Happy February, Students and Parents!
It may be chilly outside, but I know you are all breaking into a sweat practicing for Gold Cup Festival, March 7! Right?
By this time, all students are working on their required and choice pieces. For some of you, this is your first Gold Cup Festival. As described in my book, Miss Nancy’s Piano Lessons, Gold Cup Festival not only provides an opportunity for students to play well learned pieces for a friendly judge but also rewards them with certificates and trophies. Please contact me if you need a copy of my book for further description.
The Gulf Coast Music Teachers have a website for more information on Gold Cup and other Festivals: gulfcoastmusicteachers.org
On this site, you can scroll down to Parent Letter and Directions to the event at San Jacinto Community College.
More news! This year I have added the Piano Pronto books to student repertoire. This is a new line of teaching books that has been acclaimed internationally. Jennifer Eklund, composer and publisher is in contact 24/7 with the public on her website, pianopronto.com where you can see how easy it is to review her music and hear audio samples.
I hope you all are having a bowl of warm soup and enjoying winter fun!
🎄🎶Oh what fun it was playing holiday music, including Christmas carols and the Dreidel Song, for the residents at Brookdale on December 7. Guest flutist, Donna Jerz, and I started the program with 2 movements from Suite Modale. Then, sleigh bells ringing, flute and piano led the group in singing Jingle Bells. Piano students continued the program by playing their favorite carols and songs from their repertoires. Kudos to our two Jazz Festival winners, Kyndsey Jones and Ereka Jayasekara, who received trophies. All students received their recital award composer statuettes. A Brookdale resident was the lucky winner of the beautiful pointsettia door prize.
Festive refreshments were were served after the program as we socialized with parents and residents to wrap up holiday cheer for all. 🎶
The New Year is just around the corner. Now is a good time to practice up and get ready for Gold Cup Festival on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas.
May I recommend a very effective and challenging app to improve your sight reading skills? Flash Note Derby, of course!
A very Musical Happy New Year to all!
Recently, the parents of three student recipients of Gold Cups, sponsored by the Gulf Coast Music Association, asked me about the benefits are of continuing to enter the Gold Cup Festivals. The answer is quite clear for those of us teachers who organize our yearly curriculum around the Federation Festivals Bulletin: Both teachers and students have a well defined goal and target date for which to prepare their pieces prescribed by the Federation.
The Federation Bulletin has compiled a thorough program to follow for teachers. It lists each Piano Event, i.e. Piano Solo Event, Piano Ensemble Event, and specific levels, i.e. Primary Class Piano. What are the parameters of the terms such as Intermediate and Advanced? In the Bulletin they are listed as Medium and Difficult with sub levels of Moderately Difficult I, Moderately Difficult II, etc. This information is very helpful for teachers who don’t have the time or resources to sift through music at the music stores or online companies to determine the levels of difficulty. In addition, new repertoire ideas are provided throughout the Bulletin, whether they are piano solos, hymns, duets, or patriotic and folk songs
Students benefit from this well prepared Bulletin as well as teachers. There is no guess work whether they are advancing at the proper level. Within the sub levels there are even more levels. For instance, there are some Primary Class Piano pieces more difficult than others. The idea is to stylize the selection to fit the needs of the student. Students will then learn the piece with confidence because the level is adjusted to fit their specific abilities.
The Gold Cup Festival is important in another way. It nudges the student to be ready “judgement day,” when an accredited educator will evaluate their performance. This is a real motivator, not just for the student, but for the teacher and parents as well!