In September we hit the ground running! Students have been well prepared for lessons and are doing a great job balancing homework, practicing, marching band and a myriad of other activities gracefully. I can tell already this is going to be a very good year, and a busy one too.
As of today, October 1st, there are 3 weeks left in the Scale Challenge and I am just blown away at how well the students are doing.
This particularly studio event serves two functions: first, it serves the purpose of all technique and scale exercises, these scales help the students develop the finger skills necessary to master the flute. Having the Scale Challenge at the beginning of the year focuses student’s attention back to their technical development and makes up any ground lost over the relaxed summer months. This is important for all, but especially important for high school students to do now. This month and next they will be auditioning for concert bands in their high school music programs and Honor Band auditions will follow closely in early December. Secondly, I use the Scale Challenge as a diagnostic tool to assess how well a student is practicing. If a student is playing their scales daily and reviewing challenging keys when needed then during the Scale Challenge they rapidly pass of scales. This is true today for almost all of my students because after only 2 weeks most have a handful of scales left to pass off. However, if students struggle to pass off scales and repeatedly make mistakes in the same keys week after week I know, and parents do too, that the scale practice either isn’t happening or isn’t being done well. During these Scale Challenge weeks we can change scale practice habits and, because of the reward and seeing the Scale Challenge chart hung up in the studio, students are motivated to make the extra effort.
In addition to our scale review, students are working on repertoire pieces for Junior Festival on Saturday, November 15, 8-9:45am, at Music and Arts, 6072 S. Durango, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Junior Festival is hosted by the Las Vegas Music Teacher’s Association and is a National Federation of Music Clubs event. Students earn up to 5 points per each year per entry and earn a Gold Cup trophy at 15 points. Students perform 2 pieces, a required memorized pieces from the Federation book and a choice piece which may be read.
Rehearsal is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 8th in my home from 11-12:30. It will be a performance practice for the students. We will play for each other, talk about performance etiquette and eat lunch.
This year Alyssa Corso will be eligible for her first, and the studio’s first, Gold Cup!
State Conference Performance
We have been invited to play at the Opening Concert for the Nevada State Music Teachers Conference on November 21 at the University Methodist Church on Maryland Parkway. In addition to many local and state teachers, Mr. Gary Ingle, president of the Music Teachers National Association, will be in attendance. We will be collaborating with 5-8 local flute and harp studios in a 20 minute selection of pieces for this performance.
I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to represent our city and look forward to sharing this opportunity with all my students. Permission slips need to be handed in to me by Tuesday, October 7th.