Flute Studio of Emma Pease-Byron

"Flute music is love music from the heart. It must not stop, lest the pulsing of the heart be broken." ~ Judith Redman Robbins

Flutastic Monthly – May 2014

Student Achievements

Students participate in so many events through the school year and work so hard to do well in every one of them. I don’t do a good enough job of singing their praises. I am proud of each and everyone of them!

The lists that follow are just a snap shot of their accomplishments over the last 9 months.

 Las Vegas Academy

Last Fall Alyssa Corso was accepted as a freshman and last month Dana Sullivan was accepted for next year.

 Junior Festival 2013

Alyssa Corso – Excellent Rating

Eryn Best – Excellent Rating

MacKenzie Puckett – Superior Rating

Megan Gleason – Superior Rating

Dana and Megan Duet—Superior with Honors!

Las Vegas Youth Orchestra

Last Fall Megan Gleason and Dana Sullivan were both accepted to the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras as 8th graders, They are currently working on their audition materials for next year. Auditions are open to all CCSD students and take place next month on the 17th.

 Solo and Ensemble

All students who were eligible participated in the CCSD Solo and Ensemble Competitions and almost all were awarded Superior (I) ratings. Three high school students, Eryn Best, Kevin Lozada and MacKenzie Puckett were recommended for regionals and both Eryn and MacKenzie competed.

 Musicianship

Theory Exam: Dana Sullivan 92%, Umi Caldwell 93%, MacKenzie Puckett 94% and Emma Knightly 98%

 Cultivating the Practice Habit

I love change! I especially love the change from the school year to the summer and back. I’d like to use this summer to have everyone work on cultivating “the practice habit.”

Over the next few months let’s work to practice better and more regularly – daily! If we take this stretch of time that is free from marching band rehearsals, homework, sports and clubs and strengthen our practice habit, it will be easier to be consistent when our schedules are full.

If you don’t already have a daily practice habit you may want to start with a short increment, try 15 minutes a day, every day. It’s easier to form a habit when you start small and focus on celebrating consistency. The amount of time can be increased incrementally, add 15 minutes a week for example, until your ideal amount of time has been reached.

Protect your practice time by doing it at the same time each day. You may even consider practicing first thing in morning, even if that means getting up early.

Keep track of the days you practice on a calendar, put a sticker on every day you practice and soon you’ll have an impressive streak going. On days you don’t really feel like practicing, you might be motivated by your desire to keep your streak going.

The best part of habits is that they happen automatically. The best part of practicing consistently is the progress you make and the skills you develop. The biggest reward will be returning to school in better shape than you left.

 Practice Challenge 2014

According to conventional wisdom it takes 21 days to form a habit. While this is true for easy single step tasks (like making your bed first thing in the morning) more complicated tasks take more time. However, a 21 day streak is a great first goal.

This summer, starting June 1st and ending August 31st, we’ll participate in a practice challenge consisting of 3 levels: 21 days, 42 days and 92 days. To achieve each level, your days must be counted consecutively and you must play at least 15 minutes each day.

Each level will have different level prizes. We’ll use individual and studio wide charts to keep track and we’ll also keep track of total practice days for each student and the whole studio.

I am also going to participate. See if you can beat me!

Summer Events

May

  • Friday, May 9, 8pm, Henderson Pavilion – Henderson Symphony Orchestra: Brahms Requiem. Emma to play second part.
  • Friday, May 23, 2-5pm, Mallie’s Studio – Piano rehearsal for Spring Recital. Mallie studio: 431 Ackerman Lane, NV 89014. Schedule your rehearsal 20 or 30 minute rehearsal with Emma.
  • Saturday, May 31, 1pm, Family Music Center on Green Valley – Spring Recital. Please bring your family and friends!

June

  • Sunday, June 1 – Practice Challenge Begins
  • Monday, June 9 – Summer Lesson Schedule Begins
  • Sunday, June 14h, 2pm, CSN Cheyenne, Recital Hall – LVFC Student Recital. Open performance to all members under 18. Visit www.lasvegasfluteclub.com for more information.
  • Sunday June 29 and Monday June 30 – Mater-class and Recital by Paul Fried. Master-class has not yet filled, please contact Emma or the LVFC if you are interested in participating. Visit www.lasvegasfluteclub.com for more information.

July

  • July 20 – July 25, Alexander Dawson School – Desert Suzuki Institute. This year Emma will take the book 4 Teacher Training course and Helen will take her first Pre-Twinkle Camp! Visit www.desertsuzukiinstitute.com for more information.

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Finding the Motivation to Practice: Performances

Motivating my students and myself to practice is something that constantly occupies my thoughts. In a perfect world we would all practice because we are passionate about music and devoted to our instrument enough that we do the necessary daily work to improve our skills, or, at the minimum, that we maintain them. However, we all have slumps, reach plateaus in our development and find too often that much of our time is already occupied by non-musical activities.

I get the best motivation from upcoming performances. Nothing scares me more than walking on stage unprepared and that fear has me hitting my daily tone and technique exercises with renewed focus weeks and sometimes months before a performance date. Being in shape technically is as important as knowing how to play the music before the first rehearsal. It affords me the flexibility to follow the conductor and adjust to the ensemble.

My students seem to be primarily motivated by solo performances, especially competitions. In Las Vegas, between the Las Vegas Flute Club, Music Teachers Association and Clark County School District, there is practically something to do every month between November and May. I get the best lesson preparation in the weeks preceding these events and when students participate in many events back to back we see months of accelerated development.

Now, mid-summer, really is the time to start planning your academic year or your performing season. Are there any competitions that you would like to participate in? Would planning a recital help you rev your practice engine? Do some research and planning. Set yourself up with the best motivation.

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Cultivating the Practicing Habit

This summer I’m having some of my students use their freer vacation schedule to increase the length of their daily practice sessions. While some are working up to just an hour a day, others have challenged themselves to put in two. Over the next few months they will build the habit of longer daily practice sessions and the strength of this habit will help them practice better and more consistently when their schedules are full of marching band rehearsals, homework, sports and clubs.

If you don’t already have a daily practice habit you may want to start with a short increment, such as 15 minutes a day, every day. It’s easier to form a habit when you start small and focus of celebrating consistency. The amount of time can be increased incrementally, adding 15 minutes a week for example, until a reasonable amount of time has been reached. Then, of course, you can work on other goals, like increasing the efficacy of your practice sessions.

According to conventional wisdom it takes 21 days to form a habit. While this is true for easy single step tasks, like making your bed first thing in the morning, more complicated tasks take more time. However, a 21 day streak is a great first goal. Create a chart to keep track of how many days in a row you’ve practiced. Keeping up a long streak can be enough motivation to get you going when you don’t feel motivated to do the practicing itself.

Protect your practice time by doing it at the same time each day. You may even consider practicing first thing in morning, even if that means getting up early. According to Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, “If it has to happen, it has to happen first.” This isn’t possible in all situations but there’s nothing like starting your day with the most time consuming part of your to do list already completed.

Make sure that you set small goals and reward yourself for reaching them. When your small goals add up to something big, like a 100 day practicing streak, reward yourself big. A mom in my studio uses a calendar and a treasure box to motivate her young flutists. Each month’s calendar has randomly marked days. If the student practices that day he gets to choose a prize from the treasure box.

The best thing of habits is that they happen automatically. When’s the last time you struggled to get yourself to brush your teeth or buckle your seatbelt? These are automatic behaviors. The best part of practicing consistently is the progress you make and the skills you develop. The biggest reward will be returning to school in better shape than you left it.

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