Friday, May 13, 2011

The 2011 National Piano Guild Auditions

The 2011 National Piano Guild Auditions were held this week at our studio.  I am elated to announce that all 18 of our students who auditioned, passed with flying colors!  All of our students did an incredible job!  All of our students tried their very best!  I am very proud of each of them!  Thank you to all of the students, parents, and grandparents who helped make this day a huge success!

Together, our students earned 442 C's.  C's represent "commendable" and is the best mark a student can receive.  Our students collectively earned 57 A's.  A's mean that the specific area "needs attention" and is the lower mark that a student can receive.  I think that is a wonderful report card for our studio!  HOORAY!  Thank you to all of the students who put their heart & soul into these auditions.  These 18 students worked on their scales, chords and songs for weeks & months.  These students gave up many other fun activities to practice, come to lessons and audition.  These students missed part of their school day to participate in this event.  Many parents took time away from their work day to ensure that their child could participate in this event. 

There were tears from students and tears from me the teacher when no one was looking to get us ready for this big day.  In the end, I know it was worth every second and tear!  I know it was worth my sleepless nights.  I know it was worth me making muffins and scrubbing the kitchen floor only hours before the audition.  I know it was worth it by looking at my students faces when they walked out of the studio after their audition.  I can tell by the high 5's I received.  I know by the shrieks in the students' voices when I called them with their results on the telephone!  I know it was worth it all by watching them smile when they received their pins & certificates.  Am I willing to do this again next year?  YOU BET I AM!  Last year, we had 9 students audition.  This year, we had 18.  Do you think we can have 27 next year?  I can only hope & dream! 

The 18 students who participated this year have become better pianists while preparing.  Some of them don't realize it just yet - but they have.  While preparing for these auditions, our students also learned a lot about presenting themselves with poise & confidence.  We worked on shaking hands & introducing ourselves to a stranger.  We worked on making eye contact and smiling.  We worked on breathing, remaining calm & staying focused in a very stressful situation.  I know that not all of my students will use these skills while playing the piano for the rest of their lives.  But I do know that they will use these skills later in life in other aspects - and I am thrilled!

Our judge was fair in that she complimented the aspects that each student was successful and yet noted the areas in which each student could improve.  We will take these comments to heart & use them to our advantage to help our students improve individually and as a group.  I am currently conducting student / parent / teacher conferences with each Guild Member to review the report card & detailed comments for each student.  I will send an e-mail to all students / parents regarding the more global comments & suggestions that were gathered.  Personally, I think the day went very smoothly. I am thrilled that all of the students have glowing report cards!  I think that we all have plenty to learn about how to improve.

So what is next for the Note-worthy Experiences Studio you wonder?  Well, believe it or not... summer fun and resting upon our successes for just a bit.  Each Guild Participant is asked to take the drivers seat for a little while and we are going to work on what they want to.  Then we will get back to our basics and then, drum roll please... we will prepare for our 5th Annual Winter Recital to be held in December!  Of course we will make a few appearances at the local nursing home in between now and then!

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