View the class schedule and register online!
For MYC classes (ages 3 and up): Go to MYC – Gwen Higgins
For Music Pups® classes (ages 0 – 4): Go to Music Pups Castlegar
Dear Students and Parents,
Here is the music studio newsletter for November 2016.
Composers of the Month
The composers of the month for November are Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann. Listen and read together with your child at Classics for Kids, here: http://www.classicsforkids.com/thisweek.asp You can also listen to the Classics for Kids shows via podcast. Do this activity sheet together: http://www.classicsforkids.com/activitysheets/November2016.pdf
Holiday Music and Happy Birthdays
Next week I will start assigning Christmas carols and The Birthday song – essentials for every pianist. Check out Forrest Kinney’s “Beethoven in F Major” variation of the Birthday Song here: https://youtu.be/XdEOkf6k-BU . Forrest Kinney wrote multiple variations of the birthday song, and you might be assigned one of them!
Practice Makes Perfect
Most of your child’s learning happens in between lessons through regular practice at home. At least, that is the intent. It’s probably not the reality all the time! If you need help developing a practice plan for in between lessons, let me know. Life is busy but a regular routine can help.
Practice doesn’t mean doing all the tasks every day. Choose 2 to 3 items from the list. Perform a piece for Grandma, or play a game naming each note on the piano. Every bit counts, and builds confidence. Here is one way to structure your practice time:
Weekly Practice Plan for Beginner Students – Example
Day 1 – Lesson day
Day 2 – Choose one technical exercise, one piece from your book, and one theory (written) activity. Follow the notes in your lesson book for practicing.
Day 3 – Review note naming (use flash cards, a game or app). Practice clapping and counting rhythms. Warm up with a technical exercise, then play a favourite piece from earlier in the year.
Day 4 – Sight read a brand new piece from your book. Clap and count the rhythms in the piece. Practice another piece from your lesson book.
Day 5 – Listen to the composer of the month podcast and complete the worksheet. Practice two of your pieces from the lesson notes.
Day 6 – Say the musical alphabet forwards and backwards three times. Make and use an alphabet die to choose keys to find at random, using this template from Colourful Keys: http://colourfulkeys.ie/musical-alphabet-dice/
Play one of your pieces and sing the melody while you play. Make up your own melody and write it down.
Day 7 – Relax!
Dear Sunrise Parent,Welcome to the Music for Young Children Sunrise program! Sunrise is an exciting and innovative music program that contains a variety of age-appropriate music and movement activities to allow children to experience the joy of music and develop musically through fun and play. The focus of the Sunrise program is rhythm and singing, and includes three progressive levels of 10 weeks each. By the end of the third level, students are well prepared to enter a keyboard/piano music program. Sunrise also prepares students to study other instruments because it provides a solid introduction to the fundamentals of all music: rhythm and pitch pattern recognition.
Each student receives a music kit containing a book & CD, finger puppet, and rhythm instrument. Please bring your music kit to class every week in your Sunrise backpack, including the crafts we make in class. Ask the teacher if you need a backpack – each student is supplied with one at the beginning of the music year. Replacement backpacks can be purchased for $11 each.
Keep this letter – it contains the class schedule of dates (see page 2), as well as contact information.
Classes start on time. If the door is closed, that means class has started. Please enter quietly and join the group.
Parents, you are a valued part of the class. Your enthusiasm provides an excellent example for your child and will help encourage them to participate! Do not be concerned if your child is shy at first. Many kids like to watch what’s going on before joining in. Even if your child is not singing, they are still listening and learning. Please join the teacher in the songs and activities and your child will soon follow your example.
Schedule for Fall Session 2016 – Sunrise classes
Sept 24 – lesson #1
Oct 1st – lesson #2 (change to original schedule)
Oct 8th – no class (holiday weekend, many families away)
Oct 15th – lesson #3
Oct 22nd – no classes
Oct 29th – lesson #4
Nov 5th – lesson #5
Nov 12th – lesson #6
Nov 19th – lesson #7
Nov 26th – lesson #8
Dec 3rd – lesson #9
Dec 10th – lesson #10
Sunrise 1: 9am
Sunrise 2: 10am
Saturday mornings at Castlegar Recreation Complex
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me by email or phone or speak with me after class.
Gwen Higgins, MYC Teacher
For more information about our music programs, visit:
Email: email@example.com Cell phone: 250-304-8921
A lot of parents have asked if there’s a music program for infants and young toddlers, and now the answer is YES! I’m proud to be a brand-new Music Pups Center Director. This popular program is thriving in cities across Canada and the USA. The best thing about this parent-participation program is that siblings are also welcome to attend, making it a family experience. Students can continue on into the MYC programs offered at my studio.
You can read more about this fabulous program at www.themusicclass.com. Classes start January 2017. Stay tuned for schedule details.
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer, and now you’re settled into the school routine. Here are some updates from the studio.
Registration Fees and Invoices
Your first invoice will include the cost of books and supplies (if required), plus one month of lessons. For MYC students, the cost also includes registration fees and a music bag & rhythm instrument. Invoices are payable by credit card (online) or by cheque or cash.
There are a few spaces left in the MYC classes. Each class needs at least 3 students in order to go ahead. Don’t wait – sign up today! Contact me for more info. If you are interested in Sunshine 1 for 3-4 year olds, or Sunbeams 1 for 5-6 year olds, please contact me.
Week of September 19th: lessons start
September 24th: Sunrise classes start at the Castlegar complex
September 27th & 28th: lessons cancelled (Gwen in Vancouver)
October 1st: no lessons (Gwen at MYC conference)
September 30th: last day to register for MYC classes
November 1st: deadline to register for Royal Conservatory Dec/Jan exam session
I believe continuing professional development is essential for me to be the best teacher I can be. Lately I’ve been studying for the RCM Elementary Pedagogy certificate. In May 2016 I wrote the first exam for the certification. The results are in: 92, which is First Class Honours with Distinction!
Download a pdf copy of the August 2015 studio newsletter here. Enjoy the sunshine!
Not sure what kind of piano or keyboard to buy for your child? Many parents are afraid to invest in a professional-quality instrument for a child. Here are some tips for choosing the right instrument for your child and your home.
Keyboards and Digital Pianos
The three main advantages of digital pianos and keyboards are the ability to practice with headphones without disturbing others, they’re always in tune, and they are light and easy to move. If you have a shift worker at home or live in a small space, consider a digital model.