January 2017 Newsletter


2016 Winter Recital at the Powell Academy of Music

We want to give another big round of applause to all of the students that participated in last month’s Winter Recital! Everyone did a fantastic job up on stage. We know how much courage it takes to get up there and are so proud of everyone for participating. It’s amazing to see what hard work and determination can create.
We had record turn out this year and we look forward to having even more students participate next time. We have some big news and exciting changes coming about our future recitals, so stay tuned!!!

Student of the Month – Gabrielle Moore

Q: What instruments do you play?
A: I play violin and flute. I also sing.
Q: How long have you taken lessons?
A: Violin for 2 years and voice for 8 months.
Q: Who are your favorite musical artists?
A: J.S. Bach and Carrie Underwood
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Reeses
Q: What is the coolest thing you’ve learned in your lessons in the past three months?
A: Raising my soft palate when I’m singing, and less aggressive bowing.
Q: What is the coolest thing you’ve learned in your lessons in the past three months?
A: I have learned a lot about the way I breathe and how to better my breathing while singing
Q: Do you have any performances coming up?
A: Yes, on December 17th through the Powell Academy of Music


That One Kid
In most elementary schools, once a week the class room teachers shuttle the 30 or so students off to general music class. Once the kids get there, they learn singing, maybe a little piano or how to make irritating shrieks on something called a recorder. The vast majority of these children spend their time trying to eek out “Hot Cross Buns” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, but there is always that one kid.

Everyone remembers the the kids that was putting the finishing touches on the third movement of a Beethoven Sonata, while the rest of us were struggling to learn “Jingle Bells”. That kid would play at the talent shows and wow all of the parents. They would say things like:
“she is so talented”
“he has a gift”
“she is really special”
“he was born to play music”
People attribute all kinds of skills and successes to innate talent, but they are wrong!

The Truth About Talent

Somewhere along the way pop culture lead us astray. We watched movies and saw news stories about child prodigies. We heard about Mozart composing symphonies at 8 years old, heck even Taylor Swift wrote her first album at 15. (For the non-Swifties out there that album sold 6 million copies!!!). We saw all of these amazing feats and thought, wow they must be wired differently than the rest of us. “They just have so much more talent”.

The real truth though is that they just practiced more than everyone else. Mozart’s father forced him to practice 6-8 hours a day, every day, from the time he was a toddler. Swift routinely practiced song craft 4-5 hours a day. It’s no surprise that they became so accomplished. By the time they were 10 they had practiced more hours than most musicians do in their entire lifetime!
What we should really be saying when we see a great musician is:
“she is so driven”
“he has an amazing work ethic”
“she is really disciplined”
“he has a lot of grit”
My hope is that students learn to associate hard work, determination, grit and self-discipline with success. When students understand that their progress is directly related to their practice, it helps them to take ownership of their development.

Please welcome the NEW students who enrolled in December!

Angela W.
Anna W.
Neal N.
Ishani D.
Joel O.
Rita C.
Tito P.
Ava B.
David B.
Dona V.
Rishi A.

Mackenzy F.
Amanda G.
Corrin J.
Rose M.
Anvita M.
Kezia B.
Denith K.
Keya B.
Hee Jung K.
Sophie C.

William W.
Shreya S.
Remy G.
Ian K.
Jackson R.
Kyle C.
Abhinav B.
Amanda G.
Henry M.

Jared B.