top of page

DECEMBER 2023

NEWSLETTER
holiday card 2021.jpg

Winter Recital

Dec. 17th  

SUNDAY

 2pm or 4pm

PLEASE REGISTER ON OUR WEBSITE FOR WHICH GROUP YOU PREFER.

 

We can not guarantee that we will be able to assign your child to the group you prefer but we will do our best.

 

Students who absolutely must have a certain group or they won't be able to attend, will be considered first. We ask that you try to schedule your other obligations around this very important event because it is very challenging to accommodate everyone's request. If you can be flexible, that really helps! We will confirm your child's group as soon as possible.

 

This year we will display the recital program on a TV screen because so many printed programs are left over after recitals. On the registration form for the recital group, there is an option to have a program printed in case you want some for your scrap book. We will hand out a printed list to each family at the recital that shows the order in which students will perform.

Student of the Month November 2023

Caroline Marx was awarded DAMA Exceptional Student of the Month for November 2023! This sweet little lady worked really hard this month! She practiced a lot and she completed Win the Pin worksheets each week and she stayed focused and respectful during her lessons. She always has a great attitude about trying new things and learning. Take a look at the video to learn more about her and to hear her play part of a festive song that she has only been working on for a short time.

CONGRATULATIONS CAROLINE!

How to Win Student of the Month

• Focus during lessons

• Follow directions

• 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


Are you doing everything right but you didn't get chosen for Student of the Month? Keep in mind there are over 50 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.

NOVEMBER PRACTICE DERBY WINNERS:

1ST PLACE: NOLAN BOSSLEY

2ND PLACE: LEO COLE

3RD PLACE: CAMPBELL GRAHAM

WAY TO GO!!

PRACTICE TICKET RAFFLE WINNERS

1st ticket = $25

MAX HOFFMAN

2nd ticket= $15

FELIX MARTORANO

3rd ticket = $5

HELEN ALEXANDER

 

Thank you to Lucas for picking the raffle tickets this month.

Win the Pin!

A New Weekly Incentive

  • Students will be given a music worksheet to take home each week based on their level of understanding.

 

  • The worksheets are designed so that students may need to research the answers or get help from parents.

 

  • Topics include: Music Theory, Music History, Composers and Music Trivia.

 

  • The worksheets are not mandatory but those who choose to complete them will be entered into a weekly drawing.

 

  • Students who get more than 2 answers wrong on the worksheet will not be eligible for that week's drawing. Blank answers = an incorrect answer.)

 

  • The winner will get to choose a pin of their choice to keep.

     

  • Check out all the new pins!

     

  • Fun to wear on your jacket or put them on your book bag or music bag.

December
Birthdays

Sophia Eslan 12/14

Nolan Bossley 12/16

Lydia Bossley 12/16

Robbie Phinney 12/19

Remi Krieger 12/21

Eliza Behrman 12/26

Mr. Jeff Gleason 12/28

Lucy Weiser 12/29

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! 

Recital Rehearsals

Friday 12/15 6-7pm

Saturday 12/16 10:30-11:30am

 

Winter Holiday Recital

Sunday, December 17th

2pm or 4pm

 

Winter Break

December 23-January 1st

No lessons

 

Lessons Resume

Tuesday Jan. 2nd

 

Lil' Buds Preschool Music Workshop

6 week workshop

Starts in January Date TBD

From Miss Michele's Bench

Tis the holiday season! Tis recital preparation season for piano teachers. For me, it actually started in October when I began planning what songs my students would learn and perform. I try not to duplicate songs in the program. But sometimes it happens, like when a student hasn't mastered their song in time for the recital so we pull one from their repertoire; or if more than one student wants to learn the same Christmas song. I try to gently dissuade 8 kids from playing Carol of the Bells but, darn it, if that is their favorite holiday song, then we shall endure hearing it 8 times!

 

I will be reminding students that performing for their family and friends is a gift they are giving us. If they play crappy, it doesn't mean that their gift is crappy. Their gift is how much time and effort they have put into learning and their courage to perform.

Yes, sometimes we don't perform as well as we know we are capable of playing and that feels yucky but, it's part of learning and growing as musician and as a person.

 

Students with severe anxiety will not be forced to perform. We don't want this to be a traumatic experience. I understand because I had severe stage fright to the point that I physically could not perform. My hands and legs would shake really bad and I'd get dizzy and disoriented. But, if I knew then what I know now, I could have alleviated a lot of stress.

Here is what I know that helps with performance anxiety:

 

  1. Practice playing in front of family or friends or just record yourself. 

     

  2. Play your song in your mind, without a piano, on a regular basis. Try to hear every measure. If you can't get through your song in your mind, then you don't know it well enough. Try following along by reading the sheet music as you are playing the song in your mind.

     

  3. Over prepare so that muscle memory can take over if your mind gets high-jacked while you're playing. 

     

  4. Before the performance, breathe deeply and visualize your heart rate at a slow steady tempo.

     

  5. While waiting for your turn to perform, find something to occupy your mind that has nothing to do with you. Like count the number of items in the room that are square shaped. Otherwise your mind may be filled with negative chatter causing you to lose confidence.

     

  6. Come up with a little ritual to do before you practice your songs at home. Do the exact same ritual right before your performance. Something like: rub your hands together 3 times and then touch your left ear lobe. Use a different ritual for each song you'll be performing. 

     

  7. If you are a visual person, it can help to picture an invisibility curtain to hide from the audience. Its purpose is to create a barrier that blocks all the energy in the room being directed at you.

     

  8. When you are on the bench, don't start playing right away. Stop and hear the beginning of your song in your mind before you start playing. Take at least 7 Mississippi seconds.

     

  9. If your mind goes blank or you mess up and can't get back on track, just start where ever you can, even if that is the beginning of the song. If you totally lose it and can't start anywhere, it's okay to stand up and say something like "I'm sorry, my mind has been high-jacked. I'm going to try this again in a few minutes." Let someone else take their turn and try again when you're ready.

    This should only be an option if you cannot find a way to get back into your song. (This is acceptable at our recitals. It may be frowned upon at other events.)

     

  10. Do not expect perfection, even if you can play the song perfectly. I personally shoot for 90%.

     

  11. Nothing awful is going to happen if you mess up. This is a free event. Keep the perspective. We have a forgiving audience.

     

  12. If you want to perform but you are way too anxious, force yourself to do it anyway because you'll feel so much better after it's over. (It's like when you have to throw up). If you chicken out, you will carry that stress with you and, believe me, it piles up and messes with your confidence.

     

  13. And, most importantly, the more you perform, the easier it gets so perform often.

Please share my tips with your kids to help relieve performance anxiety and please let me know if you have any other tips that work for you when in front of an audience. BTW, I'm aware of the one about pretending that everyone in the audience is wearing their underwear. It never worked for me.

 

Please encourage your child to participate in at least one rehearsal. Speaking from experience, it really does help when you perform your song for the first time in front of a practice audience.

 

For those with severe performance anxiety, it's all about taking baby steps, much like trying to conquer a phobia. Even if your child is just too afraid to perform at the recital, they can still get the benefit of playing at the rehearsals. If they get to the recital with the intention of playing but then get too anxious, it's okay for a parent to sit next to them on the bench. It's okay for them to use their sheet music if they need it for an added sense of security. Bring a stuffed animal if that's what gives them comfort. We have a forgiving audience. (This is acceptable at our recitals. It may be frowned upon at other events.)

Please encourage your child to participate in at least one rehearsal. Speaking from experience, it really does help when you perform your song for the first time in front of a practice audience.

 

And finally, a little housekeeping:

Our winter recital is a bit more formal so most kids dress like they are going to church on a holiday

The recital is held at our studio and there will be some refreshments afterwards.

It normally doesn't take more than an hour.

Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before the start time.

If you arrive late, please wait outside the door until the performance in progress has ended. 

We have limited space so please don't invite your entire neighborhood.

Please make sure to register on our website for the group that you prefer (2pm or 4pm).

 

Thank you for making this event a priority. It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to your kids to have your support. And as always, thank you for your trust in me. It is truly an honor to teach such a great group of kids.

 

Enjoy this festive time of year!

Best,

bottom of page