PIANOGRAM | December 2015

Leslie’s Music Studio Newsletter

PianogramStudent Accomplishments


I am proud of all my students who have improved their skills in practicing, memorizing, performing, ear training, and music theory this semester! Every student should be proud of the goals they have met.  Below are a few student accomplishments from this semester to highlight:

  • Nathan was nominated to perform in this year’s OMTA (Olathe Music Teacher’s Association) Honors Recital on Sunday, November 8th at Metropolitan Strings Academy. To be nominated for this honors recital, students must display a continued commitment to growing as a musician, focus and positive attitude in lessons, and consistent practice habits.
  • Elementary students performed in the Halloween Recital at Aberdeen Village on October 25th. This was a very first piano recital for Ally and Maddie. Congratulations!
  • All students performed in our Winter Recital. This was a very first piano recital for Maya. Congratulations!
  • Sophia wrote her first composition for piano, titled “Remember.”

Enhancing Student Learning

Weekly to monthly practice rewards are back! All students are encouraged to work towards increasing their practice minutes and days practiced. We will set personal goals for each week. For each month that every week’s goals are met, students will receive a piano prize! Awards for the most minutes practiced and most days practiced will be given at our Spring Recital on April 3rd, 2016.

As part of our practice incentive, students are learning effective practice strategies so that each minute at the piano is productive, engaging, and efficient. This semester students learned about The Rule of 5, a method to help break down a song into “bite size” sections and target trouble spots.

Students who use this method combined with regular daily practice have seen incredible growth in their musicianship and enjoyment of piano lessons!

Master Classes

Master Classes have proven to be the new highlight of piano lessons! Students have loved learning in the group setting. It is clear how the classes have increased students’ sense of camaraderie  and ownership in their study of piano. Performing for each other before our winter recital provided a wonderful opportunity to work out anxious jitters as well as develop students’ listening ears.

The following concepts were covered in our November classes:

  • Performance Strategies and Stage Presence: Developing confidence
  • Ear Training: Identifying intervals of a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and octave by ear
  • Ear Training: Identifying tonality (Major or Minor) of each other’s recital pieces
  • Ear Training: Identifying meter (3/4 or 4/4) of each other’s recital pieces
  • Rhythm Training: Developing proficiency playing rhythms in 3/4 and 4/4 meter


Concepts covered in our December classes echoed what we learned in November, but with Christmas flair and at a higher level:

  • Rhythm Training: Developing proficiency playing more complex rhythms in 3/4 and 4/4 with piano accompaniment in the form of a Christmas carol
  • Ear Training: Identifying intervals, tonality and meter using “Holiday Name that Tune” group game
  • Ensemble Skills: Playing Christmas Carols together on piano – 6 kids shared 3 keyboards in our Secondary age class!
  • Rhythm Training: Developing internal beat by being challenged to stay together as a piano ensemble
  • Sight Reading: Developing proficiency reading music with  little or no mistakes the first time

There is so much that goes into becoming a proficient pianist. Thank you for sending your students to these classes to help them build on these skills!

New Way to Pay

mth logoI’m excited to announce that my studio has started using a service called Music Teacher’s Helper that allows parents to pay online. You can even set up automatic payments if you would like.

Look out in your email for January’s tuition statement to come via Music Teacher’s Helper. It may automatically be sorted into your Junk folder, but you can change your email settings to have it sorted into your main inbox in the future.

I have emailed parents’ unique login information to each parent. For easy access to the site, there is a green icon link at the bottom of my website’s Home page.

Upcoming Events

  • Winter Break December 21, 2015 – January 1, 2016 (no lessons)
  • SPRING TERM BEGINS January 4, 2016
  • Deadline for OMTA Solo Festival registration January 19, 2016
  • OMTA Solo Festival March 5, 2016 at Bell Cultural Arts Center (2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062)
  • LMS Spring Piano Recital April 3, 2016 in the McIntire Room at Bell Cultural Arts Center (2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062)