Student Spotlight: Sierra
One of Cappella Music Academy's talented piano students recently wrote this paper for an assignment at her school! Great job, Sierra!
"My favorite hobby is piano. I have other hobbies, but piano is definitely one of my favorites. I love the sounds of it in my ears, although sometimes, sometimes, it is very frustrating, it's worth it. You can play a lot of songs, even if it doesn't have piano in it, you can play the song! I'm playing Fight Song and Hedwig's Theme. Hedwig's Theme is from Harry Potter. And Fight Song, well, it's a pop song on the radio.
I go to piano twice a month. My piano teacher is SUPER NICE. Right now, I'm working on composing a piece of piano for the "Reflections" [contest at my school]. The theme is "My Story" so I'm going to add some Chinese piano music. I have never heard Chinese piano music! The reason why I like to do this is because it not only relaxes people, it is also committing, and calming. I have to practice every day unless I'm on a trip.
Throughout my paper, I talked about playing piano and why I like it so much I love the sounds it makes in my ears. Though it can be a lot of hard work it is worth it. Now you know why piano is my favorite hobby." - by Sierra H.
Teacher Spotlight: Kelvin
Meet Kelvin, one of Cappella Music Academy's newest faculty members!
Kelvin Killmon Milliner is a singer-songwriter based in Seattle, WA with a masters degree in performance and music production from Berklee College of Music.
Kelvin has received numerous awards for the broad range and power of his tenor voice, his poetic lyrics, and diverse instrumental styles. In 2014, he opened forDweezil Zappa at the internationally renowned Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival.
Kelvin has been involved in workshops with many innovative industry-leading artists includingJohn Mayer, Paul Simon, Bela Fleck, Ben Folds, Pat Pattison, Sole Jimenez, Amanda PalmerandJohn Oates. His classmates and collaborators have included Julia Easterlin, Wyclef Jean, Betty Who, Brail Watson and Grace Kelly.
To sign up for voice lessons with Kelvin, contact Cappella Music Academy at
Soooo...You Don't Like to Practice, Huh?
Read on to learn some "real life" practice pointers from our fabulous instructor and piano expert, AMY WELLER!
Have you ever felt like a confused music student? You walk away from your music lesson feeling INSPIRED and EXCITED to go home and practice what you just learned, but the next day, when you sit down to play you think to yourself: “Where should I even start?”
THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU! You’re not the only one who experiences these struggles! The key, however, is to learn how to practice WELL. If you PRACTICE WELL, you can maximize your practice time and make great progress, even if you only have a short practice session each day. Here are some tips on how make your practice time productive and interesting:
Practice Makes Progress! - Some people think that if they don’t have enough time to practice at least 30 minutes or more, then why practice at all?? However, consistent practice of 15 minutes each day for a week will likely show more signs of improvement than two 30 minute practice sessions in a week.
CONSISTENCY is Key! - The more you time you spend practicing, the more you will improve. However, if you over-practice you may burn yourself out. As you practice each day, you will begin to build stamina and will be able to extend your practice time. Start with 10 minutes of consistent practice each day and gradually add a few more minutes each day!
Stretch and Warm-Up! - Warm-ups can consist of scales, finger exercises for instrumentalists, vocal exercises for voice students, etc. These help your hands or vocal chords warm-up and get ready to work. They also prepare your mind to focus on your practice session. Just as professional atheletes stretch and warm-up before a practice session or a big game, musicians need a warm-up period prior to practicing or performing!
Stay Focused! - If you only have 15 minutes to practice. Don’t waste a lot of time playing through the entire song. Practice specific sections you know you are struggling with. Then, when you have more time a different day, work on the song as a whole. Start by using the section you practiced a previous day as a warm-up; then play through the entire song and see how you have improved. Look for other areas that need focused attention.
Stay Organized! - Here is a suggested way to organize your practice session:
1. WARM-UP (scales, chords, arpeggios, Hanon, A Dozen a Day, vocalises, etc.)
2. REVIEW a section you worked on last practice session and use that as a warm-up.
3. PLAY through the entire song you're working on several times; look for trouble spots.
4. PRACTICE by working on difficult measures or phrases. Set attainable goals like “I will work on getting measures 1-4 up to tempo today." or "I will improve dynamics."
5. REST! Take a break from what you're working on if needed, or work on a theory page.
6. REPEAT! When you come back from your break, play the next song & repeat steps 3-5.
7. STAY FRESH! It’s important for your mind to stay fresh and engaged while you practice. To stay fresh, you may want to break up your practice times into 15 minute sessions. Also, figure out what time of day your brain works the best and practice during that time.
Whatever you do, DON'T QUIT! There are too many adults that say, "I used to play an instrument, but I quit when it got difficult." Push through the difficult times, and you will reap the benefits of music for a lifetime! I promise, you'll be glad you stuck with it!
Karisma A. -
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR OCTOBER STUDENT OF THE MONTH:
1. What Instrument Do you Play?
2. How long have you taken lessons at the Academy?
I have been here for a month, but I have been
practicing for 3 years.
3. What are your other hobbies, besides music?
I enjoy school, and I like hanging out with friends.
4. Favorite color?
My favorite color is red.
5. What is the coolest thing you're learned in your lessons in the past three months?
The coolest thing I have learned about is the chromatic scale.
6. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superpower it would be invisibility so I could listen in on people's conversations.
Refer a Friend & get a FREE LESSON!
If you have a friend who might like to take lessons, refer them to Cappella Performing Arts Academy!
When they complete their first month of lessons, we’ll give you a FREE lesson!
It’s very easy to refer someone. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Type in your name, their name and their e-mail address and we’ll take care of the rest!
There’s no maximum to the amount of free lessons that you can receive!
October's PET OF THE MONTH contest winner:
Mariah S. and her cat!
Congratulations, Mariah, you win a CAPPELLA MUSIC ACADEMY book bag! See the front desk to claim your prize!
Do you have the world's most adorable pet?? Submit a photo of your family pet within the month of November with your instrument and enter for a chance to win an exciting prize!
Email photos to: email@example.com