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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Studio Policies: Change and Flat Rates

This week, after thorough consideration, I’ve changed the structure of tuition for my studio from a week by week charge to a monthly flat rate. It reads:

“Monthly tuition payments reserve a fixed weekly lesson time in my teaching schedule. Since the time passes whether a student uses it or not, a lesson missed is time lost. The scheduled time belongs to each student, and how that time is used is up to them.”

The motivation for this change came from many sources. It is standard policy for almost all schools not to provide make-up lessons; dance studios, universities, even the Henderson Parks and Rec classes that I sign my daughter up for don’t. If I miss one of her tot-nastic classes, we’ve already paid. It’s the same for daycare. Last week one of her “school days” fell on Independence Day, a day the center was closed. We paid anyway and happily kept her with us for some family fun. I believe that the teachers at daycare deserve a consistent income and paid holidays. They provide a valuable service to my family and are an important part of my daughter’s life. I only hope that my students, or rather more importantly their parents, feel the same way.

Another source of inspiration is this article, Make Up Lessons from an Economists Point of View, which showed up on my Facebook feed about a year ago. It’s written by a parent, an economist, defending the no make-up lesson policy. The author, Vicky Barham, clearly respects her son’s teacher and understands the value of their teacher’s time. Furthermore she articulates why teachers are afraid to make studio policies that reflect the value of our time. Personally, as Barham correctly assesses, I’m afraid of hurting the relationships that I have developed with parents and, honestly, afraid of losing the income that they represent if they are unhappy, chose another teacher or stop lessons altogether.

The spur that finally pushed me to make this change is that this is common practice among successful teachers that I respect, in Las Vegas (Cynthia Mann, Las Vegas Suzuki Teacher, Studio Policies)  and nationally (Bonnie Blanchard, Seattle, Studio Policies).

Hopefully, in the long run, this policy change will protect my income, because it’s based on the nature of the service that I provide. As a trained, experienced teacher, I offer students my undivided focus, energy and time, all of which are perishable goods. In the short run I hope that the parents and students in my studio now understand my motivation.

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