“Outstanding Achievement in Piano” Award

Most sports offer ways that students can earn medals, ribbons and trophies. Until now, the only way my piano students could earn traditional awards like these was to perform for a judge at a festival. Some students love the thrill of performing and do well under pressure, so this works great for them.  However, there are a number of students who are very talented, practice diligently, and make great strides in their lessons who don’t wish to participate in adjudicated events such as these. My philosophy is that piano students shouldn’t have to perform for a judge at a festival to be recognized for their hard work and progress if they don’t want to. My updated incentive program provides a way for ALL of my students to be recognized for their progress and achievements in piano.

Here’s How It Works

Continue reading

KCMTA Multi-Piano Concert 2019

On January 6th, 2019, hundreds of pianists of all ages from the Kansas City metro area came together to perform in the annual KCMTA Multi-Piano Concerts at Bell Cultural Events Center in Olathe, Kansas. Leslie’s Music Studio was proud to have 15 students participate in the event this year.

This year’s theme was “On With the Show,” featuring music from Broadway and Hollywood. Selections included hits such as “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” and “Spoonful of Sugar.”

The Multi-Piano Concert is a unique performance opportunity for students of KCMTA members. The event features 28 performers on 14 grand pianos simultaneously playing duet repertoire under the direction of a conductor. The concerts, which originated in 1993, have grown from 200 participating students to over 550 performers.

A Musical Winter Break

In December each year, our studio has its longest break. Students get a full two weeks off from piano lessons. I hope all of my students will enjoy a time of relaxation, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the peace and beauty of the holiday season. I 100% support taking a short break from practicing piano during this time, but if you or your child wishes to supplement their piano practice over the break, I’ve gathered some ideas for you!

Continue reading

LMS Theory Workshop to Feature Guest Teacher, Elizabeth Valle

For more information or to sign up, contact Leslie.

Music Theory Workshop for grades 6-12
Intermediate piano students will be prepared to take the OMTA Theory Quiz. Featuring guest teacher Elizabeth Valle, writer of the OMTA Theory Quizzes.

Leslie’s Music Studio
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 1:30-4:00
Registration Fee: $30
Registration Deadline: January 18, 2019

Elizabeth Valle Biography

Elizabeth Valle is currently completing a Masters from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Music Theory. She also has an undergraduate degree from Midamerica Nazarene University in Harp Pedagogy. During graduate school, she was the principal harpist for the UMKC Orchestra, as well as the featured harpist for the Midwest Chamber Ensemble in 2013 and 2014. She has also performed with multiple professional ensembles in the Kansas City area. Elizabeth has been teaching music to students in the Kansas City area for fourteen years, and has been active in many local music associations such as OMTA, KCMTA, and MAMA. In addition, she is currently the President of the Kansas City Lyra Chapter of the American Harp Society. Elizabeth has also chaired or co-chaired many large events in the KC area, including the OMTA Solo Festival, the Lyra Chapter KC Harp Weekend, and the KC Harp Competition.

Leslie’s Music Studio hosts Sean Hephner Piano Clinic

Leslie’s Music Studio was honored to host guest teacher, Sean Hephner, on September 8, 2018. Sean taught master lessons for students from Leslie’s Music Studio and Simmons Piano Studio to help them prepare for the KCMTA Fall Festival.

Sean’s playful approach eased student tension, helping students bring out a more natural and expressive tone. He offered new insights on score markings such as dynamics and articulations by encouraging students to imagine different characters within the contrasting sections of their pieces.

The KCMTA Fall Festival is known by area teachers to be one of the toughest judging events in the state of Kansas. Brenda Simmons and I are thankful for the masterful guest teaching Sean Hephner brought to our students this September, helping ensure successful performances on October 13-14!

Sean Hephner Biography

Born and raised in Wichita Kansas, Sean Hephner began playing piano in second grade. While the bulk of his formal training was at Dr. Timothy Shook’s Creative Keyboard Studio in Wichita, Sean also expanded outside the traditional piano curriculum, leading church praise bands, participating in choral music and music theatre productions, playing in jazz bands, and studying voice as a tenor.

Sean began attending MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas in 2011, where he studied under Dr. Erika Kinser, Jessica Koebbe, and Dr. John Leavitt. Here he participated in a wide variety of bands, vocal groups, school ensembles, and piano competitions before graduating in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelors in Music Education (Choral Focus). Sean was then accepted in the master program at WSU for Piano Performance in the fall of 2015, completing a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance in the fall of 2017, studying under Dr. Andrew Trechak.

Sean is currently an accompanist, pianist, singer, composer, and arranger working in the Wichita area. He teaches private lessons at the Creative Keyboard Studio, as well as at the Community Music School at Southwestern University in Winfield, Kansas and performs on both piano and voice. Ensembles that he has worked with recently include the Wichita State University Jazz Ensemble, The Friends University Singing Quakers, Concert Choir, and Opera program, as well as the Wichita Symphony Chorus and many others.

“Count Metronome” Halloween Practice Challenge

The maleficent mascot of meter visited Leslie’s Music Studio this October… and stole all of our Halloween candy! (*Insert maniacal villain laugh*)

To conquer the king of counting and take back their candy, students meticulously practiced their pieces with the metronome this month. Individual metronome challenges were assigned and completed and candy bags were filled one rhythmic reward at a time.

Continue reading