NOTES FROM MELIA & JUSTIN
Can you believe we're almost through the first full semester as Yellow Door Music Studio? We are so thankful for each and every one of you and the opportunity we have to teach, learn, listen, and make music with our students every week!
As we head into a time of celebration, togetherness, and rest, we hope your family makes music a part of your holiday! What about a "mini-recital" with out-of-town family members, a family sing-a-long, or simply putting on your favorite holiday playlist (Check ours out later in this newsletter!); whatever the setting, music makes our holidays memorable.
Melia & Justin
SPACE TO STRUGGLE
One phrase I’ve caught myself saying frequently in lessons this past month is, “This is not easy!” Usually, I say this when students and I are doing something new together: sight-reading, adding dynamic contrasts, learning about pentascales, or improving upon hand shape and technique. But it’s so true—this stuff is not easy! Not only do students have to be willing to try something new, but they also have to remember everything else they’ve learned so far—fingering, dynamics, note names, posture, hand placement, steady beat, correct rhythm....the list goes on!.
Our goal is to move students from “This is not easy!” to “It’s okay that this is really hard. With lots of hard work, I CAN do this.” Because they really can!
This article from the CBC reminded me of just how much we are asking of students when they encounter new content or make immediate adjustments within a lesson. The whole article is worth your time, but the main idea is that piano lessons are a space where students struggle, but also where they learn that it is OKAY to struggle. The first few years of piano lessons are just as much about creating a safe, supportive, relational environment where mistakes and struggles are seen as a normal part of the learning process as about growing musical skill. This is why one of Yellow Door's core objectives is Life Skills. Piano teaches students to engage with music, but students also learn focus, patience, confidence, and internal
December's Practice Tip
Give your brain a workout and try practicing backwards! Instead of starting at measure one, start at the last measure, then the last two measures, and so on.
Changing up our habits often makes for more mindful practice sessions.
Week of December 16-19: Group Class Week
Week of December 23-27: NO lessons
Week of December 30- January 3: NO lessons
Lessons resume the week of January 6-10.
Invoices for January will go out on December 15th and will be due January 1st. We won’t see you for lessons until the week of January 6th, so please bring cash or checks during our last lesson of December.
DECEMBER GROUP LESSON
Our second group lesson of the semester is coming up soon! Here is the schedule for group lessons:
SSMS Students: Tuesday, December 17th, 3-4pm
Jenison Students: See email from Mr. Colwell.
Home Studio Students: Tuesday, December 17th, 4:30-5:30pm
If you have any questions/conflicts with the group lesson time, please contact Justin or Melia ASAP.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!
We love making music with our students! Here's Melia and Sebastian playing a duet called "beep, beep, beep." Can you hear the car honking?
CHECK OUT OUR CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY!
Online Review Incentive
Help others connect with Yellow Door by reviewing us online, and get a $20 tuition discount! Here's how it works:
Once you’ve posted your review in all 3 locations, we’ll apply a $20 one-time discount to your monthly tuition (one discount per family).
In your review, be sure to include: your teacher’s name, what you appreciate about Yellow Door, and how your Music Maker has grown since beginning their studies with us.