Brainy’s Food Bank Challenge 2017

The Brainy challenge wrapped up last week!  Students who participated in this challenge had 3 challenges over the course of three weeks – one per week.  Students were asked to try and place one piece eight times over the week.  If they succeeded, they earned Brainy a penny.

Brainy at the Grocery Store

At the end of the challenge, Brainy took all his pennies to the Stuffie bank and exchanged them for loonies.  In total, he earned 41 loonies from the foodbank.  Wow!  Students have beaten last year’s record, where they earned 40 pennies during the course of the challenge.

Parents were invited to match the studio’s donation, and Brainy was give both food items and monetary donations.  So in total, Brainy had 78 dollars to spend at the foodbank.  We successfully matched last year’s donation amount.  Great job everyone!

After all the pennies were collected, Brainy went shopping at the grocery store and picked up a lot of food for the Food Bank.  This year, Brainy wanted to go drop it off directly, so he travelled to the Food Bank and dropped it off.  Thanks again everyone who participated in this challenge!  Students did a great job practicing and Brainy is really proud of all the hard work they did earning food for the Food Bank!

Brainy says thank you!

In the studio: 2017 news

It has been a busy fall in the studio!  Students have been collecting music badges for their practicing, participated in recitals, worked on a musical time line, and have learned a lot of great music.  Students worked on Compositions for November, and we will continue to be working on finishing these compositions and typing them into Musscore (a music notation program) as we proceed into the new year.  The Brainy practicing challenge has just wrapped up, also – updates about this will be posted soon!

Origami Music star decoration

In performance news, I took part in the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s November Master Series concert and their Nutcracker meets Duke Ellington concerts.  I’m looking forward to the Night In Vienna concert, which takes place December 30th.  The October Classical Variety Night concert I organize was lovely, and I’m already planning the next one, which is scheduled for February the 4th.

It’s been a fun year in the studio, and I’m looking forward to continuing to make some great music with students in 2018!

Spring Recital 2017

The studio’s spring recital was today. It was a fun concert! Students celebrated all their hard work practicing this year by playing some of their favorite music.  Puffy the puffin enjoyed hearing everyone’s lovely playing.  He had the front seat in the house – right on the piano!

Puffy the Puffin at the piano

Performances included pieces for solo piano, piano duets, and a few pieces for clarinet and piano.  It was one student’s birthday, so a student and I played Happy Birthday to finish off the concert.
A ‘food bank reception’ followed the concert.  Instead of eating food ourselves, we collected non-perishable food items for the Saskatoon Food Bank.  Brainy came along to help with collecting the food.  He was really proud of everyone for all the food they brought!

Brainy, Puffy, and food for the foodbank
Students stayed after the concert to play some music games. It was a fun way to end the concert. Thanks to everyone who came out to listen!  The students appreciate your support.

Brainy’s Practicing Challenge 2016

This was the second year for Brainy the Octopus’s practicing challenge.  This ran for three weeks.  Each week, students were challenged to play one of their pieces eight times.  If they met the challenge, brainy collected a penny.  At the end of the three weeks, all pennies were tallied and the total number of pennies – 40 – was converted into loonies.

 

Brainy at the Bank

Brainy gets very good exchange rates.

Parents were also invited to match donations, and many did, so the total amount brainy had to spend on food bank food was 78 dollars.  Wow!  Brainy took a lot of selfies, so students got to see the entirety of his trip in the studio this week.  It was a fun way to show them the results of their hard work!

Brainy says thanks

Brainy and friends thank the studio’s students.

Brainy is grateful to all the studio’s students for working so hard during the challenge, and is grateful to the parents for supporting their students with their donations.

 

Winter Recital 2016

This afternoon the studio had it’s winter recital for 2016.  Students  worked hard and did a lot of practicing – thanks to everyone for sharing their music!

A lot of preparation is involved in learning recital music.  Practicing pieces to learn notes, rhythm, and dynamics (and all the rest) is the first step, but as recitals get closer, students start getting used to performing.  Playing for family, recording themselves, and doing a practice run through are some ways.  In the studio, students rehearsed their pieces for Rudolph, who was an enthusiastic audience member.  He did a great job helping students remember to bow.

Rudolph the Reindeer

 

At today’s recital, students performed a number of solo pieces and some ensemble pieces.  There were a few piano duets, a piano and clarinet piece, a piano and clarinet quartet, and a piano and violin duo.  One student played a piece she composed herself, which was really fun to hear.  We finished up the concert with everyone playing ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ together – some on piano, and many on various percussion instruments.

Thanks everyone for taking part – the residents at Stensrud Lodge undoubtedly enjoyed the music, and it’s a fun way to celebrate all the pieces students have learned so far this term!

Brainy, Puffy, and Concert Programs

Spring wrap-up

It was a fun year in the studio!  We started the year with Composer Elections, and in December, we had a practicing challenge.  Brainy the octopus collected food for the food bank for every selection played 8 times during the week.  Students have taken part in the Saskatoon Music Festival, RCM examinations, and studio events.

We had a variety of recitals, including students-only mini-recitals, a visit to a retirement home, and wrapped the year up with the spring recital.  Everyone played well, and I enjoyed hearing the progress students made over the year.

We also collected food for the food bank at our spring recital.  Thanks everyone who brought something.

 

Food bank donations

 

I was involved in a some fun performances this year.   I played with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra a few times.  The Bugs Bunny at the Symphony concert was really neat.  The music was tricky, but it was great playing along with cartoons.  I also took part in the Klarinet Kerfuffle.  It was a fun day with clarinettists of all ages taking part.  I enjoyed getting to perform as well as teach a few clinics.

I’m looking forward to another fun year of music making come fall!

 

 

Brainy’s Practicing Challenge

Starting in November, Students had to complete a practicing challenge.  The mascot of our challenge was Brainy the octopus.  As such, students were given one challenge a week.  During the week, they had to complete this challenge 8 times.  Challenges included: playing a piece 8 times, doing 8 pages of theory, and sight reading 8 pieces.  For each week students completed this challenge, they earned a penny.

Brainy the Octopus

This is brainy collecting the pennies.

Students were given 3 challenges each, and reported their results at the end of the week.  Over the course of the challenge, students earned 29 pennies.  At the end of the challenge, the pennies were exchanged for loonies at the Stuffie Bank, meaning Brainy had 29 dollars to donate to the food bank.

Brainy says thanks!

Brainy’s proud of everyone who tried their best to complete their challenges!

Brainy took photos of his entire shopping trip.  Results were announced at our Christmas Recital on December the 19th, where students also got to see photos from Brainy’s shopping trip.  (If you’d like to see the entire trip, all the photos have been uploaded to the studio’s Facebook Page.)