Studio Life

Students Highlights

April 2021

COVID-19 shows now sign of relenting and online lessons continue. During the December 2020 break, I gave an assignment to my students to write a song expressing their feelings about the whole experience of COVID-19. It was amazing to listen to their songs and lyrics. They performed them at our January 2021 group class.

One of my high school seniors Colleen Leacock with all the heavy school work, worked on it bit by bit over several months, and created a wonderful video for her song "Scrambled As an Egg".

Since Shelter-in-place

It was a challenge to have our monthly performance group classes online over Zoom. I found an online spin wheel so we could have quiz shows on Composer of the Month, I also arranged music so all my students have a piece to perform by the Composers. Bach, Clementi, Bartok are among the few. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas we played special music. We tried to keep some kind of normal life going. In January 2021 they performed their feelings toward the COVID-19 experience compositions. In February 2021, they performed love songs from various movies such as Casablanca, Romeo and Juliet , Love Story, Legend of 2000, Les Paraplues de Cherbourg, Hungry eyes and even "Song for my Brother" from a Kdrama. Right now, they are preparing for the Spring recital in May. Life continues, and so does piano playing. I am so proud of my students for facing the odds bravely!

May 2020

Congratulations to Colleen Leacock! Colleen's "Lullaby of the Northern Lights" won the first place winner in the Older Division (11 and up) at the Piano Explorer 2020 composition contest. Her work is published in the July/August 2020 issue of the magazine, and she also receives a cash reward from the magazine publisher.

Here is a recording of "Lullaby of the Northern Lights" performed by Colleen.

March 2020

Shelter in place began and all lessons went online! We adapt quickly and held private and performance group classes via Zoom. It was amazing how much our students continue to practice and make progress. We spend more time composing and improvising.

May 2019

It was quite an incredible experience preparing for auditions and sending one of our studio's adult piano students of nearly 6 years, to further his study of piano at a graduate school. Congratulations to Mark Wong for being accepted to the San Jose State University graduate piano program in Fall 2019. Here are some of his concerto performance recorded during lessons and recitals:

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2 First Movement

Chopin Piano Concert No 2 First Movement

and more performance videos

February 2019

Two of my high school piano students composed Sonatina and submitted to 2019 MTAC Composers Today for evaluations. Devin and Colleen received 4+ and 5 (highest score is 5+) respectively for their work and the great honor of being invited to perform at the MTAC conference in July 2019. Congratulations!

Devin's Sonatina in G minor

Coleen's Sonatina in B

Student Composition Project 2019

In January 2019, all students in the studio wrote a "pet" themed composition and performed their compositions at the Studio Spring Recital in May, 2019. We kicked off the project at the January group class. Students started out jotting down ideas with drawing pictures, writing descriptions, and moved on to creating a motif. Each week they added some more to their compositions.

Students also learned to use notation software such as Noteflight, Musescore, or Finale to notate their music. The composition was completed by March for those who wished to enter the Piano Explorer composition contest, or completed by our April group performance class. Bravo to all our composers! They amazed the audience during recital, and won great comments and praises.

Colleen's "The Adventures of Fintan the Dog" is the 3rd place winner in the Older Division (11 and up) at this year's (2019) contest. Her work will be published later this year in the magazine, and she will receive a cash reward from the magazine publisher. Congratulations!

Here you can see a copy of the some of the compositions that I was granted permission to publicize. The composers featured in this collect range from age 7 to 15. View the Pet Theme compositions!