Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018 Newsletter

Dear AOS Students, Teachers, and Families,

            We’ve had a whirlwind May, which has now come to a close. Now, we’re excited to begin a busy (but fun!) month of June! There’s lots coming up this month, and we’ll be highlighting it below!

Jack and the Beanstalk:

We’re excited to be presenting our summer musical, Jack and the Beanstalk! Based on the classic fairly tale, we’ll be rehearsing and preparing it for a June 30th performance! This program is open to students, age 6-12 and there are plenty of roles for everyone! Our auditions will be held Monday, June 11th, from 1-3pm. Details and an online form for registration are available on our website.

Scholarships still available:
We are still accepting applications for full and partial AOS lessons scholarships. Please check out the details on our website and submit as soon as possible! We want to make sure that as many students can attend AOS as possible!

Recital Success:

We had TWO wonderful recitals May 12th! In addition to great performances by our students and staff members, we also are proud to announce that we raised $419 for the Academy of Sound Foundation, which provides scholarships to students. If you would like to make a donation to help our Foundation, you still can only through PayPal or sending a check. Details are available on our website!

Remaining Lesson Openings:

Our teacher openings are filling up quickly for summer! The following openings remain: 8 guitar/ukulele, 6 piano, and 1 violin/viola/cello. Want to enroll?
Click here to do so!

Photo Shoot Opportunity:

Erin will be sending out an email soon about a fun teacher/student photo shoot! Please watch your emails!

Makeup Classes:
This past week has been about makeup classes here at AOS! Our students have been trying something new! Check out a couple of photos from one our makeup classes where students had the opportunity to learn how an organ works!

Blog Post:

            Each month, we are featuring a post within our newsletter that includes tips and facts for parents and students alike. This month, we’ll be talking about your first music lesson. If you are starting (or re-starting!) lessons this summer, we’ve found some helpful tips for you to prepare!

5 tips for starting music lessons successfully:       

Starting music lessons this summer? Congrats- we are excited for you on this new journey! Before you take that first lesson, here are some tips to help you get ready!

1.     Have a list of questions: Teachers LOVE questions! During the week before your first lesson, write down a list of questions to ask your teacher. These questions can be related to your goals, previous lesson experience, or just general music knowledge questions!

2.     Familiarize yourself with some basic theory: In the age of the Internet, there are countless resources to help you get started. Take a little time to learn (or review!) notes recognition and values, the musical alphabet and what certain markings in music mean! It’s ok if they don’t make sense right now- that’s what lessons are for! Sites such as are great to help get you started!

3.     Contact your teacher ahead of time: If you are able, reach out to your teacher a week or two in advance to introduce yourself or your student. This is also a good time to ask what you should bring to the first lesson, such as your instrument (unless you are a singer or pianist!) or a notebook and pencil.

4.     Set up a practice area in advance: Believe it or not, you will be expected to practice in lessons! Before you start, take some time to set up a practice area if you don’t have one already. If you have a piano, that may be the area to use. Other items to make sure you have access to in the space include a music stand, metronome, pens/pencils, staff paper, and a storage area, such as shelves, to keep your supplies and books! Ideally, this area will be one that is free of outside distractions (TV, computer, etc.) and a quiet place where you can focus on your music!

5.     Don’t expect perfection right away: One of the biggest mistakes that people make coming into lessons is that they expect huge changes right away (sometimes in the first lesson!) You may notice some ideas that click right away, but it will take time for those changes to become permanent. Be patient- it’s the slow and steady turtle that wins the race!

Music lessons can be whatever you want them to be. For many, music lessons are a nice break in the busy schedule of the week.  The first few lessons can be a little nerve-wracking, especially for young students, but with time and a little patience, lessons can become an exciting part of a week, regardless of the age!

Teacher Tips from Adam Chisman, Guitar and Ukulele Instructor: 
We introduced this column last month, and are excited to add more helpful tips to our June newsletter! This month, Managing Director and Guitar/Ukulele Instructor Adam Chisman shares his tips for success!

Tips from Adam (in his own words)

The biggest point I try to make in lessons is to play more than you practice! 

Playing takes what you are doing in lessons and makes it more relevant to 'real life' and is really fun. Daily practice routines and tracking your progress will keep you improving - but in my experience, playing is the key when it comes to getting you over that learning curve to make your instrument feel second nature. Playing can be anything instrument related that you do just because you want to. Your interest in playing is probably the reason you got started with your instrument, so take time to enjoy your abilities!

Things to try: 
  • Write a song using your instrument
  • Cover popular music
  • Get friends together for jam sessions (could also lead to starting an official band)
  • Make a music recording to share
  • Informal music performances (family events, campfire singalongs, open mic nights etc.)

            That’s all for this month! Have a fun June, and we’ll see you in July!