Fun Photos Incentives

The Grand Champion of Ice Cream Scoops is…


Lainey!  Congrats to Lainey for completing 13 scoops for the summer ice cream challenge.  Not only does she receive her favorite ice cream, but she also receives a gift card for earning the most scoops.  This year I had students complete two practice activities, concert attendance, theory (plus composing a piece), technique, and technology (optional).  Students earned up to five “sprinkles” at each lesson and 15 sprinkles converted to one scoop.

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Hooray!  All of my students made the 8 scoop goal.   Each of them will receive their favorite 1/2 gallon (or equivalent, 1.75 quarts or whatever) of ice cream at their first lesson in September.


Studio Recital at Wolfgang’s Konzert Haus

June 7, 2014–3:00 PM

I was so happy to have all of my students perform their best and that they moved “forward” in their pieces.  For many, it was their first recital and for Erica, Rachel, Amy & Maggie is was their last recital with me.  I will post a few pictures from the past when they were little girls and not young women, but I am getting ready to head to Europe with Utah Chamber Artists where I will visit Mozart’s birth place and Beethoven’s house in Heiligenstadt.  I reminded my students to be like Beethoven and not to give up when things may seem unsurmountable or when challenges (in Beethoven’s case, deafness) would allow us to quit.

Erica earned her 45-point cup through the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Brooklyn’s mom (and my friend from college), Jackie performed Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals and two duets with me.

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Erica, Rachel, Amy & Maggie

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Fun Photos

Music Mapping

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I asked my students to make a map of at least one of their Federation pieces.  Lainey came this week and I followed her map of “Drifting Flight” by E.L. Lancaster.  She said it worked because she tried it out on her brother!

We’ve been following music maps in each group class for symphonic works so I thought it would be a great memory device for their own pieces.  Music maps outline gestures, show repetition of ideas, thicker lines can represent dynamic increases, and conducting the map follows the notion that “motion translates into sound and sound translates into motion.”

Preparing for Performance:

I also like to have a performance class dedicated to performing under pressure.  We play games such as “jump,” “distraction,” and post-it practice.

You always want to move forward in your piece so you don’t get stuck.  When given the signal or verbal shout “jump!” the performer needs to jump to the next section.  In “Distraction,” your goal is to keep performing no matter if someone hears giggling, a cell phone, whispering, papers rustling, judges writing comments, etc.  I’m good at continuing through distractions.  As a mom, I need to practice with the distraction of “silence.”

Post-it practice is used in many ways: memory chunks, putting the form in order, and being able to link one section to the next.  Performers should know their starting notes, fingers, and spots on the keyboard.

The last thing I am having my students do to prepare for solo festival is the “Performance Card.”  They need to have six little performances leading up to the “big” performance so they are comfortable playing different pianos, playing in different situations, and for different audiences.

Fun Photos Incentives

Ice Cream Winners

It has taken forever to get the pictures off of my camera.  Here are the winners and their favorite ice cream flavors.

Earned the most scoops and not only received his favorite ice cream, but also $5.
Earned the most scoops and not only received his favorite ice cream, but also $5.
She looks just like my niece, Arden.
She looks just like my niece, Arden.

Ice Cream Results are In

Congratulations to Drew W. for earning the most scoops during the Activities For Ice Cream Challenge.  He will receive his favorite ice cream and a gift card to Jamba Juice for his efforts!  9, 10, and 11 scoops were also past the 8 scoop goal:  Bella, Ben, Brooklyn, Damon, and Lainey will also receive their favorite ice cream.

Attending concerts is important and many of the students watched a concert from home by viewing  We will continue to work on theory concepts, technic, and other skills during the year, but visually seeing progress through ice cream scoops is one of my favorite ways to reward and help students during the summer.


Way to go!

Federation Incentives


Congratulations to Jill for earning her 45-point cup and Rachel for earning her 30-point cup.  It was a group effort from family and multiple teachers.

While the rating is not the reason why I have my students participate in solo festival of Federation, it is the performance experience that I value.  It does show persistence to earn gold cups when you consider it takes at least three years to earn one (15 points).  The 45-point cup is Jill’s third gold cup, and the 30-point cup is Rachel’s second.

The National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Pledge is inspiring.  Here it is:  I acknowledge my indebtedness to good music; I know that the music of a nation inspires of degrades; I realize that acquaintance with great music instills a love of that which brings courage and lofty ideals and tends toward clean, noble living.  I promise to do all in my power to make America truly musical.

Jill and her 45-point cup

Congrats girls!

Fun Photos Performing

Performance Class

Rachel, Maggie, and Jillian performed at Daynes Music October 2.  I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of Rachel.  They all performed well.  The goal is to have little performances before the “big” event so you can be settled, comfortable, and able to see how you react with adrenaline.  It takes time for a piece to simmer and that includes being in front of an audience.  I wish I had these experiences growing up.

Rachel is playing Vandall’s Queen Anne’s Lace.  Maggie is playing Mozart’s 12 Variations on “Ah, vous dirai je, Maman” K.300e (K.265) AKA Twinkle Star Variations.  Jillian is playing the lilting second movement to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 in C Major.

Erica came to her lesson this month and showed off her torn ACL!  Not good for a soccer player.  Not good for a pianist without a grand piano.  When did my students get so tall?


Ice Cream Challenge Summer 2012

Congratulations to the students who earned their favorite 1/2 gallon of ice cream.  Lillian and Rachel tied for the most scoops.  They also received a gift card to Jamba Juice.  Way to go!

Activities For Ice Cream
Earn 8 scoops by the end of the summer and earn your favorite 1/2 gallon of ice cream!

Music Community

Play Me, I’m Yours!  In Ogden you’ll find painted horses on the streets.  In Park City, you’ll find painted moose, but in Salt Lake City for a few weeks you’ll find painted pianos.  The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has pianos by British artist, Luke Jerram, in Salt Lake City from June 15-30.  Other cities include Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Geneva.  Saturday with my husband, we found 6 of the 10 street pianos in Salt Lake City.  What a fun activity.  Walk around the city, spot a brightly painted piano with no one playing it, sit down and try it out.  I, of course, enjoyed playing some more than others and I only had to ask one person if I could have a turn.  The all-green piano by the Gallivan Center was going to be occupied for a long time, so I decided just to check it off my list and move on.


Transforming fear into fearlessnes

Rosemary Olsen, UMTA–Salt Lake Chapter, came to my chapter of UMTA and shared some great information on performing and I’ve wanted to share these quotes.  I think all of them are from Madeline Buser.

“Fear is energy.  If you allow it to flow through you, you transform it into fearlessnes.”

“At the moment we take the next step by expressing our hearts and minds, we transform ourselves.”

Bobby McFerrin came to the University of Utah when I was an undergrad.  He said, “It’s okay to have butterflies as long as they flutter in formation.”  Still working on the fluttering myself, but when performing is not about me and it’s all about the music, I am successful.