Thursday, November 28, 2013

December 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- For the month of December, I will be teaching my normal weekly schedule through Saturday, 12/21. For most students this means we will meet for three lessons in December. 

December lesson payments should be made out for the number of lessons plus the $15 per student recital fee.

There will be a two week winter break running from 12/22 to 1/3. Normal service resumes on Saturday, January 4th.

-- The next student recital will be held Sunday, December 8th from 2 to 6pm in the recital hall at CSUEB. All the pertinent details (i.e. directions, start times) can be found on this blog.

-- There is no Theta Music Trainer assignment for the month of December.

-- There will be no song of the month for December. We'll work on Christmas tunes instead.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 2013 Teaching Schedule

-- My teaching schedule for November will be uninterrupted, save Saturday, 11/30. I will not be teaching that day in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

-- The Theta Music Trainer assignment for the month of November is these 3 exercises:

Scales -- Tone Drops
Intervals -- Flash Intervals (Melodic)
Melody -- Three Tones (Major)

-- The next student recital will be held Sunday, December 8th from 2 to 6pm in the recital hall at CSUEB. Please save the date!


-- Students participating in Certificate of Merit this spring are now officially enrolled. I will be collecting CM fees along with the November lesson payment.

-- The song of the month for November is "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Many Benefits of Music


From an article written by Sandy Lundberg, originally posted on the Music Teacher's Helper blog on 10/26/13:

The Many Benefits of Music
Music is beneficial on many levels. It is the universal language of our hearts. Just like our spoken language, where we learn to read, write and communicate, and appreciate the communications of others, we can learn to communicate in the language of music.

Music grows new connections in the brain. Because of the way our two hands are used, playing the piano develops these connections better than any other instrument. Piano study improves math skills, coordination, and multi-level thinking. Students slowly develop independence of the hands, and the ability for each hand to perform a completely different action in coordinated unison.

Studying music develops character. It has been said that it takes 10 years at 20 hours per week to truly master a subject. That’s a lot of commitment and patience, a lot of showing up and doing the work, even on days and weeks you don’t feel like it. That is a lot of delayed gratification.

Studying music also teaches children how to learn. Through daily practice students cultivate good habits. They learn that if they are sloppy in their practice they don’t get the results they want. Our brain is always learning and looking for the “easy” way out. When we practice mistakes over and over again, our brain learns them very well, and it takes a lot of work to override them with new programming.

Music is also a social activity. Most instruments are played as a part of a group. Piano is unique in this regard in that there is rarely more than one piano role in a musical group, and the piano is often studied as a solo instrument. 

Music is also a gift to be shared. Whole professions are built around the therapeutic value of music. David soothed King Saul with his harp. Students provide pleasure for their families as they bring music into their homes.

Music is also a personal oasis for comfort and expression. Playing the piano can soothe us when life is troubling, allow us to express overwhelming joy and gladness, or even be an outlet for turbulent feelings. It can mirror our soul and help us cry out to God in the language of our hearts.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 2013 Teaching Schedule

-- My teaching schedule for October will be uninterrupted.

-- The Theta Music Trainer assignment for the month of October is these 3 exercises:

Scales -- Paddle Tones
Melody -- Parrot Phrases
Rhythms -- Flash Rhythms

-- The next student recital will be held Sunday, December 8th from 2 to 6pm in the recital hall at CSUEB. Please save the date!

-- The song of the month for October is "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Do's and Don'ts for Piano Buyers and Sellers


Pianist Shirley Kirsten has written an excellent, extremely detailed article aimed at prospective piano buyers or sellers. Read it here.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- I will not be teaching on Monday, 9/2 (Labor Day). Other than that, the month's lessons will be uninterrupted.

-- Each student will receive an updated and revised studio policy printout from me at their first lesson of September. The most significant changes to the policies are my increased lesson fees and the upcoming institution of a "Swap List" for whenever a student needs to reschedule a lesson. 

-- The Song of the Month for September is "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.

-- The next student recital will be held Sunday, December 8 from 2 to 6pm in the recital hall at CSUEB.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Concert-Grand Elephant in the Living Room


From an article written by Pamela Fiori for the Wall Street Journal, published 1/5/13:

Key Points: How to Shop for a Piano
1. Purchasing a piano is like buying a car. Figure out if you want a used or new one, what size you have room for and what you want to spend.
2. Don't go to a showroom by yourself. Bring your teacher, your tuner or a technician along to judge all the things you are clueless about.
3. Don't buy a piano online unless you have the opportunity to see and play it beforehand.
4. Make sure you get a warranty (for lifetime parts and 10 years' labor for the original owner; the warranty cannot be transferred).
5. Don't be surprised—or devastated—if you end up with a piano that's bigger and more expensive than you counted on. You really do get what you pay for.
6. If you want to know more than you need to about buying and owning a piano, order the fourth edition of "The Piano Book" (Brookside Press) by Larry Fine, with a lovely intro by Keith Jarrett.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 2013 Teaching schedule

-- I will not be teaching during the last week of August, running from August 26th through September 2nd. Normal service will resume on Tuesday, September 3rd.

-- The summer cartoon film scoring project continues this month. Each student will compose music to accompany the Pixar short "For the Birds". You can watch the video and find a cue list here.

-- There will be no Song of the Month for August.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer 2013 Film Scoring project - For the Birds cue list



1) 0:00 - 0:15  Opening credits
2) 0:16 - 0:54  Small birds gather on the wire
3) 0:55 - 1:15  Big bird appears
4) 1:16 - 1:47  All birds move to center of the wire
5) 1:48 - 2:27  Big bird hanging precariously
6) 2:28 - 2:38  Big bird falls, little birds fly up 
7) 2:39 - 3:01  Feather-less little birds plop down
8) 3:02 - 3:22  End credits

July 2013 Teaching Schedule

-- I will not be teaching on the Independence Day holiday Thursday, July 4th. Also, I have a vacation week scheduled for July 20th through July 27th, and there will be no lessons that week.

-- At the end of August, there is another week I will not be teaching. Here are the dates when there will be no lessons:
August 26th through September 2nd

-- This summer I will be undertaking a cartoon film scoring project with select students. Each student will compose music to accompany the Pixar short "For the Birds". You can watch the video and find a cue list here.

-- There will be no Song of the Month for July & August.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Friday, May 31, 2013

June 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- I will not be teaching on Sunday, June 23rd. Otherwise, my teaching schedule for June will be uninterrupted. Lesson payments for June should be made out for the full month plus the $15 per student recital fee.

-- The next student recital is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 22nd in the music building recital hall at CSUEB. 

Group 1 will begin at 12:30pm and Group 2 will begin at 2:00pm.

Click here for a listing of which student will perform in each group. 

-- During the summer, there are two weeks I will not be teaching. Here are the dates when there will be no lessons:
July 20 - July 27
August 26 - September 2

-- The Song of the Month for June is "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- I will not be teaching on Monday, May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. My teaching schedule for the rest of May will be as normal.

-- Rather than a traditional Theta Music assignment for April and May, students are invited to participate in the first annual Theta Music Challenge. The T.M.C. worksheet will be due at the end of this month.

-- The Song of the Month for May is "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King.

-- Lastly, the next student recital is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 22nd in the recital hall at CSUEB.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- Lessons for the month of April will be uninterrupted.

-- Rather than a traditional Theta Music assignment for April and May, students will be invited to participate in the first annual Theta Music Challenge. I will outline the details of the T.M.C. with students in person.

-- The Song of the Month for April is "Rolling In the Deep" by Adele.

-- Lastly, the next student recital is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 22nd in the recital hall at CSUEB.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 2013 Teaching Schedule

-- Lessons for the month of March will largely be uninterrupted. Due to my various performance commitments in the latter part of March, I will be teaching a shorter schedule on 3/19, 3/21, and 3/28. Also, for the fourth week of March I need to see my regular Sunday students on Saturday instead. I will communicate with each affected student individually regarding lesson time changes. 

-- As a companion to our traditional Song of the Month project, I am inaugurating a Composer of the Month series. Frederic Chopin is the composer for March. Watch this space for details.

-- Rather than a traditional Theta Music assignment for March, students will be invited to participate in the first annual Theta Music Challenge. I will outline the details of the T.M.C. with students in person. (I've decided to save this for April and May)

-- The Theta Music assignment for March is to work on the following exercises:

Scales -- Tonal Recall
Intervals -- Flash Intervals (Mel.)
Melody -- Three Tones (Minor)
Theory & Notation -- Key Puzzles

-- The Song of the Month for March is "Happy Together" by The Turtles.

-- Lastly, the next student recital is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 22nd in the recital hall at CSUEB.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Summer 2013 Film Scoring project - candidates


Monkey Spoon


Caminandes


Egghunt


Banarun


Merbabies


For the Birds



Friday, February 1, 2013

February 2013 Teaching Schedule


-- Lessons for the month of February will be uninterrupted. I am planning to teach a shorter schedule on Monday, 2/18 (President's Day). I will communicate with each Monday student individually as to whether we will be meeting that day.

-- As a reminder to CM students, here are the CM dates for this month:

* Performance evaluations will be held on the weekends of February 16-17 and February 23-24. 
** Theory testing will be conducted on the weekend of February 16-17.

-- The Theta Music assignment for February is the following exercises:

Scales -- Three Tones (Major)
Chord Progressions -- Speaker Chords
Theory & Notation -- Chord Spells
Sound -- Band Match

-- There will be no Song of the Month for February. We'll resume this monthly program in March.

Have a happy day,
Jesse

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 2013 Teaching Schedule



-- My regular teaching schedule resumes on Sunday, January 6th. The month of January will be uninterrupted. (I am aware that Monday, Jan. 21 is the M.L.K. Jr. holiday... I will be teaching that day.)

-- As a reminder to CM students, here are the CM dates for spring 2013:

* Performance evaluations will be held on the weekends of February 16-17 and February 23-24. 
** Theory testing will be conducted on the weekend of February 16-17.

-- The Theta Music assignment for January is the following exercises:

Intervals -- Harmonic Drops
Chords -- Tone Trees
Chords -- Speed Chords
Rhythm -- Flash Rhythms

-- There will be no Song of the Month for January or February.

Have a happy day,
Jesse