Sheet Music by Students for Students

What can I say?  I feel like the luckiest piano teacher alive!  

Lately, my studio seems to be bursting  at the seams with creative talent.  This summer, a number of my students caught the composition bug (Luckily, there is no fever or cough involved!) and these kids show no signs of slowing down yet.  This included brothers, ages 6 and 10, who had so much fun working on their compositions they wanted to make them available for the rest of the studio to enjoy too.  As I often say…

The joy of music is meant to be shared! 

Two wonderful new pieces entitled “The French Horn” and “Steamboat” are now available for download from the student portal.  I’m so proud of these students for being brave and putting their work out there. Now who’s ready to make some music? ☺

Student Composers– Nocturne by Ryan Skelly

Welcome to the dark side! If you’re a night owl like me, then it’s hard to resist the allure of a nocturne. If you’re not familiar with the genre, a nocturne is a musical composition that is evocative of the night. Beautiful, mysterious, and a bit eerie, it’s no wonder the form was favored by composers like Frédéric Chopin.

After starting lessons for the first time about a year ago, adult student Ryan Skelly recently completed his first major piano composition. At nearly fifty measures long, his Nocturne in C# Minor is a substantial accomplishment, particularly for someone with only one year of lessons under his belt. Oh–And did I mention he was able to achieve all of this while serving active duty in the military?!? 🇺🇸

Perhaps Ryan has his career to thank for his incredible discipline and industriousness. However, I wondered if the regimented life of a military man might be at odds with the creative and individualistic side of being a musician. He replied:

“I go through all the same things as everyone else. Frustration with work, relationship ups and downs, pride in accomplishments, joy from small things. We all have ways of coping with the world around us, good and bad….I don’t always know how to express myself through words so I like to use music.”

Beautifully said! Now without any further ado, I’m incredibly excited to present “Nocturne” by Ryan’s Skelly. Enjoy!

Kid Composer Showcase

In case you missed it:

On my fun-o-meter scale, few things can top playing music written by my own students! Well, maybe hearing them come up with the titles for their pieces is a close second. I still chuckle every time I think about “Between the Trucks” or “Narwhals at Nighttime: Inspired by the Strangeness of Narwhals!

Nearly every one of my students has written original music this year and I’ve been so excited to start recording and showing them off! In the video below, I play four of my favorite pieces by some students ages 6-9. I think they turned out wonderfully, don’t you? ❤️

Congratulations NYSSMA 2020 Participants!

I’m delighted to announce my students were rated OUTSTANDING, the highest tier of achievement at the NYSSMA Piano Festival. Wow!!! Performing in front of a judge can be a nerve-wracking experience but these kids kept their cool and aced their evaluations. One of my students even asked if she could “go again” as soon as she left the exam room!😅Congratulations to all the participants and their families. We are so proud!


Tomorrow, my students and I will be headed to the Massry Center for the Arts at the College of St. Rose for the annual NYSSMA Piano Festival.  In case you’re not familiar, NYSSMA is an organization for music educators In New York State.  Each spring, NYSSMA hosts a piano festival which gives school-age students the opportunity to be evaluated by a panel of expert musicians and music educators.  Students receive a score based on their performance of a graded solo, scales, and sight reading ability.  My students have been preparing for months and I can’t wait for them to finally show off all their hard work!

For now, we’ll keep calm and practice on. See you tomorrow at the beautiful Massry Center for the Arts!


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