The Brainy Foodbank challenge has concluded for another year! Every year starting in November, Brainy the octopus runs a practicing challenge. Students are given a challenge – they must practice something eight times during the week. Challenges are chosen by teacher and student together. If they complete their challenge, they earn the Foodbank one dollar. This challenge lasts for three weeks, so students have the possibility of earning the Foodbank three dollars each. Brainy uses pennies as counters during the week, then exchanges them for loonies at the bank at the end of the challenge. (Octopi get very good exchange rates at the bank!) :
Parents are optionally invited to match donations, so brainy often gets to spend extra on the foodbank food.
This year, students earned Brainy $20 to spend on food for the food bank. He was very impressed. Donations were matched, so he had almost double that to spend!
Brainy likes students to feel included in the shopping fun, so he always makes sure to take lots of pictures. This year, studio friend Puffy the Puffin visited the grocery store with Brainy, taking pictures.
Brainy says thank you to all the students for their hard work this year! They did a great job practicing and earned lots of money for the Foodbank this year.
This year the studio hosted a Spring Festival. Students were invited to attend as many of the five events as they wished.
Our first two events featured special guests. Melissa Goodchild was invited to give a workshop on improvisation. She brought over a whole bunch of percussion instruments for students to try out as a part of her workshop.
Tuesday, Janna Willard discussed composition with students. Prior to the festival students have worked on composing by ear as well as experimenting with aleatory (chance music – some students wrote pieces with the help of dice). Thus, it was really interesting to meet a local composer and learn about a different method of composing. We got to learn a little about how theory and composing can work together.
Wednesday, we made composer collages. This year’s composer of choice was J. S. Bach. Whilst the collage was put together we listened to music by this composer, looked at instruments from Bach’s time, and discussed fun history facts.
Thursday was the music games night – students were invited to come over and play some of the studio’s musical games. These focus on a variety of areas of theory ranging from beginner to advanced levels, so there were games for students of all ages and years of study. Having the chance to try out some new games is a fun way to learn!
The week ended with a mini-recital. This was very well attended – many students came, as well as some family members. Students had a chance to play multiple pieces for each other, and had time for a few group activities at the end as well.
Thanks to everyone who came out to these events. It was wonderful to have some guests in the studio and for students to have a chance to try out some new and interesting musical activities. I’m looking forward to planning next year’s spring festival!
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!
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!
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.
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!
The lesson year has started again, and it’s been fun having everyone back in the studio. We’ve been learning lots of music already, and have been having lots of fun with a special project this year. We’re electing a composer to fit the theme of national elections later this year. Look forward to some posts detailing more about that.
Thanks to everyone who made it to the FAQ/come-and-go tea for families. It was fun to chat about practicing tips and other matters. Students enjoyed showing their parents some of the activities we do in the studio.
Outside the studio, I’ve had the pleasure of doing some beginner band clinics. I always enjoy meeting students new to their instrument. Seeing their excitement is always fun, as is helping them with their first music-related lesson.
Please check back here for more updates. I have a few posts planned to update everyone this term’s news in more detail!
It’s been a fun month in the studio. Music festival was last week, and I enjoyed getting the chance to see performances from students from many studios across the city. My other favorite part of festival is seeing the adjudicators in action. Hearing teachers from other parts of Canada is really interesting.
Festival is also great preparation for some of the upcoming musical activities, such as recitals and music exams. It gives students a chance to play their pieces multiple times. They also get feedback from the teachers as well as having a chance to hear other students their age. Students may hear new pieces, which is great as we near the end of the term – something fresh can be motivating.
I look forward to seeing everyone’s hard work at the studio recital Saturday. Happy music making!
Well, it’s a mighty cold day today in Saskatoon – the temperature with windchill was -48 when I checked this morning. A good day to be planning a new term of music lessons!
It’s a a busy time of year, and sometimes it can be easy to run out of time for everything. I recommend sitting at the piano every day – even if there’s only a few minutes of time. Playing every day, even if it’s just a little, is a great way to keep everything fresh. Also, practicing is a great activity for the cold days of January!
In the studio, there’s lots to look out for. There will be another mini-recital or two, our bigger end-of term recital in the spring, music festival, and exams. Registration dates come up quickly for the festival and exams, so keep these in mind.
We’re a few weeks into term two of the music year. I can’t believe how fast term one went! There’s been lots of fun things happening in the studio this year. There was a mini-recital in October, our final concert at the end of November, and some great work by the students! Next week will be our last week of lessons before the Christmas break – I look forward to one last week of fun before we all go relax.
Outside of lessons, it’s been busy, too. I had a lot of fun playing with the Polyreeds, my clarinet duo. We performed in a few places this year, and have already broken out the Christmas music. We have a few gigs to look forward to this Christmas season. I’m particularly excited to tour the wards at Royal University Hospital. It was great fun last time! I kept busy with other ensembles as well, including the Reedy, Set, Go Clarinet Choir, who performed at the Festival of Trees. (We made the paper – you can see us preparing for our concert on the Star Phoenix’s website.) There were other musical adventures, and between them all, I had a fun start to the year.