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? ❤️

Happy Holidays!

This is not your average holiday piano recital! We are featuring jazz and modern arrangements of your favorite tunes, including a number by yours truly.  Turn up your speakers and prepare to have your ears tickled by these merry musicians.  Happy Holidays to you and yours! 🎁😎🎹

Blooper Reel 2018-19

Welcome to Week 3! We’ve been off to a great start and many students are already polishing up their repertoire in preparation for our first video recordings of the year. Performance videos are meant to give students a little taste of what it feels like to perform under pressure. Like a recital, students are expected to show off their very best playing, maintain decorum, and demonstrate good performance etiquette. Of course, just like any live recital, things don’t always go according to plan… Need I say more? Without further ado, here are all the weirdest, wackiest, and most wonderful moments caught on camera last year!!! 

Patience Performs “Guarding the Castle Gates”

Nine year-old Patience has accomplished amazing things since she took her first piano lesson just over two years ago.  She has consistently been one of the hardest working students in my studio and shows no signs of slowing down yet!  Just listen to her incredible musicality and check out that gorgeous wrist technique at the end–WOW!!  Many thanks to composer Mike Springer for giving us special permission to post this video.  Mr. Springer’s  Lyrical Landscapes Book 1 is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the studio, and if you listen to the video you’ll understand why!