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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October Newsletter

Fall Challenge

The Fall Challenge is off to a great start.  Parents are welcome to drop in to the music room to see all the stickers that are mounting up.  Everyone loves watching who has the most stickers and if they are keeping up with others.  It's a great motivator!

Free Piano Music

If you check out the pages at the right on the website, you will see one that is entitled "Free Piano Music".  This page has a number of Christian songs on it in PDF form which you can print out for your child if you are interested. I've also added a few Scottish tunes. There are many for beginners.  They make great sight reading pieces. I will be adding to the list as the year goes by - so be sure to check it out now and again.

10,000 Hours - Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers"

I once read an article about how much effort it takes to become an expert at something - probably you have heard this too.... 10,000 hours to become an expert.  So I was thinking about practicing and how many hours a child would put into the piano in a year.
Let's say they practice 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week and lessons cover about 40 weeks.  That's 100 hours in one year. A mere drop in the bucket even if someone was considering becoming not an "expert" but rather "very good" at playing the piano (which would take about 3000 - 5000 hours)

 Even at this rate of 100 hours in a year a child can make very good progress; but it will take a number of years to become independent at playing the piano.

 I wonder sometimes how many hours our kids put into some of their other activities in a year... like TV, computer games, hockey, dance, etc.  I think it's pretty obvious that our kids can't be experts at everything and have a life.  We need to choose carefully and try not to overwhelm - and keep our expectations real for the amount of effort they are expending. But if the goal is to become an "expert" or even "very good" - then it does take a lot of practice.

Piano Tuning:

                Now is the time to make sure that if you have an acoustic piano that you get it tuned.  It only costs a little over $100 and is well worth it to make sure everything in your instrument is operating properly and is in good tune.  Students should have their pianos tuned at least once per year – more if it tends to go out of tune. If you need a recommendation for a piano tuner, please try Peter Kilpatrick.  He is very thorough and the best that I know of.  His phone number is 613-346-0460

In conclusion:

It is a pleasure to teach this group of students.  I am enjoying each and every one - and the joys as well as the challenges they bring.  Be sure to speak to me if you have any questions or concerns.

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