learned a lot in those settings, but sometimes I wonder how I ever got through them still loving music.

So, thanks to everyone that participated for filling my home once again with warmth and music.

(P.S. I never did mention what I played despite being kind of asked that day. It was the Prelude from Bach’s Partita No. 5.)

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Student Music Salon

Last December, the first Student Music Salon was held at my home studio on a sunny afternoon.  It was a casual affair, showcasing student compositions, duets, and solo repertoire. For most of them, it was the first opportunity to perform, and they did so with incredible presence and focus. Best of all, it was great for me to see the joy on their faces as they played, despite their expressed anxiety beforehand. As one student said, “I feel nervous and excited” — Perhaps the best combination possible.

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