Give the Gift of Piano Lessons to Your Child This Holiday Season

From now until December 20, the Cape Ann Piano Studio is offering a 20% discount off of the remaining Winter Quarter at the studio for school-age children (10 45-minute lessons). This offer applies to both beginner and transfer students. Lessons begin January 7.*

Please email or call for more information.

A young student plays a duet with his mom at our first-ever annual Holiday Pizza and Piano Party. ūüôā

 

*This discounted offer is for young students only.
Adults seeking lessons, you can learn more by visiting my Adult Lessons page, and please contact me if you would like more information.

Julie Cleveland’s Students Performing at Shalin Liu Performance Center this Sunday

This Sunday, four of my students will be taking part in the annual North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Shalin Liu Piano Recitals. The Guild holds three recitals in one afternoon each spring at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, in which students of piano teachers from around the North Shore participate. Each recital is about 50 minutes long. Three of my students are performing in the 1:00 pm recital, and one in the 2:30 pm recital. Very very proud of how hard these students have worked for this performance. ūüôā

Here’s one of my students who participated in last year’s Shalin recitals:

North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Piano Recitals
Sunday, April 8, 3 recitals: 1, 2:30 and 4 pm
Shalin Liu Performance Center
Rockport, MA
Free and Open to the Public

Cape Ann Piano Studio Annual Spring Recital!

Tomorrow is the Annual Spring Recital of all of my piano students, and all are welcome! Come and listen to students play pieces from Michael Jackson to Igor Stravinsky! Then hang out for juice or coffee and treats downstairs.

Cape Ann Piano Studio Annual Spring Recital
Saturday, June 17, 4 p.m.
First Universalist Church of Essex.
Free and open to the public, handicapped accessible.
For more info, call (978) 491-1658

And this year the students practiced 9,227 minutes and raised nearly $400 for the elephant orphans, so we will be fostering 8 babies, rescued and cared for by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Learn more about the vital and dedicated work that they do at their Facebook page, where you will find wonderful videos about all that the Trust does: today’s video is all about the orphan babies and what their days are like!

 

Last year’s Spring Recital
Little Dupotto, she’s one of our elephant fosters.

How to Practice Anything (especially the piano)

This blog post by a fellow piano teacher is wonderful, I can say that her advice here is invaluable.¬†(Beta-tested it this summer.) ūüėČ

This is wonderful reading for not only parents, but for older students, too. And piano teachers!

Here is the link. You can also download it here as a PDF to print it out to read it again and again.

How to Practice Anything
by Regina Ngo
http://rmslearning.me/how-to-practice-anything/

Regina Ngo
Regina’s Music Studio, S. Pasadena, CA
Website: http://rmslearning.me

It’s May at Cape Ann Piano: Time to Practice for the Elephants!

The Practice for the Elephants Contest begins today and runs for 4 weeks through May 27th.

What Is the Practice for the Elephants Contest?

Students¬†practice and earn two cents for every minute practiced over the course of 4 weeks. At the end, students¬†total up the funds they raise, which is used to¬†foster 10 orphaned elephants, 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 donate them to be used by the Trust where most needed. Printed handouts on the contest, as well as the practice sheets and contest rules, are in the studio.
These African 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.

Click here for the PDF with more details on contest, and and why we do it!

Click here for more information about the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

This contest was created by friend and fellow piano instructor, Penny Lazarus.

Want to be a matching donor for a piano student practicing for the elephants? Contact me¬†here. If you’re part of the studio, let me know in lessons and I’ll pair you up with a young student!

Two of our baby elephants:

Ndotto relaxing the sun.
Ndotto relaxing the sun.
Mwashoti with his keeper.
Mwashoti with his keeper.

Follow the DSWT on Facebook

Follow the DSWT on Twitter

I will be posting updates on the students’ progress practicing as well as about our foster elephants throughout the contest.

Piano and other teachers interested in this contest, you can contact me here.

 

Dame Daphne Sheldrick with Lominyek and his keeper.

The gifts we get from our students…

A few weeks¬†ago a young student currently in love with Tchaikovsky (yes!!), who was learning an arrangement of Theme from Piano Concerto No. 1¬†from one of her method books, told me she wanted more pieces¬†like this one (yes!!). I picked out an arrangement that I found of Tchaikovsky’s Theme from Romeo and Juliet, a personal favorite symphony of mine. It was all set to go for her lesson. While on my break, waiting for them to arrive, I thumbed through the book I’d found the Romeo and Juliet theme in, and came upon Theme from C Minor Concerto by Rachmaninoff and sightread through it, thinking this is lovely, I’ll play it for her, but she’ll want the Tchaikovsky one, I know.

Wrong! She practically raced to the piano to sightread through it, after I played only the first several measures. She loved it.

After the lesson I looked up orchestra versions on YouTube to send to her to listen to, and this one came up on the top of the list. I had not listened to this concerto in a very long time. Although I had errands to run, I decided to stop what I was doing and take the half hour to listen to this most gorgeous piece of music.

A gift.

Gordon College Piano Sale Next Weekend!

Calling all parents, adult students, and anyone else who wants a great deal on basically a new piano!

(on loan to music dept for one year at Gordon, then they have the sale)

Gordon College is having their annual sale of Kawai pianos, which Kawai loans to music department for one year, then they have the sale. Two of my students have purchased a piano at these sales and they are very¬†happy!¬†They’re mainly Kawai pianos in brand-new condition, but there’s also other brands, new and used, incredible deals: read more about it here at the Gordon College Dept of Music site.

And be sure and tell them I sent you! ūüôā

 

I’ll be performing this Saturday as part of Trident Gallery Live Art Series

I’m excited to be doing a collaborative performing arts piece with dancer Carl Thomsen at the Trident Gallery in Gloucester this Saturday night, Jan. 31, at 7:30 pm. We’re calling it a “structured improvisational” work.¬† ¬†ūüôā

Details below‚ÄĒif you plan on coming,¬†email or call now, seating is¬†very¬†limited!

Trident Gallery Live Art Series Present Stone Stairway Stories
Photo of Julie Cleveland: Sheila Roberts Orlando.

 

From the Trident Gallery website:
“Stone Stairway Stories” is a performance piece by Carl Thomsen (dance) and Julie Cleveland (digital piano/synthesizer). Continuing Thomsen‚Äôs decades-long exploration of the interface between dance, music, and storytelling. In this performance the storytelling will come from the audience. The dance and music will reflect and respond to the experiences and memories of the audience itself, elicited through a series of questions, answers, gestures, and movements offered by those in attendance.

The performance is free, with donations to the artists appreciated. Seating is limited, so please reserve early to ensure a seat by emailing events@tridentgallery.com or by visiting the Facebook event page.

The great pianists: Arthur Rubinstein

Arthur Rubinstein (1887‚Äď1982) was one of the greatest concert pianists who ever lived, and we are very lucky to have so many clips of his playing and concerts on YouTube. He was considered one of, if not, the¬†best interpreter¬†of the music of Frederic Chopin. Fortunately for us, there are many YouTube clips of his playing, including concerts he gave.

This YouTube clip is from a live concert he performed in Moscow (in Russia) in 1964. This clip is not the whole concert but near the end of his concert, plus many encores. An encore is when a performer plays more pieces at the end of his or her concert that are not written in the program. That’s why people in the audience¬†cheer “Encore! Encore!” at the ends of concerts, they want the performer to come out and play more music for them!

At 22:30 is a very famous waltz by Frederic Chopin, you may recognize the tune!

At 28:30 is a piece by Robert Schumann called Des Abends (which means “In the Evening” in German)

At 37:10 Ondine (from his Preludes, Book II) by Claude Debussy, a French composer.

At 41:40 O Polichinelo (“The Punch”) by Hector¬†Villa-Lobos (a composer from Brazil)
You will not believe how fast his fingers go!

Kids, you know how I am always bugging you about your posture, playing with arm weight and loose, flexible wrists? Watch Arthur Rubinstein play and you will see all of these in action; when I watch him play I just cannot take my eyes off of his incredible technique (or my ears away from the sound!)

Complete list of pieces and where they occur in the video:
Chopin:
00:19  Polonaise, Opus 44.
11:18  Impromptu, Opus 51.
16:30 ¬†Nocturne, Opus 27 N.¬ļ 2.
22:55 ¬†Waltz, Opus 34 N.¬ļ 2.
Schumann: 28:35 ¬†Des Abends, Opus 12 N.¬ļ 1.
Chopin:¬†33:02 ¬†Waltz, Opus 34 N.¬ļ 1.
Debussy: 37:36  Ondine ( Preludes, Book II ).
Villa-Lobos: 41:50  O Polichinello.

Here is a photo of him when he was 19 years old.

Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.
Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.

 

Captain Broccoli Explains Music Theory!

Ok, Monday morning music geek here…

Captain Broccoli explains music theory on YouTube!

A¬†bit advanced for beginner students‚ÄĒthe first video starts with¬†diatonic triads. But check it out, fun!
(The playlist is actually a good review for those of us rusty, say, on figured bass and secondary dominants.)