NEWS AND UPDATES
We are thrilled to announce that Mariah Wildes recently joined DAMA and is lending her talents to us by teaching piano, vocals and flute as well as leading our Preschool Music Program!
Mariah is so kind, patient and she enjoys working with students of all ages. She is finishing up her music composition degree this year at Metro State University and recording an album of her own songs.
EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY 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.
CONGRATULATIONS MAX H.
Max starting taking piano lessons with Miss Michele in June 2022. Max stood out this month because he learned 3 challenging songs and was hungry for more so he started learning his brother's songs, all on his own. Max practices regularly, he has a great attitude about learning, he stays laser focused during his lessons and he is kind and respectful. Watch Max's interview to learn more about him and to hear him play. Great Job Max!!
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
January Raffle Winners:
$25 1st Place = Max C.
$15 2nd Place = Jacob L.
$5 3rd Place = John D.
Thank you to Elizabeth 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 = John D. (32)
2nd Place = Felix M. (27)
3rd Place = Helen A. (23)
Simon W. (23)
Theo G. (23)
Students who practice at least 20 hours in one month receive a special gold medal. This month Presley S. earned the award again! She earned 48 tickets which is 24 hours of practice in January! NICE!!
Fiona S. 2/1
Charlie M. 2/6
Helen A. 2/14
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.-Feb.) and were unable to reschedule. No need to register.
Saturday 2/18 11-11:45am
Lil' Buds PreSchool Music Classes
ages 3-5 Thursdays 10-10:45am
It's not too late to register.
Students may cancel 1 lesson during spring break with no payment due. There is no set week because students go to different schools with different weeks off.
Please inform your teacher ASAP about the date you will be out so we can reschedule other students.
From Miss Michele's Bench
It's already a month into 2023! Anybody else still writing 2022? I caught myself writing 2024 on an assignment sheet this week. What's up with that?! Speaking of weird... Denver tied the 38 year old record for the coldest January and we had 13 inches of snow which ties the record from 1989. Personally, I can take the cold and the snow as long as we have sunshine. I came from the midwest where it's dreary 6 months of the year and the snow is mostly gray and brown because it doesn't melt right away. So if you've been in Denver for a while, I hope you can still stop and appreciate the sunny winter wonderland even when we have a record cold month. It's all about wearing the right gear. That said...let's talk about Spring.
Experts (loose term) are predicting that Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow tomorrow at 6am Eastern Time and therefore, we will enjoy six more weeks of winter. My problem with this is that the sun doesn't officially rise until 7:28am in Punxsuntawney, Pennsylvania. (I googled it.) Who are these people assigning official times to something as serious as Groundhog Day? No one is seeing their shadow at 6am!
What else is going on in February? Valentine's Day. It's on a Tuesday. I believe we should shift most holidays so they fall on a Friday or Saturday. Then we should have the official day off of work on the following Monday. We do it for Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving and it works well. We can stop calling it July 4th and call it Independence Day and watch fireworks on July 7th instead. Anybody want to start a petition?
How do I go down these rabbit holes? This a perfect example of how NOT to practice the piano. Stay with me here... there is something called deliberate practice and then there's just practice. Deliberate practice involves having a plan, staying focused and following through. Just "practicing" involves playing something you already know (because that feels good) and then limping through sections not yet mastered and skimming over parts that are difficult and getting frustrated and going back to playing something already mastered and then looking at the clock and deciding you need a snack. An example of deliberate practice is: The E flat major scale 3 times in each hand going up and down. E flat triad and inversions 3 times in each hand. I-IV-V7 in E flat and all the keys that you know. Moving on to playing 2-4 measures at least 10 times in a song that you are trying to commit to muscle memory. Play a game with yourself to see how many times you can play the passage in a row without a mistake. Then take a break and let that information soak into your brain. That is deliberate practice and it's important if you want to see progress.
If I had been deliberate when writing this, I would have had an outline of what topics I wanted to cover with elegant segues. Instead, I started talking about how time flies, then brown snow which morphed into Phil and then the inconvenience of Tuesday holidays. This also brings up a good point. It is important to also experiment, be creative and play your instrument for your own enjoyment. Deliberate intentions won't take you down any rabbit holes but there's a lot to be said for the things you find there.