Practice for the Elephants Contest Begins April 8!

The Practice for the Elephants Contest starts again next week and runs for 6 weeks through May 23rd.

For my students new to piano this year:

Students practice and earn two cents for every minute practiced over the course of 6 weeks. At the end, we total up the funds we raise, and foster orphaned elephants, that is, we will continue to support the elephants we began to foster last year. If there are extra funds (it’s $50 a year for each elephant) we will foster another baby elephant. These elephants have been orphaned due to the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory. The use of ivory for piano keys once contributed to the ivory trade. Of course, ivory is no longer used; polymers and mixtures of plastics are used instead for the key tops.

Printed handouts on the contest, as well as the practice sheets, are in the studio. Click here for the PDF with more details on contest, and and why we do it!

Here are our three adopted elephants, all doing well!, with updates:

Chemi Chemi: Keeper’s Diary update
Barsilinga: Keeper’s Diary update
Lominyek: There is no Keeper’s Diary update for Lominyek, as he is now, happily, living in the wild with other elephants in Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. Because he is, we will be transferring our donation to another younger orphan who needs us!

Click here for more information about the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This wonderful contest was created by fellow piano instructor, Penny Lazarus.

Want to sponsor a student? If you’re not a part of the studio, click here. If you are, let me know in the lessons and I’ll pair you up with a young student!

Barsilinga and Lemoyian playing in the puddle.
Barsilinga and Lemoyian playing in the puddle.
Chemi Chemi (left) playing with a friend.
Chemi Chemi (left) playing with a friend.
Lominyek with his keepers.
Lominyek with his keepers.

Cyber Monday Specials @ Cape Ann Piano Studio!

Give the Gift of Music!

  • Gift Certificates available for any number of lessons, either for 45- or 60-minute lessons.

  • Kids Only! Sign up for Winter Quarter with Julie Cleveland anytime this month and receive two lessons free!*

  • Adult Learners! Try out a piano lesson (30 minutes) for free then sign up for five 45-minute lessons and get one lesson free! (That’s 20% off!)**

All offers good until December 24th, 2013.

All gift certificates expire 2 months from date of purchase. Gift certificate rates based on a la carte lesson rates; go here, scroll to bottom of page, and see under RATES, Lessons A La Carte.
*Students may begin after the winter holidays in January. All rates prorated to week begun in current quarter. Tuition discount applies to quarterly payment plan only. Other studio policy rules apply. Contact Julie Cleveland for details.
**All five lessons are paid for in one payment. Prices based on regular weekly timeslot lesson rates; go here, scroll to bottom of page, and see under RATES, Regular Weekly Timeslot.

Contact Julie Cleveland here for more info and details on the Cyber Monday Specials!

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Improvisation for Theremin and Piano

This week I took out my theremin for students to play during lessons. This improv with my 9-year-old student came out especially well; I think she’s a born thereminist! 🙂

 

Fun with the theremin for Halloween!

Here’s one of my young students—he’s 9 and in the 4th grade—playing a spooky-music theremin and piano improv!

What the heck is the theremin?

And here is a documentary about the theremin: Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.

It’s Halloween; time to take out the theremin!

The what?
Well, it’s Halloween week, which is when I take out my Etherwave theremin to show to all my students. Dusted off, it’s ready for the kids (and adults!) to play this week in lessons. Sure wish I could play it; it’s pretty hard. But it is great fun to play around with for kids of all ages, and piano and theremin go very well together for spooky-music improv duets! And listen below to the greatest thereminist of all time, Clara Rockmore, who was a master of the instrument.

Etherwave theremin set up and ready to play!
Etherwave theremin set up and ready to play!

Below is Clara Rockmore, the greatest thereminist who ever lived, playing at a house concert, not sure of year, Bob Moog is there. All the songs she plays at this concert (with her sister on piano) are beautiful (they’re all on YouTube), but this is one of my favs; her artistry is astonishing. A great documentary on Léon Theremin and his instrument is Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey; you can get it on Netflix.

Hillbilly Rock played by MG!

This is one of my students, who’s 10 years old, playing Hillbilly Rock, which is a slow blues in 4/4 time with what we call a “12/8 feel.” Awesome job, MG!

Julie Plays Government Center! Street Pianos | Boston: 2013

There’s an incredible event going in Boston—”Play Me, I’m Yours”—I got to 6 pianos, here’s me on the only baby grand in exhibit, there’s 75 all over the city and surrounding neighborhoods, for anyone to play! See info below.

Piano @ City Hall Plaza, Government Center:

(This poor piano, pedal needs some WD40, and keys were sticky and spongy—@ 0:18 you can see me pick that E key back up! I think it got rained on, several of the ivory keytops fell off while I played!)

And check out this girl playing Linus and Lucy!


And this boy playing Linus and Lucy too!

Love this boy in the fedora playing “Take Five” by Brubeck:

And this pianist’s playing takes my breath away, can you name the piece?

Link to all info, including map of where all the pianos are located:
http://streetpianos.com/boston2013/

Maybe I’ll see you in town this weekend!
—Julie

Street Pianos | Boston: 2013 will be in Boston from Sep 27 through Oct 14.