30 piece challenge
Tuesday, August 15, 2023 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized
The Music Room students will be focusing on sight reading this year in a fun way...we'll be working on a 30 Piece Challenge and earning prizes along the way! Just like when little ones are learning to read, lots and lots of practice is how they learn to do it fluently. The more they read unfamiliar things, the sooner they will be able to read not only fluently, but also with expression and meaning AS they read material for the first time, because they'll be able to pick up contextual clues as they read and anticipate what's coming up next. The same is true in music, so be sure to encourage your students to play lots and lots of music!
Fall Lessons Begin 9/5/2023!
Thursday, August 3, 2023 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized
Mark your calendars for 9/5/23...the start of a new term of music making at The Music Room! See you soon!
Brookdale Senior Living Concert
Friday, November 18, 2022 by Sharon Hale | Uncategorized
'Tis the season to share the joy! On December 4 at 2:30 pm The Music Room students will perform at a local retirement home for the pleasure of the residents. Students are encouraged to write cards or draw pictures to take to hand out at the end of the program. And wear a Santa or elf hat if you have one! :)
Brookdale Senior Living
3940 Prince William Parkway
Studio Composition Project - probably my favorite project to date
Saturday, June 12, 2021 by Sharon Hale | Composition
Probably my favorite project to date, and certainly the one I'm most proud of, is The Music Room Student Composition Project. This year for the first time in The Music Room's history, each student created a composition of their own, created their cover art, recorded themselves or used a midi recording, and I compiled it into a keepsake music book for each family to take home. The QR codes on the bottom of each composition take the listener to the recording, and of course each student can use the sheet music to play their friends' pieces as well!
Students commented on how this project really helped them learn. One said it helped with his sight reading because in writing down his music, it really reinforced WHERE the notes go on the staff. Students also learned that music is made up of repeating patterns, and in order to make music that's pleasant to the ear, melody notes must be derived from the underlying chord and scale, and that the song needs to resolve to the "home note" to sound finished.
This is a project that will DEFINITELY be repeated!
Ice Cream, Birds & Music!
Sunday, June 6, 2021 by Sharon Hale | Recital
Celebrating lifting of COVID restrictions, we held our recital TOGETHER (!) outside on my deck where the pianists accompanied the singing birds and the ice cream dripped freely in the HOT early summer sun! It was great fun, and while I forgot to get a lot of pictures or videos to commemorate it, I'm going to brag on my students for a minute. This has been a particularly challenging year with 4 trips to the Midwest since December to spend time with and assist my ailing father who passed away in May. Because of this, I missed some time with students so we had to focus on the essentials, and never got to focus on performance pieces for a recital. I literally left the choice of what to do for the recital up to each student. "Play what brings you joy!", I told them. The night before the recital I admit to some anxiety...this could backfire terribly! What if the students weren't prepared and sounded terrible to their families...I could lose students and it could harm my reputation - scary thoughts! But no...my students are the BEST!! Each and every one came and shared something beautiful and made me PROUD. All in all, a great day.
Summer Practice Resources & Plan
Monday, May 31, 2021 by Sharon Hale | Practice
Please check the Online Resources tab in the Student Portal to access LOTS of free resources to keep you having fun at the piano this summer!
2021 Composition Project
Friday, April 2, 2021 by Sharon Hale | Composition
Your students and I are very excited about our latest project - we are each composing songs to be compiled into a "Music Room" book at the end of the year! Everyone composed the first section of their song before spring break, and we'll jump right back in with the second section next week. We're following this general path (see image attached) and I think you'll be blown away by what they're coming up with - super musical and very cool sounding, every one of them!
Online Recital/Performance Party 12 20 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020 by Sharon Hale | Recital
Hi, everyone! Thanks to all who participated in our online performance party! I promised a recording, so here it is. I'll also email a link to make sure you can share it if you like. You should be able to find this link for a while on the Student Portal by scrolling down on your home/landing page on www.themusicroom.us, or also on the "Blog/News" tab.
Merry Christmas to all!
Digital or Acoustic? What piano do I buy and how do I know what's a good deal?
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by Sharon Hale | Digital vs Acoustic Pianos
Monday, April 16, 2018 by Sharon Hale | Summer Camps
Each day students will have instruction in elements of a great composition, lessons from the great and living composers, a composition activity, make an instrument, have composition free time, and do some improvisation with their instruments.
We'll explore how to create mood with music, and how this affects an audience's understanding of the story. Students will compose music for a movie clip.
Want to be a better sight reader?
Monday, August 7, 2017 by Sharon Hale | Sight Reading
Sight Reading Tips
Courtesy of Tim Topham
Why students want to quit and how to prevent it
Saturday, November 19, 2016 by Sharon Hale | Keeping Students Interested
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!
First Jam Session a Success!
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by Sharon Hale | Jam Session
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!