I can hardly believe we are already into February but perhaps it is because it has been so distractingly warm – no snow for this Australian!  I’d like just one or two days of the pretty white stuff, please.

Students have made great starts to the year from young pianists who are well into “Celebrate Piano” and guitarists who are learning new chords in very swift fashion.  Two piano students are preparing for the Carnegie Hall Achievement program examinations in May.  These are a great way to have nationally and  internationally recognized certificates in piano and musicianship.  If there are other students who want to think about this for 2013, please talk to me about it. You might be interested in some of the video testimonials on the Carnegie Hall website.

Flourishing Muse is flourishing!  The studio now has 38 individual students (with more waiting for times) and two string groups of 10 students (we were playing bluegrass this morning and our own version of “We Will Rock You!” ). Thank you wonderful supporters! In addition I might be starting a choral group on Friday mornings if Home School singers are interested.  It will get me going and ready for Glee Camp in summer!

This brings me to summer camps. This coming summer I am teaching camps at the Carolina Friends School.  I have been teaching my own camps but I can’t match the marketing power of the Carolina Friends School or their fabulous organization! These are the camps I will be teaching and you can read more on their website:
My camps:

Glee Camp 6/18 – 6/22 for 9-14 years

Songwriting 6/25 – 6/29 for 10-13 years

Mini-Musical 7/9 – 7/13 and 7/30 – 8/3 for 6-8 years

Ukulele Camp 7/16 – 7/20 for 7-9 years

African Animal Musical Safari Camp 8/6 – 8/10 for 5-7 years

You are very welcome to come to these camps but I should tell you my camps are very energetic and, I hope, tons of fun, and every camp ends on the Friday with a concert or presentation.  You can book through the Carolina Friends School.

For the piano students there are other camps just focused on piano.  Meredith College in Raleigh presents a number of different piano camps, ranging from beginner camps to an intensive one that you need to audition for a place.
One of my students attended the Mars Hill piano camp last year and really enjoyed it.  It is a residential camp.

Another parent has recommended the UNCG piano camps which are also residential.  These camps do not require an audition but they do ask for a recommendation from your private music teacher and I am very happy to do that for students.

Some of these camps do offer scholarships and it is well worth asking about it.  There are probably more piano camps but these are 3 that I know about and know someone who has attended.

Can I say a quick word of practicing?  I have students who practice every day, and students who sometimes practice and students who rarely practice.  Guess who is making the most progress and is going to play an amazing piece at the June Soiree?  Tell me the answer in your lesson!  I think you do not have to practice every single day but if you practiced 5 out of 7 you would make great progress.  Then there are different kinds of practice: there’s the kind where you sit with your instrument and just fool around a bit, and there’s the kind where you look at your schedule for the week and get straight on it and maybe after that you fool around a bit because that is also important.  That’s how you end up making up your own music.  But fooling around comes after the serious stuff OK?

And composers – we have some new ones with really interesting compositions getting ready for premiere’s at the Spring Soiree!  Still trying to figure out how to teach more students Finale, the amazing computer program for composers; more about this another time.

Let’s be terrific at music!