Honestly, the Summer whirlwind threw me into Fall lessons and classes before I knew it. I blinked at the end of June and somehow arrived mid-Fall, complete with cooler temperatures and falling leaves.
Then I realized something. I had forgotten to tell you all that transpired this past June! Oh well. As they say: better late than never.
Our Spring Online Workshop this past June included some usual suspects: group coachings and three themed lectures. These are sessions my students proclaim to love and enjoy every year. However, those sessions were on the “to be expected” list of inclusions. We did have a happy surprise – in the form of a couple remarkable musical encounters. We had not one, but TWO VERY special guest sessions, where my students had a chance to spend time with two of the best piano teaching professionals around! Our guests were none other than Daniel McFarlane, a prominent Australian teacher, composer, clinician and creator of the (massive) musical database SuperSonics Piano. AND if that weren’t enough we ALSO had the pleasure of meeting with former MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) President and professor emeritus, Martha Hilley, an experienced educator, clinician, composer and pianist. What an incredible opportunity it was to be able to meet and work with them both!
The week was a flurry of beautiful sounds, new concepts and some deep wisdom. Of course, we had an absolute blast. If you’ve never attended, our special workshops are really something to behold and savor. Everyone receives Zoom links to attend live workshops of their choice. There are three sessions everyday – morning, afternoon and evening, Monday through Thursday. It’s quite the week-long event. One of the best parts is that studio members receive recordings of workshops to watch at their convenience.
We wrapped up the week with an evening Zoom Studio Social on Thursday following a very casual “Relaxed Recital,” in which many of our studio members played and enjoyed listening to others. We enjoyed chatting about what we learned during the week and sharing our plans for the Summer!
Here are the Workshop Classes from our Online Spring Workshop:
Open Group Coaching
- Students had a chance to select a piece on which they were working to play for a small group. Everyone received tailored coaching and encouragement. Some prepared to play in a “Relaxed Recital” Thursday evening!
Improvising for Beginners: Fun With Modes
- This interactive lecture focused on improvising for beginners with modes. First we jumped into a piece “Glimmer of Hope” by Forrest Kinney. Then we looked into a bit of the history and theory behind modes and the types of modern modes available to us.
- We looked at a second modal improvisation from Forrest’s Create First Solo Series called “Scotland.” Then we looked at some popular and classical music examples which use modern modes, as well as some helpful resources in the handout.
Preparing for Your Lesson: Keeping Things in Perspective:
- Sometime in the early years of piano lessons, I am asked the following questions: What should I prepare to play for my lessons? How much time should I plan to practice? Or, what are you listening for when I play? What are you looking for in my playing? What’s the best way to prepare for my lesson? What are your expectations?
- We followed the lecture with a discussion about all these valid questions and concerns.
Creativity Beyond Compare: Forrest Kinney
- We discussed this wise and timely book by Forrest Kinney – Creativity Beyond Compare, Conversations on Creativity in Eighteen Chapters.
- Most students loved the presentation and discussion so much, they decided to order the book and have a copy of their own.
- We are grateful to Tonya Southwick and Sydney (Forrest’s sister) who supported our studio with a purchase discount and words of encouragement.
Everyone enjoyed the week. We especially enjoyed our “Relaxed Recital” and special guest artist sessions. Many thanks to our special guests!
We are looking forward to our December Holiday Workshop, where we’ll get to explore more music and favorite topics. The adventure continues….
May music bring you joy and wellness. Always.