Celebrating Students’ Festival Success

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Every year, many of my piano and voice students participate in our local Junior Festival, hosted by the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs. Preparation for Festival begins in November when they choose their pieces, and then they work hard for the next four months learning, memorizing, and perfecting. Needless to say, it’s a stressful time… Read more »

Hymns vs. Praise Songs

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By Eric Nanz For many church goers the style of music that is played in worship has a major impact on why they attend the church they do. After all, singing in corporate worship is one of the most enriching parts of going to church. It feeds the soul, teaches us theology and places us… Read more »

Getting Through the Winter Lull

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Is it just me, or do students seriously start lacking some motivation during the winter months? The “newness” of the year has worn off, holiday recitals are behind them, and the end-of-the-year spring recital is too far in the distance to really care much. It’s frustrating for teachers. So how do we as studio owners… Read more »

Practicing Tips for Students

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By Julia Kossuth As we’ve begun the spring semester and gotten back into the swing of music lessons post-break, I’ve noticed a few practicing habits–or lack thereof–that I want to address with my students. Here are a few of the tips I walk them through during their lesson or have as a handout for them…. Read more »

Auditioning Tips for Music Theatre Students

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By Alyssa Cowell This is about the time of year that the local Middle and High schools hold auditions for the big spring musical. Every year, there are students who are nervously considering auditioning for the first time, and have no idea what to expect. While every director has their particular way of auditioning prospective… Read more »

Studio Field Trip

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Have you ever done a field trip with your studio? I’m attempting one — sort of. Each year, our local symphony holds a children’s symphony — a free, interactive performance that plays lots of kid-friendly songs…and lasts under an hour. While I’m not exactly organizing and transporting the 30 students in my studio to the… Read more »

Approaching the New Year

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By Julia Kossuth As 2013 comes quickly to a close, I’ve been spending some time thinking about the new year. I want this to be a dynamic spring semester for my students and the Studios of Sarah Strout, so I plan on carefully considering what each of my kids needs to become a stronger musician… Read more »

Preparing for a New Year

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Every year, I take a two-week break in December so that both my students and I can enjoy the holidays with our families. After several months of hard work, we all need that time off to recharge our batteries. But for me, the winter vacation isn’t all play and no work. While I don’t actually… Read more »

The Key to Call Backs: Being a Successful Sub

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By Kate Powell Every once in awhile you get the opportunity as a musician to substitute for another musician: sometimes it’s a well known community orchestra or a spot in the Kennedy Center pit. What’s important is making the most of these opportunities and leaving the door open for such opportunities again. Below is a… Read more »

Holiday Fun At Your Studio

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December in the studio can be a stressful time for your students. They are likely busy at home, and some may have end of the semester commitments such as choir/drama performances or school finals. With so much going on, this can be a nice time to take it a bit easier on your students and… Read more »