Monday, June 29, 2015

Information about the Arizona Study Program

I’m so excited to have many of my students involved in the Arizona Study Program this year! The program offers additional recitals, theory study, and a final evaluation at the end of the year which takes place at ASU. I will require that students involved have 45 minute weekly lessons to be sure they are properly prepared for the final evaluation and written theory test. This is an excellent way to challenge students to work harder as well as provide them more opportunities for performance throughout the year.

There is a $20 enrollment fee and a $12 fee for the theory book study materials.


The Arizona Study Program is a twelve year graded course of music study developed by the Arizona State Music Teachers Association to provide for the development of repertoire, technique, and theory. It is organized in terms of the twelve years of public school, with one level available for each of the years a student would be enrolled in school. However, a student may progress at his/her level as the teacher may deem appropriate and/or necessary. It requires continual work throughout the year. In the spring, there is a private evaluation of the repertoire and technique requirements by a Master Adjudicator, and a written theory test.
In addition to a written evaluation of their performance and a grade on their written theory test:
  • Certificates and ribbons are awarded to the students to indicate their accomplishment.
  • Plaques are awarded to those students successfully completing Elementary Division 4A and Intermediate Division 8A in Repertoire, Technique, and Theory.
  • Trophies are awarded to students successfully completing the Advanced Division 12A.
  • The James Anthony Award (a monetary award) is awarded to high school seniors who successfully complete Level 12 A.
  • The Arnold Bullock Scholarship of $400 is available to anyone who receives the James Anthony Award and then becomes a music major at a college or university. (Contact your local chairman for application requirements.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 16th, 2015 piano recital

We had a wonderful piano recital yesterday thanks to the hard work and preparation from all students! Thank you to all attended, enjoy the highlight video. For those who are taking lessons with me this summer, we will be having a piano recital at the end of the summer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Summer Piano and Voice Classes for Beginner- advanced students

Summer group music classes

To enroll fill out this online form

Class weeks: June and July
mon-thur 1 hour a day
week 1: 6/8-6/11
week 2: 6/15-6/18
week 3: 6/22-6/25
If June weeks don't work you may request a week in July.

Learn the Basic- Piano primer level: 
 Tuition $60
For students who are new or mostly new to piano! Students will be in a group of either 2 or 3 and will learn through theory games, rhythm activities, as well as time at the piano or keyboard. Learning with other students for the first few lessons is a great way to motivate students as well as learn quickly!

Theory and technique- Piano beginner level: 

Tuition $60
For students who have had 1 or 2 years of piano lessons. It is important that beginners have a strong foundation of theory! Sometimes there are gaps in theory that need to be filled. We will focus on strengthening technique, scales, primary chords, and basic ear training. In addition to theory we will also spend time sight-reading and learning songs at the piano.

Composition- piano intermediate- advanced

Tuition $60
For students with at least 3 years of experience.They will learn how to compose basic melodies on the piano as well as hear and play melodies by ear. We will also work on basic chord progressions and learn how to harmonize songs (give a melody an accompaniment). 

Class size limited at 5 student for musical theater classes 

Musical Theater for the young singer

 Tuition $50  (ages 7-11): This is a GREAT camp for young voices who need some help learning how to breathe correctly, how to sing with diction, and how to project their voice! They will learn some group songs and solos. These will give them great options to use for auditions, if they choose to audition for a musical. 

Musical Theater for the maturing singer 

 Tuition $50  (ages 12-16): For anyone interested in strengthening their voice and learning more about musical theater singing and acting! With a small group lesson we will work on vocal technique that will expand your range, strengthen tone, and improve breath support. Students will also be introduced to a variety of musicals and learn which musical songs are great for auditioning for musicals. 

Please contact me for class times! I will have a few classes during the week for each level! I'm also available for private piano/voice lessons during the summer. Please contact me if you're interested!

I'll contact you about lesson times, it depends on the students who sign up for the class.  To enroll fill out this online form. 

Phone: 480-510-4276

Monday, April 13, 2015

Practice technique as we learn recital pieces

For all piano students and parents. Please take a moment to consider these practice techniques. It will make a huge difference as students learn their very challenging recital pieces. We talk about these practice skills every week during lessons, but I need parents to understand them as well.  

This article is about a study done at Duke University with 17 pianists. CLICK HERE for the full article. 

All pianists were given a 3 measure passage from a piano concerto. They were told to practice, learn, memorize the passage, and take as much time as needed. Time took to learn the passage varied from 8 1/2- 57 minutes. They were then told that they could NOT go over the passage for 24 hours. They came back the following day and performed the 3 measures and were rated on rhythm, accuracy, tone, musicality, etc.. The results will surprise you. 

Here are the findings. 

  1. Practicing longer didn't lead to higher rankings.
  2. Getting in more repetitions had no impact on their ranking either.
  3. The number of times they played it correctly in practice also had no bearing on their ranking.
What did matter was:
  1. How many times they played it incorrectly. The more times they played it incorrectly, the worse their ranking tended to be.
  2. The percentage of correct practice trials did seem to matter. The greater the proportion of correct trials in their practice session, the higher their ranking tended to be.
And here are the top 3 strategies among the top 3 pianists. 
"1. The precise location and source of each error was identified accurately, rehearsed, and corrected.
2. Tempo of individual performance trials was varied systematically; logically understandable changes in tempo occurred between trials (e.g. slowed things down to get tricky sections correct; or speeded things up to test themselves, but not too much).
3. Target passages were repeated until the error was corrected and the passage was stabilized, as evidenced by the error’s absence in subsequent trials."
So.... as you are practicing your recital songs. FIX THE MISTAKES EARLY by slowing down and fixing the error, over and over and over, until the error is no longer there. This will speed up the time it takes to learn your recital songs. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

May 16th Recital coming up!

Spring Recital Information

We are looking forward to an excellent recital coming up here in May. Here are the details.

Studio Piano Recital
May 16th @ 3PM
Location- Home of student Andrea Judd. I will send out the address later.

The recital will last about 1 hour.

All students have been working very hard learning their songs. Practice should be consistent especially during these next few crucial weeks of learning and memorization. I cannot emphasize enough the need to practice daily with extreme focus. Missing even 1 day of practice will push a student back a step. Daily practice makes me happy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arizona Piano Institute- Andrea Judd

I wanted to share a little bit about Andrea Judd and her hard work in applying to and getting into a piano camp for this summer. She has been working hard these last several months learning her audition pieces. She chose to learn a Bach Invention and a Rachmaninoff Prelude. I'm so proud of her for getting these challenging songs learned and memorized in time for her audition! She will be attending the Arizona Piano Institute week long camp this June. During the camp she will perform, learn from incredible teachers, as well as participate in master classes and ensemble repertoire classes. 

Here are a few clips of her playing her audition pieces.

Congrats Andrea! We are excited to hear about all of the things that you learn!