Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making Music Memorably in the Midst of your Music Lesson

It has happened more than once, more than twice, more than three times, more than.... It is that moment in a music lesson where the student and teacher have made music memorably. And I have experienced it with this year's summer students more than any other season over the past 3 years. This is the kind of music-making that is 100% playing and/or singing in the present moment; all the while losing the perfectionistic box of rules. Rules that are displayed on the score so that we all speak the same language, but cannot be the primary motivation for making those notes come to life. It is only the real live musician who can translate what they see to what they play or sing. And it is the real live musician who makes art; art that transcends the page!

As the summer session comes to a close this week, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what happened, who made it happen, why it was so special, when will it happen again:

What happened? 
Students showed up to their lessons having practiced their music at home during the week. They were ready to show off their work! Supportive parents drove them to their lesson and praised the good work their son or daughter had accomplished during the week. Students were then able to make music memorably.

Who made it happen?
Real live musicians!

Why was it so special?
Sometimes in the midst of teaching lots and lots of students, particularly beginner students, the musical pendulum swings more toward the rules. However, this summer that pendulum swung more to the magic of music-making.

When will it happen again?
I have been a music teacher for 36 years so I know about what happens when the new school year begins. The curricular and extra-curricular activities add competing interests to a student's schedule. But remember what I said about making music memorably? It will be my challenge for each of my students: 1) Remember what you accomplished.  2) Make a new musical memory at each lesson.
3) Find the magic in your art, the only art that is uniquely made by YOU!

New students: Contact me for more information about the year ahead! Fall Session begins 9/6/2016.
610-608-7194
eeschutz@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/EstherSchutzPianoStudio/



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Showers Bring May Flowers

And so the old saying goes, April Showers Bring May Flowers. I love looking out my window seeing so many beautiful flowering trees. It is such a joy to finally be in the wonderful season of Spring! It also is the seaon of performances! I am looking forward to my music students having an opportunity to share their music with an audience. I call it a PARTY: A fun celebration among friends and family! The discipline of going to a weekly music lesson, practicing at home, memorizing notes,  and facing challenges finally pays off in a big way!!!  
I am so proud of each and every one of my students as they make final preparations for sharing their music. Keep up the good work dear students. It will make the PARTY that much more fun and you will know the joy of goals achieved!


610-608-7194        eeschutz@gmail.com                                                              
Private music lessons for students ages 5-95 taught by Mrs. Esther Schutz, M.Ed.                       Weekly 30-minute lesson for beginner thru advanced levels                                                          
$25.00 per lesson/$22.00 for Avon Grove Charter School students/$20.00 for Senior Adults (55+)
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                         
Esther Schutz Piano Studio 88-Keys of Possibilities:                                                                    
Creating a space where each student will enjoy learning to play the piano at their own pace.        
                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            
Mrs. Schutz has been playing the piano since the age of 11. She thinks anyone can learn to play the piano if given the time and tools to match their individual learning style. She has been a music teacher since 1980 in both public and private schools. She recently retired from her 8-year chapter as Music Teacher for the Avon Grove Charter High School in order to devote more time to teaching voice, piano, guitar, bass, and woodwind lessons in her private studio.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Marching Into March




So it's official! We have marched into March! That time of year when hints of spring and ole man winter play a duet! And that reminds me of how much fun it is to play piano duets, also known as 4-hands 1-piano duets. Many of the piano lesson method books have a part for the student to play and an accompanying part for the teacher or a friend to play!
If you would like to join in on the joy of learning to play the piano or keyboard or organ or guitar or any woodwind instrument, then there's no time like the present. I am inviting you to learn how to play some marches  (and lots of other styles of music as well) as we march into March! There are a few openings for Monday evening Piano Lessons at my home studio. Please call or text 610-608-7194. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year! New Goals! New Start!

                                                                                                                                  
I love this time of year. Time to turn the calendar and begin a new year. And like most other years, I try to take stock of the previous year and set some new goals. I see closing 2015 and opening 2016 as the gift of a new start and a new goal!      
                                                                                                                                  
So, if you have ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, why not text, call, or e-mail Esther Schutz Piano Studio. I would be happy to help you make that goal come true with a free, no obligation, orientation lesson!                  
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                               
610-608-7194        eeschutz@gmail.com                                                              
Private music lessons for students ages 5-95 taught by Mrs. Esther Schutz, M.Ed.                         Weekly 30-minute lesson for beginner thru advanced levels                                                          
$25.00 per lesson/
$22.00 for Avon Grove Charter School students/$20.00 for Senior Adults (55+)
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                         
Esther Schutz Piano Studio 88-Keys of Possibilities:                                                                    
Creating a space where each student will enjoy learning to play the piano at their own pace.        
                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                            
Mrs. Schutz has been playing the piano since the age of 11. She thinks anyone can learn to play the piano if given the time and tools to match their individual learning style. She has been a music teacher since 1980 in both public and private schools. She recently retired from her 8-year chapter as Music Teacher for the Avon Grove Charter High School in order to devote more time to teaching voice, piano, guitar, bass, and woodwind lessons in her private studio.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Piano Lessons for Grown-Ups

Are you a grown-up who has always wanted to learn how to play the piano?
Well then, I have some very good news for you!

Playing the Piano is Positively Possible!

But you're wondering how you would even take the first step?

Interest in learning to play the piano is the initial step to success!

You think you might be too busy for such a venture? Maybe not.

Allowing for practice time in your daily schedule will be your best ally.

Now you might be thinking that you're too old for such a new skill?

New piano skills develop new brain connections. (and that's a really good thing for when you're getting older.)

So you say you really are thinking about that maybe some day you could do this?

Only you can organize your time to give yourself this gift! And you besides, you deserve it!

Now you might be thinking this could be too difficult. I'm not gonna lie:

Learning a new skill and a new Language at the same time is laborious.

(Did I mention there might be a reward for your labor?)

Earning a reward works for adults as much as it does for children!

(So, do you still want to learn how to play the piano?)

Did you know that there are...

Some songs that you could learn to play right away?

and there are Other ways to own the experience that only you can do!

Sooooo, if you've been thinking about this throughout your lifetime....

a New Adventure is waiting for you and no time like the present!





Friday, January 3, 2014

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

You’ve probably all heard the phrase “give the gift that keeps on giving”.  Advertisers use this phrase for many products and tell us that everything we buy is worthwhile; that if we would only buy their wares, we would be “happier, smarter, more satisfied”. However, the reality is that those promises rarely come true. The product breaks down, gets used up, or eventually bores us.

These days, I’m thinking about a gift that I received as a child that truly has been “the gift that keeps on giving”. When I was 11 years old, my father bought a piano for our family. He then paid for piano lessons for all five of us children. I continued my study of the piano throughout college and became a music educator out of my passion for giving away the gift of learning to play an instrument. I’ve used my gift to provide piano music for schools and churches, soloists and choirs. To this present day, my desire to keep learning new music and my love for playing the piano goes on.

Giving students the gift of learning how to read music (so that eventually they won’t need a teacher to show them how to play that new piece of sheet music) brings me joy. Seeing the journey from beginner piano player to advanced level is genuinely fun! As well as, having the student who has begun the journey, decides at some point it’s not for him or her, but leaves with a new appreciation for everybody else who has stuck with it and learned to play an instrument.

As I reflect on the past 44 years of piano playing, I can remember that my father and each of my music teachers truly gave me “the gift that keeps on giving”. I can honestly say learning to play the piano has made me “happier, smarter, more satisfied”.

Happy New Year! May you discover all that you need for the journey ahead!
Oh, and one more thing, how about adding 10 more minutes to whatever skill you need to practice!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Kodaly and Me: my teaching philosophy


Kodaly and Me:

In 1991, I received my Kodaly music certification from Westminster Choir College. This highly specialized music educator training prepared me to put into practice the philosophy and practices of Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, educator, linguist and philosopher. His work was extremely influential in the development of my own philosophy of music education.

Here is the Essence of KODALY’S PHILOSOPHY:

1. Music is for everyone.
2. The voice is the instrument. (Note from Esther: “I know, I know, I hear you Zoltan, but sometimes you just gotta play an instrument, like the piano for instance, to accompany the voice. And besides, the piano is a voice like no other!)
3. Start young - develop sense of aesthetics.
4. Use good music literature.
5. Music is food for the soul. (Without music you are not a complete person.)
6. All music learning should be appropriate to the age level & developmental level of the student.

Here is the Essence of my Personal Philosophy of Music Education:

I believe the study of music and the active participation in music-making significantly contributes to the development of the mind, body and spirit. It is my responsibility as a professional music educator to create an environment in my studio where each student is given the opportunity to develop his or her gifts and abilities. All students must be encouraged to achieve their full potential in the areas of listening, creating, exploring, problem-solving and performing through a consistent, developmentally appropriate, sequential and well-taught music curriculum. Music appreciation, musical literacy, rhythm, melody, harmony, form, part-work, inner hearing, improvisation, memory, singing and instrument playing are all skills that can be developed in each student to produce a truly joyful experience of personal success and mastery.

Mrs. Esther Schutz, M. Ed.
Piano Teacher