NEWS AND UPDATES
Musical Summer Fun!
This will be our third year putting on our Musical Arts Summer Camp and we have students returning for the third time because it's so much fun!
We'll do acting, singing, dancing and kids will learn how to play the ukulele, group handbells, drum rhythms and musical games like "name that tune" or "what's the next word in this song" or "what instrument is this?" They will write their own plays and compose their own songs and there's a performance at the end of the week.
We only accept 10 kids in each camp so register today before the week you want fills up!
Anyone enrolled in our Musical Arts Summer Camp will earn $50 off their tuition for every referral who also enrolls in our Musical Arts Summer Camp!
EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH 2023
Are you doing everything right but you didn't get chosen for Student of the Month?
Keep in mind there are over 60 students enrolled in DAMA and students who are chosen have worked exceptionally hard or have showed exceptional initiative. It's a difficult decision to make and sometimes it comes down to whether students who have been working on a piece are ready to perform it yet or if they had to cancel lessons during the month. It is not about who is the most talented or who has the most potential. It is about honoring the student who stood out because of their work ethic, attitude and initiative.
Be sure to talk with your teacher if you have questions or concerns.
Sam comes from a very musical family. His brother, Owen takes guitar lessons and his brother, Charlie, and his mom, Lauryn, also takes piano lessons at DAMA. Although Sam has only been taking lessons since June 2023, he has progressed quickly because he practices and works hard. He has been so fun to work with because he is friendly and so polite and he takes learning seriously. He comes to every lesson well prepared and he seems to enjoy the challenge of learning new songs and techniques.
Watch the video to learn more about Sam and to see the April Fools joke that wasplayed on him.
How to Win Student of the Month
Focus during lessons
Have a good attitude
Practice and come to lessons prepared
Show initiative to learn and improve
Attend at least 4 lessons in one month
Be ready to perform the song you are working on
April Raffle Winners:
$25 1st Place = John D.
$15 2nd Place = Felix M.
$5 3rd Place = Lydia B.
Thank you to Felix for picking the tickets.
Raffle tickets are picked on the 1st of the Month. Students 7 and younger receive 1 ticket for every 15 minutes of practice. Students 8 and older receive 1 ticket for every 30 minutes of practice. 1 ticket is awarded for each lesson.
The student with the most tickets at the end of the month will receive a medal.
Practice Derby Winners:
1st Place = Campbell G. (35)
2nd Place = Presley S. (27)
3rd Place = Remi K. (26)
Leo C. 4/1
Grace W. 4/9
Leo J. 4/11
Rowen F. 4/24
Gwenn H. 4/27
Mark your Calendar:
DAMA Musical Arts Summer Camp
Registration is now Open!
Group Make-up Lesson
Open to students who had to cancel a lesson (Sep.-Mar.) and were unable to reschedule. No need to register.
Saturday 4/22 11-11:45am
Friday 5/19 6-7pm
Saturday 5/20 10:30-11:30am
Rehearsals are not required but highly suggested so students can practice performing.
Sunday, May 21 Time TBD
Please mark your calendar and save the date! We will have either 2 or 3 groups starting at different times in the afternoon. Recitals are an important part of learning music. Please make every effort to attend.
From Miss Michele's Bench
We have something exciting happening this month! Two DAMA students will be participating in the Colorado Music Teachers' Association "Rising Stars" competition. It is the first time I have entered students in a competition and I'm super excited! Simon Wood is 7 years old and he will be playing pieces by Haydn and Schumann. Presley Sullivan (11) will be playing Beethoven and Bach pieces.
I have played in competitions before and I think it feels like how an athlete must feel if they are competing to get on the Olympic team. I know, I know, it's not nearly as big of a deal, but piano competitions always felt that way to me. I had severe stage fright and I just wanted to be able to play like I know I can when no one else is around. I usually felt physically ill on the day of the competition and wondered why I put myself through the ordeal. I knew that I wasn't the best pianist but that isn't what I, personally, was competing for. I was challenging myself to do it. It gave me a deadline and it made me take a giant step outside of my comfort zone. I did it to prove something to myself and it felt amazing when I played well. It felt crummy when I didn't.
The main thing is, I didn't quit after I played crummy. I wanted to. I grieved and moaned and complained that all my hard work was for naught. But was it? Looking back, I see now that the experiences were so valuable to who I am today as a pianist, a teacher and as a person.
I believe that if you put 2 identical athletes in the same game, who are matched in every way: strength, intelligence, and their abilities, then their performances will differentiate by their mental state and their ability to control it. This is the same for musicians.
Have I mastered stage fright? A resounding NO!!! But since I have had many opportunities to work on it, I'm much better than I used to be. This is why playing in recitals is so important. Yes, we all want to do well and the pressure of that can feel overwhelming. But, to lesson the overwhelm, we have to perform often in order to learn how to control our mental state when all the attention is on us.
As recital day gets closer, I suggest students perform their pieces for at least 3 different people who don't normally hear them practice. (That's 3 times, not 1 time with 3 people). Feeling prepared will help a lot too - so PRACTICE-PRACTICE PRACTICE! And the final suggestion, take some pressure off yourself. You don't need to play the best you've ever played. Even if you play the worst you've ever played, it's going to be fine! Just playing at all will show you that you can do things that many people are too afraid to do and for that... you will be proud of yourself! And I will be proud of you too! I'm just as proud of my student who has taken 3 lessons and plays Mary Had a Little Lamb as I am of my student who has taken lessons for three years and is playing Sonatinas and Minuets.
We have 2 big recitals each year and so when I hear of students having a baseball game that day or they have "a lot going on" and can't be there, I am very disappointed because recitals are a way to celebrate the learning process. It would be like practicing baseball but never playing in an actual game. How fun is that? But it's okay. We all have different interests and priorities to those interests.
I will let you know in the next newsletter about our Rising Stars experiment (I should say experience) and hopefully we can add several more students to the roster next year.