September / October 2022
NOTES FROM MELIA & JUSTIN
We are so grateful to be back in the swing of weekly lessons and for the opportunity to see our students progress each week! Thanks to everyone who joined us at Piano in the Park on Saturday! We know that family and friends are an important part of every Music Maker’s journey; your support means so much. Plus, there’s nothing like donuts, pumpkins, and piano music to get you in the mood for fall! There is so much music to be made yet this fall through lessons, group classes, events, and recitals! Read on to learn more about the coming months at Yellow Door.
Melia & Justin
2022-23 STUDIO YEAR THEME
This year, our studio theme is “Composing: We Can Too!” At the piano, we usually play other people’s written music. By equipping students with a few simple tools and encouraging them to tap into their own creativity, however, we hope to show our Music Makers how they too can be composers! Our group classes and our quarterly newsletter will center on this theme.
One of the easiest ways to teach and experience composing is to break music into its elements. These include melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation, among others. For our October group classes, we’ll start with melody—the part we hum when we think of a song! This article from Colourful Keys offers some helpful ideas about creating melodies. Students can also explore melodies with the “Compose Your Own Music” game from Classics for Kids.
PIANO IN THE NEWS
Did you know that West Michigan is host to one of the most prestigious piano festivals in the world? Every year in Kalamazoo, The Gilmore Festival hosts pianists from around the world with performances by both well known and up-and-coming artists. Check out their calendar of events and consider attending one of these stellar concerts!
We had so much fun at "Piano in the Park" this weekend! Check out our Facebook page for more pictures of the event.
88 Days of Practice!
This fall, both Melia and Justin’s students are participating in the “88 Days of Practice Challenge.” Each student is recording their days practiced and gets to add them to our master keyboard poster each week. The first student to reach 88 days of practice will receive a special prize. Who will our winner be?!
Studio Portal Features:
Autopay & Calendar Sync
The beginning of the studio year is a great time to remind families about some awesome features of our studio portal! Many of our families prefer to set up auto-pay for their accounts, rather than paying manually each month. To set up auto-pay: 1) Head to "Profile Settings" in the studio portal (dropdown arrow next to your name). 2) Click "Add Card" or "Add Bank" under "Payment Options." 3) Check the box for "Automatically pay emailed invoices." Please note that setting up auto-pay only applies to future invoices, not the one you just received. Families who have previously set up auto-pay do not need to update their Payment Options unless their banking information has changed. Easily add the studio calendar to you favorite digital calendar app by clicking “Set Up Sync” on the “Calendar” page.
October Group Class
Our first group class week of the fall semester is October 18-20. Per the studio calendar, classes will take place at the following times:
Tuesday, October 18 @ 4 & 5:30 PM
Thursday, October 20 @ 6 PM
No Advanced Track group class. See below!
All classes will take place in person. Please register for the session your student will be attending in the studio portal by Monday, October 10.
Advanced Track Collaboration Workshop
We are excited to once again host our Collaboration Workshop for Advanced Track (45- and 60-minute students) on Saturday, October 15! You may remember that this event took place last spring; we decided to switch the Masterclass and Collaboration Workshop to make the spring semester a little less busy in the future.
Our master collaborator for the day is Dr. Letitia Jap, affiliate professor of violin at Grand Valley State University. With degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music, and Dr. Jap's violin playing has taken her around the world!
During the workshop, students will rehearse pieces they have been preparing to play with Dr. Jap. In addition, they’ll observe Justin and Dr. Jap collaborate and share about what they’ve learned by making music with others.
[Virtual] Fall Recital!
Our Fall Recital will be here before you know it! While the pandemic no longer forces our hand on in-person events, we have intentionally chosen to hold a virtual recital in the fall and an in-person one in the spring. We've learned that the virtual format gives students an opportunity to experience the recording process, which has just as many challenges as performing in front of a live audience. Invite friends and family from all over the world to watch the recital on Facebook Live on Saturday, November 12 at 11 AM. Students will select their pieces in the coming weeks.