April is coming and hopefully also Spring warmth!

My news – my eye is cancer free but still recovering and I am told to be patient – I think I am patient with my students but concerning myself not!

2119 Sprunt news – we will soon have a beautiful new front path (no tripping hazards) and a new paved driveway so you can also walk to the back without slipping.  Terribly expensive but a long term investment in safety and value but do not worry, I am never leaving this garden!

The Soirée is coming very soon – Friday May 31 5:30 pm and all students need to choose and prepare what they are going to play.  I will be working on this in class.

I now have 33 students each week which is 3 more than I agreed to this year but inquiry keeps coming, which is good but frustrating.  I have 7 adults, and 26 young people aged 6-16. Not all will want to play at the Soirée but I hope most will do so.  Even if you are not playing please come and support your colleagues. The Soirée will again be at ERUUF in the lovely Sanctuary and I will try to extend the hiring to include a proper sound facility so everyone can hear me.  Having end of semester concerts is an important part of my studio practice.

Lorna

Happy (?) Gound Hog Day

The Ground Hog is predicting early Spring – well, we will see.  If winter as such is over I fear the summer heat will come early and strong! I hope the ground hog is wrong and we maybe even get some snow!  February is supposed to be the snowy month… ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

February is indeed upon us and I need to remind everyone that I will not be teaching from Thursday February 22 till Thursday February 29 (yes it is a leap year!).  I will have the Mohs surgery on my eyelid on the 22nd and the plastic surgery to fix it on the 23rd and then I have to lie around doing nothing, so the Dr says, for a week, and absolutely no working. I will be back for all March lessons unless you have Spring Breaks happening.  Let me know about days off if you can.  And those good people who have already paid 4 weeks in advance I will put one payment forward into March.

Thank you so much to all the people who gave me wonderful tea – currently drinking Vanilla tea, decaf which is so good – then I can sleep.  All the teas are so interesting and different; thanks so much.

I love that I have students whose musical ears are so good they can play without reading the music but I feel it is my job to make sure they can actually read music notation.  After all you can’t know every piece of music so sometimes you might want to learn an unfamiliar piece and that requires being able to read the notes.  Am getting my Flash Cards out!

I also read an interesting article in my MTNA Journal about performance anxiety.  The most interesting thing was a short extract which you will see on my noticeboard: if a student has performance anxiety don’t ask what is wrong with that student, ask what has that student experienced? I have performance anxiety and I never thought about it this way; what happened that made me so nervous from an early age?  Am thinking about it.  I did have an early teacher who did use a ruler to hit my fingers when I made a mistake.  I guess that would do it!  But it can be a lot more subtle than that.  Something to think about.  Perhaps if a student understands why they feel this anxiety it might provide some relief or at least some reassurance.

Happy MLK Day

Happy MLK Day

I hope everyone is having a break and maybe doing nice things in spite of the freezing cold!  You would think it could snow if it is going to be this cold!

I think everyone has made a good start after the break and it is great to see all my students.  Without them how would I spend my time?

I do have some news I need to impart.  Apparently I have a basel cell carcinoma on my right lower eyelid which will necessitate Mohs surgery February 22 and plastic surgery February 23 to make it pretty as the Dr says.  However it will not be pretty and he wants me off work for a week after that.  This is why there is a week of no lessons in your dates at the end of February.  Thursday people will sadly miss two weeks of lessons unless I can fit you in earlier that week.

Only positive is I live near Duke and I have insurance and it is being done at Duke Medical facilities- last one at the Eye Center.

I am looking at the week off after the surgery as my spring break (Grrrrr) and so will probably not take anymore time off until June.  However I know all of you will have various spring breaks and will often be away different weeks. Let me know as soon as you know so I can rearrange make up lessons.

Summer piano camps:

My favorite is the UNCG residential summer camp.  Please check out the website and book EARLY.  It fills up so fast.  https://vpa.uncg.edu/music/smcamp/

There are also camps at UNCA, Meredith College, ECU, and UNC School of the Arts Winston Salem:

https://www.uncsa.edu/summer/music-summer-intensives/piano/index.aspx

School Of Rock Chapel Hill is a fun experience:  https://www.schoolofrock.com/locations/chapelhill/music-camps

There are more so please consider – my students have benefitted greatly from these types of camps, and they all seem to have lots of fun.

Repertoire:

Students and parents might have noticed that I am in favor of a wide variety of repertoire including newly composed compositions which do not always sound like the classics. I am especially keen on compositions by women.  I also teach the regular classics but I think being exposed to modern classical music is important even though the sounds you parents might hear might sound weird!  I try to accommodate popular music where I can but the arrangements often do not sound like the originals, and are hard to play and have to include some playing by ear!

Thanks always for learning piano with my studio!

Lorna

Welcome to 2024!

Piano lessons commence again tomorrow Monday 1/8/24.  I hope everyone can make their lessons. I had a wonderful 2 weeks off including a trip to Boston with my best friend, so I am really looking forward to seeing everyone this coming week.  Please check the schedule if you are confused.

Happy New Year and may 2024 be a wonderful peace-filled year for us all.

Happy Holidays in 2023!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

I hope you all have a safe, warm, wonderful time over the 2 week break.  Spring semester will commence January 8, when it will unbelievably be 2024. It has been a great year with students progressing as evidenced in the two Soirées. Thank you to everyone for choosing to learn music with me. ❤️

Bullets points now so please peruse:

  • Love all the gifts from students. Thank you so very much, but I have been meaning to tell you that I have been gluten free for a long time and cannot eat things made with wheat –  just for future reference so I don’t have to treat my guests with your cookies!  You can use one of the gluten free flours exactly the same as wheat flour for the students who like to bake…
  • The spring schedule is on my website.  Of course I know there will  be changes but it is a starting point. I already have some petitions for changes.  Just let me know as soon as you know about after school activities.  Spring Semester starts January 8.  If anyone is not continuing please let me know.
  • Did anyone video a student at the recent Soirée?  Would love to post a few on my blog if that’s OK.
  • Some people will be needing new books and I will let you know as soon as I work it out.  I think everyone has music to work on over the two week break.
  • I am going to have a blitz in the new year about learning to read the notes on the two staves.  It is a great skill to have as well as being able to play from memory, so get ready for flash cards and more.  I also want to help more students with original compositions.
  • Fees for 2024 will be $38 a half hour lesson with $76 for the hour or $57 for 45 minutes but I only have one spot for 45 minutes – I have to run 1/2 hour back-to-back lessons in the after school hours to fit everyone in.  There will still be a 10% discount for 2 or more learning piano.

Lorna

The Holiday Soirée December 8, 2023

It was such a wonderful evening with 22 performers (Ida could not play as she was not well) who all played remarkably well.  There were students aged from 6 to 16 – the 6 year olds could see what could be achieved by ages 15-20 so I hope they all keep working on piano.  It is a slow process but so worthwhile.  Many adults ask to come back to piano having played as students because they really miss having music they make themselves in their lives.

I will tell students my feedback in lessons and I have treats for everyone.

There are two weeks of lessons this week and next.  If you are not coming to any of these lessons please let me know because I can use the time for other students or for my own practice.  Fees are also due this week if you have not already settled up for December.  Lessons start next year Monday January 8 with a new fee structure of $38 for a 1/2 hour lesson.

Thank you again everyone who came to the Soirée – it is a really important part of my studio practice.  It motivates everyone to just do that extra work to polish pieces.  Some play from memory which is wonderful but I have seen experienced concert pianists play from music and in my latest Music Teachers National magazine there was an article about playing from memory or from the music.  The opinion was that either was fine depending on the pianist.  In my personal experience you are either a great memorizer or a great sight reader – I fall in the last category myself.  Some say that is because I did not do enough piano practice so I had to sight read in the lesson – I did my 6 hours a day so not sure if that is true!  I can memorize if I really work on it but it does not come naturally!

Lorna

    

Archives