Finally, we are coming to the end of not only a long Spring semester but a long, long pandemic – at least I hope the latter is true! I am back teaching in person albeit with masks but it is so much easier than online especially with younger students, but probably most people.  Three students will remain on line as they are in remote locations.
I have some important things to communicate  and ask:
I really and again, really want to put a new set of student videos up on my website.  I want to show what students have been able to achieve in the face of this pandemic.  I am amazed at how much you all got done in spite of dodgy internet connections and sometimes also older devices.  ( I hope all students now pay more attention to charging their device batteries!).  Can parents and students please work on this before June is upon us? Phone video is perfect.  Please put in drop box.
There are only a few weeks in June; one week for Monday students and two for everyone else. I would really appreciate it if everyone could work on paying those fees early next week.  Some have paid already and some have credits – check the end of your student’s latest email.  If you are not taking summer lessons, the Fall semester will commence after labor day.  This means Monday students will start 9/13/21 and others from 9/7/21.
If you are taking summer lessons, I will be teaching 9 weeks during summer from 6/21 to 8/19, but only on Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Some students have already secured a time; everyone else needs to let me know possible times on the schedule below.  You do not necessarily need to take lessons all of the 9 weeks but I really need to know your exact dates as much as you can tell me.  I can be flexible but I am definitely not teaching on the Wednesday or the Friday during summer.  At this time I would also like to keep Monday after noon free but I am open to possible times then.  If there is a question mark after your name it is just a suggestion so far.  I am on vacation 6/12 – 6/20 and then 8/22 – 9/6. (more after the schedule)
9:00 – 9:30 Mary-Russell
9:30 – 10:00 Kristen
10:00 – 10:30 Kristen
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30 Lydia
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00 Joshie
1:00 – 1:30
3:00 – 3:30
3:30 – 4:00
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00
5:00 – 5:30
5:30 – 6:00
6:00 – 6:30 Jikai?
3:00 – 3:30 Susan
3:30 – 4:00
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00 Pascale?
5:00 – 5:30 Tori?
5:30 – 6:00
6:00 – 6:30
Congratulations to 3 graduating seniors, Quinn Barbaza, Andrew Hartman, and Kaitlyn Busch.  I will sorely miss you all and hope you come back for visits like some of my previous students, and possibly play at my Holiday and Spring soirees.
Kaitlyn is my last remaining guitar student and I am no longer going to teach guitar.  I do not have time to practice and once a week playing barre chords does not go well with my left hand.  I will keep some existing ukulele students but probably not taking any new ones.  I might have room for some new piano students; I would especially love some more adult learners.
On the subject of piano lessons,  I would like to encourage interested students to think about the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) curriculum and examinations in piano;  I suggest that several of my current students who seem really keen on piano and are happy to practice each week might consider working towards the RCM examinations, using the RCM’s very fine and comprehensive curriculum.  Among my students Quinn completed level 6, Ashley level 5, Kavisha is about to take level 3, and Lydia is working towards level 3.  All have mastered not just piano skills but a deep understanding of music.
Here is the RCM website: I have to say it is hard to navigate beyond the first few pages but you can see some of their ideas.
The RCM is based in Toronto, Canada, but several years ago they agreed to extend their operations to America.  The program was called by various names to help Americans understand what it was but they have settled back into the RCM, even though “Royal” is not used in America.
There is a center in Cary at a local music school and until Covid hit exams were conducted there.  Now the exams are done online and that might become permanent as it seems to be successful.  There are not many teachers in Durham who have students sitting for exams – I think just myself and Sam Marion.  I have had students sit for exams up to and including level 6 so far and all my students seem to achieve at least honors but most get distinctions.
My idea is that even if you do not want your student to sit for the exams, I can teach them through the curriculum which includes technical work, ear tests, sight reading as well as some great imaginative pieces from the baroque era though the 21st century.  The books are not cheap and the fee for exams is not either!
The good thing about sitting for the exams is you have a definite goal, and these are internationally recognized piano standards and the curriculum is taught in many countries.  Good portfolio material!
I think this is long enough now so hope to be seeing videos coming to me.  I would prefer you put them in drop box as it preserves a better quality.  Let me know if I need to send you a drop box invitation.