Friday, July 23, 2021

Recital Dates, Music Theory Books

 Hello Studio Families!

I hope you are all doing well!  We had a wonderful Summer Break since Amanda and her family were able to visit.  I finally got to meet my very first granddaughter, Anya!  Here is a picture of all of us on the 4th of July. 
Fourth of July-4.jpg

As a music studio, we have been doing a great job learning Music Theory and Scales and Arpeggios, especially as many of us continue distant learning.  There are a few books that I would like to suggest everyone get if you are at the end of Book 1 or in Book 2 or above (about 5th grade or above in school).  One is a music theory book called Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory  This book will teach everyone important rules and theories of music as they go beyond beginner and get into more advanced levels. 

Also, I always start out teaching scales, arpeggios and chords as part of our warm-ups.  I think it is great ear training to learn them by rote.  But as students learn the three minor scales of each key signature and need to know all the chords involved in each key things get a little more complicated learning it by rote.  So another great book to have as a reference is The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences.  This one is for piano students but it is good knowledge for all instruments.

Some other book ideas for when we need a change from the main book:
Let me know if you find any other interesting books! 

Recitals:  Students have begun asking me when the next recital will be.  I have decided to continue with Zoom Recitals at this time.  I don't know when the Retirement Homes will be ready for us again.  I have looked into renting out the park across the street from my house.  Would anyone be interested in doing a recital in the park?  Does anyone have any other ideas?  I'd love to do an outdoor recital if anyone has any ideas of a large enough place for us! I'm open to suggestions so let me know what you think!
For now we will plan on these dates for Zoom Recitals and I will let you know if anything changes.

Saturday, August 21, 11 am
Saturday, September 18, 11 am
Saturday October 30, 11 am
Saturday, December 11, 11 am
Winter Break : December 20-31, Lessons will resume January 3.

Thank you all for being such great families, dedicated to your students' education.  I appreciate all of you!
Ms. Tonya

Strings, Keys, and Melodies
916 812-2875

Monday, June 7, 2021

In-Person and Zoom Lessons Are Available

     It has been awhile since I have updated our blog!  Throughout the pandemic, the studio has continued to have lessons through Zoom.  We also had monthly recitals on Zoom, which has been a great way to continue to share our music with everyone while staying safe!  I think the Zoom recitals have been great and we will probably continue to have Zoom recitals in the future even after everything has gone back to normal.  I am so thankful for the parents who have continued with music lessons for their families!  The students have worked hard this year even when it was hard and all have grown musically!

     I wanted to let everyone know that we have begun having in-person lessons for those students and families that are ready to do that.  Not everyone is ready and that is fine!  So we will continue to do Zoom lessons.

    Zoom lessons are here to stay!  They are very useful for those times when rides to lessons have fallen through or when a student or family member isn't feeling well and doesn't want to pass the germs on to me!  So, even when a student has started to come in-person, zoom lessons will be available whenever it is more convenient.

    I do have a few spots available for new students to join us for the summer.  So contact me to set up a time to meet me and discuss music!


Ms. Tonya

Friday, January 17, 2020

2020 Calendar

Strings, Keys, and Melodies
2020 Calendar

February:  *Small Performance* Saturday February 22 at 2:00 pm at
The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due January 31)

March: *Small Performance* Saturday March 21 at 2:00 pm at
Camden Springs Gracious Retirement Living, 8476 Sheldon Road, Elk Grove 95624 (Sing-ups due February 29)

April:  Spring Break April 6 – 10, No Lessons

The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due March 31)

May: Spring Recital Sunday May 3, 2:30 pm at Carlton Senior Living, 6915 elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, 95758 (Everyone is welcome, no sign-ups necessary)

June:  *Small Performance* Saturday June 27 at 2:00 pm at
The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due May 31)

July:  Summer Break, June 29 – July 3

*Small Performance* Sunday July 26 at 2:00 pm at
Camden Springs Gracious Retirement Living, 8476 Sheldon Road, Elk Grove 95624 (Sign-ups due June 30)

August:  *Small Performance* Saturday August 22 at 2:00 pm at
The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due July 31)


October:  *Small Performance* Saturday October 31 at 2:00 pm at
The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due September 30)

November:  *Small Performance* Sunday, November15, 2:30 pm at Carlton Senior Living, 6915 elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, 95758 (Sign-ups due October 31)

December:  *Small Performance* Saturday December 12 at 2:00 pm at
The Meadows, 9325 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624 (Sign-ups due November 30)

Winter Break December 21- January 1 No Lessons
Lessons Resume January 4

*Small Performances*   These performances will be limited to 10-15 students and sign-ups will be required the month before.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

2019 Calendar

2019 Calendar

March:  Mini Recitals/Group Classes (Students Only)
March 6, 6-7 pm – Piano, Primer A and B and Early Grade 1 students
March 13, 6-7 pm-Piano, Late Grade 1 and Grade 2 and above students
March 20, 6-7 pm-All Voice Students
March 27, 6-7 pm-All Violin Students
April 3, 6-7 pm-All Guitar and Ukulele Students

Spring Break:  No Lessons April 15-19

Spring Recital:  Sunday June 9, 2:30 pm, Carlton Senior Living, 6915 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove 95758

Summer Break: No Lessons July 1-5

Fall: TBD

Winter Recital: Sunday December 15, 2:30 pm, Carlton Senior Living, 6915 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove 95758

Winter Break:  December 23 – January 3

Monday, March 12, 2018


Assistant Music Producer Program
Do you want to learn to produce music performances?

Assistant Music Producers will learn:
Leadership skills – greet students and families and direct other students where to sit, where to put their instruments, when it is their turn to perform
Organizing skills – put together performance schedules and carry them out on the day of the performance
Performance Tech skills – tune instruments, adjust mics and volume

Must be 12 years or older
Must attend lessons and practice regularly
Must attend each recital, arrive early for set up and leave late after tear down
Follow recital dress code:  dress pants and shirts (or a dress for ladies)

Job Descriptions:
Assistant Greeter – Greet families and students.  Roll out the carpet and help get chairs for the audience.  Direct students where to put instruments and where to sit.
Assistant Tuner – Help other students tune their guitars, ukuleles and help Ms. Tonya tune violins.
Assistant Strings Director – Direct strings students to get their instruments ready for their parts in the recital.  Keep them quiet while other students are performing.  Direct them when to stay quiet and when it’s okay to go back to their seats.
Assistant Tech #1 Adjust mics, music stands and chairs in between students.  Help students open books and put them on stands or on piano.
Assistant Tech #2 – Cue the music for each student and adjust the volume for music and mics.
Assistant Program Director- Help Ms. Tonya carry out the recital program schedule.  Prep students to when it is their turn, check names off the list after students have their turn, and help Ms. Tonya direct the other assistants.

This is a great learning opportunity and will look awesome on your resume!

Sign up with Ms. Tonya to become an A.M.P. today!

Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Calendar

Strings, Keys and Melodies
2018 Calendar

Recital:  Saturday, March 3, 2:00 p.m. at
The Commons, 9564 Sabrina Lane, Elk Grove 95758

Spring Break:  No Lessons March 26-30

Recital:  Sunday, May 6, 2:30 p.m. at
Carlton Senior Living, 6915 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove 95758

Summer Break:  No Lessons July 2 – 6

Recital:  Saturday, August 4, 2:00 p.m. at
ACC Greenhaven Terrace, 1180 Corporate Way, Sacramento 95831

Recital:  Saturday, October 6, 2:00 p.m. at
The Commons, 9564 Sabrina Lane, Elk Grove, 95758

Recital:  Sunday, December 2, 2:30 p.m. at
Carlton Senior Living, 6915 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove 95758

Winter Break:  No Lessons December 24 – January 4

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Our Year of Music 2017

We have had another fantastic school year at Strings, Keys and Melodies!

Last summer, we had a fun incentive program called Summer Bingo.  The students made bingos as they completed different musical activities such as practicing at home, putting on mini-concerts for family, listening to certain composers on YouTube, and composing their own songs.

In August, we had our Summer Recital at Camden Springs Retirement Home.  We had a great turn out even though it was the middle of summer!  And the students played beautifully!

As the school year began in September, we took the time to get to know one another with a “Music Friend” sheet that had space for listing our favorite things plus a musical goal.  It’s so important for all students to know why they are playing an instrument and where they want to be in a few months.

In October we held our Fall Recital at a new retirement home, The Commons.  The home has a beautiful grand piano that was a great experience to play!  Recitals give our students a chance to play for other people as well as an incentive to perfect their pieces.

In November we continued to have our regular lessons and worked on note reading, rhythm counting and clapping, and interval naming.

We held our Winter Recital in December at The Carlton Senior Living.  Our students did another outstanding job! Most of the pieces were Christmas songs, which our audience loved.  

For the New Year in January we all wrote out 3 new musical goals for the next semester.  Some of the goals included practicing every day, composing their own pieces, learning a certain number of songs or just enjoying music more!  We will be going over those goals this week to see how many we completed!

In March we played our recital to a packed house at The Meadows.  The students played their music while many people listened from all the way outside the doorway!

In April, we voted for the Spring Recital’s theme.  Pop and Rock won and everyone began picking and choosing their favorite songs.  It was fun and a great learning experience to get out of our regular books to try something different and maybe a bit harder than usual!

This Sunday, May 7, we held our Spring Recital at Camden Springs.  The students did another fantastic job playing their Pop and Rock songs!  I was so impressed with how well everyone played, their rhythm was super!  The crowd really enjoyed the selection of songs.

This week, I will also be leading the Spring Fling at Jessie Baker Elementary School, a school for students with special needs.  I have taught Music and Movement classes at Jessie Baker twice a week this school year (for a total of 5 years now).  Each class gets to choose their special song.  Then I teach them dance moves and we work on it all year long.  They get to show off their dances at the Spring Fling.  This performance is very special to them, the teachers and me!

This summer, we will continue to have our regular lessons working on learning new songs, practicing reading music, naming intervals, recognizing rhythms, memorizing scales, arpeggios and chords, plus other music theory.  We will learn these by playing songs as well as playing fun games and activities.  

This year, I have continued my music education by expanding my instrument knowledge! My instruments now include:  piano, voice, violin, guitar, ukulele, pennywhistle and the electric guitar.  I have purchased a large amount of new music for all of those instruments for me and my students.  I have also been taking music courses through The Great Courses by music professor Robert Greenberg, a wonderful professor who has taught at UC Berkeley as well as the San Francisco Conservatory and other great Universities.

I love music, learning new music and musical instruments and teaching my students to love music too!  I look forward to another great year of music with all of you!

Ms. Tonya