Piano with Amy, Holiday Workshop Week, December 2022

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We had a beautiful Holiday Workshop week this year. Everyone looks forward to our December Holiday Workshop as a special opportunity to go deeper and have an immersive musical experience.

We had a beautiful Holiday Workshop week this year. Everyone looks forward to our December Holiday Workshop as a special opportunity to go deeper and have an immersive musical experience.

Every December, we host a week-long Zoom Workshop available to all studio members. We have group coachings, themed lectures and special guest speakers. 

We had two FABULOUS special guest artists give special evening sessions this time around. Everyone received Zoom links to attend live workshops of their choice every day – in the morning, afternoon or evening. All students received recordings of all classes to review or to watch in case they couldn’t attend in person.

We finished out the week with our Zoom Holiday Studio Social Thursday evening. We enjoyed reconnecting with friends and meeting new studio members in small break out rooms. We also had several students who played a holiday tune for the group! I’m so proud of my students!

Learn more about our Holiday Workshop Classes:

Open Group Coachings

  • Students had a chance to work on a piece of their choice in a supportive group setting. We worked in a masterclass style, which means you get to listen to other student coachings and others get to listen to your coaching. 
  • Students get personalized feedback in a safe, relaxed environment. 

Reading Intervals: Making Your Reading (and Playing) Easier

  • We discussed an essential component of reading fluency: intervals. This included the definition of an interval and the most important intervals to read and play. 
  • We discussed good pieces to practice different intervals from our studio library. This included studio licensed materials from Susan Bell, one of our guest speakers this week. 
  • All students printed an “interval cheat sheet” handout and have access to all studio licensed pieces to practice playing eight different intervals. 

Phrasing: Create A Sophisticated Sound From The Beginning 

  • We focused on a particular aspect of musicality which can make a significant difference in creating a more sophisticated sound at the piano. 
  • First, we defined phrasing and the basics of phrasing. Then we moved quickly into real musical examples from Lead Sheets and pieces selected from our studio licensed materials.
  • For musical examples, we always showcase pieces at different levels, including absolute beginner to intermediate levels. 

The Art of Repetition As Practice Strategy

  • We looked at the role repetition plays in learning and memory. 
  • We studied a blog entry by Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD on Understanding Learning and Memory: The Neuroscience of Repetition. 
  • We discussed what to repeat, how to repeat, and  especially how many times to repeat. Then we looked at some musical examples which include different playing levels from our studio library. 

I also invited two guest artists to work with students — Doug Weeks and Susan Bell! We had a special session with Doug Weeks centered on music which heals the soul. If you’d like to get the list of music he shared with us with links, just click here: “When Life Gets Hard: Building A Healing Playlist”. It was a special evening to have the opportunity to listen to such a seasoned musician talk about beloved music. He spoke about each selection before we listened together. 

We also had a wonderful evening with Susan Bell later in the week. She shared her arrangement of Coventry Carol, a beautiful English Christmas carol dating back to the 16th century. Thanks to a brave student who was willing to perform Susan’s arrangement for the group – she did a beautiful job! Susan gave us some tools and tips for creativity, which included music theory, arranging and improvisation ideas. We’re so grateful for her insights and opportunity to look into her creative process!

Everyone enjoyed the week – lectures, coachings and guest sessions! And we especially loved the fantastic sessions with our special guests. Many thanks to Doug and Susan!

We are looking forward to our next (Spring) workshop in June! If you’re interested in learning more or have questions, let me know! May music bring you joy and wellness this year and always!