Fall semester is coming to an end and soon we will all be relaxing on holidays. I hope everyone stays safe and warm.

I was so happy with the Fall Soiree.  Everyone played so well from beginners to advanced.  It was lovely to see Myles Spencer back from France and playing well.  Loved seeing he and Quinn talking about piano business!

There were too many highlights to go into individually but congratulations to everyone who took part.  You did it!  Loved to see so many parents and friends and adult students and Croasdaile residents.  Thanks so much to Croasdaile and to the Rev. Denise Waters, the amazing director of just about everything at Croasdaile.

Lessons finish on Friday December 22 except for a few students who are leaving early.  Most people have let me know their movements and almost all fees are paid to the end of year.  If you have not paid December fees I will send reminders this week.

I have decided that I will not start the Spring semester until Monday January 8.  The public schools seem to have cut short the Christmas holiday and I feel like I need a bit more time to prepare for 2018 and get back to my compositions and my novel.  I hope everyone is OK with that.  The first week in January is short anyway and parents and students might appreciate a bit of time to get back into school.  If anyone needs to move lesson times please let me know soon.  I will be away over Christmas but on email.

I will have the Spring Schedule on my blog very shortly – it will look much the same as the Fall schedule unless you let me know of changes you might need.  If you need to leave my studio and/or join another studio, I am well aware that there is not always a perfect match between teacher and student so please feel easy about talking to me if you feel you need to move studios. I also realize that my schedule is somewhat constrained by not working after 7 at night and not working on weekends.

I have been reading some posts by Jeremy Denk, concert pianist.  He was asked “How do you practice?”  His answer can inform all pianists!

How do I practice? Well, amazingly enough, I’ve found myself lately going back to the two most fundamental piece of advice of my teacher in new Mexico, whom I studied with from 10-15. First, never play faster than you can think.  Second, practice hands alone. I practice hands alone 50-75% of the time.  It is absolutely the best – if the most frustrating – way to practice, and you learn so much about yourself so fast.  Then you must be truthful with yourself.  Did you brain know that note was coming? Or did your fingers play it before your brain could think?

Every so often, remind yourself that music is supposed to be fun.

(Extract from the Music Teachers National Association Magazine, Dec/Jan. 2017 p. 15)

Thank you to all the students who participated in the playathon.  One student told me it really helped him to be prepared for the Soiree.  There will be more playathons next year to raise money for the DMTA scholarship fund.

I saw this on my MTNA newsletter – maybe a slight exaggeration!