Author: Cheri Sykes

Hana is preparing a Boogie Woogie mashup for our upcoming virtual recital. We’ve been touring through various blues/boogie boogie styles all year. Here’s her cover art for her medley!

By enrolling your student, you are indicating a desire that your child be a PLAYER and not simply a LISTENER of music.  Great choice!  Piano brings a lifetime of enrichment.  Playing music is one of the great joys of being alive.

However, learning this skill is JOURNEY that takes years.  In this age of instant gratification, learning piano is rather counter-cultural.

My hope for every piano student is  to reach intermediate level skill.  This is where so much good sheet music of all styles are found.  It is the skill level that can bring a lifetime of satisfaction at the piano, where reading and technical execution are not so daunting. It’s a level where playing by ear is fun.  The student is equipped to play with others in a number of situations.

How long does it take to reach intermediate level?  Of course, this is highly dependent on the student, and consistency with home practice, but here are some generalities.  For a child beginning in the  primary grades 1-3, intermediate level is reached in the early  teen years.  It can be a process of about 6-9 years.

Starting in the primary grades 1-3, after three years of lessons, a young student typically will be a solid elementary player, able to play simpler music with both hands. The student will retain a knowledge of the rudiments of music, which can be a foundation later if the student starts another instrument, or sings in a choir.

Every instrument is easier to learn with a foundation in piano.  Of all the instruments, piano provides the best over-arching understanding of the elements of music.  In my opinion, all musicians need an understanding of the keyboard.

In my experience, very little is retained long-term with only one year of lessons.

So, learning piano is a long journey.  Like any journey, there will be ups and downs.  Expect that your child at times may want to quit.  It is my job, and yours, to motivate your student through these times.  Let’s work together on that.

Piano skills can bring lifelong satisfaction into the oldest of age.  What better investment is there?

MMTA Winners!

Our two MMTA Contest Preliminaries winners, Kaylyn and Lindsey! Both prepared and memorized a special piece to play before a judge, and both scored high, now being eligible for performing at Finals in March. Winners from that event play at the MMTA Honors concert in June. Way to work hard and make it happen, girls!

“On Tour”

“On tour” this week with Westwood Middle School show choir, performing for four elementary and one middle school. A chance to use hip hop and pop synth. The excellent Luke Rivard on drums. A super-fun annual gig.

Top of the IDS!

An interesting assignment:  Hits from the Decades 1880-2020!  The law firm Briggs and Morgan was celebrating 140 years in practice.  The event was at Windows on Minnesota, atop the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis.  Nice view!

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season for gigging.  Eleven engagements in ten days.  Head down and powering through!

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