Piano with Amy, Summer Workshop Week, July and August 2023

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Throughout July and August, our Summer Online Workshops took on special themes, delivering a trio of diverse classes that left participants inspired.

What an incredible Summer it has been, filled with engaging playing opportunities in our workshops and studio gatherings! 

Our July and August Online Workshops took on special themes, delivering a trio of diverse classes that left participants inspired. To nurture our sense of community, we came together for a delightful studio social; we revisited familiar faces and met new studio members.

This season offered a selection of three themed classes. From Monday to Thursday, students united through Zoom to immerse themselves in dynamic learning and playing. Students were provided recordings of each class which allowed convenient viewing at their own pace.

Workshop Classes from our Online Summer Workshop:

Playing With Chords (with Chords Crash Course, Book 1)

We embarked on an exciting exploration of musical harmony through the thorough guidebook, ‘Playing with Chords (Book 1)’ by Meridee Winters. This comprehensive workshop took students through an immersive journey across all 12 chapters of the book, unraveling the mysteries of chord progressions for both hands. From beginners taking their first steps in piano to experienced players, the workshop offered invaluable insights into accompaniment styles and chord knowledge.

But the learning didn’t end there. All students received the backing tracks used during the workshop, enabling continued exploration with their at home playing. It’s remarkable how playing chords can open doors to a variety of playing styles!

Musical Form: Creating A Blueprint for Learning

We also delved deep into the fascinating realm of musical form! We created a comprehensive blueprint for learning that gave deeper understanding into musical structure.

This challenging workshop was structured around four theoretical areas, each contributing to a holistic understanding of musical composition and expression. We explored ‘Musical Form – Naturally Occurring Chords,’ unveiling the intricate relationship between chords and their natural occurrence within compositions. ‘Motivic Development’ was another intriguing topic, guiding participants through the art of developing musical motifs to create rich and captivating melodies. ‘The Harmonic Cadences’ segment enlightened participants about the harmonic resolutions that shape musical phrases, showing how smaller pieces fit into larger structure of their music. Lastly, we delved into the study of “Binary Form, Ternary Form, and other common forms,” offering insights into the largest building blocks of musical compositions.

By Rote: Tips & Tricks for Learning to Play From Memory

This topic unravels the secrets to effective memorization techniques. On Day 1, we embarked on a journey through the concept of learning a piece “By Rote,” uncovering an approach that taps into the kinesthetic and auditory senses to solidify memory. Day 2 was all about equipping participants with the best tools to enhance their memorization capabilities, providing invaluable strategies to make memorization a less mysterious process. The Mystery Rote Piece of the Day revolved around the intriguing question of how musical sections are labeled, shedding light on the underlying structure of compositions. Day 3 addressed a common concern – what to do if you forget your piece mid-performance, offering practical solutions to navigate memory lapses. Finally, on Day 4, we synthesized all the insights gathered throughout the workshop, culminating in a comprehensive understanding of the art of playing by memory. 

We revealed the name of the piece all students had learned by memory that week: Burgeoning Blooms by Wendy Stevens. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed learning a piece in just four days!

Several studio members also participated in a local music festival in mid-July! The 18th annual Nature and Water Music Festival was put on by the Anne Arundel Music Teachers Association. We had both in-person and Zoom performance opportunities.

We enjoyed our Summertime together, although it feels like it went by in a flash. We especially enjoyed getting to know each other and sharing our Summer plans at our studio socials.

We are looking forward to Fall lessons and studio events, which include a special Halloween Jam in a couple of months! I can’t wait to see what our coming music ventures will bring.

Take care of yourself! May music bring you joy and wellness always.

PS: Interested in learning piano online this Fall? Our Fall lessons will begin this September! Please don’t hesitate to contact us!