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  • MusicNotes: From the desk of Jennifer Henning

    Spring is finally here! Festival Season is winding down or winding up depending upon your point of view.

    The Wisconsin School Music Association State Festival takes place on Saturday May 4th at Cardinal Stritch University. Three students qualified by earning starred First Division Awards at their District Festivals with their Class A Solos. These three students are performing a total of seven piano solos at the State Festival. Three solos are from the Piano Solo Category; two are from the Non- Improvisational Jazz Piano Solo Category; two are original compositions (one in Piano Solo and one in Non-Improvisational Jazz).

    Students earned 22 Superior Ratings at the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival held in February at Concordia University Wisconsin. Four of these winners have chosen to participate in the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs State Junior Festival which will be held on Saturday May 18th at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. At the State Festival, students perform for a panel of three judges and the best performers in each category are recognized with certificates and some cash awards.

    Good Luck to all these students who are now competing on the State level. It takes dedication and stamina to continue to maintain and continue to refine pieces that have been practiced for a long period of time. Hats off to these hard-working students!

    In addition to these upcoming contests, our Spring Recital is also being planned. It will take place on Friday May 31st at Grace Lutheran Church in Thiensville. Students are currently working on pieces they have chosen themselves, both solos and duets (some played with other students and some played with parents!). At the recital, Federation Gold Cups and Certificates will be presented as well as awards for memorizing pieces of music and exceeding practice goals for the year. It will also be time to say goodbye to one graduating high school senior who has been my piano student for eleven years. In addition to an original piece and a favorite, there are rumors that he will be playing a duet with his mother at the recital!

    Summer lessons will start the week of June 10th. Lesson times are available on Mondays and Wednesdays, morning through evening. Summer can be a great time to continue lessons without the balancing act of scheduling time for homework and co-curriculars that fills the school calendar year. It also eliminates the loss of technique and knowledge that can take place when students miss a whole season of lessons. In addition, it's a good time to start piano lessons! If you know of anyone who is interested in learning to play piano, please send them my way.

    A few words of advice before I close: in order to be successful learning to play piano, it's very important to try to find the best time of day to practice, and then stick to it. Regular practice is what separates the good from the best students. Parents can be helpful in choosing that "best time" and then offering reminders and maybe rewards as needed.

    As always, if you have friends, neighbors, classmates or other family members who are interested in piano lessons, please send them to my website, ask me for a business card, or give them my phone number for more information. Thank You!

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