3 Ring Binder Dividers

  Thursday, August 3, 2017 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

When students come to lessons in September, please send 3 ring binders with at least 6 tab dividers, already labeled with:

  • Scales/Exercises
  • Music in Progress
  • Theory
  • Composing
  • Handouts
  • Completed Music

Thank you!

2017 2018 Calendar - including (free!) jam sessions, ensemble practice sessions, and nursing home recitals!

Monday, August 14, 2017 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

Want to be a better sight reader?

Monday, August 7, 2017 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

Sight Reading Tips

  • Set and feel a steady pulse at an appropriate tempo. Musical pulse is like a heart-beat pulse: it might change speed, but it (hopefully) never stops! Same goes for sight reading…
  • Get a feel for the rhythm and hum through the melody to get a sense of how it should sound in your head.
  • Check the key. Think of the piece in terms of chords – think Circle of 5ths (and the chords surrounding the current key on the Circle – the song will contain some or all of these chords)
  • Work out the highest and lowest notes and, if possible, place hands in a suitable position, including fingers over sharps and flats. Work out if the hands need to change to a different position and how to get there.
  • Learn the first and last two bars of any sight reading piece perfectly. This ensures a strong start and finish.
  • Decide from the beginning which hand is more important to the feel of the piece and therefore which hand must keep playing even if they can’t play both together in the middle of the piece.
  • Look for intervals, chord shapes, broken chords, arpeggios, scale passages, sequences, etc. that are easy to play and will help keep the sense of pulse steady.

Courtesy of Tim Topham

Video - quartet from Jam session 11/11

Friday, November 18, 2016 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

Here's a video of a quartet from the Jam Session on November 11. My favorite part is that it included a brand spanking new 5 year old piano student and a veteran 6 year student - having fun making music together!! That's what music is all about. Enjoy!

Fall lesson notes

Monday, August 1, 2016 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

Hello, everyone! I realized you all are probably thinking of back to school shopping, so I wanted to add a couple things to your list:

  • a composition notebook for weekly notes
  • a small (1/2") 3 ring binder

I'll have your students' piano books here and will send an invoice after our first lesson, payable with your October payment.  Returning families know this, but for the new student families, the website will automatically send the invoice for the upcoming month's lessons on the first of the month. You can either pay via the Paypal link in the invoice or send a check in with your student. If you ever have a question, don't hesitate to let me know. The software and I occasionally don't quite get along, so if you ever aren't sure about something, ask! 

Don't forget to schedule your student(s) for the group classes in August. **If they are not registered, I will assume they aren't coming and will not be prepared for them.**  Just go to the calendar for the date(s) you want and add them to the class. If you have any trouble, let me know.  If I don't see you at a group class in August, I'll see you the week of 9/6 for your first lesson. Check the calendar for your child's assigned timeslot and let me know if you have any concerns about the time ASAP.  Thanks!

P.S.   Anyone need a desk? The white Ikea desk that was in the studio is looking for a new home in order to have more room in the studio.  :)  

See you soon!


June Recital!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized

I'm happy to share that I've found a location for our spring recital!

  • Where - Manassas Church of the Nazarene, 8220 Spruce Street, Manassas
  • When - Saturday, 6/11, 1:30 pm
  • What - an opportunity for each student to share a couple of their favorite pieces with friends and family, followed by a light cookies & juice reception

For now, please mark your calendars, and keep an eye out for more details to follow!


First Jam Session a Success!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by Sharon Hale | group lesson

Thank you to all who participated in The Music Room's first Jam Session!  What fun we had!  

We started the evening playing a couple of games (did the kids realize they were learning while playing??) - Rhythm Cups and Music Bingo. Then we shared some amazing cupcakes provided by piano mom Asi Vellekat (the woman is a secret baker!!). Next we spent some time taking turns trying to play simple songs by ear with another student accompanying with easy chord patterns. Finally, we had a free for all where each student took a turn playing a favorite piece, including a duet or two.  Ben added to the fun by bringing his Ableton Push and putting down a little rhythm to go along with some of the songs.

My favorite part of the night? When kids were packing up to go and a student said, "This was fun. When can we do it again?" 

Easy answer. April 25! Kids 11 and under from 7-8, 12 and older 8-9. I must have an RSVP (you can register directly on the website), though, because I learned from experience that 5-6 is about the max that will work in my small studio until I get the basement set up, so it will be first come, first served. There is no charge for this event....this is the FUN of music!