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Blog

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Mrs. Remia's Blog

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Playing Piano Pays Off!

Posted on 22 January, 2019 at 10:25 Comments comments (3531)
Many times, parents wonder where to begin when choosing to place their child in music lessons. It can be a difficult decision when their child wants to play piano, drums, keyboard, trumpet, clarinet, or flute. This is just a reminder that piano is an excellent 1st instrument. Students who choose to learn piano as their first instrument, typically exceed when learning to play other instruments. Piano provides a solid foundation for music education. The student, from the very beginning, learns to read music, learns music theory, develops a strong musical ear, can play basic tunes, and learns both the treble and the bass clef. They develop a strong sense of timing and rhythm, as well as two hand coordination. Piano students can go on to play any instrument that they desire with very little difficulty! Let's Play Piano!

LET PIANO BEGIN!

Posted on 10 September, 2018 at 10:05 Comments comments (2410)
It is the beginning of September, and at least at our house, the beginning of Fall! My daughter always insists that just because we live in the furnace that is Texas, after Labor Day, it is time to decorate for Fall. I have ceased to fight the fight, so now my house is overflowing with Fall goodies and decorations. The studio is flocked with autumn flowers and scarecrows, and soon we will begin playing songs about the fall season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. It is always a pleasure to see our kiddos return back from summer vacation, and to welcome our newest students. Our students are always eager to begin learning. Our adult students are just as excited to start piano lessons. Some began piano when they were little people, but stopped lessons for various reasons; others have always wanted to play piano, but were unable to take lessons when they were younger. Some of our students, both children and adult) are beginning or returning to piano lessons due to health or memory issues. Playing piano is a creative art, but it is SO much more than that! Children and adults benefit from piano lessons. Playing piano helps with memory issues, concentration and verbal skills. Little ones who are hyperactive learn to better concentrate while learning to stay in one place for an extended time. They also learn over time that some of their excess energy and emotions can be "played" into the piano. Grownups with slow memory problems, benefit from a little "brain exercise". Playing piano is a lot about memory, and so all ages "exercise" the memory banks by learning to read music and remember notes and rhythms. Playing piano can also be a stress reducer for all ages, and can help to lift depression, anxiety, and fatigue. it aids in building muscles to the hands, fingers, and arms, while helping with eye to hand and hand to foot coordination. Piano lessons even helps with verbal communications, as we learn to express timing and musical expressions, as well as creative interpretation. Piano lessons can alleviate symptoms of arthritis, stroke, or brain injuries. There are enumerous benefits to learning to play the piano. Of course, the #1 benefit is playing the piano! Fall is a time for new beginnings, so let's hesitate no longer. Let's play piano!

Fall 2017 Begins!

Posted on 30 August, 2017 at 10:15 Comments comments (3874)
Thankfully, as far as I can determine, all of our students and their families made it through Hurricane Harvey with no problems. For this, Mrs. Remia and MusicbyRjon are very grateful. Fall lessons began yesterday! We had lots of happy and excited students who had survived their 1st day of the school year, and were ready to begin piano lessons. This fall, we will continue working on technique, piano etiquette, and learning more about classical composers. We have a lot to pack in before beginning fall songs, and recital preparation! So ........ Let's play piano!

Piano Practice or Homework??

Posted on 8 February, 2016 at 2:45 Comments comments (3450)

Many times, piano practice is pushed to the side when a student has an abundance of homework, as well as sports, church, and other activities to complete. The student can become overwhelmed, and piano practice becomes more of a burden than the fun activity that it should be.

Piano practice is a commitment and a responsibility, just as homework is. While school work always takes priority, the student must learn that piano practice is also a responsibility.

Set aside a scheduled day and time after school for piano practice. Rule out your student's busiest days, and schedule piano practice on days when other activities are light, or perhaps on the weekend.

It is very important to be consistent with the time and day. This way, your student won't forget to practice, and practicing won't clash with their homework time and other important activities.  

Remember, 30 minutes a day is excellent practice time - however, these days, it is not very practical. Try spreading the practice time throughout the week. Ten - fifteen minutes daily for however many days that you can manage is sufficient.   

For the younger student, five - ten minutes two -three days per week is excellent, (or however many days that you can manage).

Playing piano is supposed to be fun, but there is work involved.  Do not overwhelm your student, but schedule practice time with your student, and stick to it  They will enjoy their practice time, without feeling as overwhelmed with homework lurking in the back of their minds. This way, they can better fit it all into their day.   




 

And On That Note ...

Posted on 10 September, 2015 at 6:10 Comments comments (1541)

And On That Note ...by Remia Nobles

 

Well, we have celebrated the last summer holiday of 2015, and we move forward to time changes, fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

The excitement of fall is already in the air as we talk about cold fronts, rain, and we see the fall fashions and decorations going up in the department stores.

Our students too, are transitioning to Halloween pieces, hymns of Thanksgiving, and very soon,to Christmas Carols.

Staying current, moving forward, learning the music of life.

Our time slots fill up quickly. We have two available, so call or send us an email today.

Let's Play Piano!


 

The Fall Focus

Posted on 21 August, 2015 at 10:30 Comments comments (2852)

It is that time of year again!  In some areas, leaves begin falling from the trees, temperatures become a little cooler, night comes a little quicker, and buses start rolling with happy, squealing, sleepy school children aboard.

Here, at MusicbyRjon, we begin our Fall/Winter Session.  We have some students celebrating their next level in music, while others are just beginning their musical journey. 

During the Summer Session, we focused on:  Technic and Piano Etiquette, and we introduced Mrs. Remia's "Dynamic Basket". 

This fall, we will focus on more Technic, Theory, and Notation. We have decided to continue the "Dynamic Basket" through October, just for a little more incentive during the school year. 

As we revel in the change of the seasons, let's roll in the leaves, enjoy the breeze, and .....

Let's Play Piano




TEACH PIANO?? WHO ME????!!!!

Posted on 20 February, 2015 at 23:05 Comments comments (1003)

I started teaching Sunday school at Scott United Methodist Church when I was 11 years old. I arrived at the church a little early on this particular Sunday morning, and Mrs. Pauline Snelling found me waiting in the hallway. I was waiting for my Sunday school teacher, but Mrs. Snelling said "follow me". So I trustingly went with her, and was ushered into a "lion's den" of kindergarten and 1st - 2nd grade Sunday school students. Mrs. Pauline handed me a couple of books, and told me that this would be my class from now on. She left the room, shutting the door behind her. I had played school several times, and of course I attended school frequently, but teach?? Me??! Sunday School?? I was only eleven for goodness sake!

 

My second experience at teaching began a short time after I started playing for my church's children's choir. A lady from our church wanted to learn to play piano. She approached me, and asked if I would give her piano lessons. Well, I was still eleven, and not equipped to teach. My mother and I spoke with my piano teacher who thought this was an excellent idea. So, my piano teaching career was launched. By the end of the year, I had four piano students!

 

I have never had the desire to stand in front of a classroom of students to try and teach anything. However, I have found teaching piano to be one of the most rewarding experiences.

 

To watch tiny fingers that can barely reach from one note to the next play a challenging piece of music - that is a reward!

To see children bouncing to the beat of music - when a few months ago, they didn't know what a beat was - this is a reward! Hearing children and adults who cry "I can't do it", realize that yes, they can do it; and with hard work and practice, they can do it quite well - that is a reward!

To listen to a student play a song for the umpteenth time, and it still sounds like the first time - that is torture :); but when they FINALLY sit down, open the music, and play the song near perfectly - that is a reward!

 

To teach the concept of playing piano to someone who has never taken piano lessons before, never played piano before is the most awesome reward! It's like teaching a child to read. When the student sounds out the right note, strings the notes together in the correct way to play a tune ... it is like a ch-ching of blessings!

 

No, playing and teaching piano was not the career path that I would have chosen; but I am so glad that it is not myself who guides my footsteps along the path.

Making Music At Christian Fellowship Baptist Church

Posted on 9 February, 2015 at 22:10 Comments comments (963)

Today, MusicbyRjon sends a shout out to Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, Seguin, for allowing us to use their church for teaching purposes.

 

CFBC furthers their Music Ministry and Outreach Ministry by providing a piano studio within their facility for piano lessons.

 

Rev. Leon Morris and the congregation of Christian Fellowship invite members of their church as well as members of Seguin and the surrounding community to participate in the Piano Lessons Program of their church.

 

Piano lessons are governed by Pastor Morris and MusicbyRjon, and the instructor is Remia Nobles. There is a special discount for piano lessons given at CFBC.

What a blessing!  The little fingers that we teach today may become Church Musicians of tomorrow!

Let's Play Piano!









 

Music and Alzheimer's Disease

Posted on 5 November, 2014 at 13:00 Comments comments (845)




My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease when she was in her late 50's.  Alzheimer's was something I'd heard of, but it was called "Old Timer's Disease". It was very difficult for our family to associate this disease with such an active, happy, and lively woman. 

 I have watched elderly friends who were energetic, intelligent people deteriorate day by day into adult-sized infants; their loved ones watching in disbelief, denial, and finally grief for the loved one who was still with them, but  who used to be. 

Now I watch, as an elderly student begins her battle with this dreaded disease. She has chosen to continue lessons because of the wonderful benefits that music has on memory.  I watch her struggle to remember the name of a note, or to say a simple musical term - such as "half note", Yet, she can bring to memory the definition of a musical term, while she plays the note that she cannot name. To me, this is amazing. 

Ocasionally, I travel to area nursing homes and play for the residents and staff..  I find it fascinating that some residents who don't even recognize their family members, can remember the words to songs, and sing them well. 

All of this reflection  and retrospection led me to do an internet search regarding the effects of music with Alzheimer's disease. 

I am happy to report that if you took music as a child, there is good news!  No matter what instrument you played, researchers at Emory University have found that it may have aided your mental abilities. Apparently, musical activity, such as playing the piano or other instrumet, gives your brain exercise.

 According to Everydayhealth.com, (http/www.everydayhealth.com/alzheimers/8-simple-ways-to-reduce-your-risk-of-dementia.aspx), "The new, small study looked at 70 adults between the ages of 60 and 83, all with good bills of health. Those with the most musical experience tended to perform better on cognitive tests than those with little or no musical know-how."  

 According to the Alzheimer's Association, music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.

 

When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.

 

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success. See http://www.alzfdn.org/EducationandCare/musictherapy.html for more information.

The importance of engaging the brain and learning new skills at any stage of life is beneficial to brain health. The benefits of music just go on, and on, and on!

So, come on, let's play piano!

Remia

Practice Makes Perfect!

Posted on 14 October, 2014 at 22:30 Comments comments (1694)



I often find myself encouraging parents when they are seeking advice on getting their young student to practice.  Many times with school schedules, homework, and extra-curriculars, there is no time left over for piano practice. 

In today's society, parents are tired out from a day of trying to be an excellent employee, boss, wife, husband, mother, father, and all that these titles emcompass.  By the time Mom and/or Dad has picked up Jr. from football practice, helped Little Suzie with  her homework,prepared dinner,helped Jr.with a forgotten science project,  and finally called lights out, there is just no time or energy left for piano practice.

My adult students also have problems finding time to practice.  They are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, grandparents, hospital volunteers, employees, church workers, etc. Their day leaves little time for practice. 

My own practice time is limited!  Through the day, I stay busy with being a wife and mom, marketing and scheduling lessons, developing lesson plans, teaching, and serving as a Church Musician. Being a Church Musician and staying up on music with my students requires practice.   

When I think back to being a kid and taking piano lessons, I always remember my mother. You see,  I absolutely hated piano practice, and i could always find something better or more necessary to do. One evening, my mom discovered that hollering at me from the kitchen while I "practiced"  was not working; so she stopped what she was doing, and sat with me in the living room while I practiced.  No less than twice a week for 30 minutes, we spent quality time together practicing piano. She could not play a note, but somehow,she knew when I had missed one. 

Finally, I learned to actually love playing the piano, and practice became pleasure, and  a part of life for me. However, there are still times when I have a particularly tricky song that I just cannot get, or I am just too tired, or of all things:  I DON"T WANT TO PRACTICE!!

The thing is, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!  The more we practice, the better we play; and the better we play, the more we learn to love the music; and the more we love the music, the more we appreciate the art of playing and creating music. 

Most beginners reach a "plateau" when the lessons become more difficult, and the whole concept of playing the piano is just about as clear as mud!  Mom and Dad begin to wonder, "Why am I throwing away my money?"  Adult students say "piano playing is not for me ... I just can't get it!" 

This is the time  when students want to quit; throw up their hands, and run away from the piano.  But, just hold on through that time,and eventually, the light bulb will come on.  Click!  The student begins to understand the music concept and patterns.  Click!  Their piano playing will improve! Click! He or she will enjoy playing and learning again. Click! If you as students or parents stick it out through the hard time, I guarantee a lifetime of piano playing pleasure. 


There are five guarantees to practicing the piano.  (These guarantees apply to ANY instrument)

 * Sometimes daily practice will be hard.

 * Sometimes you will fall short of what you want to achieve.

 * Sometimes practicing will not be fun.

 * Sometimes you will feel like quitting.

 *Sometimes you will wonder why you are learning to play the piano.

This is normal. It’s okay to feel these things. But you must press on. You must be diligent to practice at least 5 - 10 minutes every day. You must put your whole heart into doing the best you can. Because it will be worth it. It is worth it!

Come on, let's play piano!

 


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