Help, My Child Can’t Remember Their Recital Piece!

Spring has sprung and the time for music recitals is upon us! Music Star Studios is gearing up for their spring recital Sunday, April 30! We are so excited to hear all of the pieces our students are working on, but know memorizing them can be difficult. Here are a few tips for climbing over those memory hurdles!

1. Make a Mental Roadmap– Analyze your music. Write down the form of the piece (ABA coda), maybe even write down the chord progression of the piece. Look for patterns and repeated motives. If you can map the piece out in your head, it will make performing the piece that much easier.

2. Practice SLOWLY. This is not a student favorite. However, practicing slowly is harder, and makes your mind and memory work more. Practicing your piece quickly usually means that the memory established is muscle memory; which is more likely to fail you in a stressful situation. It’s better to slow your practice down, so you are actively memorizing the song not just in your fingers, but in your mind as well. Added bonus: the tempo of your piece won’t run away like a freight train!

3. Work From the End to the Beginning. Normally, when we learn a piece, we learn the beginning of the song first and then work our way to the end. Naturally, this is usually how we memorize pieces as well. However, this means we are normally very comfortable starting the song and playing the beginning, but we lose steam as we move further along. So why not try reversing it? Start with the last line of the piece and memorize that, then move back a line and work to memorize. This way you are always playing into a section you have memorized, and reinforcing your overall knowledge of the piece; because you are starting in different places.

4. Practice Away From the Piano. Yes, it can be done. Sometimes the best practice takes place away from your instrument. Looking over your music away from your instrument can be a good time to practice fingerings, as well as visualizing your mental map for your piece.

Hopefully, these tips will help your child become more confident and secure with their pieces and lead to a successful recital performance!

If you are in need of music lessons, make sure to check out Music Star Studios!

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Women in Music: Karrie Keyes

Women in Music: Karrie Keyes

One of the few females in a predominantly male field, Karrie Keyes has been Pearl Jam’s sound engineer for over two decades!

Known by many fans as “mic-check girl”, Keyes is the monitor engineer for the band. This means that she mixes the sound for the individual members in the band that plays through  ear buds or speaker wedges on stage.

Keyes job is not easy. Her job changes on a daily basis and can be affected by water, humidity, crowd size and sweat! A lot of time her communication with the band is via hand signals during the show. During her 24 year tenure, Keyes has rebuilt the band’s monitor system to suit their needs.

Keyes’ passion for audio started at a Black Flag show when she met a sound engineer who offered her a job. In the beginning, she was living on $50 a week and unloaded equipment off of trucks. As one of the few females in the field she encountered sexism, but the variety and travels perks of the job kept her going.

When Pearl Jam exploded in the early 90s, Keyes spent the majority of her time on tour with the band. During this time she was also pregnant and gave birth to twin daughters. In the early years, her husband, aunts and nannies all pitched in to help care for the girls. While Keyes initially struggled with being away from her children, she realized that, “I’m a better mother if I’m doing what I love doing.”

Keyes’ love of audio led her to co-found SoundGirls; a group that supports and mentors women in professional audio. This summer they held camps to teach and encourage women to participate in audio.

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If you are looking for a place to support and mentor the musical goals of your child, check out Music Star Studios– where every student shines!

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Revamping Classical Music: “Classical” Composition Tools with a Popular Twist

Revamping Classical Music: “Classical” Composition Tools with a Popular Twist

In my years as a piano teacher, I’ve encountered students of all ages and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, I usually have at least one student who hates any of the music they are “supposed” to play. Many students can’t connect to the standard teaching literature written by dead European guys; they want to learn music they know.

However, standard teaching literature does serve a purpose in teaching specific techniques and composition tools, so what’s a piano teacher to do, today?

According to Rebecca Langley in an article on timtopham.com, you can use your students interest in popular music to make connections with classical teaching pieces. She suggest you learn a pop song, then analyze it and pick out some key ingredients (key signature, chord progression, rhythmic patterns, melodic motifs) and then link those same ingredients to a standard teaching piece. In her example she looked at Ed Sheehan’s “Thinking Out Loud” and linked the chord progression and key signature to Passepied, the sixth movement of Suite No. 2 by Charles Dieupart.

Another approach you can use is to prep your students for classical study by having them work on a popular song that employs the same compositional technique. For example, Andrea on teachpianotoday.com, suggests using Coldplay’s Clocks to prepare a student for a Bach prelude. She suggests that the use of common tones to connect chords will help a student understand Bach’s compositions.

Lastly, you can opt to explore some of the new Classical Pop compositions that have been written. Giovanni Detorri is a composer who has taken some popular themes and arranged in the style of classical compositions. He is most famous for his Lady Gaga fugue, which uses a melodic motif from Bad Romance as the fugue subject. Detorri’s collection also includes Hey Jude written as a theme and variations and My Heart Will Go On from Titanic written as a sonatina.

Are you looking for a music teacher to help you weave pop and classical music together? Check out Music Star Studios today!

 

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School is Starting- and so are lessons at Music Star Studios!

School is Starting- and so are Lessons at Music Star Studios!

The yellow buses are back! Many of our Music Star Studio students have started school already or are getting ready to get back-to-school, which means it is also a perfect time to get back into music lessons!

It’s time to get back to music lessons!

As you are trying to schedule our child’s activities and school work for the fall- make sure to save a place for music lessons- here’s why:

1. Academic–  Music is math. When children spend time learning and studying beat, rhythm, and scales; they are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. Music also helps bolster short and long term memory. Working to memorize a song for a recital works both of these areas, and the mnemonic devices often used as memory aids also helps strengthen memory. Music lessons also help children gain better spatial reasoning skills as they learn to visualize various elements in their songs. Music lessons can even introduce children to basic physics! When students pluck strings on a guitar or violin, or push keys on a piano, they are introduced to harmonic and sympathetic vibrations of the strings.

2. Expression- Music provides a healthy emotional outlet for children, which can be beneficial with added pressures from school.Music lessons open a new medium of emotional education and expression. Lessons allow students to “play” through the emotions of other composers as well as letting them explore their own emotions when creating their own pieces. Intellect and emotions are stimulated when students participate in the production of music, which leads to an enriched and meaningful life. Music lessons also open a line of creativity and imagination that allows for children to discover who they really are, while pushing them away from conformance, unlike other activities.

3. Fun!-  With all the increasing pressures of school work, studying an instrument provides a chance for our students to bring a little fun into their lives. Learning and mastering an instrument is fun! These lessons give students a chance to learn how to play their favorite songs, and provide entertainment for themselves, families, and friends. Music lessons also decrease stress and increase joy- and who doesn’t need a little more joy in their life? Making sure that students have fun is our top priority at Music Star Studios!

Music Star Studios encourages all of our students to have fun in their lessons while developing the discipline of a well-rounded musician. This fall make space for music lessons at Music Star studios; follow our blog here, visit our website, follow our Facebook page to keep up with Music Star Studios and our students.

We wish all of our Studio students good luck this school year, and we are so excited to continue to share our love of music with you!

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Back-to-School for Nashville Area Private Schools!

Back-to-School for Nashville Area Private Schools!

Are you ready for Back-to-School?

Hey Davidson County private school friends! It’s that time of year again when the summer starts to say its farewell and a new school year is right around the corner. We here at Music Star Studios want to help you with getting everything you need to start off the new school year on the right foot, so we’ve got some links and info below that will point you in the right direction for getting supplies, uniforms, and any other necessary items!
Note: Schools with only URL link indicate dress code and school supply lists are not listed on school website or adhere to the Metro Nashville Standard School Attire guidelines.

Zip Code – 37215

Pre-K/K Schools

Children’s House Of Nashville

Elementary Schools

St. Paul Christian Academy– Students should report for their first day of classes on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Dress code information can be found here. Students are required to purchase uniforms from Parker School Uniforms in Brentwood. Their contact info is:

204 Ward Circle #400
Brentwood, TN 37027
(615) 376-6003

The Covenant School – Students should report for their first day of classes on Monday, August 15, 2016. (Jr.K/K has early dismissal) Dress Code information can be found here. Uniform items with official logos and school plaid must be purchased from Parker School Uniforms.

Linden Waldorf School – Grades 1-8 should report for their first full day of classes on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Early Childhood classes start on Monday, August 22, 2016. To see in detail what your child’s curriculum will look like according to grade level, go here.

K-12 Schools

Christ Presbyterian Academy – Students should report for the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. CPA students are required to purchase uniforms from Educational Outfitters. Their contact info is:
1731 Mallory Lane, Suite 106
Brentwood, TN 37027
615-373-0433

5-12 Schools

Harpeth Hall School – Students should report for a half day on Wednesday, August, 17, 2016; with the first full day of classes being Thursday, August 18, 2016. Harpeth Hall’s dress code can be found here.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Walgreens – 3901 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215

CVS Pharmacy – 3801 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN, 37215

Macy’s – 3813 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville

Zip Code – 37205

Pre-K/K Schools

Westminster School for Young Children-
The first full day for all age levels is Thursday, September 8, 2016 (except for M/W/F students). The first full day for M/W/F students is Friday, September 9, 2016.

Elementary Schools

Akiva School of Nashville – Grades 1-6 should report for their first day of classes on Monday, August 15, 2016. Kindergarten students should report on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

St. Henry Catholic School – Students should report for their first day of class on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. St. Henry’s uniform specifications can be found here. Uniforms are to be purchased through Parker School Uniforms.

High Schools

St. Cecilia Academy – Students should report for their first day of classes on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Dress code information can be found here. Uniforms must be purchased from Parker School Uniform.

Montgomery Bell Academy – Students should report for their first day of classes on Monday, August 22, 2016. MBA’s dress code can be found here. All new and used textbook information for MBA students is available here.

K-12 Schools

The Ensworth School – All students should report for their first full day of class on Monday, August 15, 2015 (K-8 will dismiss at 11am). Uniform information can be found through the Parker School Uniform site.

K-8 Schools

Harding Academy -Students should report for their first day of classes on Thursday, August 18, 2016.

Abintra Montesorri – Classes for students start on Thursday, August 18, 2016. Early childhood students will be phased in to classes.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Target – 26 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37205

Walgreens – 5301 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205; 4243 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205

Zip Code – 37209

Elementary Schools

Nashville International Academy – Classes start for students on Thursday, August 11, 2016. Uniform information can be found on the home page under the “Academics” tab.

Middle Schools

St. Ann School –Students should report for their first day of class on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Dress Code information can be found here. St. Ann students should purchase uniforms through the Dennis School Uniforms site.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Target – 6814 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209; 26 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37205

Walgreens – 5600 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209

Zip Code – 37220

Pre-K/K Schools

Otter Creek School

Pre K-8 Schools

Oak Hill School – Grades 2-6 should report for their first full day of classes on Monday, August 22, 2016. PK/K and 1st grade students will have half day of attendance Monday, August 22, 2016- Friday, August 26, 2016. Uniform pieces can be purchased through the Educational Outfitters website or at their store:
3205 Powell Ave, Ste. B,
Nashville, TN 37204
615.373.0433

K-12 Schools

Franklin Road Academy – Students should report for their first day of classes on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. FRA students can find uniform dress code information here.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Target – 780 Old Hickory Blvd, Brentwood, TN 37027

Walgreens – 3901 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215

CVS Pharmacy – 735 Harding Place, Nashville, TN 37211

Macy’s – 3813 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215

Zip Code – 37204

PK-12 Schools

David Lipsomb Campus School – MS and HS students should report for their first day of class on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. ES students should report for school on Thursday, August 18, 2016. The specifics for the DLCS dress code are spelled out in each respective grade handbook on the school website.

High Schools

Father Ryan High School –Students have a half day of classes on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 and Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The first full day of classes will be Thursday, August 11, 2016. Go to this link to view the FRHS uniform information.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Walgreens – 2611 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN 37204

School Uniform Warehouse – 740 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204

Zip Code – 37212

K-12 Schools

University School of Nashville – The first day of school is Tuesday, August 16, 2016. For information on textbooks, click here.

K-8 Schools

Christ The King School – The first full day of school will be Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Go to this link to view the CTHS uniform information.

St. Bernard Academy – Students should report for the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Here are a few suggested locations for getting the supplies you need, along with any necessary school uniform requirements:

Walgreens – 2611 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN 37204

School Uniform Warehouse – 740 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204

We hope this information is helpful to you as you prepare for the coming school year!

Interested in taking lessons in piano, guitar, voice, strings, or flute during the school year? Then call Music Star Studios at 615.509.1753! Based in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, our knowledgeable teachers provide music lessons both in-home and online by webcam! We select our teachers carefully and want all of our students to shine!

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Back-to-School for Williamson County!

Back-to-School for Williamson County!

I just did this same post for Metro Nashville Public Schools, but thought I would change it up to suit those who lived in Williamson County as well!

Back-to School, Williamson County!

It’s been hot, muggy, and inching pretty close to 100 degrees – doesn’t exactly scream “back-to-school” weather, but looking at the calendar, all you Williamson County parents are getting geared back up for the swiftly approaching school year!

Music Star Studios is here to help answer some questions that you might have about getting your kids prepared for going back to school in Williamson County…

1. When does school start for Williamson County Schools?

Students in Williamson County schools should report to school for a half day on Friday, August 5, 2016. The first FULL day of classes will be Monday, August 8, 2016. Click here for a link to the calendar.

2. What about dress code for Williamson County Schools?

While there is not a specific dress code for all Williamson county schools, there are general guidelines all students should follow. Check specific school websites for full dress code policy. Tax Free weekend is a great time to stock up on clothes and school supplies. This year, Tax Free weekend will run 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2016. Here are some good stores that will have dress code clothing:

Target 780 Old Hickory Boulevard, Brentwood, TN 37027-4527, (615) 238-0126; 3064 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN‎ – (615) 472-2052‎; 1701 Galleria Boulevard, Franklin, TN‎ – (615) 771-2093‎
Kohl’s300 Spring Creek Drive, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 771-3772
Old Navy1618 Galleria Blvd, Brentwood, TN 37027, (615) 370-0892
3. Where can I get school supplies?

There are several office supply stores where school supplies and other educational materials can be found, like:

Staples2000 Mallory Lane, Franklin, TN 37067-8208, (615) 771-2013
Target 780 Old Hickory Boulevard, Brentwood, TN 37027-4527, (615) 238-0126; 3064 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN‎ – (615) 472-2052‎; 1701 Galleria Boulevard, Franklin, TN‎ – (615) 771-2093‎
Office Depot330 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN 37027-3280, (615) 373-5778
Parent-Teacher Store4004 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215‎ – (615) 292-3533‎; 1113 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin, TN 37064‎ – (615) 599-3477‎
4. What if I just moved here?

If you just moved to Brentwood and Franklin, TN / Williamson County from another city or state and you are not sure where to begin, then start here to find the school for your child/children.

And, as always, please consider Music Star Studios your resource for in-home music lessons in the Brentwood and Franklin, TN / Williamson County area! Owner, Emily Lowe, is a Nashville native and strives to find the best music teachers that Brentwood, Franklin and Williamson County has to offer!

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If you are currently seeking lessons in piano, guitar, voice, strings, or flute then call Music Star Studios at 615.509.1753! Based in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, our knowledgeable teachers provide music lessons both in-home and online by webcam! We select our teachers carefully and want all of our students to shine!

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Back-to-School for Metro Nashville Public Schools!

Back-to-School for Metro Nashville Public Schools!

Back-to-School for MNPS!

The weather has been hot, muggy, and close to 100 degrees. Not exactly “back-to-school” weather, but looking at the calendar, all you Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) parents are getting ready for the swiftly approaching school year.

Music Star Studios is here to help answer some of the questions you may have about getting your children ready for going back-to-school in Nashville.

1. When does school start?

MNPS students should report to school for a half day on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, then are off on Thursday, August 4, 2016, with the first FULL day of school being Friday, August 5, 2016 (only a half day for PK-K). Here is a link to the calendar.

2. Do MNPS have a dress code?

There IS a dress code (Standard School Attire) for all students in Nashville/Davidson County. A good time to stock up on clothes and supplies is Tax Free weekend, which this year will be 12:01 a.m. Friday,  July 29 until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31. Here are some stores that will have a good selection of dress code clothes:

Target 26 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN- (615) 352-8461; 6814 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN – (615) 238-0112; 3171 Lebanon Pike, Nashville, TN – (615) 889-4734
Kohl’s 2330 Jackson Downs Boulevard, Hermitage, TN – (615) 885-1378
Old Navy6724 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN – (615) 352-9027; 139 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN – (615) 514-4500

3. Which school is my house zoned for?

If you just moved to Nashville/Davidson County from another city or state and you are not sure where to begin, then start here to find the school for you child/children.

And, as always, please consider Music Star Studios your resource for in-home music lessons in the Nashville/Davidson County area! Owner, Emily Lowe, is a Nashville native and strives to find the best music teachers that Nashville and Davidson County had to offer!

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If you are currently seeking lessons in piano, guitar, voice, or strings, then call Music Star Studios at 615.509.1753! Based in Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin, TN, our knowledgeable teachers provide music lessons both in-home and online by webcam! We select our teachers carefully and want all of our students to shine!

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Music History Monday: July 18

Music History Monday: July 18

Happy Birthday, Ricky Skaggs!

Happy Birthday, Ricky Skaggs!

Skaggs, American country and bluegrass singer, musician, and producer, was born on this day in 1954. He primarily plays mandolin, but can also play fiddle, guitar, mandocaster, and banjo.

Ricky Skaggs first started playing mandolin at age 5 and had his first public performance with Bill Monroe at age 6. At age 7 he performed on Martha White’s country variety show with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. At 7 he wanted to audition for the Grand Ole Opry, but was told he was too young.

His solo country career launched in 1980, achieving 12 #1 hits, 8 CMA awards, and 8 ACM awards. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1982 making him the youngest inductee at that time. Chet Atkins has credited Skaggs with “single-handedly saving country music”.

Ricky Skaggs and his band, Kentucky Thunder are perennial winners of Grammy Awards and International Bluegrass Music Association awards. He has lent his talent to many collaborative projects with musicians such as, Phish, Bruce Hornsby, The Raconteurs, Barry Gibb, and The Whites.

 

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What’s Happening in Nashville: July 8-July 10

What’s Happening in Nashville: July 8-July 10

We are officially in the middle of summer, and if you are looking for some ways to get out of the house, cool off and explore Nashville, look no further! Music Star Studios has rounded up some events to check out this weekend!

Murfreesboro’s Uncle Dave Macon Days

Uncle Dave Macon Days

This event is happening Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9 in Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro, TN. Admission is $10 per day for adults with children under 12 getting in for free. Free parking is offered in the city garage, which is a short walk from the festival grounds. This festival will feature concerts from bluegrass and old-time music groups; square dancing; jug bands; instrumental and singing competitions; and local food and craft vendors. Check this website for more information.

Summer Star Party

Summer Star Party at Warner Park!

This Saturday, July 9, at 9pm, take your family to the special events field at Warner Park Nature Center for an evening of planet gazing! This event is free and for all ages, but advanced registration is required. You can register online, here, or call 615-352-6299.

Second Annual Waterfest

Cumberland Park’s Waterfest

On Sunday, July 10, take your family to Nashville’s Cumberland Park from 1pm-4pm to join a FREE family-friendly event aimed at celebrating and connecting children to our local waters. This year’s celebration will include a dance party, water-slides, trivia, prizes, and more! Free parking is available in Lot R of Nissan Stadium. For more information, look here.

 

 

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What’s Happening in Nashville: July 1-July 4

What’s Happening in Nashville: July 1-July4

This weekend is Fourth of July weekend. If you’re still looking for some fun, family-friendly events to attend this weekend, look no further!

Fourth of July fireworks over Nashville!

Family-Friendly Nature Cruise

On Friday, July 1, take your family out for a 90 minute ride on a 40-foot pontoon to explore scenic Tennessee farmland and wildlife. All ages are welcome. Life jackets are provided. Advanced registration is required. Tickets and more information can be found here.

Back Porch Ice Cream Social

Cool off with some free ice cream on Saturday July 2. From 11am-1pm, stop by the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center for your free scoop and learn more about the nature center’s and park’s offerings. All ages welcome.

Let Freedom Sing! 

Nashville’s annual Fourth of July celebration is always a family-friendly and fun affair! This year the family fun zone will include inflatable slides and games, and live music the whole family will enjoy! The family fun zone opens at 12pm, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the fun and games before the live music kicks off downtown at 5pm. There will be two stages this year, one at Ascend Amphitheater and one at the Green at the Riverfront. The entire event is free for all, and will also include a giant fireworks display Monday evening! Check out this website for more details, directions, and parking information.

 

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