Nik Walling Goes to Carnegie!

On Sunday January 28, our very own Nik Walling, auditioned for and won a spot on the annual Andor Kiszely Honors Recital.  The wiNiknners of this competition are usually given the opportunity to perform in a recital held at Temple University’s Rock Hall.  However, this year the competition was amped up as the hosting organization, the Philadelphia Music Teachers’ Association (PhMTA) announced last June that the recital will be held at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City.  Additionally, the PhMTA opened up the competition and invited students whose teachers are not members of the association to audition as well, thus increasing the pool of applicants considerably.  It was a busy fall for Nik as he prepared assiduously (and successfully) for this tryout of a lifetime.  In the words of one of his judges, his rendition of the Bach Italian Concerto was “flawless”.  Both judges awarded Nik a perfect score of 50/50 points, and one judge gave Nik the “special recognition” distinction on his performance.  Please join me in congratulating Nik in this accomplishment.  We are all extremely proud of his hard work and are inspired by his passion and zeal for music!  Bon Courage, Nik; we wish you well!

If you would like attend the concert and support Nik, he will be sharing the stage with 25 other talented young pianists from the Philadelphia area on Saturday April 7th at 1:00 PM in NYC.  Joe and I will be in attendance.  It promises to be a spectacular showcase!

Tickets are available online:  Click HERE to purchase tickets

Piano on the Beach?

piano on the beachAh, summer!   No school, longer days, beach days, grilling, gardening, swimming, reading, riding bikes, time with family and friends, and time to decompress (I could go on and on…)  It’s no wonder the kids start counting down the number of days left of school before May comes!

The question is:  Should a child (or adult) be expected to take summer piano lessons and maintain a practice schedule during the summer?  As a piano teacher and parent I say, ‘yes, definitely’ and as a piano teacher and parent I also say, ‘absolutely not’.  We LOVE it when  our students take summer lessons and practice.  Since summer is less scheduled, there is more time to practice and advance, the lessons are more relaxed and there is extra time to explore different styles of music and to focus on theory and technique.  It’s a time too where  we can chat a bit more with the child and their family before and after the lesson.  All in all, summer can be a time for strong musical growth.

And, kids need a bit of structure.  Freedom is wonderful but an idol mind is not.  A diet of only TV and friends is unhealthy to say the least.  Parents need to moderate and encourage brain work.  Since music is a language, if it is not used it’s lost.  When a student does not take summer lessons, depending on the age of the child, it can take up to a month to retrieve skill and establish a practice schedule.

But a child absolutely needs a “break” during the summer!  So this year we will be changing up our summer piano lesson structure and give our our students a refreshing break from routines while maintaining progress and motivation.  Each week we will have a different summer theme.  “Road Trips”, “Popsicle Piano Practice”, “Piano Museum”, “Sight-reading Sunglasses”, and “S’more Chords” to give students a little pizzazz and to keep them learning.  And, back by popular demand is our Piano Olympics Camp for students entering grades 5-8

PS If you would like to sign up for summer lessons, here is the link to register online:

Register for Summer 2016 Lessons

Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival

Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival – Sponsored by the Philadelphia Music Teachers Association.

October 2, 2016 (Sunday, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m.)
Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival
Preliminary Auditions
Rock Hall, Temple University
1715 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Register on our website by September 10, 2016

November 5, 2016
Dorothy Sutton State Showcase Recitals
West Chester University
Swope Music Building
700 South High St, West Chester, PA 19383
Register on the State website by October 14, 2016