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


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