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  • MusicNotes: From the desk of Jennifer Henning

    It's Summer!

    But before we talk about Summer lessons and contests, here's an update on late Spring festival results The Wisconsin School Music Association State Festival took place on Saturday May 4th at Cardinal Stritch University. All three of the students who qualified by earning starred First Division Awards at their District Festivals with their Class A Solos received First Division Awards at the State Festival. These three students performed a total of seven piano solos at the State Festival: three solos from the Piano Solo Category; two from the Non- Improvisational Jazz Piano Solo Category; and two original compositions (one in Piano Solo and one in Non-Improvisational Jazz).

    Four students chose to participate in the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs State Junior Festival on May 18th at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. One of these students received a First Place trophy in her division (Moderately Difficult I).

    Shortly after these State level contests came our Spring Recital. It took place on Friday May 31st at Grace Lutheran Church in Thiensville. There were a lot of student-chosen solos and several duets (with family members and other students). At the recital, Federation Gold Cups and Certificates were presented as well as awards for memorizing pieces of music, exceeding practice goals for the year, and the recital program cover design contest. (Be sure to check out the 2019 Spring design on the recital program cover page of the website!) It was also time to say goodbye to one graduating high school senior who has been my piano student for eleven years. He performed three pieces at the recital: one of his original pieces, an all-time favorite Classical piece, and a duet with his Mother!

    Summer lessons started the week of June 10th. Lesson times are available on Mondays and Wednesdays, morning through evening. This Summer lesson schedule will continue till the end of August.

    We are running three contests again this Summer. The first is a contest to see who can memorize the most pieces. The second contest counts the number of pages of music a student has mastered over the summer. The third is the famous "1000 Minute Club" where students vy to see who can make it to their 1000 minutes of practicing goal first. How many new members will there be?

    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. Some students (especially high schoolers) have even gotten a jump-start on next year's Federation solos! Summer lessons also eliminate 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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