NOTES FROM MELIA & JUSTIN
It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over, and fall is just around the corner! We want to express our sincere gratitude to our studio families for the encouragement and support you've given us through our pregnancy and following Margot's birth. We're so grateful for the time to bond as a family during our parental leave and also for the chance to return to the studio with our Music Makers.
We learned a lot and had so much fun this studio year! Safety precautions allowed us to continue in-person lessons in the midst of the pandemic, and our "Music of COLOR" studio year theme offered opportunities for us to grow with our Music Makers, experiencing the rich variety of music in our world. This month's newsletter features our final installment in our "Music of COLOR" series, featuring two recent albums by modern pianists of African descent.
We are excited to embark on our third year as a studio, and we have some exciting things in store for 2021-22. We've just released our updated studio policies and calendar; read on for the highlights!
We can't thank you enough for entrusting us with the musical and personal development of your students, our Music Makers, and we can't wait to witness their growth in this new year!
Melia & Justin
Margot recently attended her first wedding with us!
MODERN PIANISTS OF AFRICAN DESCENT
During our summer group classes, we've focused on modern pianists of African descent and discussed how we can learn from professional artists. This month, we're featuring two recent releases by pianists of color. These albums are the perfect soundtrack for the final weeks of summer!
Originally from Nottingham, England, Isata Kanneh-Mason hails from a family of musicians. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has received numerous awards for her artistry in recent years. Her 2021 release Summertime has an American focus, featuring works by Samuel Barber, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, and settings of spirituals by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
Jazz pianist Aaron Diehl is known as one of the finest jazz artists in the world. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Diehl went on to study at The Juilliard School in New York City. In 2011 he was named a Cole Porter Fellow by the American Pianist's Association. His 2020 release The Vagabond features original works alongside his trio members (bass and drums).
Click on the album covers to listen to each album on Spotify!
Advanced Track program: Our 45- and 60-minute lesson students will now be a part of our "Advanced Track" program. Instead of 4 group classes throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, these students will attend 2 group classes especially for them. They will also participate in a masterclass by a local artist (Fall) and a collaboration workshop with a professional instrumentalist (Spring).
Updated COVID policies: In light of increased vaccination rates and lower case rates locally, we are excited to relax some of our COVID policies. While unvaccinated individuals will still mask in the studio, family members are once again invited to observe lessons, and we're resuming in-person group classes.
New options for Summer 2022: Students will have the option to take weekly or biweekly lessons, based on what works best for their schedule.
Please return your
2021-22 Studio Contract
by Friday, August 20.
A note for families who joined the studio this summer:
Even though you recently signed a contract for the remainder of the 2020-21 studio year, we do ask that you sign a new contract for 2021-22, which represents your consent to our updated policies. Please note that we will NOT bill the annual enrollment fee for 2021-22, since you joined the studio so recently.
PIANO IN THE NEWS
We know you don't need convincing, but in case you're curious.... Check out this recent blog from the Gilmore International Piano Festival in Kalamazoo. They draw together findings from five recent studies about the benefits of studying an instrument!